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Power-to-Gas

[Due to the increasing size of the archives, each topic page now contains only the prior 365 days of content. Access to older stories is now solely through the Monthly Archive pages or the site search function.]

Spanish researchers propose new LOHC-based system for on-demand hydrogen production, storage and transport

September 25, 2017

A group of researchers in Spain—from the Universitat Jaume I de Castelló, the University of Zaragoza and the Institute of Chemical Technology of the Universitat Politècnica de València-CSIC—coordinated by Professor José Antonio Mata of the UJI, have developed and patented a new procedure for the efficient on-demand production, storage and safe transport of hydrogen based on the use of liquid hydrogen organic carriers (LOHC).

The research team has studied different hydrogen-bearing organic liquids to arrive at the new hydrogen storage system based on a chemical coupling reaction between a hydrosilane and an alcohol catalyzed by a ruthenium compound supported in graphene. Their paper is published in Chemistry: a European Journal.

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Navigant forecasts transportation demand for hydrogen to accelerate Power-to-Gas growth

September 20, 2017

Navigant Research forecasts that the transportation segment, with hydrogen demand as a catalyst, will jump-start power-to-gas (P2G) demand and further drive down electrolyzer and other infrastructure costs.

P2G—the conversion of electrical power into gaseous energy carriers—has been held back from mass adoption by high costs, regulatory hurdles, and difficulties with infrastructure. However, Navigant suggests, as the levelized cost of renewable energy falls and as electrolyzer technologies improve and decline in price, P2G business models are taking shape.

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Audi’s bivalent 2.0 TFSI for the new A4 Avant and A5 Sportback g-trons

September 11, 2017

Audi extended its range of natural-gas-fueled g-tron models just a few weeks ago (earlier post) with the new A4 Avant g-tron and A5 Sportback g-tron. The A3 Sportback g-tron has been on the market since 2014.

The new A4 Avant g-tron and A5 Sportback g-tron are powered by a 2.0 TFSI engine operating according to the efficient, Audi-optimized B-cycle (Budack-cycle, earlier post) combustion principle. Whereas the traditional Miller cycle closes the intake valves just before the end of the intake stroke, the B-cycle closes the intake valves much earlier. This results in longer effective combustion as well as faster air flow for the incoming gases, which improves the mixing of the fuel and air.

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Bosch study highlights potential of e-fuels to reduce CO2 emissions

August 22, 2017

According to a new study by Bosch, the use of e-fuels—synthetic fuels based on renewable energy—in Europe by 2050 as a scheduled supplement to electrification could save up to 2.8 gigatons of CO2: three times Germany’s carbon-dioxide emissions in 2016.

The calculation is based on an assumed e-fuels blend of 1% in 2025, 10% in 2030, 40% in 2040 and completely replacing the fossil fuel share by 2050.

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Audi A4 and A5 now available to order as g-tron in Europe; Audi e-gas for 3 years as standard

August 18, 2017

Audi’s two latest natural-gas alternatives in the midsize category—the new A4 Avant g-tron (earlier post) and the new A5 Sportback g-tron—are now available for order in Europe. Both models are powered by a bivalent 2.0 TFSI engine developing 170 hp. Like the A3 Sportback g-tron that is already on the market (earlier post), they can run on a choice of the climate-friendly fuel Audi e-gas, conventional CNG (compressed natural gas) or gasoline.

A 2.0 TFSI engine powers both the A4 Avant g-tron and the A5 Sportback g-tron. It develops 125 kW (170 hp) and achieves torque of 270 N·m (199.1 lb-ft). The newly developed engine is based on the new gasoline-powered 2.0 TFSI with innovative combustion principle based on the Miller cycle (earlier post).

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Power-to-gas trial to inject hydrogen into Australia’s gas grid; A$5M award to AquaHydrex

August 09, 2017

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced a trial for a new type of electrolyzer which could see excess renewable energy stored in the gas grid and used to decarbonize Australia’s gas supply.

