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Production and use of hydrogen in a CCS context


It is stated by the International Energy Agency (IEA) that in the long term, "completely eliminating fossil fuels in transport and industry without resorting to hydrogen may be hard to achieve". (IEA, 2012). Hydrogen production from fossil fuels, when applying CO2 capture and storage (CCS) may be a key transition technology when moving in the direction of the sustainable hydrogen-using society, while securing electric power production as well as availability of fuel for fuel cells and chemical feedstock for industrial sectors like chemical industry, refineries, food industry and agricultural industry.

In a CCS setting, the production of hydrogen is often related to pre-combustion capture power generation in an Integrated Gasification Combined cycle (IGCC) or an Integrated Reforming Combined Cycle (IRCC). Studies have also been made of co-generation of power and hydrogen, where the hydrogen is intended to be used e.g. in fuel cells for automotive purposes, for instance in the EU FP6 Dynamis project. In pre-combustion capture, the most mature technology for separating hydrogen and CO2 is to apply a solvent downstream of the water-gas shift reactors. This separation process will result in a fairly pure CO2, and a hydrogen-rich syngas that contains fractions of CO, CO2, CH4 and typically also Ar and N2. This hydrogen-rich gas is suitable to be applied as gas turbine fuel (Franco et al., 2011) and could potentially also be applied for atmospheric combustion of hydrogen in e.g. refinery heaters (Weydahl et al., 2013). If the hydrogen is to be applied for other purposes than combustion, it will typically have to undergo additional purification in a pressure-swing adsorption (PSA) unit. There are also other separation methods under development for pre-combustion capture, such as solid sorbents for steam-methane reforming (Arstad et al., 2012), palladium membranes (Peters et al., 2008) and CO2 liquefaction (Berstad et al., 2012). For industrial purposes other than power production, steam-methane reforming (SMR), followed by hydrogen separation using a PSA is by far the dominating method for hydrogen production. There are also novel methods under development that are tailored for simultaneous H2 production and CO2 capture, such as sorption-enhanced steam-methane reforming (SE-SMR).

The aim of the present work is to give the overall picture of production and use of hydrogen in a CO2 capture context. The varying characteristics of different options for hydrogen production with CO2 capture will be described. Furthermore, it will be described how hydrogen can be used in a world striving to reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuels for power generation, transport, in refineries and in other industries. The most suitable process routes of H2 production with CO2 capture will be charted for various applications with an emphasis on potential and challenges.




  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 193816




  • SINTEF Energy Research / Gassteknologi

Presented at





05.06.2013 - 06.06.2013





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