Energy, Vol.185, 1063-1075, 2019
Techno-economic analysis of biomass-to-hydrogen process in comparison with coal-to-hydrogen process
Hydrogen is a key raw material for many chemical processes and a clean fuel for various power generation strategies. Coal-to-hydrogen (CTH) conversion is an alternative way to produce hydrogen that is applicable to the abundant coal reserves in China. The use of fossil energy has contributed to severe environmental problems, which drives the development of potential hydrogen production processes. Biomass is a promising renewable energy as well as an attractive resource for producing hydrogen, and it may address some of these environmental problems. In this paper, the simulation results of the biomass-to-hydrogen (BTH) and CTH processes were validated using available experimental data from the literature. Based on the simulation results, a techno-economic analysis was conducted from the viewpoints of the first and second laws of thermodynamics. The techno-economic analysis included determination of the energy efficiency, material consumption, total capital investment, production cost and carbon tax. The energy efficiencies of BTH and CTH were 37.88% and 37.82%, respectively. The BTH process had a larger raw material consumption and total capital investment (TCI) than the CTH process. However, the BTH process had a lower production cost and GHG emissions than the CTH process. The results of energy analyses of the BTH and CTH processes showed that the energy efficiency can be improved from a thermodynamic perspective. The combination of thermodynamic analysis and techno-economic performance evaluation provides insights into the improvement and operation of clean hydrogen production. (C) 2019 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.