The HICP team were delighted to mark Hydrogen Week with their latest installment of the Humber Hydrogen Network on Wednesday 15 February at CATCH. Over 25 online and 25 in person delegates joined the network, which was chaired by guest chair Jade Fernandez, Head of Stakeholder Engagement at SSE Thermal.
Jade is a member of the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan steering group and welcomed delegates to the meeting and introduced the team from HiiROC and Centrica Business Solutions who gave the first presentation on Decarbonising Rapid Response Gas Peaking Plants using HiiROC Technology. Tara Vyas is a Hydrogen and Renewables Analyst in Centrica’s hydrogen development team and she was joined online by Rich Scott, HiiROC’s Operations Director. Tara explained how market stability can be achieved in electricity supply through a blend of renewable generation, which is highly intermittent and weather dependent, combined with peaking plants such as Centrica’s plant in Brigg, which offers rapid response generation. Tara outlined the challenges in decarbonisation power plants and gave further details about the Brigg facility.
Rich then gave an overview of how HiiROC’s new transformational process, using world leading plasma technology, is being used to produce low carbon hydrogen and how this is helping provide an industrial decarbonisation solution at Brigg. The HiiROC process uses Thermal Plasma Electrolysis – converting 5 times more hydrogen per kW compared to water electrolysis. The process is as cheap as steam methane reforming but with no CO2 emissions – the byproduct is solid ‘carbon black’ powder which is a very useful by-product with an existing market in tyres, inks, toners, plastics, coatings and new uses in building materials, filters/masks and as soil enhancement. Aman Othi, HiiROC’s Head of Engineering and Ian Griffiths, Centrica’s Head of Large Assets, joined the Q&A session that followed.
After a short break, Jade then introduced Dr James Van Alstine, Dr Claire Bastin and Prof Fiona Fylan from the University of Leeds who presented a summary of their research findings on Public Acceptance of CCS and Hydrogen, which was commissioned by SSE. The project carried out interviews, surveys and focus groups during May-September last year. The findings were interesting as there are few examples of this type of research having been undertaken before. Overall participants supported tackling climate change but did not feel well informed, and their awareness of CCS is low. Participants strongly support green technologies, and their acceptance grew as they became more aware. The people engaged in the research were positive about a CCS facility opening in their local area. Some of the major concerns were related to safety, particularly of the stored carbon dioxide, risks of environmental damage from new plant, and that CCS was viewed as a short-term solution. Finally, clear, simple statements about CCS generate positive feelings about it, especially statements about local jobs and links with colleges.
Katie Hedges, CATCH Director of Membership & Low Carbon Strategy gave an update on the Humber Industrial Cluster Plan. The Cluster Plan project has recently published the majority of their completed studies which can be found at www.humberindustrialclusterplan.org and the HICP launch will be held on 9 March at Docks Beers in Grimsby. Katie announced that version 2 of the HICP cluster map, launched last year, is complete and can be found on the website.
CATCH will continue to run both the Humber Hydrogen & Industrial Decarbonisation Networks throughout the year. Subscribe to www.humberindustrialclusterplan.org to receive regular updates