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Hydrogen projects worth $300 billion are dropping green H2 prices fast

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Key hydrogen projects that have been announced globally – Hydrogen Council
 

A new Hydrogen Council report sheds some light on Hydrogen’s rise as a green fuel source. More than 30 countries now have a national H2 strategy and budget in place, and there are 228 projects in the pipeline on both the production and usage sides.

Europe is leading the way, with 126 projects announced to date, followed by Asia with 46, Oceania with 24 and North America with 19. In terms of gigawatt-scale H2 production projects, there are 17 projects planned, with the largest in Europe, Australia, the Middle East and Chile.

Overall, projects seem fairly well balanced between hydrogen production and end-use applications, with a smaller number focusing on distribution.

European projects are balanced between production and usage initiatives, while Korea and Japan are developing much more on the usage side, for both transport and industrial applications. Australia and the Middle East are more active on the supply side, working to position themselves as hydrogen exporters.

The majority of these projects – some 75 percent, it should be noted – have been announced but do not yet have funding committed. This figure includes budgets committed by governments for spending, for which no project has yet been identified.

Only US$45 billion worth of projects are at the “mature” stage, having reached the feasibility study or engineering and design stage, and $38 billion are at the “realized” stage, with a final investment decision made, construction started, or already operational. 

Hydrogen production projections for 2030 have leapt up in the last year. The previous report estimated that 2.3 million tons will be produced annually by 2030, and this report revises that figure up to 6.7 million tons. To put that another way, two-thirds of the global hydrogen production expected to be operational in 2030 has been announced in the last year.

Government decarbonization initiatives are a huge driving force behind the hydrogen wave, with some $70 billion committed globally. Carbon pricing is helping, with some 80 percent of global GDP covered by some kind of CO2 pricing mechanism. 

Japan and Korea, as you’d expect, are leading the charge on fuel cell vehicles, and globally the report projects some 4.5 million FCVs on the road by 2030, with 10,500 hydrogen fuel stations targeted to meet that demand.

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Green hydrogen production prices are dropping faster than previously expected, with optimal operations beginning to achieve price parity by 2030 even without carbon taxes on gray hydrogen  – Hydrogen Council

There’s good news too in terms of production costs, with prices for green, renewable hydrogen falling faster than expected. Partially, this is because electrolyzer supply chains are ramping up faster than expected, bringing the price of electrolyzers down 30-50 percent lower than anticipated.

Other factors include a declining cost of energy, with renewable energy costs revised down by 15 percent, and green hydrogen production companies figuring out their mix of renewable inputs more effectively to keep the hydrolyzers up and running longer.

So while “gray” hydrogen costs are expected to remain stable at around $1.59 per kg, green hydrogen is expected to drop from its current price around $4-5.50 per kilogram to hit an average of $1.50 by 2050, with green supply potentially becoming cheaper than gray hydrogen in optimal areas as soon as 2030. Low-carbon hydrogen production will start coming online around 2025, with prices sitting roughly between the two. Adding carbon taxes to the gray production could bring green hydrogen to price parity by 2030. 

Hydrogen transport is going to become a big deal, with major demand centers likely to look at imports. The cheapest way to do it for short to medium distances is through retrofitted pipelines, provided you’ve got a guaranteed demand to fill.

If demand fluctuates, trucks become more attractive. For longer distances, some routes have undersea pipelines that could be used, but much of the rest will have to be done using ships, which will add around $1-2 to the cost per kilogram.

Long-range overland pipelines also look like an interesting opportunity, with the report pointing out that hydrogen pipelines can transport 10 times more energy than a long-distance electricity transmission line at one eighth the cost. And existing pipelines can be retrofitted to handle hydrogen to vastly reduce the cost of pipeline projects.

The report makes further long-term projections for hydrogen vehicles, trucks, ships and aircraft. In aviation, the report projects hydrogen will become a cost-effective way to de-carbonize short and medium range flights (sub-10,000 km, or 6.200 mi) by around 2040, but there’ll need to be significant advances in storage to make it practical for longer range flights.

