21st July 2024

A motion is afoot to extract hydrogen instantly from seawater, however the European Union is just not ready round for the paint to dry. The EU Clear Hydrogen Partnership has simply tapped a brand new consortium for a €20 million grant to ship a seawater therapy system out to sea, coupled with together with a 10-megawatt electrolyzer that may deploy renewable vitality to jolt inexperienced hydrogen from the purified water. That’s only for starters, if all goes in response to plan.

Ocean Voyage For A Inexperienced Hydrogen Electrolyzer

The US agency Plug Energy and the French agency Lhyfe are two members of the nine-member consortium that gained the grant, below the identify HOPE for Hydrogen Offshore Manufacturing Europe.

Plug Energy obtained its begin again in 1997 with a deal with the unsung however vital space of hydrogen gasoline cell forklifts for logistics operations. That was again when the worldwide hydrogen provide relied totally on pure gasoline and different fossil inputs. Plug ultimately shifted its consideration to partake within the electrolyzer growth of current years and is now a notable provider of sustainable H2.

Lhyfe got here throughout the CleanTechnica radar in February of 2022, when phrase surfaced that it’s a part of a sustainable hydrogen partnership with ABB together with the Swiss utility firm Axpo and the Canadian agency Hydrogen Optimized.

The 2 corporations paired up in 2021 to announce plans for supplying inexperienced hydrogen all through Europe. Additionally they launched an offshore hydrogen plant that 12 months, billing it because the world’s first. The setup included a 1-megawatt electrolyzer on a floating platform, powered by a floating wind turbine within the SEM-REV wave and wind vitality check web site off the coast of Le Croisic in Centrale Nantes.

Offshore Hydrogen Pedal To The Metallic: From 1 Megawatt To 10

The 2021 offshore hydrogen undertaking was a proof-of-concept mannequin that paved the best way for the 10-megawatt facility. As soon as up and working, the brand new floating electrolyzer will pump out four tonnes of hydrogen day by day.

The brand new operation shall be positioned at an offshore check web site within the North Sea, off the port of Ostend in Belgium. The hydrogen shall be despatched to prospects on land inside a 300-kilometer radius.

The plan is to make Ostend the centerpiece of Belgium’s inexperienced hydrogen trade. The HOPE consortium additionally eyeballing the prospects for a community of huge scale offshore hydrogen manufacturing websites throughout the EU, past the 5-year time period of their grant from the Clear Hydrogen Partnership.

Extra Inexperienced Add-Ons For Offshore Hydrogen

The HOPE undertaking entails a few different sustainability parts in help of the inexperienced hydrogen mission. Overarching the undertaking is the thought of beginning up new vitality industries at sea as a substitute of taking on land. That’s vital as a result of right this moment’s electrolyzers are monumental. Ten megawatts is extra spectacular than 1 megawatt, however it’s small potatoes in comparison with one other newly introduced Plug Energy undertaking that entails a complete of 100 megawatts’ value of electrolyzers on land on the Port of Rotterdam.

As an alternative of constructing a brand new floating facility for the brand new offshore electrolyzer, the plan additionally requires repurposing a jack-up barge beforehand used for oil and gasoline operations.

One other sustainability add-on is the vitality environment friendly seawater therapy system, which is able to run partly on warmth generated by the electrolyzer. Lhyfe notes that that is the primary use of an evaporation-based seawater purification system to provide inexperienced hydrogen.

Plans for powering the electrolyzer have but to be finalized, however the HOPE undertaking has a contract in hand that ensures electrical energy from renewable sources.

The HOPE undertaking can even signify the primary use of a versatile thermoplastic composite pipeline, greater than 1 kilometer lengthy, to move hydrogen from the seagoing electrolyzer to land.

The pipeline has licensed for that individual use, which is vital as a result of pipeline integrity is a key situation for inexperienced hydrogen and each different coloration of hydrogen. If the HOPE undertaking operates as anticipated, it would assist make the case for constructing new gasoline infrastructure with plastic composites, as a substitute of counting on metal.

Europe Catches Inexperienced Hydrogen Fever

Hydrogen is greater than a zero emission gasoline. It’s the linchpin of different key industries, from ammonia fertilizer, metallurgy, and refining to meals processing and prescription drugs.

The EU’s former hydrogen planning physique, the Gasoline Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Endeavor, was launched in 2008, a superb 10 years earlier than the inexperienced hydrogen trade emerged. The Clear Hydrogen Partnership was tasked with taking up its portfolio in November of 2021, with “clear” indicating the deal with sustainable sources.

As an awardee of the Clear Hydrogen partnership, the HOPE consortium stakes its declare to flagship standing with a ripple influence on all 9 companions. Along with Lhyfe and Plug that features Portugal’s EDP New (a just lately launched department of EDP) together with Alfa-Laval of Denmark, Strohm of the Netherlands,  ERM  and CEA of France, POM-West-Vlaanderen of Belgium, and DWR eco of Germany.

In the meantime, Right here In The USA…

The US has been no slouch, both (see full CleanTechnica protection right here). The marketplace for gasoline cell vehicles has been a flop to this point, however there are many different fish within the sea. That features the US Navy, which is eyeballing seawater as a supply for each hydrogen and carbon, from which it might synthesize its personal drop-in replacements for liquid fuels. Amongst numerous hydrogen initiatives, the Navy just lately engaged the College of South Carolina to analyze the potential for synthesizing jet gasoline from seawater.

That brings up the subject of e-fuels, or electro-fuels. As a companion to the inexperienced hydrogen market, the e-fuel trade depends on a copious quantity of renewable vitality.

Considerably sarcastically, the oil-and-gas producing US state of Texas has already nailed the pole place within the efuels race. Texas has the benefit of an unlimited present liquid hydrocarbon gasoline infrastructure, alongside huge and rising portions of wind and solar energy to provide inexperienced hydrogen.

Within the newest growth, the agency HIF World is shifting ahead with plans to assemble a large new efuels plant in Matagorda County, billed as the most important facility of its sort on the planet.

“When operational, the HIF Matagorda eFuels Facility will produce carbon-neutral delivery gasoline and gasoline that may be dropped-in to autos in use right this moment with none modification to present engines or the infrastructure on which they rely,” HIF explains.

HIF plans to deploy hydrogen from water electrolysis with renewable vitality, together with recycled carbon dioxide.

Discover me on Spoutible: @TinaMCasey or LinkedIn @TinaMCasey or Mastodon @Casey or Put up:  @tinamcasey

Picture: A primary-of-its-kind floating electrolyzer will push inexperienced hydrogen from seawater with renewable vitality (prototype picture courtesy of Lhyfe by way of globalnewswire.com).


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