skip to main content

Title: An Analysis of Methanol and Hydrogen Production via High-Temperature Electrolysis Using the Sodium Cooled Advanced Fast Reactor

Integration of an advanced, sodium-cooled fast spectrum reactor into nuclear hybrid energy system (NHES) architectures is the focus of the present study. A techno-economic evaluation of several conceptual system designs was performed for the integration of a sodium-cooled Advanced Fast Reactor (AFR) with the electric grid in conjunction with wind-generated electricity. Cases in which excess thermal and electrical energy would be reapportioned within an integrated energy system to a chemical plant are presented. The process applications evaluated include hydrogen production via high temperature steam electrolysis and methanol production via steam methane reforming to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen which feed a methanol synthesis reactor. Three power cycles were considered for integration with the AFR, including subcritical and supercritical Rankine cycles and a modified supercritical carbon dioxide modified Brayton cycle. The thermal efficiencies of all of the modeled power conversions units were greater than 40%. A thermal efficiency of 42% was adopted in economic studies because two of the cycles either performed at that level or could potentially do so (subcritical Rankine and S-CO2 Brayton). Each of the evaluated hybrid architectures would be technically feasible but would demonstrate a different internal rate of return (IRR) as a function of multiple parameters;more » all evaluated configurations showed a positive IRR. As expected, integration of an AFR with a chemical plant increases the IRR when “must-take” wind-generated electricity is added to the energy system. Additional dynamic system analyses are recommended to draw detailed conclusions on the feasibility and economic benefits associated with AFR-hybrid energy system operation.« less
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
09 BIOMASS FUELS; 10 SYNTHETIC FUELS; 21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; 24 POWER TRANSMISSION AND DISTRIBUTION; 32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; Advanced Small Modular Reactors; High Temperature Steam Electrolysis; Hybrid Energy Systems; Nuclear Assisted Methanol Production; Sodium Cooled Fast Reactor