Technology pundits have extolled hydrogen as an energy source that makes sense from environmental and sustainable points-of-view for many years. Emerson recently hosted an online conference focused on what it is doing to help customers develop hydrogen production. We are finally on the cusp of a breakthrough. One problem hydrogen shares with electricity is dirty generation. Emerson and customers are working to solve the tech and economics of green hydrogen production.

While we are talking sustainability, please check out The Carbon Almanac. Hundreds of volunteers from around the world have worked on this practical guide to doing something about global warming and environmental dangers.

I’m going to summarize three sustainability initiatives from Emerson that I have collected for a few weeks.

  • Toyota Hydrogen Production
  • Green Hydrogen Production
  • Biofuel Production in Finland

Automation Technology for Toyota Australia’s Hydrogen Production and Refueling Plant

Emerson and Toyota Australia have collaborated to transform part of Toyota Australia’s operations into a commercial-grade hydrogen production, storage and refueling plant. The project, supported by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), adopts Emerson’s automation expertise to provide the control system that helps Toyota Australia demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of manufacturing hydrogen fuels, including the use of renewable solar energy.

  • DeltaV distributed control system gathers data from the plant’s complex equipment
  • DeltaV systems control operations and help ensure safe operations 
  • Edge control technology from PACSystems will further reduce cost and complexity of integrating third-party systems
  • Rosemount flame detectors will help keep personnel and operations safe

Emerson to Help Accelerate Green Hydrogen Production

The PosHYdon project is a pilot that aims to validate the integration of offshore wind power and offshore natural gas and hydrogen production at sea—generating renewable fuels by harnessing a green energy source. The Neptune Energy-operated platform Q13a-A in the Dutch North Sea will host the project, which will provide insight into electrolyzer efficiency from a variable power supply and the cost of installing and maintaining a green hydrogen production plant on an offshore platform.

Green electricity will be used to simulate the fluctuating supply from wind turbines and power the production process, which will convert sea water into demineralized water and then safely produce hydrogen via electrolysis. The hydrogen is then blended with the natural gas and transported to the coast, via the existing gas pipeline, and fed into the national gas grid. The 1 MW electrolyzer is expected to produce up to three tons of hydrogen per week.

Emerson’s DeltaV distributed control system, DeltaV safety instrumented system and DeltaV Live operator interface software will manage the desalination and electrolyzer units, gas blending and balance of plant equipment.

PosHYdon is being developed by consortium partners Nexstep, TNO, Neptune Energy, Gasunie, Noordgastransport, NOGAT, DEME Offshore, TAQA, Eneco, Nel Hydrogen, InVesta, Hatenboer, Iv-Offshore & Energy and Emerson. The project has been awarded a €3.6 million grant from The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) under the agency’s Demonstration Energy and Climate Innovation scheme, which invests in renewable energy developments, including hydrogen pilots.

Animated video with English subtitles.

 

Optimize Fintoil Biorefinery Operations for More Efficient, Sustainable Production

Fintoil, together with Neste Engineering Solutions, has selected Emerson’s automation software and technologies to maximize the operational performance of its biorefinery being constructed in the port of Hamina-Kotka, Finland. The plant will be the third-largest crude tall oil (CTO) biorefinery in the world and produce advanced biofuel and biochemical feedstocks that help lower emissions and reduce reliance on fossil-based fuels. 

The plant will refine CTO, a by-product of the wood pulping process, to produce a sustainable feedstock for renewable second-generation diesel, as well as rosin, sterol pitch and turpentine used in the chemicals, foodstuffs and pharmaceuticals industries. These CTO derivatives have a carbon footprint up to 90% smaller than their fossil-based equivalents. 

Emerson will apply its Project Certainty methodology, which digitalizes project execution and uses practices such as remote testing of equipment. Emerson consultancy services will advise on the implementation of cybersecurity best practices.

Construction of the facility is expected to be completed in 2022. The expected annual capacity of 200,000 tons will create a 400,000-ton reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, which is roughly 1% of Finland’s total emissions.

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