AIChE Journal's Cover Story on Unlocking Climate-Neutral Hydrogen Production

AIChE coverA research article on climate-neutral hydrogen production by CBE M.S. student Apoorv Lal and Professor Fengqi You has been selected for the cover of the January 2023 issue of AIChE Journal, the flagship journal of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). The article titled "Targeting Climate-Neutral Hydrogen Production: Integrating Brown and Blue Pathways with Green Hydrogen Infrastructure via a Novel Superstructure and Simulation-Based Life Cycle Optimization" (AIChE J. 2023; 69(1):e17956) offers a promising solution to meet the increasing demand for hydrogen while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

As the world shifts towards cleaner energy sources, hydrogen is becoming an increasingly important fuel source. However, conventional hydrogen production methods, such as steam methane reforming (SMR), are associated with substantial greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, green electrolyzer technologies, which operate on clean energy sources such as solar and wind power, are hindered by their cost-competitiveness and the transient nature of renewable power. The research article presents a holistic systems modeling and optimization framework that simultaneously determines the optimal SMR-based hydrogen production pathways and their operating conditions. The proposed superstructure integrates SMR with multiple carbon dioxide capture technologies, electrolyzers, fuel cells, and working fluids in the organic Rankine cycle under varying operating conditions. This approach can improve the overall economics and sustainability of hydrogen production.

"Our research shows that by integrating green hydrogen technologies with the existing brown and blue pathways, we can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while meeting the increasing demand for hydrogen," said the authors Apoorv Lal and Fengqi You. "However, to achieve this, significant efforts and investments are required to develop a widespread hydrogen infrastructure that relies on the collective utilization of different pathways."

Chemical Engineering Progress publishes a plain language summary and highlight of this research article featured on the journal cover.

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