HYDROGEN--An Overview

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An Overview

Tom Gross IF,LLC
Foundation for Nuclear Studies Briefing February 4, 2005

What is Hydrogen?

• • • • • •

Element 1 on the Periodic Table
– – 1 proton, 1 electron 2 protons, 2 electrons

Diatomic molecule (H2) Highest energy content of common fuels on a WEIGHT basis Lowest energy content of common fuels on a VOLUME basis “H” is abundant on earth, but usually bound to carbon (such as CH4 ) or oxygen (H2O) or both (organic matter – “carbohydrates” – C6H12O6) H2 is not found in nature in large quantities (although there are some underground gas deposits that have relatively high concentrations of H2)2

Fuel Properties
Property Boiling point (°C) Physical state at 25°C Heating Value - weight basis LHV (MJ/kg) HHV (MJ/kg) Hydrogen H2 -253 Gas 120 142 Methane CH4 -162 Gas 48 53 Methanol CH3OH 65 Liquid 20 23 Gasoline wide range Liquid 42-44 44-46

Heating Value - volume basis LHV (MJ/Nm3) HHV (MJ/Nm3)
Flammability limits (vol% in air) Explosive limits (vol% in air) Molecular diffusion coeff (cm2/sec) in air Autoignition temperature in air (°C) Liquid density (g/liter) Specific gravity at 25°C (water=1) Specific gravity at 25°C (air=1)

11 13
4.1-74 18.2-58.9 0.61 571 77 .07

35 39
5.3-15 5.7-14 0.16 632 425 .55

15,700 18,100
6-36.5 6.7-36 0.13 470 792 .79 1.1

~32,000 ~33,000
1.4-7.6 1.4-3 0.05 220 720-780 .72-.78 3.5-4.5 3

Fuel Energy Content
Gasoline Methanol Ethanol Methane Lithium ion Hydrogen

EC per unit mass
1.0 .44 .61 1.1 .019 2.6

EC per unit volume
1.0 .51 .69 .29 .035 .2

Note: approximate unitization to gasoline, H2 & CH4 under pressure

Hydrogen Safety?

Moral of the Story ?
Don’t paint your dirigible with rocket fuel ! Hindenberg, 1937 Colorized photo shows burning of dirigible outer fabric

Hydrogen Safety
Another Side of the Story
• • • • • • • • Not Explosive In Open Air Not Decomposing Not Self-Igniting Not Oxidizing Not Toxic Not Corrosive Not Polluting Not Cancer Causing

Hydrogen Safety
Hydrogen Gasoline

3 seconds

• Fuel leak simulation
–Hydrogen on left –Gasoline on right –Equivalent energy release

1 minute

• Single-mode failure assessment
Which car would you rather be in?

From the Congressional Record 1875
“A new source of power... called gasoline has been produced by a Boston engineer. Instead of burning the fuel under a boiler, it is exploded inside the cylinder of an engine...

The dangers are obvious. Stores of gasoline in the hands of people interested primarily in profit would constitute a fire and explosive hazard of the first rank. Horseless carriages propelled by gasoline might attain speeds of 14, or even 20 miles per hour. The menace to our people of this type hurtling through our streets and along our roads and poisoning the atmosphere would call for prompt legislative action even if the military and economic implications were not so overwhelming... the cost of producing (gasoline) is far beyond the financial capacity of private industry... In addition the development of this new power may displace the use of horses, which would wreck our agriculture.”

Why Hydrogen? It’s abundant, clean, efficient, and can be derived from diverse domestic resources.