The report should not be taken as gospel, having been written by the H2 industry itself, but it makes for some interesting reading if you’re interested in the development of the clean energy economy.

Source: Hydrogen Council

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A silver lining for extreme electronics

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MSU researchers developed a process to create more resilient circuitry, which they demonstrated by creating a silver Spartan helmet. The circuit was designed by Jane Manfredi, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Credit: Acta Materialia Inc./Elsevier
MSU researchers developed a process to create more resilient circuitry, which they demonstrated by creating a silver Spartan helmet. The circuit was designed by Jane Manfredi, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Credit: Acta Materialia Inc./Elsevier

Abstract:
Tomorrow’s cutting-edge technology will need electronics that can tolerate extreme conditions. That’s why a group of researchers led by Michigan State University’s Jason Nicholas is building stronger circuits today.

A silver lining for extreme electronics


East Lansing, MI | Posted on April 30th, 2021

Nicholas and his team have developed more heat resilient silver circuitry with an assist from nickel. The team described the work, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program, on April 15 in the journal Scripta Materialia.

The types of devices that the MSU team is working to benefit — next-generation fuel cells, high-temperature semiconductors and solid oxide electrolysis cells — could have applications in the auto, energy and aerospace industries.

Although you can’t buy these devices off the shelf now, researchers are currently building them in labs to test in the real world, and even on other planets.

For example, NASA developed a solid oxide electrolysis cell that enabled the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover to make oxygen from gas in the Martian atmosphere on April 22. NASA hopes this prototype will one day lead to equipment that allows astronauts to create rocket fuel and breathable air while on Mars.

To help such prototypes become commercial products, though, they’ll need to maintain their performance at high temperatures over long periods of time, said Nicholas, an associate professor in the College of Engineering.

He was drawn to this field after years of using solid oxide fuel cells, which work like solid oxide electrolysis cells in reverse. Rather than using energy to create gases or fuel, they create energy from those chemicals.

“Solid oxide fuel cells work with gases at high temperature. We’re able to electrochemically react those gases to get electricity out and that process is a lot more efficient than exploding fuel like an internal combustion engine does,” said Nicholas, who leads a lab in the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department.

But even without explosions, the fuel cell needs to withstand intense working conditions.

“These devices commonly operate around 700 to 800 degrees Celsius, and they have to do it for a long time — 40,000 hours over their lifetime,” Nicholas said. For comparison, that’s approximately 1,300 to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, or about double the temperature of a commercial pizza oven.

“And over that lifetime, you’re thermally cycling it,” Nicholas said. “You’re cooling it down and heating it back up. It’s a very extreme environment. You can have circuit leads pop off.”

Thus, one of the hurdles facing this advanced technology is rather rudimentary: The conductive circuitry, often made from silver, needs to stick better to the underlying ceramic components.

The secret to improving the adhesion, the researchers found, was to add an intermediate layer of porous nickel between the silver and the ceramic.

By performing experiments and computer simulations of how the materials interact, the team optimized how it deposited the nickel on the ceramic. And to create the thin, porous nickel layers on the ceramic in a pattern or design of their choosing, the researchers turned to screen printing.

“It’s the same screen printing that’s used to make T-shirts,” Nicholas said. “We’re just screen-printing electronics instead of shirts. It’s a very manufacturing-friendly technique.”

Once the nickel is in place, the team puts it in contact with silver that’s melted at a temperature of about 1,000 degrees Celsius. The nickel not only withstands that heat — its melting point is 1,455 degrees Celsius — but it also distributes the liquified silver uniformly over its fine features using what’s called capillary action.

“It’s almost like a tree,” Nicholas said. “A tree gets water up to its branches via capillary action. The nickel is wicking up the molten silver via the same mechanism.”

