Reviewing the Clean Hydrogen conference


Sustainable energy generation by means of wind or from solar radiation continues to increase its share in energy mix, but a promising option is the synthesis of hydrogen via the chemical industry – for instance, one of the paths is carbon circularity. On 18 May, the Online Clean Hydrogen Conference offered this unique perspective on clean hydrogen production. New technologies were introduced and the speakers shared their experiences on how the existing ones are implemented. With lively discussions and exchanging of contact details in breakout rooms so a lot of useful and proactive interaction.

During this conference, which is part of the Brightlands Chemistry of the Future series, national and international speakers shared their views and experiences of alternatives to electrolysis for producing clean hydrogen. Three alternatives for producing clean hydrogen were discussed during the conference program:

1) the gasification of biomass to produce hydrogen and green CO₂
2) formation of acetylene/ ethylene and hydrogen from natural gas with plasma technology
3) the splitting of natural gas to form pure carbon and hydrogen

The complete program included live presentations from researchers, executives and industry specialists from Brightsite, Sitech Services, TNO, Maastricht University, Monolith Materials, Graforce and Torrgas, as well as lively discussions and interactions between the attendees and speakers during the coffee breaks.

Brightsite ‘s approach to the feedstock transition
In the first part of the conference, Arnold Stokking talked about the feedstock transition towards CO₂ neutral operations. For integrated chemical site’s as Chemelot, the feedstock transition towards CO₂ neutral operations is the dominating topic in view of the Energy transition. Hydrogen is at Chemelot foremost a feedstock. Brightsite is offering an open innovation platform for a fact and science based transition path.

> Watch livestream

Hydrogen variable cost analysis for multi-product processes

Joris van Willigenburg presented a new analysis method for costs of eleven hydrogen production technologies. Some hydrogen production technologies produce by-products, such as ethylene. This raises issues on the subject for how to value the resource-savings resulting from these byproducts and how to calculate the variable production costs from these technologies. Within the Brightsite consortium we have developed a novel and more accurate methodology than commonly used in for example LCA-studies.
Role of clean hydrogen in a sustainable circular chemical site
René Slaghek shared a showcase of how new technologies for the production of clean hydrogen can play an essential role in the transformation of an integrated chemical cluster towards a sustainable circular site.
Hydrogen, electrification and circularity – a plasma chemistry perspective
Prof. Dr. Ir. Gerard van Rooij and Hans Linden introduced new examples of routes to carbon circularity. In their contribution they highlighted how plasma chemistry can potentially combine compatibility with e.g. intermittency and localized production to activate these molecules with maximum energy efficiency. They showed how high power density creates fast dynamics, process intensification, and new opportunities towards selectivity. By making use of plasma technology, we can utilize methane in an effective way by converting it into hydrogen and high-quality hydrocarbons, such as acetylene and ethene, which forms the basis of plastics, without releasing any CO₂. Brightsite is establishing a new plasma lab with the aim of optimizing existing plasma technology, developing new plasma processes and taking an important step towards the ultimate circular chemistry.

The conference ended with a round-table discussion moderated by Mark van Doorn from Brightlands Chemelot Campus.