Techno-economic feasibility of distributed waste-to-hydrogen systems to support green transport in Glasgow

Lui, J., Paul, M. C. , Sloan, W. and You, S. (2022) Techno-economic feasibility of distributed waste-to-hydrogen systems to support green transport in Glasgow. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 47(28), pp. 13532-13551. (doi: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2022.02.120)

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Distributed waste-to-hydrogen (WtH) systems are a potential solution to tackle the dual challenges of sustainable waste management and zero emission transport. Here we propose a concept of distributed WtH systems based on gasification and fermentation to support hydrogen fuel cell buses in Glasgow. A variety of WtH scenarios were configured based on biomass waste feedstock, hydrogen production reactors, and upstream and downstream system components. A cost-benefit analysis (CBA) was conducted to compare the economic feasibility of the different WtH systems with that of the conventional steam methane reforming-based method. This required the curation of a database that included, inter alia, direct cost data on construction, maintenance, operations, infrastructure, and storage, along with indirect cost data comprising environmental impacts and externalities, cost of pollution, carbon taxes and subsidies. The levelized cost of hydrogen (LCoH) was calculated to be 2.22 GB P/kg for municipal solid waste gasification and 2.02 GB P/kg for waste wood gasification. The LCoHs for dark fermentation and combined dark and photo fermentation systems were calculated to be 2.15 GB P/kg and 2.29 GB P/kg. Sensitivity analysis was conducted to identify the most significant influential factors of distributed WtH systems. It was indicated that hydrogen production rates and CAPEX had the largest impact for the biochemical and thermochemical technologies, respectively. Limitations including high capital expenditure will require cost reduction through technical advancements and carbon tax on conventional hydrogen production methods to improve the outlook for WtH development.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:You, Dr Siming and Sloan, Professor William and Paul, Professor Manosh and Lui, Jade
Authors: Lui, J., Paul, M. C., Sloan, W., and You, S.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Infrastructure and Environment
College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering > Systems Power and Energy
Journal Name:International Journal of Hydrogen Energy
ISSN (Online):1879-3487
Published Online:09 March 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in International Journal of Hydrogen Energy 47(28): 13532-13551
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
172865EPSRC DTP 16/17 and 17/18Mary Beth KneafseyEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N509668/1Research and Innovation Services
309846Decentralised water technologiesWilliam SloanEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/V030515/1ENG - Infrastructure & Environment