Onboard Hydrogen Production from LNG: Wärtsilä and Hycamite Partner - India Renewable Energy Consulting – Solar, Biomass, Wind, Cleantech
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Onboard Hydrogen Production from LNG: Wärtsilä and Hycamite Partner

Here’s an article posted in Green Car Congress.

According to the article,

Top management consulting experts for Bio-energy, EV, Solar, Green Hydrogen

  • Wärtsilä and Hycamite TCD Technologies enter joint development agreement
  • Cost-effective onboard hydrogen production from LNG on marine vessels
  • Concept design ready by mid-2023, prototype testing unit by second half of 2024
  • Reduces carbon dioxide and methane slip emissions

Here’s a detailed breakdown of the process and its key components:

  1. Thermo-Catalytic Decomposition (TCD) of Methane:
    • TCD technology involves subjecting methane to high temperatures in the presence of a catalyst to induce a chemical reaction that breaks down methane molecules.
    • The specific catalysts and operating conditions used in TCD facilitate the decomposition of methane into hydrogen and solid carbon. These catalysts are often tailored to optimize reaction efficiency and product yields.
  2. Hydrogen Production:
    • Methane (CH₄) undergoes thermo-catalytic decomposition to produce hydrogen (H₂) and solid carbon (C).
    • The chemical reaction can be represented as follows: CH₄ → H₂ + C
    • Hydrogen produced through this process is considered clean and can be utilized as a fuel for various applications, including powering fuel cells onboard marine vessels.
  3. Solid Carbon Production:
    • As a by-product of the TCD process, solid carbon is generated alongside hydrogen.
    • Unlike conventional technologies that produce carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions, the solid carbon produced here consists of high-grade allotropes such as industrial graphite and carbon nanotubes.
    • These high-grade carbon materials offer potential additional revenue streams and can be stored and managed onboard more easily than gaseous emissions like CO₂.
  4. Integration with Wärtsilä’s LNGPac Fuel Gas Supply System:
    • The developed technology is designed to seamlessly integrate with Wärtsilä’s LNGPac Fuel Gas Supply System, which is already established in marine applications.
    • By combining hydrogen production with LNG infrastructure, the solution allows for efficient utilization of existing resources while reducing the vessel’s overall carbon dioxide and methane slip emissions.
    • Alternatively, the hydrogen produced can be utilized in fuel cells onboard, offering an additional clean energy option for propulsion.
  5. Application and Benefits:
    • The technology is applicable to all vessels operating with LNG fuel, offering a versatile solution for decarbonizing marine transportation.
    • When utilized with bioLNG, the solution enables power generation onboard ships with a negative carbon footprint, further enhancing its environmental benefits.
    • The ability to produce hydrogen onboard addresses the challenges associated with the lack of an existing hydrogen supply infrastructure, as well as safety concerns related to storing and handling liquid hydrogen.
    • Overall, the collaboration between Wärtsilä and Hycamite represents a significant step forward in advancing sustainable marine fuel technologies and reducing the environmental impact of shipping operations.

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About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.


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