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international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

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Evaluation of hydrogen production methods using


the Analytic Hierarchy Process
Petros A. Pilavachi*, Anatoli I. Chatzipanagi, Antonia I. Spyropoulou
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Western Macedonia, 50100 Kozani, Greece

article info

abstract

Article history:

In this paper, seven common hydrogen production processes are evaluated using the

Received 18 February 2009

Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) in respect to five criteria. The processes to be evaluated

Received in revised form

are steam methane reforming (SMR), partial oxidation of hydrocarbons (POX), coal gasifi-

8 April 2009

cation (CG), biomass gasification (BG), the combination of photovoltaics and electrolysis

Accepted 12 April 2009

(PVEL), the combination of wind power and electrolysis (WEL) and the combination of

Available online 23 May 2009

hydropower and electrolysis (HEL). The selected criteria that were used in the evaluation,

Keywords:

maintenance costs, capital cost, feedstock cost and hydrogen production cost. According to

Hydrogen production

the evaluation, the processes that combine renewable energy sources with electrolysis (PV

Analytic Hierarchy Process

EL, WEL and HEL) rank higher in classification than conventional processes (SMR, POX,

Single-criterion analysis

CG and BG).

Multicriteria analysis

2009 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights

for each of the seven hydrogen production processes are CO2 emissions, operation and

reserved.

1.

Introduction

The living standard has been increased in many countries


over the years. An important consequence of this is the
increase in energy use.
At first, energy demand was covered by the use of fossil
fuels, such as petroleum and coal, but it is now a fact that their
excessive use led to a decrease of these resources. In addition,
the environmental impact from their use is a problem that
cannot be ignored.
These reasons are more than enough to encourage an
effort to develop and use new and more environmentally
friendly forms of energy.
It is likely that hydrogen would be the fuel of the future. For
several years, a great number of studies have been carried out
concerning issues to be addressed in order to facilitate the
introduction of hydrogen in the energy balance [1] as well as
issues concerning the hydrogen infrastructure. Environmental

issues have also been taken into consideration, since hydrogen


seems to be a non-harmful energy carrier. Researchers have
focused not only on CO2 emissions [2] but also on hydrogens
high energy content [3].
Research has also been expanded in the transportation
sector [4]. Efforts have been made to replace petrol and gasoline fuel engines with hydrogen fuel engines [5] and many
projects have been carried out such as project ECTOS [6] and
the Euro-Quebec-hydrogen pilot project [7].
Although, many studies concerning hydrogen evaluation
have been published, they address issues related to hydrogen
fuel cell systems [8,9] rather than hydrogen production
systems that are studied in the present paper.
The present study forms an evaluation of seven of the most
common hydrogen production processes with respect to five
criteria, which reflect both economic (such as the cost for
hydrogen production) and environmental (CO2 emissions)
aspects. For this purpose, the Analytic Hierarchy Process

* Corresponding author. Tel.: 30 24610 56640.


E-mail address: ppilavachi@uowm.gr (P.A. Pilavachi).
0360-3199/$ see front matter 2009 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
doi:10.1016/j.ijhydene.2009.04.026

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international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

(AHP) was used, this being a common tool for single- and
multi-objective decision-making problems. This process has
the ability to simplify complex problems. In the past, the AHP
has been used in several studies such as the emissions from
power plants [10] and the impact on the living standard from
power plants [11,12], the hydrogen fuelling systems for
transportations [13], the evaluation of liquid biofuels [14] and
the hydrogen energy technology [15].
Even though AHP is a very good decision-making methodology, it is not the only one. There are other useful tools in
decision-making such as the Analysis and Synthesis of Parameters under Information Deficiency (ASPID). According to this
decision-making method [16], non-numerical, inexact and
incomplete information can generate useful results. The ASPID
has been used in many studies such as for the evaluation of CHP
systems [17] and the evaluation of natural gas supply options for
south, east and central Europe [18]. Apart from the abovementioned multicriteria decision-making methods, several
others exist such as the Preference Ranking Organisation
Method for Enrichment Evaluations (PROMETHEE) with wide
application such as waste management [19] and ranking of
chemical emissions from motor vehicles [20] as well as the
Elimination and Choice Expressing Reality (ELECTRE) method.
The ELECTRE method constitutes of two main parts, the
construction of one or several outranking relations and an
exploitation procedure that elaborates on the recommendations
obtained from the first phase. As with the previous methods,
ELECTRE is widely utilized for decision-making problems [21,22].

