American Thanksgiving is often a turning point, the time when we transition from the autumn to winter and start heating our homes to insulate ourselves from the cold. Did you know that almost a quarter of all global energy consumption is used by residential and commercial buildings, contributing more than 17% of global greenhouse gas emissions? As we prepare to give thanks in the US, here are some actionable ways we can use hydrogen to create energy savings and work towards decarbonization.
The Role of Hydrogen
Decarbonizing space heating in buildings is imperative for achieving global net-zero goals and hydrogen plays a key role. Hydrogen is a safe, ultra-clean burning fuel that only emits water when burned. Studies show that hydrogen can be blended into existing natural gas pipelines at levels of up to 15% without changes to our existing infrastructure, meaning we can have these benefits today. Several blending trials are already underway around the world, and work is being done to establish the regulatory environment and technical specifications that will allow the use of up to 100% clean-burning hydrogen.
The Application of Nu:ionic’s Microwave Reforming Technology
With dropping temperatures and winter fast approaching, how can hydrogen be produced for blending? Nu:ionic allows for the efficient use of renewable electricity to decarbonize natural gas in the pipeline by converting it into hydrogen, using our proprietary Microwave Catalytic Reforming (MCR) process. MCR allows the conversion of pipeline natural gas into low carbon hydrogen while capturing up to 95% of the CO2.
Case Study: Natural Gas Decarbonization Vs. Electrolysis
When a natural gas utility installs a Nu:ionic decarbonization plant on an existing natural gas pipeline, a 1 MW facility allows for the decarbonization of 8.3 GJ/MWh of natural gas into hydrogen. This is more than 3 times the amount of hydrogen energy when compared to electrolysis, and allows for a cost effective way of reducing our carbon footprint. Nu:ionic decarbonization plants can be located either close to CO2 injection wells, cleaning up the natural gas at the point of production, or at strategic locations on the natural gas grid at distribution centers, where the regional use of the natural gas is exclusively commercial and residential heating. The use of this technology allows natural gas utilities to offer its customers tomorrow’s low carbon energy source, today, in a cost effective manner.