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Technical, economic and environmental assessment of technologies for the production of biohydrogen and its distribution

Results of the Hy-NOW study
: Zech, Konstantin; Oehmichen, Katja; Grasemann, Elias; Michaelis, Julia; Funke, Simon Á.; Seiffert, M.


International journal of hydrogen energy 40 (2015), Nr.15, S.5487-5495
ISSN: 0360-3199
Fraunhofer ISI ()
biohydrogen; production; distribution; economics; emissions

This article summarises the results from the study "Hy-NOW". It covers the technical, economic and environmental performance of 3 selected concepts for the production and distribution of hydrogen from biomass. Firstly, the 3 concepts are selected based on the prerequisite, that they are suitable to be implemented in a demonstration plant within the short to medium term. 2 of the concepts are based on the allothermal gasification of biomass while the third is based on the steam reforming of biomethane. The results of the technical assessment show advantages for the gasification-based concepts in terms of their net biomass conversion efficiency. The economic assessment then shows the specific provision costs for the 3 concepts. The large-scaled gasification-based concept and the fermentation-based concept boast specific biohydrogen production costs of around 4 EUR/kg H-2. The small-scaled gasification-based concept leads to higher costs of around 6.3 EUR/kg H-2. With 30-40 % of the total provision costs, the distribution presents a substantial cost item. The gasification-based concepts both have greenhouse gas emissions of around 4 kg CO2-Equivalents/kg H-2, while the fermentation-based concept has emissions of around 5 kg CO2-Equivalents/kg H-2. The distribution of the biohydrogen produces more emissions than the provision of biomass and its conversion to biohydrogen combined.