2.

Selection of alternative options

The seven hydrogen production processes selected for this


evaluation are methane steam reforming (SMR), partial
oxidation of hydrocarbons (POX), coal gasification (CG),
biomass gasification (BG), the photovoltaicelectrolysis
system (PVEL), the windelectrolysis system (WEL) and the
hydropowerelectrolysis system (HEL).

2.1.

2.3.

At high temperatures, pulverized coal is oxidized with pure


oxygen in order to produce a raw gas mixture. The raw gas
mixture is then desulfurized. The produced gas after desulfurization is called synthesis gas. The synthesis gas is then
processed through a shift reactor in order to increase the
hydrogen fraction. Finally, a purification process takes place
through a PSA unit [23,25].

2.4.

Biomass gasification (BG)

Biomass gasification is similar to that of coal. We can identify


four main phases: the gasification process; the gas cleaning
section; the WGS reaction and; the PSA unit. Biomass gasifiers
tend to operate at lower temperatures than those of coal. The
produced gas from the gasification process has little requirements for clean up since biomass contains little sulfur [23].
However, the process has not yet been fully commercialized
since several aspects, such as the appropriate preparation of
the feedstock and the ash removal before its input in the
gasifier as well as technical issues concerning the gasification
procedure itself, need to be further investigated [25].

2.5.

The photovoltaicelectrolysis system (PVEL)

This hydrogen production system is constituted of a photovoltaic unit and a monopolar alkaline electrolysis unit. The
electricity required for hydrogen production via the electrolysis unit is provided from the photovoltaic unit [26].

2.6.

The wind turbineelectrolysis system (WEL)

This hydrogen production system is a combination of a wind


turbine system, which produces the necessary electricity, and
a monopolar alkaline electrolysis unit. Hydrogen is produced
through the electrolysis procedure [26].

Methane steam reforming (SMR)


2.7.

Methane steam reforming is probably the most common


process for the production of commercial hydrogen. At high
temperatures, steam reacts with methane in order to produce
carbon monoxide and hydrogen, a mixture known as
synthesis gas. Usually a catalyst is required for the reforming
reaction. Additional hydrogen can be produced through the
watergas-shift (WGS) reaction, which takes place in two
phases, at high temperature and at low temperature. Finally
a purification process is utilized through a PSA unit [23,24].

2.2.

Coal gasification (CG)

Partial oxidation of hydrocarbons (POX)

In partial oxidation of hydrocarbons, hydrocarbons are


oxidized in order to produce synthesis gas, which is mainly
comprised of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. The processes
can operate with or without a catalyst. After the synthesis gas
production, a WGS reaction takes place in order to reduce the
carbon monoxide percentage in the mixture. The final phase
purification of the gas is achieved through a PSA unit [23].

The hydropowerelectrolysis system (HEL)

This process combines a hydropower unit and a monopolar


alkaline electrolysis unit. The electrical power produced from
the hydropower unit is provided to the electrolysis unit for the
production of hydrogen [26].

Table 1 CO2 emissions for the seven hydrogen


production units for 2006.
Hydrogen production
process
SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

CO2 emissions (kg CO2/kg H2)


(2006)
7.33 [2]
12.35 [2]
29.33 [2]
5.89 [27]
0 [9]
0 [28]
0 [2]

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international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

Table 2 Operation and maintenance costs for the seven


hydrogen production units.
Hydrogen
production
process
SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

3.

