Using a system of systems engineering approach to determine robust and strong value chains for hydrogen and CO2

Project: Research-related funding

Project Details


University Research Scholarship provided towards a 3-year PhD studentship of Mr. Andre Pereira to conduct a study on hydrogen and CO2 value chains.

Layman's description

This project aims to develop a comprehensive ‘system of systems’ mathematical model that includes CO2 utilisation in the value chains for renewable hydrogen. The model will determine the most effective pathways to obtain the most value from limited available primary resources to end uses. Using the model, a large number of scenarios will be considered, with different constraints and objectives, to answer the following questions:

1. Is there any value in utilising some of the captured CO2 instead of storing it permanently?
2. What are the strong and robust value chains for renewable hydrogen and CO2 in the UK?
3. What are the technologies and infrastructures that will support these value chains? Where will they be located (e.g. centralised vs distributed; near demand centres or CO2 sequestration sites)? When to invest in them?
4. What will the transition from the existing state to the future energy system look like?
5. How to operate each technology (e.g. when and how much to convert, store and transport resources)?
6. What is the optimal mix of products (energy and chemicals)?
7. Will CO2 utilisation facilitate the penetration of renewable energy into the energy system and chemical manufacturing? If so, by how much?
8. What are the drivers and conditions that will support the success of the robust and promising value chains?
9. What are the challenges and bottlenecks to their deployment?
10. What are their socio-economic and environmental impacts?

This research will build on the work done by the supervisor on spatio-temporal modelling of multi-vector integrated energy systems [1-4]. A detailed database of technologies for conversion, storage, transmission and distribution of different resources will be developed by obtaining reliable data from academic literature and governmental and industrial sources. For technologies which data are not available, process modelling will be performed, using gPROMS ProcessBuilder, to obtain the required data. The database will be used in the mixed integer programming model for integrated systems [3], which will be extended to include additional features necessary to answer the questions above. The model will consider the whole of the UK divided into smaller regions and it will determine the combination of technologies present in each region and the connections between the regions for transport of resources and/or energy. It will also determine the operation of each technology at an hourly level over a long planning horizon, e.g. out to 2050. Decomposition methods will be applied or new ones will be developed in order for the model to solve within reasonable time. The robust and strong value chains in the UK will be identified by considering a large number of “what-if” scenarios to see how the solution is going to be affected by different socio-economic and technical factors.
[1] S. Samsatli, I. Staffell, N.J. Samsatli. Int. J. of Hydrogen Energy, 41: 447-475, 2016.
[2] S. Samsatli, N.J. Samsatli. Computers & Chemical Engineering, 80: 155-176, 2015.
[3] S. Samsatli, N.J. Samsatli. Energy 2016 (under review).
[4] S. Samsatli, N.J. Samsatli, N.Shah. Applied Energy, 147: 131-160, 2015.
Short title£66000
Effective start/end date31/10/161/11/20