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Research Papers: Hydrogen Energy

Hydrogen Use in an Urban District: Energy and Environmental Comparisons

[+] Author and Article Information
Michela Vellini1

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via del Politecnico 1, Rome 00133, Italyvellini@ing.uniroma2.it

Jacopo Tonziello

Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Via del Politecnico 1, Rome 00133, Italy

The GWP is a measure of how much a given quantity of a greenhouse gas contribute to global warming in a relative scale, which compares the given quantity of gas to the same quantity of carbon dioxide (which GWP is by convention set to 1). The GWP is calculated over a specific time interval that should always be stated.

The value taken as reference in this paper can be considered as a representative for a class of second generation solvents that have lower energy requirements for the regeneration step compared with traditional amines (16).

Logistics of facilities supply with industrial gases is determined by the required quantity and transport distance. For industrial bulk consumers, hydrogen should be supplied by on-site-plants using a pipeline system. Transportation in gaseous or liquid state by trucks can be considered as a valid option to satisfy facilities with low and medium demands.

Natural gas is still used as fuel in heating boilers; on the whole, its use is drastically reduced with respect to the present scenario.

1

Corresponding author.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 132(4), 042601 (Jan 06, 2011) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4003032 History: Received March 26, 2010; Revised November 09, 2010; Published January 06, 2011; Online January 06, 2011

Hydrogen technology is becoming ever more relevant because hydrogen use can help in containing greenhouse gas emission if CO2 capture and storage technologies are implemented in the hydrogen production pathway (when hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels). This work aims at carrying out a comparative analysis of possible energy scenarios in urban districts. A medium-small Italian city is considered as a reference case, and its energy consumption both for domestic and industrial use is evaluated. The current situation in which conventional technologies meet the energy needs is compared with a hypothetical scenario where hydrogen is largely used. Two options of hydrogen production from commercially ready technologies are investigated: coal gasification and steam methane reforming, as well as hydrogen use in advanced energy systems for transports and for thermal and electric energy generations. Also, the environmental impacts are evaluated. This study is particularly focused on greenhouse gas emissions with specific reference to carbon dioxide. The final goal is to define an alternative scenario, quantifying the energy needs and the relative environmental impacts in order to obtain quantitative information on the environmental benefits of the hydrogen scenario, as well as to identify its possible structural and functional criticalities.

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Figures

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Figure 1

Model of the present scenario

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Figure 2

Total primary energy supply of the present scenario (a) by sectors and (b) by energy sources

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Figure 3

Model of the innovative scenario

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Figure 4

Daily thermal loads for the three facilities considered in this paper

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Figure 5

Monthly thermal loads for the three facilities considered in this paper

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Figure 6

Detailed scheme of the innovative scenario based on coal

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Figure 7

Detailed scheme of the innovative scenario based on natural gas

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Figure 8

Total primary energy supply of the innovative scenario (a) by sectors and (b) by energy sources

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Figure 9

Air emissions comparison in the innovative scenario considering 0% and 27% of the private vehicles fuelled with hydrogen (this option is considered for a final comparison with a scenario that includes hydrogen fueled vehicles in the private sector). The present scenario with air emissions at 100% is considered here as the reference case.

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