Decarbonisation Technology - November 2022

Shell’s blue hydrogen insights Since launching the SBHP as an alternative to SMR and ATR in 2020, Shell has gained important insights into the status of the global blue hydrogen landscape and is exploring opportunities and projects around the world. From these activities, Shell has defined four project archetypes that describe the key, current applications for blue hydrogen (see Figures 4a and 4b ). The SBHP has several important advantages for these projects when compared with SMR and ATR. Blue hydrogen and the oil, chemical, and gas industries Conventionally, a refinery uses fuel gas or natural gas in multiple fired heaters to provide energy, resulting in atmospheric CO 2 emissions from multiple stack locations. Post-combustion carbon capture is possible, but post-combustion gases are low pressure, must be captured from multiple locations, and typically have lower CO 2 concentrations, thereby making carbon capture less efficient and more expensive. Industrial clusters, or hubs, are becoming an increasingly important concept as heavy industrial emitters look to develop collective, cost-effective decarbonisation pathways Instead, companies are now looking to use conventional feedstocks in a centralised production facility to produce hydrogen that can be used to power furnaces and gas turbines as well as directly in conversion processes. The advantage of this is that CO₂ can be captured from a high-pressure, pre- combustion gas stream at a single location, which is cheaper and can help to reduce Scope 1 emissions. For this strategy, the SBHP has the advantage that since the CO₂ is captured at high-pressure from pre-combustion streams, medium-pressure CO₂ is easily produced for transportation or storage, without the need for further compression. The process also

offers greater feed flexibility, including fuel gas, natural gas, biomass, and bottom-of-the-barrel refinery products. Blue hydrogen and the natural gas industry Many natural gas exporters are looking to use their natural gas as a feedstock for blue ammonia production, which is an efficient hydrogen carrier and provides a more efficient way of exporting hydrogen molecules to market. This strategy is particularly suited to locations where local natural gas production exceeds the local demand. In this scenario, the SBHP has the advantage because it can leverage high-pressure natural gas feeds and deliver high-pressure hydrogen, reducing the compression costs for ammonia production. As an oxygen-based technology, the nitrogen produced by air separation during hydrogen production can be used to produce the blue ammonia for this application. Additionally, the process can capture as much as 99% of the CO₂ emitted during hydrogen production, thereby lowering the carbon intensity of the ammonia and any associated downstream products. Blue hydrogen and the power industry Current demand for blue hydrogen in the power sector is relatively small. Shell expects large growth in this area as utility companies continue to seek lower-carbon solutions for power production. Consequently, companies are looking at blue hydrogen as an alternative to coal or natural gas. Compared to SMR and ATR, the SBHP produces hydrogen and captures CO₂ at higher pressures and at the larger scales required to result in a lower levellised cost of hydrogen. Power plant efficiency can be improved by integrating the high-pressure steam from the SBHP with the power generation plant. Blue hydrogen and consortiums of industries (clusters) Industrial clusters, or hubs, are becoming an increasingly important concept as heavy industrial emitters look to develop collective, cost-effective decarbonisation pathways. For example, rather than each emitter developing its own blue hydrogen solution, clusters


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