Salaries
(US$/(kg H2/
day))

Equipment
(US$/(kg H2/
day))

7.72
18.36
27.70

5.26
13.74
21.50

O&M costs
(US$/(kg H2/
day))
12.98
32.10
49.20
52.56
15.71
15.71
30.51

(1989)
(1989)
(1989)
(1993)
(1993)
(1993)
(1993)

Hydrogen production
process

[29]
[29]
[29]
[23]
[23]
[23]
[23]

Selection of criteria

The criteria selected for the evaluation of hydrogen production processes are the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the
operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, the capital cost, the
feedstock cost and the hydrogen production cost.

3.1.

Operation and maintenance (O&M) costs

The O&M costs consist of expenses related to the operation


and maintenance of the unit. The O&M costs include salaries
and costs for maintenance of the equipment. The operation
and maintenance costs (see Table 2) are evaluated in US$ per
kg of H2 per day, after conversions, from data collected for
different years [23,29].
In order to carry out the evaluation, all data must be
updated to a common year. As far as salaries are concerned,
the updating can be done according to Equation (1).
Present Salary Initial SalaryPresent IECI =Initial IECI

SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

Capital cost (US$/(kg H2/day))


284.77 (2005) [32]
803.24 (1989) [29]
1242.76 (1989) [29]
80.42 (1993) [23]
7937 (2001) [28]785.5 (1993) [23]
1808 (2001) [28]785.5 (1993) [23]
3287 (2001) [28]785.5 (1993) [23]

were collected, Present IECI is the Employment Cost Index


Indicator [30] for the year that the updating needs to be done
and Initial IECI is the Employment Cost Index Indicator [30]
for the year the data were collected.
As far as the equipment is concerned, the updating can be
done according to Equation (2).
Present Equipment Cost
Initial Equipment CostPresent IM&S =Initial IM&S 2

Carbon dioxide emissions (CO2 emissions)

The CO2 emissions criterion concerns the amount of carbon


dioxide produced from each hydrogen production process. The
criterion is evaluated in kg of CO2 per kg of H2, after conversion,
from data collected for year 2006 (Table 1) [2,9,27,28].

3.2.

Table 4 Capital cost for the seven hydrogen production


units.

(1)

where Present Salary is for the year that the updating needs
to be performed (1993), Initial Salary is for the year the data

where Present Equipment Cost is for the year that the updating needs to be performed (1993), Initial Equipment Cost is for
the year the data were collected, Present IM&S is the Marshall
& Swift Indicator [31] for the year that the updating needs to be
done and Initial IM&S is the Marshall & Swift Indicator [31] for
the year the data were collected.
As a result, O&M costs are presented in Table 3 in US$ per
kg of H2 per day, for year 1993.

Table 5 Capital cost for the seven hydrogen production


units for 2005.
Hydrogen production
process
SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

Capital cost (US$/(kg H2/day))


(2005)
284.77
1058.17
1637.19
104.82
10448.56
3170.86
4927.05

Table 3 Operation and maintenance costs for the seven


hydrogen production units for 1993.
Hydrogen
production
process
SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

Equipment
Operation &
Salaries
(US$/(kg H2/ (US$/(kg H2/ maintenance
day))
day))
costs (US$/(kg
H2/day)) (1993)
8.85
21.04
31.74

5.67
14.8
23.16

14.51
35.84
54.90
52.56
15.71
15.71
30.51

Table 6 Feedstock cost for the seven hydrogen


production units for 1989.
Hydrogen production
process
SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

Feedstock cost (US$/(kg H2/day))


(1989)
154.32 [29]
136.61 [29]
120.15 [29]
194.88 [36]
0
0
0

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international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

Table 7 H2 production cost for the seven hydrogen


production units.
H2 production cost
(US$/kg H2)

Hydrogen production process


SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

32.75
12.55
22.37
23.78
16.00
36.75
1.25

(2007)
(1999)
(2007)
(2007)
(2004)
(2007)
(2004)

[25]
[37]
[25]
[25]
[38]
[25]
[39]

3.4.

H2 production cost (US$/kg H2)


(2007)

SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

3.3.

