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Conference “Hydrogen. Technology. Future”: Transition to hydrogen energetics must be economically justified and gradual

3 November 2021

Tomsk Polytechnic University hosted II Russian Conference “Hydrogen. Technology. Future”. The participants of the Hydrogen Technology Consortium discussed the prospects of development of hydrogen energetics, the need to conduct major studies for introduction of new technologies into industry and the importance of a balanced, gradual and economically justified transition to carbon-free economy.

The conference “Hydrogen. Technology. Future” was held under the auspices of the Hydrogen Technology Consortium, which includes Tomsk Polytechnic University, Boreskov Institute of Catalysis, Institute of Problems of Chemical Physics, Topchiev Institute of Petrochemical Synthesis, Ural Federal University, Sakhalin State University, Samara Polytechnic University, Institute of Oil and Gas Problems, Institute of High Current Electronics, Tomsk Science Center, Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science, Kazan State Power Engineering University, Kazan National Research Technological University, Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia, etc. The event was held on- and off-site and gathered almost 200 participants.

One of the purposes of the conference was to develop a map of technological competences in the area of hydrogen technologies that would be introduced into industry in future. The scientists from Boreskov Institute of Catalysis gave presentations on various subjects, including obtaining hydrogen from hydrocarbons and the methods of using the generated carbon, obtaining hydrogen by hydrolysis, technologies of accumulating hydrogen, materials for hydrogen cartridges as well as ammonia as a carrier of “pure” hydrogen.

On-site participants of the conference representing Boreskov Institute of Catalysis. Left to right: deputy director for science Dr. Aleksey Vedyagin, academic secretary of the Center of New Chemical Technologies BIC Dr. Dmitry Shlyapin, Dr. Ilya Mishakov, Dr. Aleksandr Nizovsky

The participants of the conference discussed the problems of hydrogen obtaining, the methods of its using, storage as well as the details of its transportation and influence on the gas transportation system.

“The problem of hydrogen transportation is rather serious. For example, we cannot just begin to use the existing gas-supplying infrastructure due to the phenomenon of hydrogen embrittlement (embrittlement of metal under the influence of hydrogen – editor’s note). Another problem is the explosiveness of hydrogen, which poses additional requirements and limitations on both equipment and technologies used”, say the participants of the round table “State of development of hydrogen technologies: from idea to introduction” held within the conference. “Hydrogen storage is also a problem. It condenses at temperatures below -250°C and such temperature is hard to reach and support. Still another problem is the loss of hydrogen during its storage and transportation, which can be solved by conversion of ortho-hydrogen into para-hydrogen. Besides, hydrogen can be stored in the form of various organic (aromatic) or inorganic compounds. A promising one among the latters is ammonia that contains 17% of hydrogen and is already widely used, for example, in nitrogen industry, for production of fertilizers. There are variants with the use of methanol as a liquid carrier of hydrogen. It is also possible to store hydrogen as solid substances – metal alloys.”

Participants of the round table “State of development of hydrogen technologies: from idea to introduction”

Participants of the conference agreed that there are quite a number of developments at the laboratory level, but it is necessary to attract large manufacturers and state that would finance the complex fundamental studies for creating safe hydrogen technologies and their scaling.

Leading researcher of Department of materials science and functional materials of Boreskov Institute of Catalysis Dr. Olga Netskina, academic secretary of the Center of New Chemical Technologies BIC Dr. Dmitry Shlyapin, and leading researcher of Department of materials science and functional materials BIC Dr. Ilya Mishakov

The scientists agree that there cannot be a sharp and complete transition to the hydrogen energetics and carbon-free economy, otherwise industry and economy in general would suffer. “It is impossible to completely transit to the hydrogen energetics – it would stop the functioning of certain industries. However, there are areas where the use of hydrogen technologies along with other renewable energy sources could be cost-effective. This means, first of all, the local power-supply systems based on the use of alternative energy sources. For example, it could be more profitable to build a wind turbine or solar panels in the remote regions than to bring hydrocarbon fuel there”, noted Dr. Vladimir Arutyunov of Semenov Federal Research Center for Chemical Physics.

Head of Laboratory of hydrocarbons oxidation of FRC CP, Professor of chair of gas chemistry of Gubkin University, Dr. Vladimir Arutyunov

Photos by BIC (1), press-service of TPU (2-4)



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