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Technoeconomic analysis of metal–organic frameworks for bulk hydrogen transportation


Numerous adsorption-based technologies are emerging as candidates for hydrogen transportation, and yet little is known about their practical viability. As such, new approaches are needed to conduct early validation of emerging hydrogen transportation concepts despite a lack of clear criteria for viable future hydrogen supply chains. In this work, we conduct technoeconomic modeling to quantify cost, performance, and relations between system components for early-stage adsorbent-based hydrogen supply chains. We compare results with the cost and performance of high pressure compressed gas and liquid hydrogen trucks in the same applications. Using available experimental adsorption data, we simulate the gravimetric performance of tube trailer trucks packed with metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) operated at 100 bar and 77 or 200 K. We also extrapolated available experimental data to study a third scenario where tube trailer trucks are operated at ambient temperature and 250 bar. Models developed for these conditions represent feasible operation scenarios where pressurization or cooling costs can be reduced relative to compressed or liquid hydrogen truck systems. Results suggest that the levelized cost of long-distance transmission, including a gas terminal and MOF-based truck fleet, ranges from $7.3 to $29.0 per kg H2. The levelized cost of transmission using compressed hydrogen gas trucks at 350 and 500 bar and liquid hydrogen trucks is substantially lower, at $1.8, $1.7 and $3.1 per kg H2, respectively. In a short-distance urban distribution application, the MOF-based truck fleet, gas terminal, and refueling stations have a levelized cost between $11.8 and $40.0 per kg H2, which is also more expensive than distribution in the case of the 350 bar, 500 bar and liquid hydrogen trucks, which have levelized costs of $4.7, $4.1 and $3.9 per kg H2, respectively. Key opportunities identified for lowering costs are: increasing the hydrogen capacity of the tube system by developing new MOFs with higher volumetric deliverable capacities, flexible allowable daily deliveries per refueling station, increasing the cycling stability of the MOF, and driverless trucks.

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