Sustainable energy hydrogen and carbon supply and mining

Dipl. Ing. Robert Obenaus-Emler

Montanuniversität Leoben – Resource Innovation Center

Fachgebiet: Energy systems

Was ist es: Hydrogen produced with a zero material footprint will play a major role in future energy systems relying solely on renewable energy. Hydrogen enables the coupling of the sectors electricity, gas, and heat and enables the storage of renewable electrical energy at a massive scale. It therefore contributes to a climate-neutral mobility and industrial production.
Presently hydrogen is produced by steam methane reforming with a remarkable CO2-footprint. Considering a strongly increasing demand of hydrogen in the near future alternative production technologies for hydrogen are needed. One possibility is the electrolysis of water. However, this technology requires a very high specific energy input and is only CO2-neutral if enough renewable energy is available. Another possible production route is the pyrolysis of methane, which requires a by far lower specific energy input compared to electrolysis. Hence, it is a possible alternative bridging technology for hydrogen production. Additionally, pyrolysis of methane produces carbon as a second product which has numerous possible applications in agriculture, construction, and high-tech products. (pictures on last page)

Foto: © RIC Leoben