Greening of Gas
Greening of Gas: Moving Towards Hydrogen Via Natural Gas: Implications for the Netherlands.
In the Netherlands, the Greening of Gas project has been started to investigate the feasibility, from ecological, economic and technological perspectives, of adding hydrogen to the Dutch natural gas network as a means of reducing diffuse CO2 emissions and ultimately initiating a shift towards a hydrogen economy.
The preliminary findings of the project suggest that steam methane reforming of natural gas (the least expensive, most common method of producing hydrogen on an industrial scale) provides the most logical choice for the initial stages of a transition to a hydrogen economy.
This presents an opportunity for research into synergistic options for hydrogen and natural gas in a combined energy supply. After making a case from an environmental standpoint for the gradual switch to hydrogen, this paper takes a close look at the production, transportation and storage concepts associated with introducing 10%-mol H2 into the natural gas network of the Netherlands as a first step towards a hydrogen economy.
Hydrogen and natural gas combined
After making a case from an environmental standpoint for the gradual switch to hydrogen, the research toke a close look at the production, transportation and storage concepts associated with introducing 10%-mol H into the natural gas network of the
Netherlands as a first step towards a hydrogen economy
It is clear that even the using least-cost, method of steam methane reforming for producing H, the addition of even 10 mol% of H2 into Dutch natural gas is not economically benign at present.
However, it must be realized that any transition path to a hydrogen (or other potentially sustainable energy) economy will incur large costs.
- Compared with post combustion CO capture, for example, the cost per ton of CO emissions avoided is quite similar.
- The key issue addressed by this paper is that mixing of H into the natural gas network offers several advantages (with regard to production, storage and transportation) compared to other approaches and is therefore worthy of consideration.
- On the production side, using H2/NG blends allows for more innovative techniques such as incomplete steam methane reforming, in the short term, and production from biomass and other renewables in the medium to long terms.
- Further, an inefficiency in the current natural gas network (that is, a system built on the use of ‘inferior’ G-gas) allows hydrogen to be added to more recently disc covered supplies of higher calorific gas to produce a mixture that still functions in the same Wobbe range and requires very little modification to the existing network.
- itionally, the natural gas network has the potential to provide a unique storage facility that is not easily available otherwise.
- Moreover, mixing H into the natural gas network has the potential to encourage innovation in a way that opens a whole new realm of technical possibilities and unique applications that do not currently exist. So ultimately, this approach – using the already mature natural gas network to catalyse the movement towards a hydrogen economy –may play a key role in a positive paradigm shift in the energy sector.
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