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(372n) Contribution of Upcycling Surplus Hydrogen to Design of a Sustainable Supply Chain: The Case Study of Northern Spain

Ortiz, A., University of Cantabria
Brunaud, B., Johnson & Johnson
Ortiz, I., University of Cantabria
Grossmann, I. E., Carnegie Mellon University
Maria, Y., University of Cantabria
In the production of chlor-alkali an excess of hydrogen is commonly produced. Because not all the excess can be used in the process, most surplus hydrogen gets flared. To further advance a world powered by hydrogen, it is essential to take advantage of the environmental benefits of using surplus industrial hydrogen to energy conversion.

In this paper, the integration of this renewable source in a hydrogen supply chain has been analyzed with the following considerations, 1) the techno-economic modeling is applied over the 2020-2050 period, at a regional scale comprising the north of Spain, covering the main sources of surplus hydrogen in the region, 2) the supply chain feeds fuel cell devices powering stationary and mobile applications and, thereby establishing the quality standards for the upcycled hydrogen and, 3) a mixed-integer programming model (MILP) is formulated to predict the optimal integration of surplus hydrogen. The model considers a multiperiod strategic plan for expansion of hydrogen processing facilities at industrial gases manufacturing sites. The selection and sizing of each technology is also considered. The advantages of this research are twofold: i) on the one hand, it provides the methodology for the optimal use of surplus hydrogen gases promoting the shift to a Circular Economy and, ii) on the other hand, it contributes to the penetration of renewable energies in the form of low cost fuel cell devices to power stationary and mobile applications. The results show that the combination of all the infrastructure elements into the mathematical formulation yields optimal solutions with a plan for the gradual infrastructure investments over time required for the transition towards a sustainable future energy mix that includes hydrogen. Thus, this work contributes to improving the environmental and economic sustainability of hydrogen supply chains of upcycling industrial surplus hydrogen.


Yáñez, M., Ortiz, A., Brunaud, B., Grossmann, I.E. and Ortiz, I., 2018. Contribution of upcycling surplus hydrogen to design a sustainable supply chain: The case study of Northern Spain. Applied energy, 231, pp.777-787.

Almansoori, A. and Shah, N., 2006. Design and operation of a future hydrogen supply chain: snapshot model. Chemical Engineering Research and Design, 84(6), pp.423-438.

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Nunes, P., Oliveira, F., Hamacher, S. and Almansoori, A., 2015. Design of a hydrogen supply chain with uncertainty. International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, 40(46), pp.16408-16418.

Yáñez, M., A. Ortiz, B. Brunaud, I. E. Grossmann and I. Ortiz, “Contribution of Upcycling Surplus Hydrogen to Design a Sustainable Supply Chain: The Case Study of Northern Spain,” Applied Energy 231, 777-787 (2108).