California Projects The World’s Largest Renewable Hydrogen Plant

California projects the world's largest renewable hydrogen plant

The City of Lancaster has signed a co-ownership agreement for the largest hydrogen production plant, already built or planned, in the world.

When fully operational, the plant will produce 11,000 kg of hydrogen from waste per day.

The largest plant ever designed to generate hydrogen from waste will be built in California, in the city of Lancaster . The announcement is from the SGH2 company that has recently signed an agreement for the construction and joint ownership with the Californian municipality. The project has several characteristic elements, in addition, of course, to the record size of the facility.

Currently, hydrogen production can be based on relatively clean technologies, such as electrolysis of water powered by renewable energy, or on dirtier techniques, such as coal gasification.

The second option is still the most widespread in the world, since they are also the cheapest. However, these processes release carbon dioxide and for the vector to be truly clean, it would be necessary to add carbon capture and sequestration plants. This would increase costs.

What makes the SGH2 project interesting, at least on paper, is the ability to produce hydrogen from waste with much less CO2 than fossil fuel systems, but at equally low prices.

The plant’s technology can process a wide range of waste, including paper, old tires, textiles and plastics, which it can handle without deriving toxic by-products. The synthesis gas is “washed” and centrifuged until a mixture of hydrogen, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide is obtained. The latter is reacted with steam to obtain new hydrogen and CO2. The two gases separate, capturing all of the carbon dioxide.

The Berkeley Laboratory has conducted a preliminary life cycle carbon analysis, finding that for every ton of hydrogen produced, our technology reduces CO2e emissions by 23-31 tons. It is about 13-13 tons of carbon dioxide less per ton than any other ecological process.

Furthermore, while electrolysis requires about 62 kWh of energy to produce one kilogram of hydrogen, Solena’s technology is energetically positive, generating 1.8 kWh per kg of hydrogen. This means that the plant is capable of self-feeding part of the process.

According to the terms of the agreement, the plant will enter service in the fourth quarter of 2022, reaching full operation in the first quarter of 2023. And producing up to 11,000 kilograms of hydrogen from waste each day.

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