Technoeconomic Analysis of Renewable Hydrogen Production, Storage, and Detection Systems

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    Technical and economic feasibility studies of different degrees of completeness and detail have been performed on several projects being funded by the Department of Energy's Hydrogen Program. Work this year focused on projects at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, although analyses of projects at other institutions are underway or planned. Highly detailed analyses were completed on a fiberoptic hydrogen leak detector and a process to produce hydrogen from biomass via pyrolysis followed by steam reforming of the pyrolysis oil. Less detailed economic assessments of solar and biologically-based hydrogen production processes have been performed and focused on the steps that need to be taken to improve the competitive position of these technologies. Sensitivity analyses were conductedon all analyses to reveal the degree to which the cost results are affected by market changes and techological advances. For hydrogen storage by carbon nanotubes, a survey of the competing storage technologies was made in order to set a baseline for cost goals. A determination of the likelihood of commercialization was made of nearly all systems examined. Hydrogen from biomass via pryrolysis andsteam reforming was found to have significant economic potential if a coproduct option could be co-commercialized. Photoelectrochemical hydrogen production may have economic potential, but only if low-cost cells can be modified to split water and to avoid surface oxidation. The use of bacteria to convert the carbon monoxide in biomass syngas to hydrogen was found to be slightly more expensivethan the high end of currently commerical hydrogen, although there are significant opportunities to reduce costs. Finally, the cost of installing a fiber-optic chemochromic hydrogen detection system in passenger vehicles was found to be very low and competitive with alternative sensor systems.
    Original languageAmerican English
    PagesVol. I: 249-272
    Number of pages24
    StatePublished - 1996
    Event1996 U.S. DOE Hydrogen Program Review - Miami, Florida
    Duration: 1 May 19962 May 1996


    Conference1996 U.S. DOE Hydrogen Program Review
    CityMiami, Florida

    NREL Publication Number

    • NREL/CP-22542


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