Wind Solar


With Carbon Sequestration

Oil Coal Natural Gas


Distributed Generation

Why Hydrogen?
• Flexibility of source: can be produced from a wide variety of domestically-available resources at any scale
– Could eliminate price instabilities in the energy market – All regions of the world are “in the game” – Energy security is possible through increased domestic energy production

• Significant, positive environmental impacts are possible
– Could remove energy production and consumption from the environmental equation, both locally and globally – Potential for very low impact throughout energy chain
• Urban air quality • Global climate change

• Flexibility of use: only energy carrier that can (effectively) provide all energy services for all energy sectors

Flexibility of H2 Sources
• Hydrogen can be produced from water; from carboncontaining materials (usually reacting with water); as a byproduct of chemical processes • Regional variations in traditional energy resources are no longer an issue • Every region has some indigenous fossil or renewable resource that can be used to make hydrogen


Environmental Impacts of H2
• At point of use (fuel cell), only emission is water.

• Overall environmental impact, however, is a function of the total hydrogen energy chain, e.g.:
– Best case: 100% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) – Worst case: 80% increase in GHG

Environmental Implications


30 delivery to consumer

kg CO2/kg hydrogen


hydrogen (plant gate) ->





0 liquid - 100 miles liquid - 1000 miles compressed gas cyclinders 100 miles compressed pipeline - 100 gas miles cyclinders 1000 miles pipeline 1000 miles


Environmental Implications

Conventional Gasoline ICE

30 delivery to consumer

kg CO2/kg hydrogen


hydrogen (plant gate) ->





0 liquid - 100 miles liquid - 1000 miles compressed gas cyclinders 100 miles compressed pipeline - 100 gas miles cyclinders 1000 miles pipeline 1000 miles


Environmental Implications
40 delivery to consumer hydrogen (plant gate) -> 30


kg CO2/kg hydrogen



Hybrid Vehicle




0 liquid - 100 miles liquid - 1000 miles compressed gas cyclinders 100 miles compressed pipeline - 100 gas miles cyclinders 1000 miles pipeline 1000 miles


Energy Implications



MJ/kg hydrogen




natural gas feed -> hydrogen (plant gate) -> delivery to consumer



-250 liquid - 100 miles liquid - 1000 miles compressed gas cyclinders - 100 miles compressed gas cyclinders - 1000 miles pipeline - 100 miles pipeline - 1000 miles


Flexibility of H2 Use
• In the Transportation Sector
– Desired range can be achieved with on-board hydrogen storage (unlike BEV) – Can be used in ICE (with modification, very low emissions); preferred for fuel cell (no emissions); APUs – Trains, automobiles, buses, and ships

• In the Buildings Sector
– Combined heat, power, and fuel – Reliable energy services for critical applications – Grid independence

• In the Industrial Sector
– Already has an important role as a chemical – Opportunities for additional revenue streams

Current H2 Production and Distribution (U.S.)
• 4 industrial gas companies dominate the U.S. marketplace • 33 SIC categories served • Natural gas used as feedstock for large scale reformer processes • Available in many purities: FCs use 99.99% purity • Delivered primarily by truck and some pipelines

• Captive hydrogen production by refineries is largest domestic capability

Commercial Production Today
• Steam Methane Reforming (SMR)
– 48% of world production – Strong economy-of-scale • Heat integration within and outside of SMR • Overall energy efficiency is affected by the ability to make use of the steam by-product


Commercial Production Today
• Petroleum Refining
• 30% of world production – Used within the refinery

Coal Gasification
– 18% of world production – Byproduct of steel industry - coke offgas - Primarily found in Europe and Asia

- 4% of world production - Water electrolysis - High-purity for on-site generation and use - Cost is a strong function of electricity cost - In Norway and Canada, e.g., with excess hydroelectric power, this can be a cost-effective production technology - Chloralkali process (byproduct of Cl2 and NaOH production)

Hydrogen Uses In The U.S.
• • • • Ammonia 50% Oil Refining 37% (Captive) Methanol 8% Other 5%
– – – – Food Oils Metals Semiconductors Float Glass

Hydrogen Distribution
• Methods

– Pipelines (primarily southeast U.S: ~750 miles)
– Tanker trucks/tube trailers

– Rail and Barge
• Infrastructure: commercially controlled

• Distance from production to point of use generally within 500 miles

Hydrogen Distribution and Delivery
• Infrastructure exists today

• Is it enough for a while? • How long before we need more? • At what cost, and for what coverage?


