Energy Conversion and Management, Vol.180, 250-257, 2019
Integrated techno-economic analysis under uncertainty of glycerol steam reforming for H-2 production at distributed H-2 refueling stations
In this paper, we report an integrated techno-economic analysis of glycerol steam reforming (GSR) targeting distributed H-2 refueling stations for a H-2 production capacity of 700 m(3) h(-1). A process simulation based on mass and energy balances was performed to identify the product yield at effect of temperature and water/glycerol ratio. The results show that temperature of 900 K and a water/glycerol ratio of 9 are optimal to techno-economically operate a GSR process. An economic analysis using itemized cost estimation, sensitivity analysis (SA), and profitability analysis (PA) was carried out to investigate the economic feasibility of GSR for distributed H-2 refueling stations. The unit H-2 production cost was 4.46 $ kgH(2)(-1) at the optimum conditions identified in the process simulation, and the most influential economic key factor was the reactant from the SA. Meaningful economic indicators such as net present value, discounted payback period, present value ratio, and rate of return on investment were obtained from the PA through a discounted cash flow diagram. Moreover, a cumulative probability analysis based on an uncertainty analysis using a Monte-Carlo simulation method was applied to unit H-2 production cost and B/C ratio calculations to quantify the risk of a proposed GSR process as premature technology providing crucial guidelines to decision-makers.