The US Department of Energy has selected a consortium of public, private and academic experts led by Shell International Exploration and Production to explore options for large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage. Among the consortium partners are McDermott International’s CB&I Storage Solutions, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, GenH2 and the University of Houston.
The consortium will attempt to demonstrate that a large-scale LH2 tank, with a capacity ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 cubic metres, is both feasible and cost competitive at import and export terminals. The DOE has awarded US$6 million to finance the project, while Shell and CB&I Storage Solutions will both provide an additional US$3 million each.
‘A cost-effective, long-range hydrogen supply chain can have a transformative impact in shaping a sustainable future for energy,’ said Yuri Sebregts, chief technology officer for Shell. ‘Our consortium recognises that this project can become a cornerstone in making that future possible. It’s a sizable engineering challenge – but we have the right people, partners and outlook to deliver this first-of-its-kind LH2 storage technology.’
The consortium will collaborate to develop a technically innovative and economically viable concept design for the large-scale LH2 storage tank and then engineer and construct a scaled-down demonstration tank that will be tested to validate the feasibility of the design. It’s expected that the insulation technology, cryogenic testing equipment and thermal model developed under the programme will have widespread benefits for several LH2 applications and will eventuallyreduce the cost of clean hydrogen and advance its role in the energy transition.
The creation of an effective hydrogen supply chain capable of transporting hydrogen between countries via pipelines and ships will be a key element of the future energy system.