Feedstock cost

The feedstock cost criterion refers to the cost of the primary


material used in the hydrogen production process. It is evaluated in US$ per kg of H2 produced per day (after unit conversions). Table 6 presents analytically the above costs for year
1989 [23,30].

Table 8 H2 production cost for the seven hydrogen


production units for 2007.
Hydrogen production
process

updating needs to be done (2005), Initial Capital Cost is the


cost for the year the data were collected, Present ICEPCI is
the Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index Indicator [3335]
for the year that the updating needs to be done and Initial
ICEPCI is the Chemical Engineering Plant Cost Index Indicator
[3335] for the year the data were collected.
The updated values of capital cost are given in Table 5 in
US$ per kg of H2 per day, for year 2005.

32.75
16.07
22.37
23.78
17.36
36.75
1.40

3.5.

Hydrogen production cost

The hydrogen production cost refers to the total cost for


hydrogen production from the seven technologies. It is evaluated in US$ per kg of H2 produced and is presented in Table 7
(after unit conversions) [25,3739].
However, as previously mentioned, in order to have
a common basis of comparison, it is essential to update the
above values to a common year. For this, the yearly inflation
rate [40] has been taken into consideration. Equation (4) is
used for updating.

Capital cost

The third criterion is the capital cost of the unit, which is


considered to be the largest expense. It refers mostly to the
costs of the equipment, the transportation and the construction of the unit. The capital cost is given in Table 4 in US$ per
kg of H2 per day, after conversions, from data collected for
different years [23,28,29,32]. For the last three processes presented in Table 4, the first value refers to the renewable energy
unit (PV, W and H) and the second to the electrolysis unit (EL).
As previously mentioned, the data need updating in order
to be comparable. Updating is done according to Equation (3).
Present Capital Cost Initial Capital CostPresent ICEPCI =Initial ICEPCI
(3)
where, Present Capital Cost is the cost for the year that the

Ca1 Ca 1 IRa

(4)

where, C is the hydrogen production cost, a is the year in


which the hydrogen production cost is referred to and IR is the
yearly average inflation rate. Table 8 presents analytically the
above costs for the selected year 2007.
For instance Ca is the hydrogen production cost for year (a)
while Ca1 is the hydrogen production cost for year (a 1).
Table 9 presents the aggregated data selected for each alternative option in reference to each criterion.

4.

Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)

The Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), introduced by Saaty in


1970, is a common decision-making methodology when

Table 9 Aggregated data for criteria alternative options.


Hydrogen production
process

SMR
POX
CG
BG
PVEL
WEL
HEL

Criteria
CO2 emissions
(kg CO2/kg H2)
(2006)

O&M costs (US$/


(kg H2/day))
(1993)

Capital cost (US$/


(kg H2/day))
(2005)

Feedstock cost
(US$/(kg H2/day))
(1989)

H2 production cost
(US$/kg H2)
(2007)

7.33
12.35
29.33
5.89
0
0
0

14.51
35.84
54.9
52.56
15.71
15.71
30.51

284.77
1058.17
1637.19
104.82
10448.56
3170.86
4927.05

154.32
136.61
120.15
194.88
0
0
0

32.75
16.07
22.37
23.78
17.36
36.75
1.4

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international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

Evaluation of Hydrogen Production Processes

CO2 Emissions

SMR

O&M Cost

POX

CG

Feedstock
Cost

Capital Cost

BG

PV-EL

W-EL

H2 Production
Cost

H-EL

Fig. 1 Hierarchy tree structure for the evaluation of seven hydrogen production processes using AHP.

Fig. 2 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for base case.

dealing with multicriteria problems. The AHP utilizes a tree


structure in order to simplify complex decision-making
problems resulting in simplified sub problems, which can
easily be examined. We can distinguish four main steps [41]:

Fig. 4 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 2.

1. Creation of a tree structure, which comprises of one goal,


the criteria, and alternative solutions.

