Comparative techno-economic modelling of large-scale thermochemical biohydrogen production technologies to fuel public buses: A case study of West Midlands region of England


This work presents techno-economic modelling of four thermochemical technologies that could produce over 22,000 tonnes/year of hydrogen from biomass for >2000 public transport buses in West Midlands region, UK. These included fluidised bed (FB) gasification, fast pyrolysis-FB gasification, fast pyrolysis-steam reforming, and steam reforming of biogas from anaerobic digestion (AD). Each plant was modelled on ASPEN plus with and without carbon capture and storage (CCS), and their process flow diagrams, mass and energy balances used for economic modelling. Payback periods ranged from 5.10 to 7.18 years.  For operations with CCS, in which the captured CO2 was sold, FB gasification gave the lowest minimum hydrogen selling price of $3.40/kg. This was followed by AD-biogas reforming ($4.20/kg), while pyrolysis-gasification and pyrolysis-reforming gave $4.83/kg and $7.30/kg, respectively. Hydrogen selling prices were sensitive to raw material costs and internal rates of return, while revenue from selling CO2 was very important to make biohydrogen production cost competitive. FB gasification and AD-biogas reforming with CCS could deliver hydrogen at less than or around $4/kg when CO2 was sold at above $75/tonne.  This study showed that thermochemical technologies could produce biohydrogen at competitive prices to extend the current use of electrolytic hydrogen-fuelled buses in Birmingham to the wider West Midlands region.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Engineering & Physical Sciences > School of Infrastructure and Sustainable Engineering > Chemical Engineering & Applied Chemistry
College of Engineering & Physical Sciences
Additional Information: © 2022, Elsevier Ltd. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Funding Information: Financial support from the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences and the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry, Aston University for MEng Research Project (D. J. Nouwe Edou) is gratefully acknowledged.
Uncontrolled Keywords: AD-Biogas reforming,FB gasification,Green biohydrogen fuel,Pyrolysis-gasification,Pyrolysis-reforming,Techno-economic modelling,Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
Publication ISSN: 1879-0682
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.sci ... 002221?via=ihub (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-04
Published Online Date: 2022-03-03
Accepted Date: 2022-02-17
Authors: Nouwe Edou, Danielle J.
Onwudili, Jude A. (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-5355-9970)



Version: Accepted Version

Access Restriction: Restricted to Repository staff only until 3 March 2023.

License: Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives

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