Technologies for hydrogen (H2) production fall into three main categories:
Efficiency/Cost Comparison to Competing Technologies
Table 1 presents the cost and performance characteristics of various H2 production pathways, as of 2004. Many of the technologies that are in the research and development (R&D) stage will require years of improvements before becoming a commercial reality.
|Table 1: Efficiency/Cost Comparison to Competing Technologies 1|
The cost of H2 production depends heavily on the cost of fuel or electricity from which it is produced. As the market price for these inputs to the H2 production system fluctuate, one given technology may become more attractive economically compared to others.
Coal-to-Hydrogen Process Description
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has sponsored many design studies on the production of H2 from coal, with or without the co-production of power.
Recent DOE studies presented the following four process design schemes as possible options for centralized-large-scale H2 production from coal, and discussed their performance and efficiency:2
|Hydrogen: Automotive Fuel of the Future, by FSEC's Ali T-Raissi and David Block, IEEE Power & Energy, Vol. 2, No. 6, page 43, Nov-Dec 2004.|
|Hydrogen from Coal, D. Gray & G. Tomlinson, Mitretek Technical Paper (Nov 2001)|