DOE Annual Progress Report: Water Needs and Constraints for Hydrogen Pathways
DOE Annual Progress Report: Water Needs and Constraints for Hydrogen Pathways Water is a critical feedstock in the production of hydrogen. In fact, water and many of the energy transformations upon which society depends are inextricably linked. Approximately 39% of freshwater withdrawals are used for cooling of power plants, and another 8% are used in industry and mining (including oil and gas extraction and refining). Major changes in the energy infrastructure (as envisioned in a transformation to a hydrogen economy) will necessarily result in changes to the water infrastructure. Depending on the manner in which a hydrogen economy evolves, these changes could be large or small, detrimental or benign. Water is used as a chemical feedstock for hydrogen production and as a coolant for the production process. Process and cooling water must meet minimum quality specifications (limits on mineral and organic contaminants) at both the inlet to the process and at the point of discharge. If these specifications are not met, then the water must be treated, which involves extra expenditure on equipment and energy. There are multiple options for water treatment and cooling systems, each of which has a different profile of equipment cost and operational requirements. The engineering decisions that are made when building out the hydrogen infrastructure will more »
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