H2 Financial Highlights
• Industrial supplier base $6B Wall Street market cap (4 Industrial gas firms) • Hydrogen business grows 8% annually • Pure hydrogen has wide range of retail prices • Hydrogen largely dependent on natural gas as feedstock (costs rising)

• DoE target price of hydrogen is $2/kg

Delivered H2 Cost Estimates

Source: An Integrated Hydrogen Vision for California, July 2004


Domestic Resources for Hydrogen Production
• America is a resource-rich nation • Nearly every region of the country has one or more resources that could be used to produce hydrogen
– Renewables (biomass, wind and solar) – Natural gas – Coal

Natural Gas Reserves


Coal Reserves



Production Potential from Domestic Resources
• As an example, how could we fuel half of the current vehicle fleet with hydrogen?
– Current consumption in the light-duty vehicle market is 16 quads of gasoline – Assume a 2x increase in efficiency with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – For half of the fleet, we would need 4 quads – This is about 40 million tons of hydrogen per year (4 times the current domestic hydrogen production)

• Using only ONE domestic resource, can we make this much hydrogen?
– We will use a combination of resources, but this is an interesting exercise

Production Potential from Domestic Resources
To produce 40 million tons/year of hydrogen, we would need:
95 million tons of natural gas (current consumption is around 475 million tons/year in all energy sectors)

310 million tons of coal (current consumption is around 1,100 million tons/year)

400-800 million tons of biomass (availability is 800 million tons/year of residue plus potential of 300 million tons/year of dedicated energy crops with no food, feed or fiber diverted)

The wind capacity of North Dakota (class 3 and above)

3,750 sq. miles of solar panels (approx. footprint of the White Sands Missile Range)

Potential Nexus with Nuclear Power
• Nuclear Power Efficient & Distributed • Electrolysis Generates Hydrogen and Oxygen From Water • Business Opportunity Exists For Nuclear Industry To Produce Hydrogen By Hosting Electrolysis • Cheap Hydrogen Necessary For Fuel Cell Success • Using Nuclear Power To Fuel Hydrogen Economy Gaining Support In Hydrogen Community

Nuclear Industry Capabilities
• • • • • • Electricity Land Technical Knowledge Hydrogen Experience Financial Strength Leverage To Obtain H2 Coverage With Insurance Companies


So We Can Produce Hydrogen Now What?
• Storage of hydrogen is a really tough technical challenge • Building a hydrogen delivery and dispensing infrastructure will be expensive

• It’s not just the transportation sector that can benefit from hydrogen and fuel cells – need to focus on stationary and portable applications also • To realize the benefits of a hydrogen economy, we should put a value (cost) on energy security and environmental impacts

Barriers to the Use of Hydrogen
• Low-cost hydrogen production techniques • Low-cost and environmentally sound carbon sequestration technologies • Advanced hydrogen production techniques from fossil fuel, renewable and nuclear sources • Less expensive hydrogen transport technology • Right of way for new delivery systems


Conversion Applications

• Low-cost, lightweight and energy-dense storage system
• Low-cost, durable and reliable fuel cells that can be mass produced • Successful field tests and demonstrations • Supportive public policies to stimulate infrastructure and market readiness • Published fuel gas code that includes hydrogen • Insurance rating of hydrogen energy systems • Training and certification program

Codes & Standards


Hydrogen Logistics
Hydrogen vs. JP8 Fuel • Weight
– Hydrogen has 2.76x energy content of JP8 by weight.

