Economical analysis of ethanol steam reformer for hydrogen production associated with a sugarcane industry
Data de publicação2008-12-01
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An expressive amount of produced hydrogen is generated by customers in-situ such as petrochemical, fertilizer and sugarcane industries. However, the most utilized feedstock is natural gas, a non-renewable and fossil fuel. The introduction of biohydrogen production process associated in a sugarcane industry is an alternative to diminish emissions and contribute to create a CO2 cycle, where the plants capture this gas by photosynthesis process and produces sucrose for ethanol production. The cost of production of ethanol has dramatically decreased (from about US$ 700/m3 in 1970s to US$ 200/m3 today), becoming this a good option at near term, inclusively for its utilization by customers localized in main regions (localized especially in regions such as Southeastern Brazil) Also in near future, it will possible the utilization of fuel cells as form of distributed generation. Its utilization could occur specially in peak hours, diminishing the cost of investments in newer transmission systems. A technical and economic analysis of steam reformer of ethanol to hydrogen production associated with sugarcane industry was recently performed. This technique will also allow the use of ethanol when its price is relatively low. This study was based on a previous R&D study (sponsored by CEMIG - State of Minas Gerais Electricity Company) where thermodynamic and economic analyses were developed, based in the development of two ethanol steam reformers prototypes.x In this study an analysis was performed considering the use of bagasse as source of heat in the steam reforming process. Its use could to diminish the costs of hydrogen production, especially at large scale, obtaining cost-competitive production and permitting that sugarcane industry produces hydrogen in large scale beyond ethylic alcohol, anhydrous alcohol (or ethanol) and sugar.