Low-Cost ‘Green’ Hydrogen
Hydrogen can be generated using carbon for power, but without any emission of pollutants
There is a clear perception across the globe that the world needs to move away from using coal, oil, gas and wood to heat our homes and power our motor vehicles, trains and aeroplanes. These fuels emit carbon dioxide and other pollutants when ‘burned’ to generate power.
There is another fuel that can be used instead. It is hydrogen. When hydrogen is ‘burned’ to create heat and power the ‘exhaust’ output is water.
Hydrogen is plentiful as it is a major constituent of methane (natural gas), and is also one of the two constituents of water. The problem is that it is expensive to extract the hydrogen from either.
To extract hydrogen from natural gas the most practical method is ‘steam methane reforming’. This is a process in which methane and steam at high temperature react in the presence of a catalyst to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide. Currently it is this method that is used to produce most of the world’s hydrogen.
In the case of water the most practical method is ‘electrolysis’. This uses electricity to achieve ‘water splitting’. It requires a lot of electricity and is therefore very expensive, but as there are no emissions beyond hydrogen and oxygen the process is regarded as ‘clean’. Currently, because of the cost, only a very small percentage of the world’s hydrogen is produced this way.
Ardau is a device that produces energy cleanly at a very high level of efficiency from very low cost fuels. It can therefore be used in the production of hydrogen by either method at relatively modest cost.
Ardau is a patented system that converts any carboniferous material into energy without emitting any pollution. A chemical reaction inside an enclosed carbon reactor extracts the maximum energy from the fuel. That energy can then be used in the production of hydrogen.
Heat and power are generated from the carboniferous material that is used as fuel. The process is extremely efficient, and a wide range of materials can be used as fuel.
There is no new technology involved in the process. It uses tried and tested technologies in a new configuration.
Ardau in Operation
The main output from the reactor is supercritical fluid (a form of superheated steam) at a very high temperature and pressure. This is used to drive a turbo-expander to generate electricity. Turbo-expanders with generator sets are very efficient producers of electricity and are a well-established technology.
Inorganic (unconsumed) matter drops out of the reactor without disturbing its operation. Any valuable metals in this material can be recovered and sold. The residue is sterile and inert and can be sold for hard core.
Ardau installations can operate 24/365 with only two hours downtime for cleaning each year, and a two-day maintenance programme every five years.
Ardau systems are completely enclosed. There is no uncontrolled emission of greenhouse gases, particulates or other pollutants. All outputs can be captured and sold, creating additional revenue streams.
Ardau systems are not expensive to install or maintain and have a small footprint.
Any carboniferous material can be used to feed the chemical reaction. These include:
- Fossil Fuels – Coal; Lignite; Coal Waste; Oil; Petroleum Coke
- Biomass – Wood and Wood Waste; Agricultural Waste; Livestock Waste
- General Waste – Plastics; Municipal Waste; Factory Waste; Medical Waste; Sewage
Ardau installations can produce hydrogen both by ‘steam reforming’ and by ‘electrolysis’.
In the former case some of the supercritcal fluid from the reactor is passed directly to a conventional ‘steam reforming’ installation where it supplies the heat necessary for that process. The low cost of generating that heat means the overall production cost of the hydrogen is significantly reduced.
In the case of ‘electrolysis’ some or all of the electricity from the turbo-expander is used to ‘split’ water to generate hydrogen in a conventional ‘electrolyser’. The low cost of generating that electricity means the overall production cost of the hydrogen is significantly reduced.
Outputs from Ardau systems:
Hydrogen As just described.
Electricity As described earlier.
Output Gases The turbo expander outputs a mixture of gases, primarily carbon dioxide and nitrogen. These can all be captured and stored (Carbon Capture and Storage). If required the different gases can be separated and sold.
Clean Water Clean water is a by-product of the Ardau process, so the installation can function as a low-cost desalination facility.
Who or What Can Benefit By Using Ardau?
- The Planet as the Ardau process emits no pollutants so reducing global warming
- Existing Hydrogen Producers who can cut their costs dramatically
- Regions and Countries seeking to reduce their output of greenhouse gases
- Corporations wishing to show their ‘green’ credentials