Special Issue "Hydrogen Economy Technologies"

A special issue of Clean Technologies (ISSN 2571-8797).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Damien Guilbert
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Group of Research in Electrical Engineering of Nancy (GREEN), Université de Lorraine, GREEN, F-54000 Nancy, France
Interests: power electronics; fuel cells and electrolyzer systems; modeling and emulation of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) electrolyzers; fault-tolerant DC/DC converters for fuel cell/photovoltaic/electrolyzer applications; fault-tolerant control for fuel cell/electrolyzer systems; energy management of multisource systems based on renewable energy sources and hydrogen buffer storage
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Gianpaolo Vitale
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for High Performance Computing and Networking, National Research Council, 90146 Palermo, Italy
Interests: power electronics; renewable energy sources; electromagnetic compatibility; electric vehicles; storage systems; artificial intelligence applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, the use of hydrogen as a fuel supply for transportation, heating, and seasonal energy storage for a future decarbonized energy system has gained growing interest from researchers and industry.

As opposed to hydrogen produced by electrolyzers in which electricity is based on coal, which is often termed “black” hydrogen, hydrogen obtained by electricity from renewable energy sources is opening new perspectives as a clean energy carrier. It can be utilized in fuel cells and vehicles by suitable power handling systems. For electrolyzer and fuel cell applications, DC/DC converters must meet several challenging issues, such as energy efficiency, low or high conversion ratios, and current ripple reduction. Furthermore, the availability and reliability of power converters remain major concerns so that multi-source systems based on RES and hydrogen technologies can guarantee a high-level of autonomy in case of electrical failures.

Electric vehicles can use hydrogen to supply fuel cells, which increase their autonomy compared to battery powered vehicles. Alternatively, hydrogen can be exploited directly by internal combustion engines. In any case, some challenges related to storage, transportation, and safety have to be addressed. The advantage of fuel storage can be obtained by increasing the pressure of hydrogen gas, but this requires suitable tanks. Transportation infrastructure could be optimized by producing hydrogen locally, but suitably designed filling stations are needed. Finally, appropriate safety measures are required to keep hydrogen hazards to a minimum. Only by improving technologies will hydrogen be introduced as a safe and sustainable energy carrier.

This Special Issue aims at attracting original high-quality papers and review articles focused on technologies related to the production, use, and storage of hydrogen.

Prospective authors may submit contributions dealing with, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Power converter topologies for electrolyzers and fuel cells;
  • Fault-tolerant topologies and controls for fuel cells and electrolyzers;
  • Impacts of power electronics systems on fuel cell and electrolyzer operating behavior;
  • Control of power converter topologies;
  • Reliability of hydrogen production plants;
  • New solutions for storage and transportation;
  • Integration with different energy storage systems;
  • Impacts of hydrogen on economy and life-style;
  • Life cycle assessment from cradle to grave;
  • Knowledge transfer from research to education and training;
  • Knowledge dissemination for public acceptance of a hydrogen economy;
  • Near and long term strategies.

Submit your paper and select the Journal “Clean Technologies” and the Special Issue “Hydrogen Economy Technologies” via: https://susy.mdpi.com/user/manuscripts/upload?journal=cleantechnol. Please contact the guest editor or the journal editor ([email protected]) for any queries.

Dr. Damien Guilbert
Prof. Dr. Gianpaolo Vitale
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Clean Technologies is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fuel cell
  • electrolyzer
  • power electronics
  • hydrogen economy
  • reliability
  • storage
  • transportation
  • electric vehicles
  • life cycle assessment
  • hydrogen integration

