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Hydrogen + Methane = Hythane; Blend Fuel of Future

The world industry seems to be getting mature towards environment protection and so is now focusing for the green fuel generation, for example Hydrogen. The technologies for the generation of cost-effective Hydrogen fuel being developed and research being taking place at various locations of the world to provide compact, efficient, and safe design. Thus, for the cost effective, sustainable, reliable and carbon free energy future, using Hydrogen as fuel has no option at present. If hydrogen is to achieve its full potential, it must become less expensive and more efficient to produce, distribute, and use. Getting there will require multiple phases to come together. It is now prudent to strategize for the Energy Future in Phase manner.

Hydrogen being having very low density need storage at very high pressure in-order to provide sufficient sustained supply. Also being smallest molecule its ability to permeate through various material becomes a safety issue. Hence storage and transportation of Hydrogen becomes main issue.

Underdeveloped Hydrogen transportation facilities are restricting Hydrogen industries to make its impact towards decarbonizing and resulting in slow progress of energy transition. Energy transition must be supported with safe facilities of transportation and monitoring for

  1. Road Transport
  2. Rail Transport
  3. Ship Transport
  4. Pipeline transport

For all the above huge infrastructure is required; like, High pressure Hydrogen carrying bullets, filling system, and unloading stations, safety instruments, leak protection equipment, firefighting arrangement, separate safe road network to avoid transportation through populated areas, emergency response facilities etc. However, all these or even more requirements to happen would take lot of time, hence we must device a policy to take our first step towards NET-ZERO objective by taking small steps by include lots of industrial and domestic consumers to join by superior engineering thinking.

Pipeline transport is safe option, and it is then to be evaluated against timeline for building a huge pipeline network carrying only Hydrogen. This will surely take lot of time since economies have to device a policy, arrange for the funds, schedule for its execution.

To respond quickly towards NET-ZERO, easy option needs to be devised.

How about using existing energy network to support Hydrogen transportation, however, we must check the possibility of blending with different energy sources, like, Natural Gas network, Propane or LPG distribution network.

Hydrogen blending in the existing energy supply network requires intelligent and energetic team to perform extensive study, testing and modifications to existing pipeline, monitoring, and maintenance practices.

It must be then studied for the estimation of blend ratio considering additional cost required against the benefits, hence sensitivity analysis need to be performed case by case.

Partial Energy Transition using HYTHANE

In India we already have large Natural Gas distribution network covering most of the industrial areas and metro cities and other small or big urban areas to supply compressed NG to the domestic consumers. It would be prudent to involve all those in the mission of reducing carbon footprint.

Like, Road Vehicles running on compressed Natural Gas, Cooking gas network, Natural gas cross country pipeline supplying to various industries. Hydrogen generated as GREEN and blended in the NG pipeline will improve overall calorific value of fuel and help in the reduction of carbon emission equivalent.

Not only it will allow various economies to respond quickly towards NET-ZERO objectives, but it will also provide visible effect on the climate change. Lot of job opportunities and business opportunities would get generated to support inclusive efforts just by partial energy transition.

The energy data of various industries is available with the government authorities; hence it is required for targeting Industries having medium to high carbon footprints. Studying their  existing, Fuel Needs, type of Fuel and its composition and then develop a plan for the appropriate blend concentration; to reduce their Carbon Foot prints by carrying out suitable modifications.

Perform End to End study to identify cost effective options to further improve its Carbon emission performance by an option of Hydrogen Blending locally. In view of generating carbon credit, which can be used for generating revenues by trading it with green house emission industries.

  • Overall benefits: significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions if hydrogen is produced
  • from renewable sources.
  • Hydrogen in automotive applications: potential benefits from reducing petroleum
  • consumption and improving air quality by reducing sulfur dioxide, oxides of nitrogen, and particulate emissions.
  • Greening natural gas: when a hydrogen/natural gas mixture is used in existing appliances for heat and electricity generation. This benefit is similar to increasing the mix of renewable generation on the electricity grid in that it does not require significant changes in end-use equipment.

Engineering companies have lots of opportunities in the following areas to study the system and perform engineering to target local and international clients.

  • Reviewing present carbon emission level of operating unit. As part of Analysis
  • Optimize present operation by simple; No or Low-cost suggestions… Modification.
  • Introduction of Hydrogen Blending. Research and Development
    • Generation of Green or cost-effective Hydrogen within the unit
    • Identifying cost effective blend ratio
    • Impact on end-use systems
    • Safety
    • Material durability and integrity
    • Leakage

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