Construction of Cranfield University’s HyPER pilot plant started on Tuesday (13th April) with the new 1.5MW facility to be used to test innovative hydrogen production technology that could substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The key benefits of this technology, developed by US company GTI, is its significant reduction in capital cost, compact size, and higher efficiency without generating excess steam.
The new pilot is a result of Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming (HyPER project), an international collaboration led by Cranfield University, which is set to examine the potential of low-carbon hydrogen.
With £7.4m ($10.2m) of funding from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the project will explore a new technology which captures greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) during the hydrogen production process and shifts the chemical reactions to favour the production of more hydrogen.
This could prove to be lucrative with outputs of high purity streams of hydrogen and CO2 able to be stored, sold or transported to areas that need it.
Dr. Peter Clough, Lecturer in Energy Engineering at Cranfield University, said, ‘The technology will minimise greenhouse gas emissions and make the production, storage and transportation of low-carbon hydrogen a reality.
“We anticipate great benefits for consumers, industry and the hydrogen sector.”
Mike Rutkowski, GTI Senior Vice-President, said, “Energy companies have to meet the reliability, cost, and safety needs that their customers demand at the same time they are reducing the impact on the environment.
“Hydrogen is a great solution for that, and this technology offers great market potential and makes economic sense.”
The pilot plant is designed to demonstrate key components of the process and enable future scale-up and lead to commercially operating facilities.