2. Evaluation of each alternative solution in relation to each


criterion.
3. Calculation of the weighing factor of the criteria with
subjective evaluation using pairwise comparisons.
4. Synthesis of the results of stages 2 and 3 so as to calculate
the overall evaluation of each alternative regarding the

Fig. 3 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 1.

Fig. 5 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 3.

international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

Fig. 6 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 4.

5299

Fig. 8 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 6.

degree of achievement of each goal. Fig. 1 presents the tree


structure for the seven hydrogen production processes.
emphasis is given to CO2 emissions and H2 production cost.
On the contrary, coal gasification (CG) is ranked last.

5.

Analysis of the results

For the evaluation of the seven hydrogen production


processes, with the use of the AHP, 15 cases were carried out.
These cases were the base case, the equal weighted case, five
cases of single-criterion analysis and eight cases of multicriteria analysis.

5.1.

5.2.

Equally distributed criteria (case 1)

CO2 emissions: 20%, O&M cost: 20%, Capital cost: 20%, Feedstock cost: 20%, H2 production cost: 20%.

Base case

The criteria weights have been calculated using pairwise


comparison according to the AHP method.
CO2 emissions: 41.1%, O&M cost: 8.0%, Capital cost: 19.1%,
Feedstock cost: 8.1%, H2 production cost: 23.7%.
In the base case, the above weighing factors were given to
each criterion. As can be seen, the environmental impact (CO2
emissions) of each alternative option is the primary concern
of this case, while H2 production cost follows.
Fig. 2 presents the rating of alternative options for
hydrogen production. The combination of a hydropower unit
with an electrolytic unit (HEL) is the best option when greater

Fig. 7 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 5.

Fig. 9 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 7.

Fig. 10 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 8.

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international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

Fig. 11 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 9.

For the equally distributed criteria case (case 1), Fig. 3


presents the ranking of the hydrogen production processes for
this case. Again, the combination of a hydropower unit with
an electrolytic unit (HEL) is the best option while coal gasification (CG) ranks last.

5.3.

Single-criterion analysis (cases 26)

In the single-criterion analysis (cases 26), the evaluation has


been carried out with full emphasis to one criterion while the
other four criteria are ignored.

5.3.1.

Fig. 13 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 11.

methane reforming (SMR) has the highest ranking while coal


gasification (CG) receives the last position.

5.3.3.

Case 4

CO2 emissions: 0%, O&M costs: 0%, Capital cost: 100%, Feedstock cost: 0%, H2 production: 0%.
In case 4, steam methane reforming (SMR) has the highest
ranking while photovoltaics system in combination with an
electrolytic unit (PVEL) receives the last position. This result

Case 2

CO2 emissions: 100%, O&M costs: 0%, Capital cost: 0%, Feedstock cost: 0%, H2 production cost: 0%.
As can be seen from Fig. 4, the best options are the systems,
which combine renewable energy with an electrolytic unit
(PVEL, HEL, WEL). Coal gasification (CG) ranks last, given
the fact that it has high emissions of CO2.

5.3.2.

Case 3

CO2 emissions: 0%, O&M costs: 100%, Capital cost: 0%, Feedstock cost: 0%, H2 production cost: 0%.
Fig. 5 gives the overall ranking of hydrogen production
processes when full emphasis is given to O&M costs. Steam

Fig. 12 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 10.

Fig. 14 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 12.

Fig. 15 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 13.

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international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

In the last three cases, greater emphasis is given to two


criteria at the same time (cases 1114).

5.4.1.

Case 7

CO2 emissions: 70% O&M costs: 7.5%, Capital cost: 7.5%,


Feedstock cost: 7.5%, H2 production cost: 7.5%.
For this case, the ranking of the hydrogen production
processes is presented in Fig. 9.
As can be seen, the best hydrogen production process is the
hydropowerelectrolysis system (HEL) and the worst is coal
gasification (CG).

5.4.2.

Fig. 16 Overall evaluation of hydrogen production


processes for case 14.

was expected since photovoltaic units require high capital


cost for their installation (Fig. 6).

5.3.4.

