Project at a Glance

Title: The development of lifecycle data for hydrogen fuel production and delivery

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Miller, Marshall

Contractor: UC Davis

Contract Number: 14-318

Research Program Area: Climate Change

Topic Areas: Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Mobile Sources & Fuels, Stationary Sources


The Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) currently includes several pathways for hydrogen (H2) fuels. This project was developed to provide LCFS staff with 118 additional pathways for the production of renewable hydrogen and an evaluation of renewable hydrogen production technologies anticipated to be available in the short, mid and long term timeframes. The conversion technologies addressed in the study included thermal processes, electrolytic processes, photolytic processes, and biochemical processes. A lifecycle analysis using the CA-GREET Tier 2 model was performed on a subset of the production technologies for both centralized and distributed pathways. An economic analysis using the H2A model was performed on these pathways. The resulting GHG emissions (gCO2e/MJ H2) and hydrogen cost ($/.kg) are reported. Sensitivity analyses were performed for both cost and emissions. A review of the potential to inject hydrogen into natural gas pipelines for distribution was also performed. The review considered issues such as safety, hydrogen leakage, embrittlement of pipelines, general risk, and extraction of hydrogen. The potential hydrogen demand from non-transportation fuel cell markets was estimated over a ten year timeframe. Specific markets considered were material handlers (forklifts), transport refrigeration units (TRUs), airport ground support equipment, and telecommunications backup power.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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