The HyPER project (Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming) will construct a state-of-the-art 1.5 MWth pilot plant at Cranfield University Image supplied by Cranfield University

International project low-carbon hydrogen examines new technology

Cranfield University is leading an international collaboration to examine the potential for low-carbon hydrogen to be the clean fuel of the future.

The HyPER project (Bulk Hydrogen Production by Sorbent Enhanced Steam Reforming) will construct a state-of-the-art 1.5 MWth pilot plant at Cranfield University to test an innovative hydrogen production technology that substantially reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Energy Innovation Programme has provided £7.5million funding.

The project also involves US-based research and development organisation GTI and Doosan Babcock, a specialist in delivery of low-carbon technologies. The project centres on a novel hydrogen production technology invented by GTI.

Minster for Business, Energy and Clean Growth, Kwasi Kwarteng, said:

“Hydrogen offers the opportunity of a cleaner, greener fuel for heating our homes and getting us from A to B. The innovative project from Cranfield University, GTI and Doosan Babcock is a clear step in that direction – particularly in this year of climate action.”

Hydrogen could become a widespread resource

Hydrogen (H2) is a compound that goes into the production of fertilisers and chemicals. It is also an essential reactant for many processes.

For example, H2 is used to decarbonise the gas grid, industry, power generation and transportation. Demand for low-carbon hydrogen is expected to increase significantly in the future.

Professor Phil Hart, Director of Energy and Power at Cranfield University, said:

“Each year the world consumes 74 million tonnes of hydrogen and demand will increase as countries seek to decarbonise their economies.

“The kind of technology we are exploring could open up this market across the globe and make the production, storage and transportation of low-carbon hydrogen a widespread reality.”

New pilot plant will be constructed at Cranfield University

The pilot plant will be constructed at Cranfield University in 2020. It will become operational in 2021.  Dr Peter Clough, Lecturer in Energy Engineering at Cranfield University, said:

“The pilot plant will be a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the scale-up of the technology and process, and to offer a unique teaching and research facility for students at Cranfield University.”

The plant will be built by remodelling an existing building and is subject to planning permission.