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Techno-Economic Analysis of Hydrogen Transport Methods for Long Distances: A Comparative Study of Liquid Hydrogen, Ammonia, Methanol, and LOHC

Giovanni Vaccarini

Techno-Economic Analysis of Hydrogen Transport Methods for Long Distances: A Comparative Study of Liquid Hydrogen, Ammonia, Methanol, and LOHC.

Rel. Massimo Santarelli. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare, 2023


The world has reached a critical juncture in terms of global emissions, with the imperative to limit global warming to 1.5°C by achieving net-zero 𝐶𝑂2 emissions by 2050. Many countries are actively working towards this goal, focusing on the integration of energy storage with renewable energy sources and increasing electrification in the energy sector. Hydrogen, through electrolysis and fuel cell technologies, holds the potential to bridge the gap between electrification and efficient energy storage. However, the high production costs of hydrogen using green electricity often render it economically uncompetitive compared to fossil fuels. To address this challenge, the study explores the concept of relocating hydrogen production to regions where renewable energy sources can provide cost-effective electricity. Countries like Chile, Morocco, Australia, and Norway are poised for significant transformations in their energy systems as they develop hydrogen hubs for the production and export of hydrogen. Long-distance transport of hydrogen is primarily feasible through maritime shipping, though the low density of hydrogen poses challenges. The study investigates alternative solutions to enable efficient hydrogen transport in various chemical and physical forms. Liquid hydrogen, ammonia, methanol, and toluene serve as hydrogen carriers in the supply chain. Starting from electrolysis, a conditioning step is consistently considered to convert gaseous hydrogen into these carrier substances. Terminals and tankers are tailored to their specific roles based on the chemical being stored and transported. Upon arrival at the import hub, except for liquid hydrogen, the study contemplates the use of cracking and reforming facilities to recover the initially produced hydrogen using a range of current and future technologies. A case study involving maritime transportation between Chile and Belgium is examined, and the results are comprehensively analyzed. The study highlights the conditions that make each carrier competitive, taking into account factors such as distance, production volume, and electricity costs. It draws conclusions based on the chosen supply chain, offering valuable insights into the future of hydrogen transport and its role in achieving global decarbonization goals.

Relators: Massimo Santarelli
Academic year: 2023/24
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 115
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Ingegneria Energetica E Nucleare
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-30 - ENERGY AND NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: eifer
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/29199
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