This paper aims at investigating clean hydrogen production from the large size (14 GW) hydroelectric power plant of Itaipu, located on the border between Paraguay and Brazil, the two countries that own and manage the plant. The hydrogen, produced by a water electrolysis process, is converted into ammonia through the well-known Haber-Bosch process. Hydraulic energy is employed to produce H-2 and N-2, respectively, from a large-scale electrolysis system and an air separation unit. An economic feasibility analysis is performed considering the low electrical energy price in this specific scenario and that Paraguay has strong excess of renewable electrical energy but presents a low penetration of electricity. The proposal is an alternative to increase the use of electricity in the country. Different plant sizes were investigated and, for each of them, ammonia production costs were determined and considered as a term of comparison with traditional ammonia synthesis plants, where H-2 is produced from methane steam reforming and then purified. The study was performed employing a software developed by the authors' research group at the University of Genoa. Finally, an energetic, environmental, and economic comparison with the standard production method from methane is presented.

Clean hydrogen and ammonia synthesis in paraguay from the Itaipu 14 GW hydroelectric plant

Rivarolo, M.;Magistri, L.;Massardo, A. F.
2019-01-01

Abstract

This paper aims at investigating clean hydrogen production from the large size (14 GW) hydroelectric power plant of Itaipu, located on the border between Paraguay and Brazil, the two countries that own and manage the plant. The hydrogen, produced by a water electrolysis process, is converted into ammonia through the well-known Haber-Bosch process. Hydraulic energy is employed to produce H-2 and N-2, respectively, from a large-scale electrolysis system and an air separation unit. An economic feasibility analysis is performed considering the low electrical energy price in this specific scenario and that Paraguay has strong excess of renewable electrical energy but presents a low penetration of electricity. The proposal is an alternative to increase the use of electricity in the country. Different plant sizes were investigated and, for each of them, ammonia production costs were determined and considered as a term of comparison with traditional ammonia synthesis plants, where H-2 is produced from methane steam reforming and then purified. The study was performed employing a software developed by the authors' research group at the University of Genoa. Finally, an energetic, environmental, and economic comparison with the standard production method from methane is presented.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11567/1101374
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