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Efficiency comparison of tri-generating HTFC to conventional hydrogen production technologies


This study compares the production of hydrogen with high temperature fuel cells (HTFCs) that tri-generate power, heat and hydrogen to distributed and centralized steam methane reformation (SMR) supply chains. The defined supply chain steps of hydrogen production include: production, treatment, distribution, storage, dispensing and use. Different technologies for each step in the supply chain have been analyzed from an energy standpoint, resulting in ten different supply chain scenarios. Results show that liquefaction of hydrogen is the most energy intensive of all the treatment processes and that it is only effective for long delivery distances. When the energy required for the hydrogen treatment (i.e., liquefaction, compression) is included, it is shown that compressed gas hydrogen at 200 bar is the least energy intensive for delivery distances shorter than 84 km if transported by diesel truck. For distances longer than 84 km, 500 bar compressed hydrogen is more efficiently transported than at 200 bar compressed hydrogen. For distances larger than 550 km, liquefied hydrogen is more efficiently distributed than compressed hydrogen at 500 bar. Results show that the highest supply chain efficiency corresponds to distributed hydrogen production via tri-generating HTFC (∼76%) followed by centralized SMR with 500 bar compressed hydrogen distribution (∼71%). The lowest supply chain efficiency values correspond to distributed SMR plants (∼60%) and centralized SMR with transportation of hydrogen in liquid form (<60%). © 2012, Hydrogen Energy Publications, LLC. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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