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The role of biomass in California's hydrogen economy

Author

Listed:
  • Parker, Nathan C.
  • Ogden, Joan M.
  • Fan, Yueyue

Abstract

This paper presents the results of a model of hydrogen production from waste biomass in California. We develop a profit-maximizing model of a biomass hydrogen industry from field to vehicle tank. This model is used to estimate the economic potential for hydrogen production from two waste biomass resources in Northern California--wheat straw and rice straw--taking into account the on the ground geographic dimensions of both biomass supply and hydrogen demand. The systems analysis approach allows for explicit consideration of the interactions between feedstock collection, hydrogen production, and hydrogen distribution in finding the optimal system design. This case study approach provides insight into both the real-world potential and the real-world cost of producing hydrogen from waste biomass. Additional context is provided through the estimation of California's total waste biomass hydrogen potential. We find that enough biomass is available from waste sources to provide up to 40% of the current California passenger car fuel demand as hydrogen. Optimized supply chains result in delivered hydrogen costing between $3/kg and $5.50/kg with one-tenth of the well-to-wheels greenhouse gas emissions of conventional gasoline-fueled vehicles.

Suggested Citation

  • Parker, Nathan C. & Ogden, Joan M. & Fan, Yueyue, 2008. "The role of biomass in California's hydrogen economy," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 3925-3939, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:36:y:2008:i:10:p:3925-3939
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Parker, Nathan C, 2007. "Optimizing the Design of Biomass Hydrogen Supply Chains Using Real-World Spatial Distributions: A Case Study Using California Rice Straw," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt8sp9n37c, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    6. Parker, Nathan, 2004. "Using Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Costs to Estimate Hydrogen Pipeline Costs," Institute of Transportation Studies, Working Paper Series qt9m40m75r, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Davis.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:aen:journl:ej38-6-scheitrum is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Yongxi (Eric) Huang & Yueyue Fan & Chien-Wei Chen, 2014. "An Integrated Biofuel Supply Chain to Cope with Feedstock Seasonality and Uncertainty," Transportation Science, INFORMS, vol. 48(4), pages 540-554, November.
    3. Holtermann, Timm & Madlener, Reinhard, 2011. "Assessment of the technological development and economic potential of photobioreactors," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 88(5), pages 1906-1919, May.
    4. Ren, Jingzheng & Gao, Suzhao & Tan, Shiyu & Dong, Lichun & Scipioni, Antonio & Mazzi, Anna, 2015. "Role prioritization of hydrogen production technologies for promoting hydrogen economy in the current state of China," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1217-1229.

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