Once the silver cools and solidifies, the nickel keeps it locked onto the ceramic, even in the 700 to 800 degree Celsius heat it would face inside a solid oxide fuel cell or a solid oxide electrolysis cell. And this approach also has the potential to help other technologies, where electronics can run hot.

“There are a wide variety of electronic applications that require circuit boards that can withstand high temperatures or high power,” said Jon Debling, a technology manager with MSU Technologies, Michigan State’s tech transfer and commercialization office. “These include existing applications in automotive, aerospace, industrial and military markets, but also newer ones such as solar cells and solid oxide fuel cells.”

As a technology manager, Debling works to commercialize Spartan innovations and he’s working to help patent this process for creating tougher electronics.

“This technology is a significant improvement — in cost and temperature stability — over existing paste and vapor deposition technologies,” he said.

For his part, Nicholas remains most interested in those cutting-edge applications on the horizon, things like solid oxide fuel cells and solid oxide electrolysis cells.

“We’re working to improve their reliability here on Earth — and on Mars,” Nicholas said.

###

Also contributing to the project were Spartan engineering researchers Assistant Professor Hui-Chia Yu, Professor Timothy Hogan and Professor Thomas Bieler. Graduate student researchers on the project included Genzhi Hu, Quan Zhou, Aiswarya Bhatlawande, Jiyun Park, Robert Termuhlen and Yuxi Ma (Zhou, Bhatlawande and Ma have since graduated).

One of the project’s coleaders at Brown University, Professor Yue Qi, also has ties to MSU. She served as faculty and the inaugural associate dean of inclusion and diversity in the College of Engineering through 2020.

####

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Contacts:
Caroline Brooks

@MSUnews

Copyright © Michigan State University

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Simple robots, smart algorithms

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When sensors, communication, memory and computation are removed from a group of simple robots, certain sets of complex tasks can still be accomplished by leveraging the robots' physical characteristics, a trait that a team of researchers led by Georgia Tech calls "task embodiment." CREDIT
Shengkai Li, Georgia Tech
When sensors, communication, memory and computation are removed from a group of simple robots, certain sets of complex tasks can still be accomplished by leveraging the robots’ physical characteristics, a trait that a team of researchers led by Georgia Tech calls “task embodiment.” CREDIT
Shengkai Li, Georgia Tech

Abstract:
Anyone with children knows that while controlling one child can be hard, controlling many at once can be nearly impossible. Getting swarms of robots to work collectively can be equally challenging, unless researchers carefully choreograph their interactions — like planes in formation — using increasingly sophisticated components and algorithms. But what can be reliably accomplished when the robots on hand are simple, inconsistent, and lack sophisticated programming for coordinated behavior?

Simple robots, smart algorithms


Atlanta, GA | Posted on April 30th, 2021

A team of researchers led by Dana Randall, ADVANCE Professor of Computing and Daniel Goldman, Dunn Family Professor of Physics, both at Georgia Institute of Technology, sought to show that even the simplest of robots can still accomplish tasks well beyond the capabilities of one, or even a few, of them. The goal of accomplishing these tasks with what the team dubbed “dumb robots” (essentially mobile granular particles) exceeded their expectations, and the researchers report being able to remove all sensors, communication, memory and computation — and instead accomplishing a set of tasks through leveraging the robots’ physical characteristics, a trait that the team terms “task embodiment.”

The team’s BOBbots, or “behaving, organizing, buzzing bots” that were named for granular physics pioneer Bob Behringer, are “about as dumb as they get,” explains Randall. “Their cylindrical chassis have vibrating brushes underneath and loose magnets on their periphery, causing them to spend more time at locations with more neighbors.” The experimental platform was supplemented by precise computer simulations led by Georgia Tech physics student Shengkai Li, as a way to study aspects of the system inconvenient to study in the lab.