Case 5

CO2 emissions: 0%, O&M costs: 0%, Capital cost: 0%, Feedstock
cost: 100%, H2 production: 0%.
Since the combination of renewable energy systems with
an electrolytic unit (PVEL, WEL, HEL) requires no feedstock,
these processes receive the first position in ranking while
biomass gasification (BG) receives the last position. Fig. 7
shows the overall evaluation.

5.3.5.

5.4.3.

Case 9

CO2 emissions: 7.5%, O&M costs: 7.5%, Capital cost: 70%,


Feedstock cost: 7.5%, H2 production cost: 7.5%.
Fig. 11 shows the ranking of hydrogen production
processes for this case and according to it the best hydrogen
production process is steam methane reforming (SMR) and
the worst is the photovoltaicelectrolysis system (PVEL).

Case 6
5.4.4.

CO2 emissions: 0%, O&M costs: 0%, Capital cost: 0%, Feedstock
cost: 0%, H2 production: 100%.
In the last case of the single criteria assessment, where full
emphasis is given to H2 production cost, hydropower with an
electrolytic unit (HEL) is considered to be the optimum solution,
as can be seen in Fig. 8, while wind turbines with an electrolytic
unit (WEL) receive the last position on the overall ranking.

Case 10

CO2 emissions: 7.5%, O&M costs: 7.5%, Capital cost: 7.5%,


Feedstock cost: 70%, H2 production cost: 7.5%.
From Fig. 12, it is clear that the best hydrogen production
process is the hydropowerelectrolysis system (HEL) and the
worst is biomass gasification (BG).

5.4.5.
5.4.

Case 8

CO2 emissions: 7.5%, O&M costs: 70%, Capital cost: 7.5%,


Feedstock cost: 7.5%, H2 production cost: 7.5%.
For case 8, the classification of the hydrogen production
processes is presented in Fig. 10.
According to this figure, the best hydrogen production
process is the photovoltaicelectrolysis system (PVEL) and
the worst is coal gasification (CG).

Multicriteria analysis (cases 714)

Case 11

CO2 emissions: 7.5%, O&M costs: 7.5%, Capital cost: 7.5%,


Feedstock cost: 7.5%, H2 production cost: 70%.
The ranking of hydrogen production processes for this case
is presented in Fig. 13. According to this figure, the best
hydrogen production process is the hydropowerelectrolysis
system (HEL) and the worst is the wind turbineelectrolysis
system (WEL).

According to multicriteria analysis (cases 714), the evaluation


of the seven selected hydrogen production processes has been
carried out by giving greater emphasis (a larger weighting
factor) to one criterion without ignoring the rest as was carried
out in the single-criterion analysis (cases 711).

Table 10 Overall criteria weights for each scenario.


Criteria

CO2
emissions
O&M cost
Capital cost
Feedstock
cost
H2
production
cost

Criteria Weights for each case (%)


Base
Case

Case
1

Case
2

Case
3

Case
4

Case
5

Case
6

41.1

20

100

8
19.1
8.1

20
20
20

0
0
0

100
0
0

0
100
0

0
0
100

0
0
0

23.7

20

100

Case
7

Case
8

Case
9

Case
10

Case
11

Case
12

Case
13

Case
14

7.5

7.5

7.5

7.5

35

35

10

7.5
7.5
7.5

70
7.5
7.5

7.5
70
7.5

7.5
7.5
70

7.5
7.5
7.5

10
35
10

10
10
10

10
35
10

7.5

7.5

7.5

7.5

10

35

35

70

70

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international journal of hydrogen energy 34 (2009) 52945303

Table 11 Overall evaluation and ranking of hydrogen production process for each case.
Hydrogen production
process

Base case

21.16
14.1
16.30
13.23
7.27
14.26
13.07

HEL
WEL
PVEL
BG
CG
POX
SMR

5.4.6.

