Photo: Photo: Shell logo; Source: Navingo

DOE picks Shell-led consortium to prove LH2 storage technology

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected Shell-led consortium to demonstrate the feasibility and cost-effectiveness of large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage tank.

DOE picks Shell-led consortium to prove feasibility LH2 storage tech
Photo: Shell logo; Source: Navingo

For the future energy system, it is of crucial importance that an effective hydrogen supply chain is established. This includes the ability to transport hydrogen between countries via pipelines and ships.

The consortium is to demonstrate that a large-scale LH2 tank, with a capacity ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 cubic metres, is both feasible and cost-competitive at import and export terminals. They will collaborate to develop a technically innovative and economically viable concept design for the large-scale LH2 storage tank.

Additionally, the group will engineer and construct a scaled-down demonstration tank that will be tested to validate the feasibility of the design and the thermal model for commercial-scale design.

The DOE has awarded $6 million to finance the project. Shell and CB&I Storage Solutions will also both provide an additional $3 million each. To sum up, the total project fund is $12 million.

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The consortium for LH2

The partners, besides Shell, include McDermott‘s CB&I Storage Solutions, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, GenH2, and the University of Houston. Specifically, the roles are:

  • Shell will lead the project and provide guidance on hydrogen supply chain and safety;
  • CB&I Storage Solutions will provide engineering, design and LH2 construction storage expertise;
  • GenH2 will design and manufacture one of the world’s most advanced thermal testing devices, known as Cryostat-900;
  • NASA will work closely with GenH2 on novel testing development;
  • The University of Houston will focus their efforts on the creation of detailed thermal models of the proposed insulation systems.

“A cost-effective, long-range hydrogen supply chain can have a transformative impact in shaping a sustainable future for energy,” said Yuri Sebregts of Shell. “Our consortium recognizes that this project can become a cornerstone in making that future possible. It’s a sizable engineering challenge—but we have the right people, partners and outlook to deliver this first-of-its-kind LH2 storage technology.”

This project wants to advance the U.S. as a global energy leader in LH2-based international supply chain development. It also wants to facilitate the commercialization of both blue and green hydrogen export opportunities.

In conclusion, this will support the goals of the DOE [email protected] and Hydrogen Shot initiatives, bringing stakeholders together to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen.