DOE Technical Targets for Hydrogen Production from Biomass-Derived Liquid Reforming

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These tables list the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) technical targets and example cost contributions for hydrogen production from biomass-derived liquid reforming.

More information about targets can be found in the Hydrogen Production section of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office's Multi-Year Research, Development, and Demonstration Plan.

Technical Targets: Distributed Forecourt Production of Hydrogen from Bio-Derived Renewable Liquids—High Temperature Ethanol Reforminga,b,c

Characteristics Units 2011 Statusd 2015 Targetd 2020 Targete
Hydrogen levelized cost (production only)f $/kg 6.60 5.90 2.30
Production equipment total capital investmentc $ 1.9 million 1.4 millione 1.2 millione
Production energy efficiencyg % 68 70e 75e,h
Production equipment availabilityc % 97 97 97
Ethanol priced,e average $/gal 2.47 2.41 0.85

Distributed Bio-Derived Renewable Liquids H2A—High Temperature Ethanol Reforming Example Cost Contributionsa,b,c

Characteristics Units 2011 Statusd 2015d 2020e
Production unit capital cost contributionb $/kg 0.80 0.70 0.50
Feedstock cost contributiond,e $/kg 5.50 5.10 1.60
Production fixed O&M cost contribution $/kg 0.20 0.10 0.10
Production other variable O&M cost contributiond $/kg 0.10 0.10 0.10
Hydrogen levelized cost (production) $/kg 6.60 5.90 2.30
CSD cost contributioni $/kg 2.50 1.70 1.70
Total hydrogen levelized cost (dispensed) $/kg 9.10 7.70 4.00

Note: numbers may not sum due to rounding.

a The H2A Distributed Production Model 3.0 was used to generate the values in the table with the exceptions described in the notes below. Results are documented in the H2A v3 Current and Future Case studies for Forecourt Hydrogen Production from Ethanol.
b The H2A Distributed Production Model 3.0 was used with the following standard economic assumptions: All values are in 2007 dollars, 1.9% inflation rate, 10% After Tax Real Internal Rate of Return, 100% Equity Financing, 20-year analysis period, 38.9% overall tax rate, and 15% working capital. The plant design capacity is 1,500 kg/day of hydrogen. It is assumed that Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA) would be employed and that production would have realized economies of scale.
c The plant production equipment availability is 97% including both planned and unplanned outages; ten unplanned outages of 14 h duration per year; one planned outage of 5 days duration per year. The plant usage factor (defined as the actual yearly production/equipment design production capacity) is 86% based on over sizing of the production equipment to accommodate a summer surge in demand of 10% above the yearly average demand.
d Ethanol prices for the 2011 status and 2015 target cases are derived from Table B-6: Unit Operation Cost Contribution Estimates (2007 Dollars) and Technical Projections for Thermochemical Conversion to Ethanol Baseline Process Concept. Biomass Multi-Year Program Plan, DOE April 2011. Minimum ethanol price ($/gal) = 2.77 (2010), 2.15 (2012) for ethanol from corn stover feedstock. An additional cost of $0.25/gal was added for delivery. The 2012 target price was assumed throughout the remainder of the analysis period. The average delivered ethanol prices shown in the technical target table were calculated assuming a 20-year facility life starting in 2010 and 2015, respectively. The electricity cost utilized is the EIA AEO 2009 reference case commercial rate.
e The capital cost and energy efficiency of the production unit are based on preliminary analyses and projections for what could be achieved with successful development of this technology (i.e., 2020 target values for conversion process efficiency and equipment cost are assumed to be the same as the 2015 projection for distributed steam methane reforming. The cost targets of <$4.00/gge dispensed hydrogen cost could be achieved with ethanol reforming if the equipment cost and efficiency targets are met and the cost of ethanol is reduced to <$.85/gal (40% of the value projected by the Bioenergy Technologies Office).
f The levelized cost is equivalent to the minimum required selling price to achieve a 10% annual rate of return over the life of the plant.
g Energy efficiency is defined as the energy of the hydrogen out of the production process (LHV) divided by the sum of the energy into the process from the feedstock (LHV) and all other energy needed for production. Energy used for CSD is not included in the calculation of production energy efficiency.
h Production unit energy efficiency may vary (as low as 65%) if the capital cost, feedstock costs, and other costs associated with alternative process options such as aqueous phase reforming are low enough to still achieve the target of <$4.00/gge dispensed hydrogen cost.
i Costs for the forecourt station compression and storage are consistent with the status and targets in the Delivery MYRD&D Section. Storage capacity for 1,540 kg of hydrogen at the forecourt is included. It is assumed that the hydrogen refueling fill pressure is 5,000 psi for 2010 and it assumed that in 2015 and 2020, the hydrogen refueling fill pressure is 10,000 psi.