Ministry of Coal constitutes Committee to prepare road map for coal based hydrogen
- Posted By
10th Sep, 2021
Ministry of Coal recently constituted a task force and expert committee to prepare road map for coal based hydrogen production and usage.
About the new committees
- The Task Force will be headed by Additional Secretary in the Ministry.
- Broad terms of reference: monitoring of activities towards achieving coal-based hydrogen production and usage and coordination with Coal Gasification Mission and NITI Aayog.
- The Expert Committee will be headed by Director General of the Federation of Indian Petroleum Industry, R.K. Malhotra.
- Terms and reference: identifying experts in India and co-opting as members, desk based review of progress in hydrogen technology and also review ongoing research projects in Hydrogen technology.
Why the focus is on coal?
- In his Independence speech, Prime Minister had announced a National Hydrogen Mission.
- Coal is an important source of hydrogen making (brown hydrogen) apart from natural gas (grey hydrogen) and renewable energy (green hydrogen) through
- In case of renewable energy (green hydrogen) surplus solar power is used to electrolyze water into hydrogen and oxygen.
- Hydrogen produced from coal can be cheaper and less sensitive to imports when compared with hydrogen production through electrolysis and Natural Gas respectively.
Production of hydrogen from coal
- To produce hydrogen from coal, the process begins with partial oxidation, which means some air is added to the coal, which generates carbon dioxide gas through traditional combustion.
- Not enough is added, though, to completely burn the coal – only enough to make some heat for the gasification reaction.
- The partial oxidation also makes its own gasification agent, carbon dioxide.
- Carbon dioxide reacts with the rest of the carbon in the coal to form carbon monoxide (this is the endothermic gasification reaction, which needs heat input). No hydrogen yet.
- Carbon monoxide in the gas stream is now further reacted with steam, generating hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
The current method of hydrogen production
- Coal has not been encouraged elsewhere because of the fear that while extracting hydrogen via coal (from the moisture embedded in coal) there may be carbon emission.
- Almost 100% of Hydrogen produced in India is through Natural Gas.