Hydrogen – the green currency of the future

All governments have pledged to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions; this effectively means that the world must move to:

Electricity from nuclear, renewable or decarbonised sources
Hydrogen from renewable or decarbonised sources
biomass derived methane gas or hydrocarbon liquids or
heat as a by-product, or from biomass, solar or geothermal sources.

Of these electricity and hydrogen are purely manufactured energy vectors competing as intermediaries between energy sources and final consumers. In recent years the tide seems to have moved to electricity as the ultimate solution, but this article will take issue with this. This is principally because of the severe cost implications associated with either electricity storage or its corollary – demand side management.

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a regular up to date source of hard info on renewable energy- Renew

Need a regular up to date source of hard info on renewable energy? Renew is a 36 page newsletter on renewable energy developments and policy which has been produced  by Open University Professor Dave Elliott without a break bi-monthly since 1979. It’s widely seen as a reliable and up to date source of information, news […]

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Ultra Light Rail – the Fast Track to Fuel Cells Introducing Fuel Cells to the Commercial Public Transport Market Fuel cells are now recognised as a key technology in the process of weaning the modern world from its dependence on fossil fuels and leading it into a new age of alternative energy. The principal obstacle […]

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"would it be practical to store syngas as a method of allowing IGCC-CCS plants to respond to the overnight fall in demand?" Fred Starr responds

Claverton Hydrogen Storage on IGCC Sites

Dear Neil

You asked if it would be practical to store syngas as a method of allowing IGCC-CCS plants to respond to the overnight fall in demand

The prospects of the on-site storage of syngas, to enable an IGCC to vary its output seem limited. The gas that would have to be stored would have to be hydrogen. Otherwise, the processes by which the carbon in the syngas is removed would have continuously vary their throughput. Only the gasifier and air separation unit ( for supply of oxygen) would run at a constant output

Unfortunately, a very large amount of gas is produced when gasifying

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(IGCC) Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle for Carbon Capture & Storage


This paper endeavours to give an objective account of the background to gasification based processes for power generation with carbon capture. Such processes are a development of IGCC plant designs in which coal or heavy fuel oil is first gasified and to produce a fuel gas for a CCGT unit. Although the IGCC concept does lend itself, very well, to high levels of carbon capture, and could lead the way to the hydrogen economy, it does create some important technical challenges. In particular, it restricts the type of gasifier that can be used to the high temperature entrained flow type. Furthermore, because the fuel gas that is produced in an IGCC consists of over 90% hydrogen, this will reduce the efficiency of the plant. Given that the hydrogen economy is some decades away, a more reasonable gasification-type option would be to produce natural gas from coal. This substitute natural gas could be used as a fuel gas in standard gas turbines (with no efficiency penalty) and can be used to supplement the UK and EU fast declining reserves of natural gas. The main drawback is that only about half as much carbon would be captured as in the IGCC “clean coal” systems currently being envisaged.

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Hydrogen pipeline transmission issues

A paper from Calin Cormos and Dr. Fred Starr. It points out that one of the main problems with hydrogen is transmitting it over long distances in pipelines. As such it implies that the outlet pressure from a ossification plant will have to be at least 70 bar, and because of the pressure drop and […]

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