Hydrogen production by biogas steam reforming: A technical, economic and ecological analysis
Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, v. 28, p. 166-173.
Braga, Lúcia Bollini
Silveira, Jose Luz
Da Silva, Marcio Evaristo
Tuna, Celso Eduardo
Machin, Einara Blanco
Pedroso, Daniel Travieso
Fuel cells are electrochemical energy conversion devices that convert fuel and oxidant electrochemically into electrical energy, water and heat. Compared to traditional electricity generation technologies that use combustion processes to convert fuel into heat, and then into mechanical energy, fuel cells convert the hydrogen and oxygen chemical energy into electrical energy, without intermediate conversion processes, and with higher efficiency. In order to make the fuel cells an achievable and useful technology, it is firstly necessary to develop an economic and efficient way for hydrogen production. Molecular hydrogen is always found combined with other chemical compounds in nature, so it must be isolated. In this paper, the technical, economical and ecological aspects of hydrogen production by biogas steam reforming are presented. The economic feasibility calculation was performed to evaluate how interesting the process is by analyzing the investment, operation and maintenance costs of the biogas steam reformer and the hydrogen production cost achieved the value of 0.27 US$/kWh with a payback period of 8 years. An ecological efficiency of 94.95%, which is a good ecological value, was obtained. The results obtained by these analyses showed that this type of hydrogen production is an environmentally attractive route. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.