Meanwhile in Russia

TPU to produce hydrogen from natural gas for Gazprom.

For Gazprom, researchers from the Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU) have created a demonstration model of a portable hydrogen generator.

The example shows a plasma-chemical setup for converting natural gas under the influence of microwave discharge plasma into hydrogen and carbon.

The Scientific Research Institute of Natural Gases and Gas Technologies – Gazprom VNIIGAZ, TPU, and Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk inked an agreement on collaboration in the usage of the unit.

The agreement was signed as part of the eleventh St. Petersburg International Gas Forum.

As part of a research and development project ordered by Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk, TPU scientists have created a portable hydrogen generator.

The agreement aims to foster collaboration between the university, Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk, and Gazprom VNIIGAZ in the area of demonstration unit transfer and usage.

The agreement was signed by Vice-Rector for Science and Technology Transfer at TPU L. Sukhikh, General Director of Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk V. Borodin, and Deputy General Director for Prospective Development of Gazprom VNIIGAZ L. Eder.

Due to the technique of plasma-chemical conversion at atmospheric gas pressure, plasma-chemical installations for the conversion of natural gas into hydrogen and carbon under the influence of plasma of a microwave discharge operate.

The procedure is carried out in a closed-flow reactor in a microwave field without emitting any hazardous gases.

A microwave discharge in the reactor’s reaction zone creates a non-equilibrium low-temperature plasma, which is where the process happens.

In addition, natural gas may potentially create plasma.

L. Sukhikh, vice-rector for science and technology transfer at TPU, observes that as a result, the microwave discharge throughout the reaction is maintained independently – without extra gases and discharge initiators.

The facility enables the production of hydrogen and finely distributed carbon.

Such carbon can be employed in the chemical, electrical, energy, and metallurgical industries.

Steam reforming of methane is now one of the most popular methods for creating hydrogen, however, this method is only financially feasible for large-scale production.

Additionally, it has certain environmental issues since when gas is reformatted using steam, airborne pollutants are released (mainly carbon dioxide).

The institution stated that there are no equivalent installations like the one created at TPU.

By the end of the year, Gazprom VNIIGAZ will get the mobile generator for trial use and future scale.

The design of the installation is now on display at the international gas forum at the Gazprom Transgaz Tomsk and Tomsk region administration booths.

Hydrogen ports

The necessity of facilitating the development of remote areas is dictated by the Russian economy’s eastward shift. The secret to their effective development is energy. In light of this, it is intended to keep producing distinctive floating nuclear power units. Infrastructure facilities can be housed on floating platforms made of composite materials. Though it is currently exotic, the creation of hydrogen clusters is also on the agenda.

As is common knowledge, many areas remote from Russia’s European portion lack energy infrastructure. That makes sense given how expensive and unsuccessful it is to build power plants in sparsely populated areas. However, the necessity to address this issue is compelled by the active growth of the Arctic sectors and the Far East, which has received a fresh stimulus for development this year.

Tidal power plants using hydrogen clusters are also an intriguing concept while being extremely unusual. Back in the Soviet era, the plans to build tidal power plants were unable to be carried out because of enormous capital costs. They become increasingly plausible as the hydrogen economy grows.

Anatoly Chubais, the president of the Russian Federation’s special envoy for interactions with international organizations to advance sustainable development goals, first proposed the proposal in January 2022. He discussed the intended development of Kamchatka’s Penzhenskaya Tidal Power Plant. According to the project, it will be profitable when a cluster for exporting hydrogen is established.

According to Anatoly Chubais, “the market is estimated at up to $15 billion per year if we are able to build a plant for electrolysis close to the Penzhenskaya tidal power plant as well as a port for exports of hydrogen to Japan (which is to consume 3 million of hydrogen per year from 2030 without local production facilities). He asserts that by 2030, Russia would be able to export 6–10 million tonnes of hydrogen annually.

In his remarks at the Eastern Economic Forum, Kamchatka Governor Vladimir Solodov reiterated the intention to carry out the project of the Penzhenskaya tidal power plant. He claims that the project development is now in active progress. The project’s execution will take place across two parts.

The development of a hydrogen cluster there is part of the first phase, which also includes enabling the generation of about 300 MW and power transmission to Kamchatka’s eastern shore. building a wind farm to level off tidal power’s daily variations and, subsequently, water-based hydrogen exports… The second phase aims to guarantee the tidal power plant’s output of over 21 GW and the wind power plant’s output of up to 1 GW. It is a lengthy project, of course. Phase 1 may be implemented in ten years, but it is no longer regarded as amazing, the governor added.

Although exports to Japan are unlikely at this time, the APR nations will be economically interested in importing hydrogen from Russia because Kamchatka and Sakhalin are nearby, which is important given the high cost of transporting hydrogen.

The Korean Government is on track to accomplish the objective of carbon neutrality by 2050, according to Jinsok Sung, Research Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul (South Korea), who was speaking at the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum 2022. The nation’s ability to produce hydrogen, however, is relatively constrained. As a result, it depends on importing hydrogen from Australia and the Middle East. Meanwhile, the cost of using hydrogen for transportation is significant. Deliveries from the Far East, specifically Sakhalin, provide the shortest travel leg.

Without international cooperation, a hydrogen economy is not conceivable. Consequently, the creation of multinational unions is essential for success. Sakhalin-produced hydrogen could be competitive given the high cost of transporting. If hydrogen is brought from Australia, I’m not sure if it will be cost-competitive, the speaker remarked.

Because organic fuel is so much more cost-effective, a hydrogen economy is actually a distant possibility.

The Gubkin University professor and executive vice president of NewTech Services Valeriy Bessel stated at SPIGF 2022 that “you will always spend more energy than you get to generate one energy unit from hydrogen.” He asserts that the development of the hydrogen industry is inevitable given the global decline in the supply of organic fuels.

Russia’s eastward turn provides fresh incentives for the development of distinctive competency that is unmatched globally. That will then spur the growth of associated businesses like shipbuilding, the manufacture of composite materials, nuclear energy, etc.

Koreans sniffing hydrogen

According to Jinsok Sung, Research Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul, an IAA PortNews journalist spoke about South Korea’s interest in importing hydrogen from Russia’s Far East.

The Korean government intends to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, according to Jinsok Sung, who made the statement at the St. Petersburg International Gas Forum 2022. The nation’s ability to produce hydrogen, however, is relatively constrained. As a result, it depends on importing hydrogen from Australia and the Middle East. Meanwhile, the cost of using hydrogen for transportation is significant. Deliveries from the Far East, specifically Sakhalin, provide the shortest travel leg.

Without international cooperation, a hydrogen economy is not conceivable. Consequently, the creation of multinational unions is essential for success. Sakhalin-produced hydrogen could be competitive given the high cost of transporting. If hydrogen is brought from Australia, I’m not sure if it will be cost-competitive, the speaker remarked.