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Special Issue "Hydrogen Economy: Technology and Social Issue"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 December 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yuya Kajikawa

Department of Innovation Science, Department of Technology and Innovation Management, School of Environment and Society, Tokyo Institute of Technology 3-3-6 Shibaura, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 108-0023, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +81-3-3454-8754
Interests: management of technology and innovation; energy; policy; engineering; transdisciplinary research
Guest Editor
Dr. Yuki Kudoh

Research Institute of Science for Safety and Sustainability, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, 16-1 Onogawa, Tsukuba 305-8569 Japan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +81-29-861-8032
Interests: energy systems analysis; life cycle assessment; sustainability assessment; technology assessment
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yasunori Kikuchi

Organization for Interdisciplinary Research Project, the University of Tokyo, Ito International Research Center, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +81-3-5841-1596
Interests: process system engineering; life cycle engineering; simulation-based scenario analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Hydrogen energy has been a controversial issue. Hydrogen is expected to be an alternative energy carrier, which can absorb fluctuations of electrical supply from renewable energies, such as photovoltaic cell and wind turbine, and can also be utilized in high-energy efficiency devices, such as fuel cells and hydrogen turbines. Despite tremendous efforts and publications on hydrogen energy technologies, there are still issues to be discussed and solved for the realization of a full-scale hydrogen economy.

This Special Issue covers a wide range of hydrogen technologies, such as hydrogen production, storage and transportation, and utilization. It will include gasification of fossil fuels and biomass, electrolyzers, fuel cells, fuel cell electric vehicles, etc., and their integrated systems. We welcome papers that comprehensively and critically examine the advantages and disadvantages, current problems, and future perspectives of technologies and systems.

We also invite papers dealing with, not only the technological aspects of hydrogen technologies, but also economic, industrial, and social issues. We welcome papers that design and assess hydrogen supply chains and energy systems with quantitative methodologies, including life cycle assessment and economic modeling. We also welcome papers dealing with qualitative aspects. Examples are case studies of social issues relating implementation of hydrogen energy system, transition management of energy systems, innovation ecosystems and the management of technology and innovation.

Topics of interests include, but are not limited to:

  • State-of-the-art of hydrogen energy technologies;
  • Life cycle assessment of energy technologies and systems;
  • Economic modeling of hydrogen energy systems;
  • Social issues relating implementation of hydrogen energy systems;
  • Transition management of energy systems;
  • Innovation ecosystem and management of technology and innovation.

Prof. Dr. Yuya Kajikawa
Dr. Yuki Kudoh
Prof. Dr. Yasunori Kikuchi
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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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

  • hydrogen economy
  • hydrogen energy
  • technology assessment
  • system design and modeling
  • technology and innovation management

