A workforce of MIT researchers led by William H. Inexperienced, the Hoyt Hottel Professor in Chemical Engineering, is developing a know-how that enables liquid natural hydrogen carriers (LOHCs) not solely to ship hydrogen to the vans, but in addition to retailer the hydrogen onboard.
Their findings have been just lately printed within the ACS journal Power and Fuels.
At the moment, LOHCs, which work inside present retail gas distribution infrastructure, are used to ship hydrogen fuel to refueling stations, the place it’s then compressed and delivered onto vans geared up with hydrogen gas cell or combustion engines.
This present method incurs vital vitality loss on account of endothermic hydrogen launch and compression on the retail station. To handle this, our work is exploring a extra environment friendly software, with LOHC-powered vans that includes onboard dehydrogenation.
To implement such a design, the workforce goals to switch the truck’s powertrain to permit onboard hydrogen launch from the LOHCs, utilizing waste warmth from the engine exhaust to energy the dehydrogenation course of.
Proposed course of circulation diagram for onboard dehydrogenation. Part sizes are to not scale and have been enlarged for illustrative functions.
Picture courtesy of the Inexperienced Group.
The dehydrogenation course of occurs inside a high-temperature reactor, which frequently receives hydrogen-rich LOHCs from the gas storage tank. Hydrogen launched from the reactor is fed to the engine, after passing by way of a separator to take away any lingering LOHC. On its technique to the engine, a number of the hydrogen will get diverted to a burner to warmth the reactor, which helps to enhance the reactor heating supplied by the engine exhaust gases.
The workforce’s paper underscores that present makes use of of hydrogen, together with LOHC programs, to decarbonize the trucking sector have drawbacks. No matter technical enhancements, these present choices stay prohibitively costly because of the excessive price of retail hydrogen supply.
We current an alternate possibility that addresses loads of the challenges and appears to be a viable approach through which hydrogen can be utilized on this transportation context. Hydrogen, when used by way of LOHCs, has clear advantages for long-hauling, corresponding to scalability and quick refueling time. There may be additionally an infinite potential to enhance supply and refueling to additional scale back price, and our system is working to do this.
—Sayandeep Biswas, first creator
Sayandeep Biswas, Kariana Moreno Sader, and William H. Inexperienced (2023) “Perspective on Decarbonizing Lengthy-Haul Vehicles Utilizing Onboard Dehydrogenation of Liquid Natural Hydrogen Carriers” Power & Fuels doi: 10.1021/acs.energyfuels.3c01919
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