Decarbonisation Technology August 2022 issue

Methanol production


Renewables Wind, PV, Hydro...

Filling stations


H Pipe


Mobility Cars, trucks, trains...

Ammonia production

Chemical industry

H Truck transport

Gasication/ reforming


H storage

H Ship transport

Natural gas


Other applications Fuel cell technology

Power & heat production. Gas turbines

Steel industry Direct reduction


Solid carbon applications

Harbour infrastructure


Civil, risk management, permitting, logistics

Management consulting division (strategy, due diligence, sourcing)

Figure 2 AFRY value chain in Power-to-X

The X in the equation The value chain in PtX is very wide and aims at servicing many industries, as seen in Figure 1 . Applications that may be easiest to adapt are those that traditionally use hydrogen, such as fuels, ammonia, methanol, and direct reduction of iron. All these processes and applications have well-established and reputable equipment vendors and process licensors. Our role at AFRY is to work as the ‘glue’, integrating every part of the project value chain, from licensed processes, electrolyser equipment and balance of plant, compression and storage, utilities from existing facilities (should it be a brownfield project), and developers’ and owners’ interests. e-Methanol Methanol has a vital role in our daily life, being fundamental to the commodities value chain and one of the most promising sustainable fuels for the shipping industry (Maersk, 2021). The main feedstocks to make e-methanol are hydrogen (or electrical power and water) and CO₂. Other inputs to the process are low/ medium-pressure steam for carbon capture and methanol distillation, compression power, and other utilities. As discussed above, to extract maximum value from e-methanol, the CO₂ must come from biogenic sources, which are abundant in pulp

process needs will help you succeed in your project. Currently, two main technologies can be readily deployed at a certain scale, say more than 20 MW. These are alkaline electrolyte (AEL) and polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM). There are also other technologies in the pipeline at different stages of maturity (such as solid oxide electrolyte and anion exchange membrane); however, none have yet been deployed and operated at any significant industrial scale. Common knowledge says that PEM is well suited for fluctuating power inputs (like those in wind and photo-voltaic farms), whereas AEL has better efficiency at the cost of lower flexibility in rapid turn-down/up scenarios. Although true, that is a rather simplistic approach, and it could lead to costly pitfalls when designing hydrogen plants above 100s MW. Through experience, we have developed the know-how in managing and executing the design and optimisation of medium- and large- scale electrolysers of either technology in a way that works better in terms of plant availability and flexibility, project finance, power profile, and any other constraints you may encounter. Furthermore, we can forecast both electricity and hydrogen price, which is key to optimise hydrogen plant size and the storage facility (should this be needed).


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