Despite the simplicity of the BOBbots, the researchers discovered that, as the robots move and bump into each other, “compact aggregates form that are capable of collectively clearing debris that is too heavy for one alone to move,” according to Goldman. “While most people build increasingly complex and expensive robots to guarantee coordination, we wanted to see what complex tasks could be accomplished with very simple robots.”

Their work, as reported April 23, 2021 in the journal Science Advances, was inspired by a theoretical model of particles moving around on a chessboard. A theoretical abstraction known as a self-organizing particle system was developed to rigorously study a mathematical model of the BOBbots. Using ideas from probability theory, statistical physics and stochastic algorithms, the researchers were able to prove that the theoretical model undergoes a phase change as the magnetic interactions increase — abruptly changing from dispersed to aggregating in large, compact clusters, similar to phase changes we see in common everyday systems, like water and ice.

“The rigorous analysis not only showed us how to build the BOBbots, but also revealed an inherent robustness of our algorithm that allowed some of the robots to be faulty or unpredictable,” notes Randall, who also serves as a professor of computer science and adjunct professor of mathematics at Georgia Tech.

###

The collaboration is based on experiments and simulations also designed by Bahnisikha Dutta, Ram Avinery and Enes Aydin from Georgia Tech, as well as on theoretical work by Andrea Richa and Joshua Daymude from Arizona State University, and Sarah Cannon from Claremont McKenna College, who is a recent Georgia Tech graduate.

This work is part of a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) funded by the Army Research Office (ARO) to study the foundations of emergent computation and collective intelligence.

Funding: This work was supported by the Department of Defense under MURI award no. W911NF-19-1-0233 and by NSF awards DMS-1803325 (S.C.); CCF-1422603, CCF-1637393, and CCF-1733680 (A.W.R.); CCF-1637031 and CCF-1733812 (D.R. and D.I.G.); and CCF-1526900 (D.R.).

####

About Georgia Institute of Technology
The Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is a top 10 public research university developing leaders who advance technology and improve the human condition. The Institute offers business, computing, design, engineering, liberal arts, and sciences degrees. Its nearly 40,000 students, representing 50 states and 149 countries, study at the main campus in Atlanta, at campuses in France and China, and through distance and online learning. As a leading technological university, Georgia Tech is an engine of economic development for Georgia, the Southeast, and the nation, conducting more than $1 billion in research annually for government, industry, and society.

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404-660-2929

Jess Hunt-Ralston
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Polarization-sensitive photodetection using 2D/3D perovskite heterostructure crystal

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Home > Press > Polarization-sensitive photodetection using 2D/3D perovskite heterostructure crystal

(a) Schematic structure of polarized light detector. (b) Photoconductivity parallel and perpendicular to the interface. (c) Photoconductivity anisotropy versus excitation power. (d) Angle-resolved photocurrent as a function of polarization angle measured at 405 nm under zero bias. (e) Experimental polarization ratios of some reported polarized light detectors. (f) Angle-dependent photocurrent of the present device measured at different temperature. CREDIT
@Science China Press
(a) Schematic structure of polarized light detector. (b) Photoconductivity parallel and perpendicular to the interface. (c) Photoconductivity anisotropy versus excitation power. (d) Angle-resolved photocurrent as a function of polarization angle measured at 405 nm under zero bias. (e) Experimental polarization ratios of some reported polarized light detectors. (f) Angle-dependent photocurrent of the present device measured at different temperature. CREDIT
@Science China Press

Abstract:
Polarization-sensitive photodetectors, based on anisotropic semiconductors, have exhibited wide advantages in specialized applications, such as astronomy, remote sensing, and polarization-division multiplexing. For the active layer of polarization-sensitive photodetectors, recent researches focus on two-dimensional (2D) organic-inorganic hybrid perovskites, where inorganic slabs and organic spacers are alternatively arranged in parallel layered structures. Compared with inorganic 2D materials, importantly, the solution accessibility of hybrid perovskites makes it possible to obtain their large crystals at low cost, offering exciting opportunities to incorporate crystal out-of-plane anisotropy for polarization-sensitive photodetection. However, limited by the absorption anisotropy of the material structure, polarization sensitivity of such a device remains low. Thus, a new strategy to design 2D hybrid perovskites with large anisotropy for polarization-sensitive photodetection is urgently needed.

