Prospective environmental LCA of the co-production of decarbonated hydrogen and carbon black through hybrid plasmalysis.

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Poster Number:  12 

Main Presenter:    Loan Terrien 

Co-Authors:   Olivier Talon                                               

Hydrogen will play an essential role in the European economy if we are to achieve climate neutrality by 2050. In order to increase the chances of success in achieving decarbonisation targets, it is essential to broaden the range of production technologies so that the choice of process can be best adapted to the resources available in the implementation ecosystem. Hybrid plasmalysis technology is the new generation of plasma pyrolysis, which involves splitting a methane molecule into its elementary components, i.e., hydrogen and carbon. Although this dissociation process of natural gas/methane has been in existence for many years, the necessity of high process temperatures, thermal insulation and frequent production stoppages have limited its development to industrial scale. The Walloon PNNR project “HECO2-Hybrid Plasmalysis” started in 2023 aims to develop a specific technology (gliding arc plasma) currently at TRL 2-3 up to TRL 6-7 in order to overcome these issues. This next-
generation low-energy process, with no direct GHG emissions, enables the co-production of hydrogen and carbon black (CB) in a way less impactful on the environment than the conventional production processes (steam methane reforming or electrolysis for hydrogen, oil-furnace process for CB), while ensuring economic competitiveness. The proposed presentation will seek to share the early developments of the project and the related ex ante LCA study, which goal is to position this technology in relation to other hydrogen production processes from an environmental point of view, as well as studying certain prospective development scenarios planned during the project (e.g., adaptation of the process to allow the use of mine gas or biogas instead of natural gas).

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