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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Determining the lowest-cost hydrogen delivery mode

  • Author(s): Yang, Christopher;
  • Ogden, Joan M
  • et al.

Hydrogen delivery is a critical contributor to the cost, energy use and emissions associated with hydrogen pathways involving central plant production. The choice of the lowest-cost delivery mode (compressed gas trucks, cryogenic liquid trucks or gas pipelines) will depend upon specific geographic and market characteristics (e.g. city population and radius, population density, size and number of refueling stations and market penetration of fuel cell vehicles). We developed models to characterize delivery distances and to estimate costs, emissions and energy use from various parts of the delivery chain (e.g. compression or liquefaction, delivery and refueling stations). Results show that compressed gas truck delivery is ideal for small stations and very low demand, liquid delivery is ideal for long distance delivery and moderate demand and pipeline delivery is ideal for dense areas with large hydrogen demand.

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