• Volume
– JP8 has 10.3x energy content of gaseous hydrogen by volume
G aseous H 2 5,000 p si G aseous H 2 10,00 0 p si S olid S tate H 2 C arrier N aA lH 4

Liq uid H 2 o -423 C

JP 8

Volumes of equal amount of energy

Hydrogen Storage Targets

Fuel density lower limit

2015 targets

2010 targets
5 c ryo g e n ic p re s s u re

2005 targets

liq u id h yd ro g e n

N a a la n a te

n a n o tu b e s c o m p re s s e d gas

0 0 5 10

S p e c ific E n e rg y (M J /k g )

Where do you think gasoline fits on this chart?

Fuel density lower limit

E n e rg y D e n s ity (M J /L )


Hydrogen Fuel Stations
• About 60 hydrogen fuel stations worldwide for experimental vehicles • Companies and governments supporting hydrogen development are taking different approaches; there are few standard designs • Codes and standards are in early formulation; lack of these increases administrative costs of stations


Status of Domestic Codes and Standards for Hydrogen-fueled Vehicles
CSA/NGV2 Fuel Tanks for Hydrogen (Under revision)
SAE J2574 Fuel Cell Vehicle Terminology (Published) SAE J2600 Compressed Hydrogen Fueling Connectors (Published)

SAE J2594 Fuel Cell Recyclability Guidelines (Published)

SAE J2572 Recommended Practice Exhaust Emissions (In Progress)

SAE J2615 Performance Test Procedures For Fuel Cell Systems (In progress)

SAE J2601 Compressed Hydrogen Fueling Communication (In progress)

SAE J2616 Performance Test Procedures For Fuel Processor Subsystem (In progress)

EPA Emissions (Underway)

SAE J2617 Performance Test Procedures Of PEM FC Stack Subsystem (In progress)

DOT/NHTSA Crashworthiness of HFCV (Planned)

DOT/NHTSA FC Vehicle Regulations (Planned)

SAE J2578 Recommended Practices For Vehicle Safety (Published)

SAE J2579 Recommended Practices For Hazardous Fluid Systems (In progress)

Updated 9/20/04

Status of Domestic Codes and Standards for Hydrogen Fueling Stations
ANSI/CSA NGV2 Fuel Containers (CNG only) ICC Family Codes Fire, Fuel, Mechanical Electrical (Approved) ASME Boiler & Pressure Vessels (Published) SAE J2600 Fueling Connectors (Published)

NFPA Codes Fuel, Electrical, Storage (Under review for H2)

ANSI/CSA NGV 4 Dispensing Systems (CNG only)

SAE J2601 Vehicle Communication (In Progress)

UL 2264 Gaseous H2 generation (To be developed)

SAE J1616 Recommended Practice (CNG only)

CGA G5 Hydrogen Commercial H2 (Published)

CGA G5.3 Hydrogen Commercial Specification (Published)

ASME B31.3 Piping (Published)

CGA P6 Hydrogen Standard Density Data (Published)

CGA G5.4 Hydrogen Piping Systems (Published)

Updated 9/20/04

Organizations Supporting Hydrogen RD&D
• Industry
– Major Vehicle Manufacturers – Energy Providers – Fuel Cell Developers

• Government
– Department of Energy – Department of Defense – States

Hydrogen R&D Initiatives
U.S. Government
• Hydrogen Fuel Initiative – Announced Jan. 2003 • FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership

• E.g., California’s Fuel Cell Partnership, Hydrogen Highway

• International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy

A Commercialization Pathway
• Initially, distributed stationary electric power
– Remote, off-grid
– Uninterruptible power supply

• Then high volume energy carrier
– Generators – Auxiliary power units – Mobile power

So – Why Hydrogen?
• It’s all about security – Energy security
• Diverse domestic sources • Flexibility of system

– Economic security
• International leadership in technology development and deployment • Balance of payments • Price stability

– Environmental security
• Potential to reduce GHG emissions with renewables or fossil with sequestration • Air quality improvement potential

• U.S. Department of Energy

• National Hydrogen Association

• State of California

David Haberman President IF, LLC
Tel: 561-989-9494 E-mail: www.ifdhllc

Tom Gross Associate IF,LLC


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