Emissions, Gas, New Projects, News

Green hydrogen plant gasifying recycled paper waste planned for southern California city

A California city and a global energy company are teaming up to develop a massive “green hydrogen” project together.

The city of Lancaster and SGH2 are partnering to build a facility which could produce up to 11,000 kg of green hydrogen per day, which the company says will be three times the output of any other built or planned green hydrogen production site in the world. Green hydrogen is produced by non-fossil resources.

The SGH2 Lancaster plant will use recycled mixed paper waste to fuel the energy intensive conversion process. The plant will be co-owned by the city and company under a memorandum of understanding completed recently.

“As the world, and our city, cope with the coronavirus crisis, we are looking for ways to ensure a better future. We know a circular economy with renewable energy is the path, and we have positioned ourselves to be the alternative energy capital of the world. That’s why our partnership with SGH2 is so important,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.“This is game-changing technology. It not only solves our air quality and climate challenges by producing pollution-free hydrogen. It also solves our plastics and waste problems by turning them into green hydrogen, and does it cleaner and at costs far lower than any other green hydrogen producer.”

Developed by NASA scientist Dr. Salvador Camacho and SGH2 CEO Robert T. Do, a biophysicist and physician, SGH2’s proprietary technology gasifies any kind of waste – from plastic to paper and from tires to textiles – to make hydrogen. The technology has been vetted and validated, technically and financially, by leading global institutions including the US Export-Import Bank, Barclays and Deutsche Bank, and Shell New Energies’ gasification experts.

“The world needs some good news right now, and we have it. Affordable, mass-produced, reliable green hydrogen is the missing link needed to decarbonize the world,” Do said. “We provide that link. We are the only company in the world delivering green hydrogen that is cost competitive with the cheapest, dirtiest hydrogen made from coal and gas, and much less expensive than other green hydrogen. Our technology can scale quickly and produce fuel 24/7, year-round.”

The city of Lancaster has guaranteed to supply feedstock for the plant which will process 42,000 tons of recycled waste annually, according to the news release. The city could save up between $50 to $75 per ton in landfill costs.

The company is in negotiations with California owners and operators of hydrogen refueling stations on purchasing the plant’s output.

Hydrogen does not produce carbon emissions when it’s burned in gas turbines. It also can used in transportation and industrial processes.

Many OEMs from Mitsubishi to GE, Siemens, Ansaldo, Caterpillar and MAN Engine Solutions are working on hydrogen-fired technologies.

 “Countries around the world are waking up to the critical role green hydrogen can play in increasing energy security and lowering greenhouse gas emissions. But, until now, it has been too expensive to adopt at scale,” said Hanna Breunig, PhD, of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Sustainable Energy Systems Group.

Global companies and institutions working with SGH2 and the city of Lancaster on the project include Fluor, the Berkley Lab, University of California-Berkeley, Thermosolv, Integrity Engineers, HyetHydrogen and Hexagon. EPC contractor Fluor will provide front end engineering and design for the green hydrogen project.

The project could be completed by late 2021. The city of Lancaster is located within the Antelope Valley in northern Los Angeles County.

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Methods and plans for hydrogen in the generation mix will be part of the Lowering Carbon with Thermal Power track at the POWERGEN International conference workshops. POWERGEN will be in Orlando, Florida.