The California Energy Commission awarded Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) a $750,000 grant to pursue the development of a novel hydrogen production system using biogas to create affordable, scalable, renewable hydrogen.
The project will build upon innovations in modular hydrogen production technology to create a system powered by renewable electricity that can use renewable gas such as biogas from landfills, wastewater treatment plants or dairy farms as a feedstock to produce low cost clean hydrogen. Additionally, the system will produce hydrogen at a lower temperature without needing combustion, thereby eliminating nitrogen oxide emissions.
This project aims to lower costs of producing renewable hydrogen to $1.39 per kilogram, comparable to the cost of producing hydrogen via more conventional means, while also reducing emissions up to 95%. When powered by renewable electricity, the system will produce low-carbon or carbon-negative hydrogen and capture all the carbon dioxide co-product for use in feedstock, CO2-based fuels, microalgae fuels and products and concrete building materials. The demonstration system will be designed to produce 5 kilograms of hydrogen per day.
This project is being developed in partnership with hydrogen and low-carbon technology pioneers Susteon, Inc., and Build Momentum, Inc., which specializes in administering and managing grant-funded energy innovation projects. Testing of the system is expected to begin in 2023.
Neil Navin, SoCalGas Vice President, Clean Energy Innovations, said, This project will help us get that much closer to net zero by developing a method to create affordable, renewable hydrogen at scale to bring down prices and provide an important tool to help us reduce carbon emissions.”
Jonah Steinbuck, deputy director of the CEC’s Research and Development Division, said, “We continue to advance low-carbon hydrogen production for targeted, hard-to-electrify end use applications that support a clean energy economy. Technologies such as those being explored by SoCalGas are an important step towards decarbonizing hydrogen.”