On behalf of the Australian Government, ARENA has provided A$5 million (US$4 million) in funding to Wollongong-based AquaHydrex to develop commercially its new class of electrolyzer to produce cheap hydrogen from splitting water. In partnership with Australian Gas Networks (AGN), which owns the gas distribution network in South Australia, AquaHydrex will design and build an electrolyzer pilot plant to trial injecting a small amount of hydrogen into the South Australian gas grid in a process known as “power-to-gas”.

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Toyota and partners begin full-scale operation of showcase project to supply low-carbon H2 to fuel cell forklifts

July 13, 2017

A Japanese partnership, consisting of the Kanagawa Prefectural Government, the municipal governments of the cities of Yokohama and Kawasaki, Iwatani Corporation, Toshiba Corporation, Toyota Motor Corporation, Toyota Industries Corporation, Toyota Turbine and Systems, Inc., and Japan Environment Systems Co., Ltd. announced that all facilities to be used in the FY2015 Regional Cooperation and Low-carbon Hydrogen Technology Demonstration Project commissioned by the Ministry of the Environment have been completed, and full-scale operations have commenced.

The goal of the project is to implement and evaluate a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain which will utilize hydrogen produced from renewable energy in facilities along Tokyo Bay (in Yokohama and Kawasaki) to power 12 fuel cell forklifts. The project aims to construct a low-carbon hydrogen supply chain that can reduce overall CO2 emissions by at least 80% when compared with conventional approaches.

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CSIRO team working to commercialize membrane separating H2 from NH3; opening up an export market for Australia renewable H2

May 17, 2017

Researchers at Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) have years of experience researching the best ways to separate pure hydrogen from mixed gas streams. Now, the researchers have developed a thin metal membrane that can separate high-purity hydrogen from ammonia used as a hydrogen carrier. Ammonia (NH3) has a number of favorable attributes for such an application, the primary one being its high capacity for hydrogen storage—17.6 wt.%, based on its molecular structure.

CSIRO’s vision is to use the membrane technology to open up a new world market for renewable hydrogen produced via electrolysis in Australia. The renewable hydrogen would first be converted to ammonia (in combination with nitrogen produced in a renewables-driven air separation unit), then be exported piggybacking on the existing transport infrastructure for ammonia, and finally be extracted from the ammonia using the membrane system for use in vehicles and other applications.

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HYREADY collaboration supports introduction of power-to-gas H2 into natural gas infrastructure

March 31, 2017

The addition of hydrogen produced by renewable sources (e.g., electrolysis powered by renewable electricity) to natural gas supports the decarbonization of the natural gas system and integration of sustainable energy sources. However, the properties of hydrogen differ significantly from those of natural gas, and its introduction into the gas infrastructure may negatively impact public safety, the integrity of the gas system and the performance of end-use equipment.

The HYREADY joint industry project (JIP), led by DNV GL, intends to encourage the industry to “Be ready for Hydrogen” by developing practical processes and procedures for the introduction of hydrogen to the grid. HYREADY focuses on the consequences of H2 added to natural gas in an existing specific network and on feasible countermeasures to mitigate these consequences.

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SoCalGas & UC Irvine show power-to-gas technology able to boost use of intermittent renewable energy significantly

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that new research on power-to-gas technology shows the technique holds the ability to significantly increase the use of intermittent renewable energy. The finding came out of ongoing research conducted at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) and funded by SoCalGas.

Preliminary research findings, announced this week at UCI’s International Colloquium on Environmentally Preferred Advanced Generation (ICEPAG), demonstrated that the campus microgrid could increase the portion of renewable energy it uses from 3.5% to 35% by implementing a power-to-gas strategy.

