Decarbonisation Technology August 2022 issue

independent studies. LOHC appears to be the cost-effective option, not only in the near term but also well into the 2030s and 2040s, per the recently released IRENA report (IRENA, 2022). In addition, as LOHC technologies are compatible with traditional refining technologies, this transport mode is more amenable to repurposing to existing refinery assets for dehydrogenation, potentially driving down the overall capital cost further and avoiding CO₂ emissions associated with grassroots facilities as well as the use of existing intermediate storage (tank farm in refinery, ports). In regards to safety and permit issues, existing regulations on fuels and operating practices should be adequate for LOHC, facilitating faster project execution. Axens offers additional solutions to clean up the feeds and the hydrogen product, such as the removal of oxygenates, water, and other contaminants. The company also performs an in-depth evaluation of client needs, offering customised solutions to minimise cost and overall carbon footprints.

MCH dehydrogenation MCH dehydrogenation is akin to Axens naphtha dehydrogenation (Reforming) technology to produce aromatics from naphtha, and therefore the same or similar technology with adjusted operating parameters could be used to reform MCH to toluene while releasing the hydrogen molecules. Catalytic naphtha reformers are widely in use, and these are good candidates for repurposing to the use of MCH dehydrogenation. More naphtha reformers should become available with the upswing in the production of electric vehicles, especially in regions such as the EU, North America, Japan, Korea, and China. In the short run, this approach is deemed quite attractive, as the retrofit of existing naphtha reforming units is relatively straightforward. On-purpose MCH dehydrogenation technology is available, which has been demonstrated by a Japanese consortium, including the transport of hydrogen in 2020 from Brunei to Japan. This technology operates at a lower reactor temperature than the naphtha reforming units. Several feasibility studies are currently under way to transport up to 400,000 TA of hydrogen. Very soon, Axens will be able to offer the complete suite of technologies, including on-purpose dehydrogenation that enables optimisation of the entire conversion/ reconversion/transport chain. Conclusion LOHC and ammonia are emerging as the hydrogen carrier of choice by various

Sebastien Lecarpentier VIEW REFERENCES

Arnaud Cotte

Stephanie Decoodt

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