PALO ALTO, Calif. — A team led by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) has been awarded a $9.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to support research and development (R&D) related to hydrogen production from fossil assets without carbon emissions.
This work builds upon EPRI’s portfolio of low-carbon R&D across the generation, delivery, and use of electricity.
The team includes Bechtel, Gas Technology Institute (GTI), Hamilton Maurer International, Inc. (HMI), Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD), Nexant Energy and Chemicals Advisory, and Wärtsilä North America, Inc. The award is part of a DOE Initiative to advance innovative power plant concepts that are capable of flexible, net-zero operations while producing hydrogen to support economy-wide decarbonization goals.
The project will investigate design options for hydrogen production in a hybrid coal and biomass power plant. The integrated design study will assess multiple gasification systems that utilize the water-gas shift—a process which converts carbon monoxide and steam to hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This system will be paired with pre-combustion CO~2~ capture and pressure-swing adsorption, which produces high-quality hydrogen and a synfuel capable of generating flexible power using an engine or gas turbine.
“This award supports EPRI’s collaborative R&D efforts to evaluate and accelerate low-carbon technologies,” said Neva Espinoza, Vice President, Energy Supply and Low-Carbon Resources at EPRI. “Gasification with carbon capture has the potential to be a low-cost option for hydrogen production with a net-negative carbon process. EPRI is excited about the opportunity to work with a talented and diverse team under this DOE award to evaluate a novel gasification-based process and develop a full-scale demonstration project design.”
The design study is a stepping stone to a future demonstration plant that will be strategically located at an NPPD generating station. NPPD is a sponsor of the Low-Carbon Resources Initiative, jointly led by EPRI and GTI.
“This study is a testament to our commitment to decarbonization and is a natural fit given our strategic vision,” said John Swanson, Director Generation Strategies & Research, NPPD. “Nebraska is an area where opportunities for enhanced oil recovery and sequestration are being investigated for CO~2~ storage, and where the need for clean power and hydrogen is increasingly important to support low-carbon and long-term storage targets.”
The primary biomass to be used in the demonstration project is corn stover, which is abundant in Nebraska and supports the agricultural community. It will be mixed with Powder River Basin coal, necessitating a flexible gasifier that can use this fuel source—among others—including waste.
The study will begin in early 2021, complementing technology assessments underway as part of the LCRI.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery, and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, health, safety, and the environment. EPRI’s members represent more than 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to 40 countries. EPRI’s principal offices and laboratories are in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass.