Blue hydrogen co-generation as an energy vector for a sustainable future
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Hydrogen has been identified as a potential energy vector to decarbonize future energy use. For hydrogen to fulfill its potential, it must be produced in sustainable ways such that economics, environmental, social, political, and cultural aspects of its production are all considered and expectations of each are met. A blue hydrogen production process using oxy-fuel combustion, electricity co-generation and a closed loop system allowing virtually all the produced CO2 to be captured is evaluated. The resulting production process shows that hydrogen can be produced in Alberta meeting the sustainability criteria. Emissions from production (Scope 1), inputs (Scope 2), and final usage (Scope 3) totaling 25.1 g-CO2e/MJLHV meeting Canada’s low carbon definition of less than 36.4 g-CO2e/MJLHV emissions. Additionally, opportunities to further reduce the carbon footprint such as substituting biogas for methane and hydrogen fuel cells to generate the electricity needs of the process are explored.