Polarization-sensitive photodetection using 2D/3D perovskite heterostructure crystal


Beijing, China | Posted on May 4th, 2021

Heterostructures provide a clue to address this challenge. On the one hand, construction of heterostructures can improve the optical absorption and free-carrier densities of the composite. On the other hand, the built-in electric field at the heterojunction can spatially separate the photogenerated electron-hole pairs, significantly reducing the recombination rate and further enhancing the sensitivity for polarization-sensitive photodetectors. Therefore, constructing single-crystalline heterostructures of anisotropic 2D hybrid perovskites would realize devices with high polarization sensitivity.

In a new research article published in the Beijing-based National Science Review, scientists at the Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter, Chinese Academy of Sciences create a 2D/3D heterostructure crystal, combining the 2D hybrid perovskite with its 3D counterpart; and achieve polarization-sensitive photodetection with record-high performance. Different from the previous work, devices based on the heterostructure crystal deliberately leverage the anisotropy of 2D perovskite and the built-in electric field of heterostructure, permitting the first demonstration of a perovskite heterostructure-based polarization-sensitive photodetector that operates without the need for external energy supply. Notably, the polarization sensitivity of the device surpasses all of the reported perovskite-based devices; and can be competitive with conventional inorganic heterostructure-based photodetectors. Further studies disclose that the built-in electric field formed at the heterojunction can efficiently separate those photogenerated excitons, reducing their recombination rate and therefore enhancing the performance of the resulting polarization-sensitive photodetector.

“High polarization sensitivity is successfully achieved in self-driven polarization-sensitive photodetector based on a single-crystalline 2D/3D hybrid perovskite heterostructure which is grown via a delicate solution method,” the author claims, “This innovative study broadens the choice of materials that can be used for high-performance polarization-sensitive photodetectors, and correspondingly, the design strategies.”

###

This research received funding from the the National Natural Science Foundation of China, the Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), the Natural Science Foundation of Fujian Province, the Strategic Priority Research Program of the CAS and the Youth Innovation Promotion of CAS.

####

About Science China Press
The National Science Review is the first comprehensive scholarly journal released in English in China that is aimed at linking the country’s rapidly advancing community of scientists with the global frontiers of science and technology. The journal also aims to shine a worldwide spotlight on scientific research advances across China.

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Contacts:
Junhua Luo

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A silver lining for extreme electronics

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MSU researchers developed a process to create more resilient circuitry, which they demonstrated by creating a silver Spartan helmet. The circuit was designed by Jane Manfredi, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Credit: Acta Materialia Inc./Elsevier
MSU researchers developed a process to create more resilient circuitry, which they demonstrated by creating a silver Spartan helmet. The circuit was designed by Jane Manfredi, an assistant professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Credit: Acta Materialia Inc./Elsevier

Abstract:
Tomorrow’s cutting-edge technology will need electronics that can tolerate extreme conditions. That’s why a group of researchers led by Michigan State University’s Jason Nicholas is building stronger circuits today.

A silver lining for extreme electronics


East Lansing, MI | Posted on April 30th, 2021

Nicholas and his team have developed more heat resilient silver circuitry with an assist from nickel. The team described the work, which was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program, on April 15 in the journal Scripta Materialia.

The types of devices that the MSU team is working to benefit — next-generation fuel cells, high-temperature semiconductors and solid oxide electrolysis cells — could have applications in the auto, energy and aerospace industries.

Although you can’t buy these devices off the shelf now, researchers are currently building them in labs to test in the real world, and even on other planets.

For example, NASA developed a solid oxide electrolysis cell that enabled the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover to make oxygen from gas in the Martian atmosphere on April 22. NASA hopes this prototype will one day lead to equipment that allows astronauts to create rocket fuel and breathable air while on Mars.

