Hydrogen Energy Production
Despite being the most abundant element on Earth, Hydrogen is not found in pure form in high enough quantities to be a viable source of energy. With advances in electrolysis and other separation technologies, however, utilizing hydrogen’s high energy density has given rise to new technologies aimed at leveraging this fuel source. See how Chromalox’s portfolio of advanced thermal technologies can help achieve a carbon neutral solution for hydrogen fuel production and storage.
Green Hydrogen Production
There are a few methods of electrolysis for hydrogen production today, including Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM), Alkaline, and Solid Oxide. In all cases, an anode and a cathode are separated by an electrolyte which separates hydrogen from the oxygen molecules when a current is passed between the electrodes. While the direct electrolysis process is not reliant on heat, many auxiliary conditions require optimal temperatures for the process to be successful. Chromalox tank heaters and heat tracing products are the ideal solution for temperature maintenance of auxiliary processes such as freeze protection of demineralized water tanks, KOH and NaOH preheating, and temperature management of piping systems.
Blue Hydrogen Production
Blue hydrogen production involves splitting hydrogen from natural gas by means of steam reforming or Auto Thermal Reforming. While this process does produce CO2 as a byproduct, the CO2 is captured and stored, unlike gray hydrogen production where the CO2 is released. Heat is required in methane reforming reactors as a way to provide uniform thermal distribution to the catalyst bed which breaks methane down into pure hydrogen and carbon based emissions. To eliminate added emission that comes from fuel fired systems, Chromalox electric heaters are a zero emission clean alternative to blue hydrogen generation.
Hydrogen Storage and Treating
While some facilities that generate hydrogen use the energy source locally, most require storage for transportation or grid energy when demand is needed. There are a few methods of storage ranging from small scale compression tanks to large scale underground salt caverns. Regardless of the method of storage, extracting the hydrogen from storage typically involves depressurization which can pose many issues to piping and valving systems due to the significant drop in temperature. Chromalox offers many solutions to combat the effects of depressurization including inline booster heaters, heat tracing, or localized component heaters.
Depending on the end use of the hydrogen fuel, the gas may require treatment to vaporize condensation or other contents that otherwise saturate the hydrogen stream. Chromalox’s extensive line of process heaters are designed for the specific application and process needs to ensure optimal gas quality for conventional and next generation turbines.
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