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Audi introduces new A4 Avant g-tron; Audi e-gas offered as standard

March 07, 2017

Audi has introduced the natural-gas-fueled A4 Avant g-tron; dealers in Europe will begin taking orders for the midsize model starting in early summer 2017. It can be selected with climate-friendly Audi e-gas (synthetic natural gas produced with renewable energy in a Power-to-Gas process, earlier post) or compressed natural gas (CNG), or can be powered with gasoline.

Additionally, Audi is now offering e-gas to power the A3 Sportback g-tron as standard; customers will pay only the regular natural gas price. With this deal, Audi is reducing the CO2 emissions of the g-tron fleet when running on gas by 80%. When the new A4 Avant g-tron and the A5 Sportback g-tron come on market later this year, the e-gas offer as standard will apply to these models as well.

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voestalpine, Siemens & VERBUND building one of the world’s largest electrolysis plants for H2 production; EU-funded H2FUTURE

February 08, 2017

The European Commission has awarded the H2FUTURE project consortium—comprising voestalpine, Siemens, VERBUND and Austrian Power Grid (APG) as well as the research-partners K1-MET and ECN—the contract for the construction of one of the world’s largest PEM electrolysis plants for producing green hydrogen.

The project partners will work and research cooperatively on implementing an innovative hydrogen demonstration plant at the voestalpine site in Linz. The green hydrogen generated there will be fed directly into the internal gas network, allowing the testing of the use of hydrogen in various process stages of steel production.

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TU Bergakademie Freiberg launches OTTO-R project with VW Group, Shell, OMV as partners; P2X for green gasoline

January 24, 2017

Researchers at the Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, with partners from the automotive industry (Audi, VW) and the petroleum industry (Shell, OMV) have launched the €1.46-million OTTO-R project for the production of gasoline from “green” methanol produced from CO2, water and renewable electricity.

The new OTTO-R synthesis process is based on the Syngas-To-Fuel-Process (STF) developed by Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz GmbH (CAC) at the Institute for Energy Process Engineering and Chemical Engineering (IEC). STF first converts natural gas-based synthesis gas to methanol in an isothermal reactor; the methanol is then transformed into high-octane gasoline via the intermediate methanol. Residual methanol and light hydrocarbons are separated downstream and recycled into the process.

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13 global companies launch Hydrogen Council in Davos; promoting hydrogen to help meet climate goals

January 17, 2017

Thirteen leading energy, transport and industry companies have launched a global initiative in Davos to voice a united vision and long-term ambition for hydrogen to foster the energy transition.

Meeting in Davos for the first time on Tuesday, the Hydrogen Council currently comprises 13 CEOs and Chairpersons from various industries and energy companies committed to help achieve the ambitious goal of reaching the 2 ˚C target as agreed in the 2015 Paris Agreement. The international companies currently involved are: Air Liquide, Alstom, Anglo American, BMW GROUP, Daimler, ENGIE, Honda, Hyundai, Kawasaki, Royal Dutch Shell, The Linde Group, Total and Toyota. The Council is led by two Co-Chairs from different geographies and sectors, currently represented by Air Liquide and Toyota. The members of the Hydrogen Council collectively represent total revenues of €1.07 trillion and 1.72 million employees around the world.

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DOE awarding $3.0M cost-share contract to FuelCell Energy for solid oxide electrolyzer; converting excess electricity to H2

October 23, 2016

FuelCell Energy, Inc. is developing a solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) system to convert excess electricity during periods of low power demand into hydrogen efficiently. The US Department of Energy (DOE) is supporting this development with a $3.0 million cost-share contract to advance SOEC system design that will be added to the Advanced Technology backlog for the fourth quarter of 2016.

The market for energy storage is significant for high efficiency and flexible long duration storage that is affordable for rate payers. The energy storage market is expanding as utilities adjust to manage increased levels of intermittent renewable power generation supplying the electric grid. Annual global energy storage deployments are projected to increase to approximately 7 to 9 gigawatts by 2020 with continued increases thereafter. The SOEC solution being supported with this DOE funding meets these needs for both utility-scale applications as well as on-site opportunities.

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