DOE Technical Targets for Hydrogen Production from Biomass Gasification

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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 gasification.

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: Biomass Gasification/Pyrolysis Hydrogen Productiona,b

Characteristics Units 2011 Statusc,d 2015 Targete 2020 Targetf,g
Hydrogen levelized costh (plant gate) $/kg 2.20 2.10 2.00
Total capital investmentb,i $ million 180 180 170
Energy efficiencyj % 46 46 48

Biomass Gasification H2A Example Cost Contributionsa,b

Characteristics Units 2011 Statusc 2015 2020d
Capital cost contribution $/kg 0.60 0.60 0.60
Feedstock cost contribution $/kg 1.00 1.00 0.90
Fixed O&M cost contribution $/kg 0.20 0.20 0.20
Other variable cost contribution $/kg 0.40 0.30 0.30
Total hydrogen levelized cost (plant gate) $/kg 2.20 2.10 2.00

a These costs are based on modeling the cost of hydrogen production utilizing the H2A Central Production Model 3.0. Results are documented in the Current and Future H2A v3 case studies for Central Hydrogen Production via Biomass Gasification.
b The H2A Central Production Model 3.0 was used with the standard economic assumptions: All values are in 2007 dollars, 1.9% inflation rate, 10% After Tax Return on Investment, 100% Equity Financing, 20-year MACRS straight line depreciation, 40-year analysis period, and 38.9% overall tax rate, 90% capacity factor, and 15% working capital. The plant gate hydrogen pressure is 300 psi. The nominal processing capacity is 2,070 and 2,000 dry metric tons of biomass per day in the current and 2020 cases, respectively. The specific hydrogen design capacity is 155 metric tons per day for both cases. The current case has a startup year of 2010 and the 2020 case has a startup year of 2020. All feedstock and utility costs are based on their projected costs over the 40-year plant life consistent with the approach used to determine the overall delivered hydrogen cost target of <$4/gge. The biomass feedstock cost varies over time and is $75/dry short ton in 2010 and $63/dry short ton in 2017 and following. It is consistent with the EERE Bioenergy Technologies Office estimate for 2012 for woody biomass. The utility costs are based on the 2009 U.S. Energy Information Administration AEO reference projection consistent with the standard H2A methodology.
c The current status is based on the H2A v3 Hydrogen Production via Biomass Gasification Current Case. No one has actually operated an integrated biomass gasification process designed specifically for hydrogen production at any scale. The H2A analysis is based on pilot-scale results of biomass gasification for power generation combined with available information from similar processes for the other components. Performance parameters (e.g., efficiencies) are on individual unit operations hypothetically linked together because integrated performance data are unavailable. Startup year is 2010.
d An independent review panel found the current status of a first-of-a-kind plant to be $5.40/kg (2009$) based on a nominal capacity of 500 dry short ton/day with a total capital investment of $214,000,000 (2009$). They used a different methodology for estimating capital costs than this analysis as well as different feedstock costs ($60/dry short ton). View their results report.
e The 2015 Targets are intermediate targets between the current status and 2020 targets. The capital cost, biomass yield, and natural gas requirement in the current case were used, the startup year was set to 2015, and all other factors are set to the same as the 2020 target case.
f The 2020 Targets are based on the capital cost and performance (energy efficiency) required to approach the production portion of the <$4/gge overall delivered hydrogen production cost target consistent with the 2020 delivery cost target of $2.00/gge. The startup year is set to 2025. Capital cost reductions are based on development of a gasification system with internal reforming that produces hydrogen thus making a stand-alone tar reforming system unnecessary. The capital improvements fall within the sensitivity analysis of the H2A Biomass Gasification Future case (2020 technology-readiness, 2025 startup).
g An independent review panel projected a levelized cost of $2.80/kg for an nth plant based on a nominal capacity of 2,000 dry tons/day with a total capital investment of $344,000,000 (2009$). They used a different methodology for estimating capital costs than this analysis and different feedstock costs ($80/dry ton).
h The H2A Central Production Model 3.0 was used to generate these values at the total invested capital and process energy efficiency indicated in the table. See Record #14005 for more details.
i All cases assume capital replacement at 0.5%/yr of total depreciable capital investment.
j Energy efficiency is defined as the energy in the hydrogen produced (on a LHV basis) divided by the sum of the feedstock energy (LHV) plus all other energy used in the process.