(171a) The Important Role of Hydrogen in Synthetic Fuels
Synthetically producing energy-rich chemicals from diverse and abundant domestic resources offers the promise of providing a plentiful supply of sustainable fuels to meet future U.S. energy needs. Opportunities for producing strategically-important synthetic fuels include hydrogen from water, hydrocarbon fuels from carbon dioxide and hydrogen/water, and ammonia from di-nitrogen and hydrogen/water. Most fuels are currently produced from fossil resources using energy-intense high temperature processes, but advanced processes for fuel synthesis utilizing various sustainable energy resources in conjunction with air and water can provide critical supplements to help meet near- and longer-term energy demands. Most pathways for synthetic fuels rely heavily on the availability of an abundant and sustainable supply of hydrogen. More generally, synthetic fuels production is an important end-use sector supported by the U.S. Department of Energyâs (DOE) H2@scale initiative. Specific challenges and opportunities for a new generation of synthetic fuels production will be discussed in the context of H2@Scale as well as other DOE efforts including the HydroGEN Energy Materials Network Consortium on Advanced Water Splitting Materials.