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Article
Hybrid Hydrogen–PV–e-Mobility Industrial Energy Community Concept—A Technology Feasibility Study
Clean Technol. 2021, 3(4), 670-684; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol3040040 - 22 Sep 2021
Viewed by 731
Abstract
As renewable energy sources are spreading, the problems of energy usage, transport and storage arise more frequently. In order that the performance of energy producing units from renewable sources, which have a relatively low efficiency, should not be decreased further, and to promote [...] Read more.
As renewable energy sources are spreading, the problems of energy usage, transport and storage arise more frequently. In order that the performance of energy producing units from renewable sources, which have a relatively low efficiency, should not be decreased further, and to promote sustainable energy consumption solutions, a living lab conception was elaborated in this project. At the pilot site, the produced energy (by PV panels, gas turbines/engines) is stored in numerous ways, including hydrogen production. The following uses of hydrogen are explored: (i) feeding it into the national natural gas network; (ii) selling it at a H-CNG (compressed natural gas) filling station; (iii) using it in fuel cells to produce electricity. This article introduces the overall implementation plan, which can serve as a model for the hybrid energy communities to be established in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy Technologies)
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Article
Multiphysics Design of Pet-Coke Burner and Hydrogen Production by Applying Methane Steam Reforming System
Clean Technol. 2021, 3(1), 260-287; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol3010015 - 17 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1496
Abstract
Pet-coke (petroleum coke) is identified as a carbon-rich and black-colored solid. Despite the environmental risks posed by the exploitation of pet-coke, it is mostly applied as a boiling and combusting fuel in power generation, and cement production plants. It is considered as a [...] Read more.
Pet-coke (petroleum coke) is identified as a carbon-rich and black-colored solid. Despite the environmental risks posed by the exploitation of pet-coke, it is mostly applied as a boiling and combusting fuel in power generation, and cement production plants. It is considered as a promising replacement for coal power plants because of its higher heating value, carbon content, and low ash. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computational model of methane steam reforming was developed in this research. The hydrogen production system is composed from a pet-coke burner and a catalyst bed reactor. The heat released, produced by the pet-coke combustion, was utilized for convective and radiative heating of the catalyst bed for maintaining the steam reforming reaction of methane into hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This computational algorithm is composed of three steps—simulation of pet-coke combustion by using fire dynamics simulator (FDS) software coupled with thermal structural analysis of the burner lining and a multiphysics computation of the methane steam reforming (MSR) process taking place inside the catalyst bed. The structural analysis of the burner lining was carried out by coupling the solutions of heat conduction equation, Darcy porous media steam flow equation, and structural mechanics equation. In order to validate the gaseous temperature and carbon monoxide mole fraction obtained by FDS calculation, a comparison was carried out with the literature results. The maximal temperature obtained from the combustion simulation was about 1440 °C. The calculated temperature is similar to the temperature reported, which is also close to 1400 °C. The maximal carbon dioxide mole fraction reading was 15.0%. COMSOL multi-physics software solves simultaneously the catalyst media fluid flow, heat, and mass with chemical reaction kinetics transport equations of the methane steam reforming catalyst bed reactor. The methane conversion is about 27%. The steam and the methane decay along the catalyst bed reactor at the same slope. Similar values have been reported in the literature for MSR temperature of 510 °C. The hydrogen mass fraction was increased by 98.4%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy Technologies)
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Article
Kalman Filter-Based Real-Time Implementable Optimization of the Fuel Efficiency of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Clean Technol. 2021, 3(1), 206-226; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol3010012 - 01 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 957
Abstract
The electric power characteristic of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) depends on numerous influencing factors. These are the mass flow of supplied hydrogen, the temperature distribution in the interior of the fuel cell stack, the temperatures of the supplied reaction media at the [...] Read more.
The electric power characteristic of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) depends on numerous influencing factors. These are the mass flow of supplied hydrogen, the temperature distribution in the interior of the fuel cell stack, the temperatures of the supplied reaction media at the anode and cathode, and—most importantly—the electric current. Describing all of these dependencies by means of analytic system models is almost impossible. Therefore, it is reasonable to identify these dependencies by means of stochastic filter techniques. One possible option is the use of Kalman filters to find locally valid approximations of the power characteristics. These can then be employed for numerous online purposes of dynamically operated fuel cells such as maximum power point tracking or the maximization of the fuel efficiency. In the latter case, it has to be ensured that the fuel cell operation is restricted to the regime of Ohmic polarization. This aspect is crucial to avoid fuel starvation phenomena which may not only lead to an inefficient system operation but also to accelerated degradation. In this paper, a Kalman filter-based, real-time implementable optimization of the fuel efficiency is proposed for SOFCs which accounts for the aforementioned feasibility constraints. Essentially, the proposed strategy consists of two phases. First, the parameters of an approximation of the electric power characteristic are estimated. The measurable arguments of this function are the hydrogen mass flow and the electric stack current. In a second stage, these inputs are optimized so that a desired stack power is attained in an optimal way. Simulation results are presented which show the robustness of the proposed technique against inaccuracies in the a-priori knowledge about the power characteristics. For a numerical validation, three different models of the electric power characteristic are considered: (i) a static neural network input/output model, (ii) a first-order dynamic system representation and (iii) the combination of a static neural network model with a low-order fractional differential equation model representing transient phases during changes between different electric operating points. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy Technologies)
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Review