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Environmental and Socio-Economic Analysis of Naphtha Reforming Hydrogen Energy Using Input-Output Tables: A Case Study from Japan
Sustainability 2017, 9(8), 1376; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9081376
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 31 July 2017 / Accepted: 1 August 2017 / Published: 4 August 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (907 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Comprehensive risk assessment across multiple fields is required to assess the potential utility of hydrogen energy technology. In this research, we analyzed environmental and socio-economic effects during the entire life cycle of a hydrogen energy system using input-output tables. The target system included
[...] Read more.
Comprehensive risk assessment across multiple fields is required to assess the potential utility of hydrogen energy technology. In this research, we analyzed environmental and socio-economic effects during the entire life cycle of a hydrogen energy system using input-output tables. The target system included hydrogen production by naphtha reforming, transportation to hydrogen stations, and FCV (Fuel Cell Vehicle) refilling. The results indicated that 31%, 44%, and 9% of the production, employment, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emission effects, respectively, during the manufacturing and construction stages were temporary. During the continuous operation and maintenance stages, these values were found to be 69%, 56%, and 91%, respectively. The effect of naphtha reforming was dominant in GHG emissions and the effect of electrical power input on the entire system was significant. Production and employment had notable effects in both the direct and indirect sectors, including manufacturing (pumps, compressors, and chemical machinery) and services (equipment maintenance and trade). This study used data to introduce a life cycle perspective to environmental and socio-economic analysis of hydrogen energy systems and the results will contribute to their comprehensive risk assessment in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy: Technology and Social Issue)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Uncertainties of Well-To-Tank Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Hydrogen Supply Chains
Sustainability 2017, 9(7), 1101; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9071101
Received: 31 May 2017 / Revised: 16 June 2017 / Accepted: 21 June 2017 / Published: 23 June 2017
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (5150 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier in the clean energy systems currently being developed. However, its effectiveness in mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires conducting a lifecycle analysis of the process by which hydrogen is produced and supplied. This study focuses on the
[...] Read more.
Hydrogen is a promising energy carrier in the clean energy systems currently being developed. However, its effectiveness in mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions requires conducting a lifecycle analysis of the process by which hydrogen is produced and supplied. This study focuses on the hydrogen for the transport sector, in particular renewable hydrogen that is produced from wind- or solar PV-powered electrolysis. A life cycle inventory analysis is conducted to evaluate the Well-to-Tank (WtT) GHG emissions from various renewable hydrogen supply chains. The stages of the supply chains include hydrogen being produced overseas, converted into a transportable hydrogen carrier (liquid hydrogen or methylcyclohexane), imported to Japan by sea, distributed to hydrogen filling stations, restored from the hydrogen carrier to hydrogen and filled into fuel cell vehicles. For comparison, an analysis is also carried out with hydrogen produced by steam reforming of natural gas. Foreground data related to the hydrogen supply chains are collected by literature surveys and the Japanese life cycle inventory database is used as the background data. The analysis results indicate that some of renewable hydrogen supply chains using liquid hydrogen exhibited significantly lower WtT GHG emissions than those of a supply chain of hydrogen produced by reforming of natural gas. A significant piece of the work is to consider the impacts of variations in the energy and material inputs by performing a probabilistic uncertainty analysis. This suggests that the production of renewable hydrogen, its liquefaction, the dehydrogenation of methylcyclohexane and the compression of hydrogen at the filling station are the GHG-intensive stages in the target supply chains. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy: Technology and Social Issue)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Analysis of Trends and Emerging Technologies in Water Electrolysis Research Based on a Computational Method: A Comparison with Fuel Cell Research
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 478; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020478
Received: 31 December 2017 / Revised: 31 January 2018 / Accepted: 7 February 2018 / Published: 11 February 2018
PDF Full-text (2306 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Water electrolysis for hydrogen production has received increasing attention, especially for accumulating renewable energy. Here, we comprehensively reviewed all water electrolysis research areas through computational analysis, using a citation network to objectively detect emerging technologies and provide interdisciplinary data for forecasting trends. The
[...] Read more.
Water electrolysis for hydrogen production has received increasing attention, especially for accumulating renewable energy. Here, we comprehensively reviewed all water electrolysis research areas through computational analysis, using a citation network to objectively detect emerging technologies and provide interdisciplinary data for forecasting trends. The results show that all research areas increase their publication counts per year, and the following two areas are particularly increasing in terms of number of publications: “microbial electrolysis” and “catalysts in an alkaline water electrolyzer (AWE) and in a polymer electrolyte membrane water electrolyzer (PEME).”. Other research areas, such as AWE and PEME systems, solid oxide electrolysis, and the whole renewable energy system, have recently received several review papers, although papers that focus on specific technologies and are cited frequently have not been published within the citation network. This indicates that these areas receive attention, but there are no novel technologies that are the center of the citation network. Emerging technologies detected within these research areas are presented in this review. Furthermore, a comparison with fuel cell research is conducted because water electrolysis is the reverse reaction to fuel cells, and similar technologies are employed in both areas. Technologies that are not transferred between fuel cells and water electrolysis are introduced, and future water electrolysis trends are discussed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy: Technology and Social Issue)
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Open AccessReview Comprehensive Analysis of Trends and Emerging Technologies in All Types of Fuel Cells Based on a Computational Method
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 458; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020458
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 2 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 February 2018 / Published: 9 February 2018
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3049 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fuel cells have been attracting significant attention recently as highly efficient and eco-friendly energy generators. Here, we have comprehensively reviewed all types of fuel cells using computational analysis based on a citation network that detects emerging technologies objectively and provides interdisciplinary data to
[...] Read more.
Fuel cells have been attracting significant attention recently as highly efficient and eco-friendly energy generators. Here, we have comprehensively reviewed all types of fuel cells using computational analysis based on a citation network that detects emerging technologies objectively and provides interdisciplinary data to compare trends. This comparison shows that the technologies of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and electrolytes in polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) are at the mature stage, whereas those of biofuel cells (BFCs) and catalysts in PEFCs are currently garnering attention. It does not mean, however, that the challenges of SOFCs and PEFC electrolytes have been overcome. SOFCs need to be operated at lower temperatures, approximately 500 °C. Electrolytes in PEFCs still suffer from a severe decrease in proton conductivity at low relative humidity and from their high cost. Catalysts in PEFCs are becoming attractive as means to reduce the platinum catalyst cost. The emerging technologies in PEFC catalysts are mainly heteroatom-doped graphene/carbon nanotubes for metal-free catalysts and supports for iron- or cobalt-based catalysts. BFCs have also received attention for wastewater treatment and as miniaturized energy sources. Of particular interest in BFCs are membrane reactors in microbial fuel cells and membrane-less enzymatic biofuel cells. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydrogen Economy: Technology and Social Issue)
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