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Potential Environmental Impacts of Hydrogen-based Transportation and Power Systems

Description: Hydrogen (H2) offers advantages as an energy carrier: minimal discharge of pollutants, production from multiple sources, increased thermodynamic efficiencies compared to fossil fuels, and reduced dependence on foreign oil. However, potential impacts from the H2 generation processes, transport and distribution of H2, and releases of H2 into the atmosphere have been proposed. The goal of this project was to analyze the effects of emissions of hydrogen, the six criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases on climate, human health, materials and structures. This project was part of a larger effort by DOE to assess the life-cycle costs and benefits and environmental impacts to inform decisions regarding future hydrogen research. Technical Approach: A modeling approach was developed and used to evaluate the potential environmental effects associated with the conversion of the on-road vehicle fleet from fossil-fuel vehicles to hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. GATOR-GCMOM was the primary tool used to predict atmospheric concentrations of gases and aerosols for selected scenarios. This model accounts for all feedbacks among major atmospheric processes based on first principles. The future scenarios and the emission rates selected for this analysis of hydrogen environmental effects are based on the scenarios developed by IPCC. The scenarios selected for the model simulations are a 2000 and 2050 A1B base cases, and a 2050 A1B case with hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (HFCVs). The hydrogen fuel cell scenario assumed conversion of 90% of fossil-fuel on-road vehicles (FFOV) in developed countries and 45% of FFOVs vehicles in other countries to HFCVs, with the H2 produced by steam-reforming of natural gas (SHFCVs). Simulations were conducted to examine the effect of converting the world’s FFOVs to HFCVs, where the H2 is produced by wind-powered electrolysis (WHFCVs). In all scenarios a 3% leakage of H2 consumed was assumed. Two new models were developed that provide the ability to ...
Date: December 31, 2010
Creator: Grieb, Thomas M.; Mills, W. B.; Jacobson, Mark Z.; Summers, Karen V. & Crossan, A. Brook
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department