Bloom Energy, petroleum giant Shell to study feasibility of hydrogen technology

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Bloom Energy Inc. and Shell Plc. will study decarbonization solutions, using Bloom’s proprietary hydrogen electrolyzer technology.

Bloom and Shell will collaborate to develop solid oxide electrolyzer (SOEC) systems that could produce hydrogen for potential use at Shell sites. 

“This technology could represent a potentially transformative moment for opportunities to decarbonize several hard to abate industry sectors,” said KR Sridhar, CEO of Bloom Energy. “As the world leader in solid oxide electrolyzer technology, we are poised to provide customers around the world with our proprietary, American-made energy technology to both reduce carbon footprint and sustain economic growth.”

Bloom’s SOEC technology can produce clean hydrogen at scale to augment or replace existing fossil fuel-powered “grey” hydrogen supplies produced at refineries by high carbon dioxide-emitting steam-methane reformation. Clean or “green” hydrogen is produced from water electrolysis, using renewable energy, essentially eliminating greenhouse gas emissions, a release stated.

According to the comapny, demand for the Bloom Electrolyzer, which w54 manufactured in California and Delaware, has been growing.

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 According to an independent analysis, Bloom has electrolyzer manufacturing capacity that is double the number of its closest rival.

It reported a demonstration beginning in May of 2023 with the world’s largest solid oxide electrolyzer, with a capacity of four Megawatts, where it produced 2.4 metric tons of hydrogen per day at the NASA Ames research facility in Mountain View, CA.  The high-temperature, high-efficiency unit produced significantly more hydrogen per megawatt (MW) than commercially demonstrated lower-temperature electrolyzers such as proton electrolyte membrane (PEM) or alkaline, the company stated.

Bloom electrolyzers are also being tested to produce hydrogen from excess electricity generated at nuclear power plants.

Companies are exploring green hydrogen as an alternative fuel for heavy manufacturing at refineries, cement plants, and steel mills.

Hydrogen remains a controversial component of carbon reduction efforts with critics claiming production is too costly and can actually increase emissions.

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