Water plays a crucial role in the energy transition with green hydrogen. DECHEMA's Water-for-X roadmap focuses on rectifying the global imbalance between hydrogen demand and water supply
Florian Ausfelder, Dominik Blaumeiser, Chokri Boumrifak, Daniel Frank, Maximilian Kotzur, Andres Lucht Uribe, Thomas Track
Secure and affordable energy is needed to achieve the European Commission’s Green Deal vision of a climate-neutral economy. In the context of political and economic stability, resilience is an additional global driver. The energy transition will involve new process designs, e.g. using renewable electricity directly instead of fossil fuels. On the other hand, there will be a high demand for converted and stored energy carriers based on (renewable) power such as hydrogen, gas, and kerosene, which are also known as Power-to-X (PtX) products.
A key contribution for the defossilization of our energy consumption will come from PtX technologies. The first step within these value-chains involves the generation of hydrogen via electrolysis. This hydrogen is then used directly or is utilized to produce other carbon- or nitrogen-based follow-up products. Thus, PtX processes depend heavily on the availability of highly purified water. Not only to produce hydrogen itself, but also for heat transfer via steam, as cooling water, and for cleaning. Additionally, process water is generated during the further production of other chemical products (kerosine, methanol, methane, etc.).
[Water-for-X - The Water Management Shells for the Hydrogen Economy]
The interdependence of the management of water and energy is noted to date but not specifically addressed. While freshwater resources worldwide are already being overexploited, the global (green) energy transition will place additional stress on the water bodies and the water-intensive industry (read more). The more hydrogen-based sustainable energy carriers we require, the more we put the resource of water at risk.
“Water-for-X”, as a concept for addressing the aforementioned issues is designed to:
The Water-for-X concept is essential for sustainable and secure energy transition as an integrated, sustainable water management is indispensable for successful PtX solutions. Starting from the 2010s, DECHEMA provides both expertise on PtX processes in interaction with water management. Thus, the roadmap is formalising the “Water-for-X” approach, provides the basis for his broad implementation and highlights its importance for a sustainable application of PtX technologies.
DECHEMA bridges the gap between hydrogen & PtX processes and water management with its comprehensive expertise. With our extensive project experience, we assist you in planning and implementation. If we have piqued your interest and you wish to contribute to the development of the roadmap please register here.