Economic assessment of solar-based hydrogen for methanol production


Sustainable Energy Research Group (SERG), School of Mechanical Engineering, Iran University of Science and Technology, Tehran, Iran


The climate change crisis has urged societies to take action for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon neutral fuel is one of the proposed solutions to achieve this goal. Carbon neutral fuel is the product of captured CO2 with different methods such as direct air capture, sea water-absorbent, and power plant chimneys, and reformed through reactions with hydrogen under high temperatures and pressures. Methane, Methanol, E-diesel and Dimethyl Ether are some fuels that can be made through these processes. With this renewable fossil fuel, there will be no need for building new infrastructures, and it saves tons of money and mitigates greenhouse gas emissions resulting in higher GDP and life quality in the long term. Since there must be no added CO2 emissions within the whole process of carbon-neutral fuel production, to fulfill carbon neutrality, the hydrogen component should be produced from renewable energy sources like solar, wind or geothermal. This paper presents an economic assessment of the solar-based hydrogen for green methanol production. The results show that the levelized cost of solar-based hydrogen is dramatically higher than fossil-based hydrogen due to lack of investments in the renewable energy section in Iran. With a solar-based hydrogen price of $28.1/kg, green methanol price is evaluated $19159/mt.


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