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Feasibility study on hydrogen storage, distribution and utilization for power generation and transportation in Sugarcane Industry in Queensland

Kariyawasam, Ravin (2021) Feasibility study on hydrogen storage, distribution and utilization for power generation and transportation in Sugarcane Industry in Queensland. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

Based on sugarcane bagasse production of 220,000 tonnes/year, the Mackay Sugar Limited’s Racecourse mill could potentially produce 2570 tonnes of hydrogen per year by using pyrolysis and pressure swing adsorption. Power generation at the mill was simulated with RETEscreen, using the syngas produced by pyrolysis process where the syngas is fed in to a 38MW gas turbine or a reciprocating engine. The most profitable power generation option was found to be operating a gas turbine which gives an internal rate of return of 12.9%. Rest of the syngas goes through the pressure swing adsorption process to separate hydrogen from other gases such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Production cost of low-pressure hydrogen was calculated as $2.78/kg, liquid hydrogen $3.80/kg and hydrogen at 350bar $ 3.87/kg. Liquid hydrogen storage vessel size was simulated using HOMER Pro software and a minimum 100 tonnes of storage was found to be required. Hydrogen at 350bar pressure is used to fuel cane trains and haul trucks to analyse the economic feasibility and the results shows positive internal rate of returns but below the Makcay Sugar Limited anticipated percentage of 12%. A life cycle analysis of the production process was conducted using GaBi software with system boundaries of sugarcane harvesting to 350bar hydrogen production. Results indicate the global warming potential of producing 1kg of hydrogen to be 4.51kgCO2-eq. The overall life cycle analysis proves the hydrogen production process is helping to reduce ecological footprints which are lot higher in fossil fuel production processes.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Engineering and Energy
Supervisor(s): Urmee, Tania and Rochaya, D.
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/64090
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