To help such prototypes become commercial products, though, they’ll need to maintain their performance at high temperatures over long periods of time, said Nicholas, an associate professor in the College of Engineering.

He was drawn to this field after years of using solid oxide fuel cells, which work like solid oxide electrolysis cells in reverse. Rather than using energy to create gases or fuel, they create energy from those chemicals.

“Solid oxide fuel cells work with gases at high temperature. We’re able to electrochemically react those gases to get electricity out and that process is a lot more efficient than exploding fuel like an internal combustion engine does,” said Nicholas, who leads a lab in the Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Department.

But even without explosions, the fuel cell needs to withstand intense working conditions.

“These devices commonly operate around 700 to 800 degrees Celsius, and they have to do it for a long time — 40,000 hours over their lifetime,” Nicholas said. For comparison, that’s approximately 1,300 to 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, or about double the temperature of a commercial pizza oven.

“And over that lifetime, you’re thermally cycling it,” Nicholas said. “You’re cooling it down and heating it back up. It’s a very extreme environment. You can have circuit leads pop off.”

Thus, one of the hurdles facing this advanced technology is rather rudimentary: The conductive circuitry, often made from silver, needs to stick better to the underlying ceramic components.

The secret to improving the adhesion, the researchers found, was to add an intermediate layer of porous nickel between the silver and the ceramic.

By performing experiments and computer simulations of how the materials interact, the team optimized how it deposited the nickel on the ceramic. And to create the thin, porous nickel layers on the ceramic in a pattern or design of their choosing, the researchers turned to screen printing.

“It’s the same screen printing that’s used to make T-shirts,” Nicholas said. “We’re just screen-printing electronics instead of shirts. It’s a very manufacturing-friendly technique.”

Once the nickel is in place, the team puts it in contact with silver that’s melted at a temperature of about 1,000 degrees Celsius. The nickel not only withstands that heat — its melting point is 1,455 degrees Celsius — but it also distributes the liquified silver uniformly over its fine features using what’s called capillary action.

“It’s almost like a tree,” Nicholas said. “A tree gets water up to its branches via capillary action. The nickel is wicking up the molten silver via the same mechanism.”

Once the silver cools and solidifies, the nickel keeps it locked onto the ceramic, even in the 700 to 800 degree Celsius heat it would face inside a solid oxide fuel cell or a solid oxide electrolysis cell. And this approach also has the potential to help other technologies, where electronics can run hot.

“There are a wide variety of electronic applications that require circuit boards that can withstand high temperatures or high power,” said Jon Debling, a technology manager with MSU Technologies, Michigan State’s tech transfer and commercialization office. “These include existing applications in automotive, aerospace, industrial and military markets, but also newer ones such as solar cells and solid oxide fuel cells.”

As a technology manager, Debling works to commercialize Spartan innovations and he’s working to help patent this process for creating tougher electronics.

“This technology is a significant improvement — in cost and temperature stability — over existing paste and vapor deposition technologies,” he said.

For his part, Nicholas remains most interested in those cutting-edge applications on the horizon, things like solid oxide fuel cells and solid oxide electrolysis cells.

“We’re working to improve their reliability here on Earth — and on Mars,” Nicholas said.

###

Also contributing to the project were Spartan engineering researchers Assistant Professor Hui-Chia Yu, Professor Timothy Hogan and Professor Thomas Bieler. Graduate student researchers on the project included Genzhi Hu, Quan Zhou, Aiswarya Bhatlawande, Jiyun Park, Robert Termuhlen and Yuxi Ma (Zhou, Bhatlawande and Ma have since graduated).

One of the project’s coleaders at Brown University, Professor Yue Qi, also has ties to MSU. She served as faculty and the inaugural associate dean of inclusion and diversity in the College of Engineering through 2020.

####

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Contacts:
Caroline Brooks

@MSUnews

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