Case 2

Case 7

1
4
2
5
7
3
6

20.76
16.64
17.43
9.85
8.09
13.63
13.60

Case 8

1
3
2
6
7
4
5

19.50
19.50
19.50
15.60
0
11.28
14.62

Case 9

19.97
18.43
18.73
13.43
3.03
12.16
14.25

1
3
2
5
7
6
4

17.05
21.12
21.42
4.58
3.04
12.35
20.44

4
2
1
6
7
5
3

14.48
15.08
6.54
16.24
13.72
16.50
17.44

5
4
7
3
6
2
1

Case 12

Case 13

Case 14

CO2 emissions: 10%, O&M costs: 10%, Capital cost: 35%,


Feedstock cost: 10%, H2 production cost: 35%.
The overall evaluation of hydrogen production processes
in the last case is presented in Fig. 16. The best hydrogen
production process is the hydropowerelectrolysis system
(HEL) and the worst is coal gasification (CG).
Table 10 presents the criteria weights for each scenario and
Table 11 presents an overall evaluation and ranking of the
seven hydrogen production methods under examination for
each of the alternative cases.

6.

Case 4

Case 5

Case 6

14.82
23.81
23.81
1.43
0
11.58
24.55

3
2
2
5
6
4
1

10.72
14.13
0
20.08
17.10
18.23
19.47

Case 11

6
5
7
1
4
3
2

25.70
25.70
25.70
0
9.86
7.68
5.36

Case 12

1
1
1
5
2
3
4

33.05
0
18.15
12.15
13.50
19.35
3.80

Case 13

1
7
3
5
4
2
6

Case 14

Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)

CO2 emissions: 35%, O&M costs: 10%, Capital cost: 10%,


Feedstock cost: 10%, H2 production cost: 35%.
According to Fig. 15, the best hydrogen production process
is the hydropowerelectrolysis system (HEL) and the worst is
coal gasification (CG).

5.4.8.

1
1
1
2
5
4
3

Case 10

CO2 emissions: 35%, O&M costs: 10%, Capital cost: 35%,


Feedstock cost: 10%, H2 production cost: 10%.
As shown in Fig. 14, the best hydrogen production process
is the hydropowerelectrolysis system (HEL) and the worst is
coal gasification (CG).

5.4.7.

Case 3

Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank Score Rank
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)
(%)

HEL
WEL
PVEL
BG
CG
POX
SMR

Hydrogen production
process

Case 1

Conclusions

In the present study, seven different common hydrogen


production processes are evaluated with respect to five
different criteria. The hydrogen production processes evaluated are steam methane reforming (SMR), partial oxidation of
hydrocarbons (POX), coal gasification (CG), biomass gasification (BG), the photovoltaicelectrolysis system (PVEL), the

23.85
22.30
22.60
3.70
9.19
9.91
8.45

1
3
2
7
5
4
6

28.44
6.27
17.88
11.28
11.45
17.21
7.47

1
7
2
5
4
3
6

17.93
16.73
13.59
13.84
8.32
14.20
15.39

1
2
6
5
7
4
3

23.52
13.21
18.13
11.86
7.41
14.47
11.40

1
4
2
5
7
3
6

21.32
11.86
13.25
12.98
11.70
16.21
12.68

1
6
3
4
7
2
5

wind turbineelectrolysis system (WEL), the hydropower


electrolysis system (HEL). The criteria selected are CO2
emissions, operation and maintenance (O&M) costs, capital
cost, feedstock cost and hydrogen production cost.
The evaluation of the hydrogen production processes was
carried out using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for 15
cases. These consisted of the base case, the equally distributed criteria, five cases of single-criterion analysis and eight
cases of multicriteria analysis.
In the majority of cases, the processes that combine
renewable energy sources with electrolysis (PVEL, WEL and
HEL) are considered to be better than the conventional
processes (SMR, POX, CG and BG) and are higher in ranking.
On the contrary, the conventional hydrogen production
processes (SMR, POX, CG and BG) rank last in most of the
cases.
More specifically, in most of the cases (9 out of 15), the first
in ranking hydrogen production process is considered to be
the hydropowerelectrolysis system (HEL) and the worst (9
out of 15) is coal gasification (CG).

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