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Review
Hydrogen as a Clean and Sustainable Energy Vector for Global Transition from Fossil-Based to Zero-Carbon
Clean Technol. 2021, 3(4), 881-909; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol3040051 - 20 Dec 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
Hydrogen is recognized as a promising and attractive energy carrier to decarbonize the sectors responsible for global warming, such as electricity production, industry, and transportation. However, although hydrogen releases only water as a result of its reaction with oxygen through a fuel cell, [...] Read more.
Hydrogen is recognized as a promising and attractive energy carrier to decarbonize the sectors responsible for global warming, such as electricity production, industry, and transportation. However, although hydrogen releases only water as a result of its reaction with oxygen through a fuel cell, the hydrogen production pathway is currently a challenging issue since hydrogen is produced mainly from thermochemical processes (natural gas reforming, coal gasification). On the other hand, hydrogen production through water electrolysis has attracted a lot of attention as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using low-carbon sources such as renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro) and nuclear energy. In this context, by providing an environmentally-friendly fuel instead of the currently-used fuels (unleaded petrol, gasoline, kerosene), hydrogen can be used in various applications such as transportation (aircraft, boat, vehicle, and train), energy storage, industry, medicine, and power-to-gas. This article aims to provide an overview of the main hydrogen applications (including present and future) while examining funding and barriers to building a prosperous future for the nation by addressing all the critical challenges met in all energy sectors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy Technologies)
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Review
Bio-Hydrogen Production from Wastewater: A Comparative Study of Low Energy Intensive Production Processes
Clean Technol. 2021, 3(1), 156-182; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol3010010 - 18 Feb 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1772
Abstract
Billions of litres of wastewater are produced daily from domestic and industrial areas, and whilst wastewater is often perceived as a problem, it has the potential to be viewed as a rich source for resources and energy. Wastewater contains between four and five [...] Read more.
Billions of litres of wastewater are produced daily from domestic and industrial areas, and whilst wastewater is often perceived as a problem, it has the potential to be viewed as a rich source for resources and energy. Wastewater contains between four and five times more energy than is required to treat it, and is a potential source of bio-hydrogen—a clean energy vector, a feedstock chemical and a fuel, widely recognised to have a role in the decarbonisation of the future energy system. This paper investigates sustainable, low-energy intensive routes for hydrogen production from wastewater, critically analysing five technologies, namely photo-fermentation, dark fermentation, photocatalysis, microbial photo electrochemical processes and microbial electrolysis cells (MECs). The paper compares key parameters influencing H2 production yield, such as pH, temperature and reactor design, summarises the state of the art in each area, and highlights the scale-up technical challenges. In addition to H2 production, these processes can be used for partial wastewater remediation, providing at least 45% reduction in chemical oxygen demand (COD), and are suitable for integration into existing wastewater treatment plants. Key advancements in lab-based research are included, highlighting the potential for each technology to contribute to the development of clean energy. Whilst there have been efforts to scale dark fermentation, electro and photo chemical technologies are still at the early stages of development (Technology Readiness Levels below 4); therefore, pilot plants and demonstrators sited at wastewater treatment facilities are needed to assess commercial viability. As such, a multidisciplinary approach is needed to overcome the current barriers to implementation, integrating expertise in engineering, chemistry and microbiology with the commercial experience of both water and energy sectors. The review concludes by highlighting MECs as a promising technology, due to excellent system modularity, good hydrogen yield (3.6–7.9 L/L/d from synthetic wastewater) and the potential to remove up to 80% COD from influent streams. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy Technologies)
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Review
Hydrogen Is Promising for Medical Applications
Clean Technol. 2020, 2(4), 529-541; https://doi.org/10.3390/cleantechnol2040033 - 16 Dec 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1851
Abstract
Hydrogen (H2) is promising as an energy source for the next generation. Medical applications using H2 gas can be also considered as a clean and economical technology. Since the H2 gas based on electrolysis of water production has potential [...] Read more.
Hydrogen (H2) is promising as an energy source for the next generation. Medical applications using H2 gas can be also considered as a clean and economical technology. Since the H2 gas based on electrolysis of water production has potential to expand the medical applications, the technology has been developed in order to safely dilute it and to supply it to the living body by inhalation, respectively. H2 is an inert molecule which can scavenge the highly active oxidants including hydroxyl radical (·OH) and peroxynitrite (ONOO), and which can convert them into water. H2 is clean and causes no adverse effects in the body. The mechanism of H2 is different from that of traditional drugs because it works on the root of many diseases. Since H2 has extensive and various effects, it may be called a “wide spectrum molecule” on diseases. In this paper, we reviewed the current medical applications of H2 including its initiation and development, and we also proposed its prospective medical applications. Due to its marked efficacy and no adverse effects, H2 will be a next generation therapy candidate for medical applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy Technologies)
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