A Clear Focus on the Future

Hydrogen Generation

GTI focuses R&D efforts on the generation of clean hydrogen from different feedstocks through a variety of processes. Although hydrogen burns with zero emissions, it is often produced in a way that creates GHG emissions, but there is a lot of potential to reduce the GHG impact based on the way it is created. Hydrogen can be produced with low or no carbon emissions, but selecting the best hydrogen generation technology often depends on the application.

By incorporating carbon capture and/or carbon sequestration in a cost-effective manner, clean hydrogen can be generated from hydrocarbons for large scale or smaller distributed production. The process of creating hydrogen via electrolysis is being pursued to store renewable electricity from wind or solar in a form that will provide dispatchable lower-carbon energy to consumers that could be used for remote and back-up power generation.

GTI has developed technologies to make hydrogen on-site from renewable feedstocks to minimize costs of hydrogen transportation. GTI’s micro-scale steam methane reforming (SMR) technology utilizes renewable gas from digester plants or landfills to generate hydrogen on-site. GTI has a long history of building and operating on-site hydrogen generation and dispensing stations to fuel vehicle fleets.

Another example is gasifying renewable agricultural or woody biomass to generate renewable hydrogen—one of the major components of the syngas created by gasification. GTI has decades of expertise in biomass conversion, gas quality, clean-up, and processing which is being used to support projects from SunGas Renewables, Inc. SunGas Renewables is the commercial supplier of GTI-developed technology that offers a woody biomass to pure hydrogen solution at large scale, up to 12 Billion SCF per year. This approach uses GTI’s commercial gasification platform and conventional back-end clean-up technology to reliably deliver green hydrogen at scale. The technology also enables manufacture of other renewable products from wood wastes, including RNG, fuels, and chemicals.

Capabilities

Low-carbon and renewable hydrogen production

  • Hydrogen production technology development, design, and testing
    • Compact hydrogen generator
    • Liquid phase reforming
    • Biomass gasification
    • Ammonia-based production
  • System modeling
  • Field demonstration support
GTI’s hydrogen testing and storage laboratory has an environmental chamber that houses production, purification, and compression equipment—including a full-size cascade storage system—to provide high-pressure gaseous hydrogen for testing.

Demonstrating GTI’s innovative low-carbon hydrogen production technology for decarbonization in new UK HyPER project

A new project just kicked-off in the U.K. called “Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming” (HyPER), will see GTI working in conjunction with Cranfield University, Doosan Babcock and the British Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS). The effort will scale-up an advanced, industrial-scale GTI hydrogen production technology that inherently captures any CO2 produced in the process, and has the potential to produce high-purity hydrogen at up to 30% lower cost than conventional steam methane reforming methods that require an additional CO2 capture step.

A state-of-the-art 1.5 MWth pilot plant will be constructed at Cranfield University, with the intention of ultimately scaling up even larger. International partnerships such as this are critically important as the global nature of the energy challenges before us will require worldwide collaborations to successfully address them.

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Laying the groundwork for a Hydrogen Power Engineering Center (HyPEC), to advance production of low-cost decarbonized hydrogen power generation

The Hydrogen Power Engineering Center (HyPEC) is a proposed large-scale testing facility that will serve as a test bed to evaluate multiple component subsystems and operate as a whole, grid interconnected system to prove and scale up power generation equipment.  In addition, the facility will offer the ability to train personnel in the safe operation of hydrogen-based power systems.

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Creating Carbon-Free Hydrogen From Ammonia

With support from DOE, GTI is developing a hydrogen generation system that eliminates ammonia breakthrough. It uses a novel catalyst to crack the ammonia, along with a unique membrane to separate the hydrogen from the nitrogen. GTI is working with several universities to make the components for this system. It is estimated that this system will produce hydrogen at $4.5 per kilogram.

Generating fuel cell-quality hydrogen and inherently capturing or sequestering CO2 with a liquid phase reformer

GTI is developing a unique liquid phase reformer that uses liquid alcohol feedstocks to generate fuel cell-quality hydrogen at pressure and inherently capture or sequester the CO2 in the process. The use of liquid fuel is viewed as the preferred hydrogen carrier for easy transport, storage, and dispensing of the hydrogen for remote or transportation applications. It is estimated that the hydrogen cost will be $4 to $6 per kilogram for this system.

The applications for this technology are for remote and distributed hydrogen, where it can be coupled to fuel cells for power, or dispensed for hydrogen refueling for fuel cell vehicles. This technology can also be used at hydroprocessing locations in food or petrochemical industries.

SUCCESS STORY

Converting Biogas to Hydrogen to Run Military Fuel Cell Vehicles

GTI and the Department of Defense successfully completed a project to condition wastewater treatment biogas into a high-quality biomethane fuel that is converted to hydrogen (via steam reforming) to operate military base vehicles with hydrogen-powered fuel cells. Hydrogen generated at Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s water treatment plant was used to power 19 fuel cell forklifts and a fuel cell shuttle bus for a 12 month demonstration. GTI designed, built and installed the waste gas clean-up system and hydrogen generation infrastructure at the base.

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