Hydrogen Production

Recommendation [4-2]. DOE should conduct a systematic review of the CCS program as it affects the schedule for and program assumptions about hydrogen production from coal. This review should identify indicators of incipient program slippage and, through systems analysis, the program consequences of possible delays, leading to recommendations for management actions that would compensate for these delays.

Recommendation [4-3]. Like the hydrogen production from coal option, the Hydrogen, Fuel Cell and Infrastructure Technology (HFCIT) program should actively employ the liaison mechanisms put in place since the Phase 1 review. However, the exploratory nature of the programs for nuclear production suggests that, unlike the coal option, a detailed systems analysis of schedule delays would be premature at this time. Instead, systems analyses should focus on the complex interactions among program components, especially between the research elements of the nuclear and chemical processes, to ensure that technical progress in each distinct area leads ultimately to a practical system.

Recommendation [4-4]. The DOE should continue to promote electrolysis that uses renewable power integrated with electrolysis systems and to support analyses and demonstrations. High-temperature electrolysis activities within the Office of Nuclear Energy should be closely monitored.

Recommendation [4-5]. The Partnership should increase funding for electrolysis programs to advance the technology, demonstrations, and systems integration.

Recommendation [4-6]. Basic Energy Sciences should support, as appropriate, fundamental research in the area of catalysts, membranes, coatings, and new concepts.

Recommendation [4-7]. DOE should undertake a systems study to determine how best to use wind power–electrolysis combinations to generate hydrogen, considering overall cost and efficiency.

Recommendation [4-8]. The committee recommends that DOE projections of future hydrogen production for hydrogen-powered vehicles include scenarios in which the timetable for commercial quantities of these fuels is delayed, perhaps by as much as a decade.

Recommendation [4-9]. DOE should give priority to completing process development on biomass gasification, including any needed demonstration projects.

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