Towards cost-efficient methane cracking for hydrogen production

  • Smart energy management

ColdSpark is a Horizon Europe funded project that stands for “Driven energy and cost-efficient methane cracking for hydrogen production“. The kick-off meeting is held in Stavanger from June the 15-18th, 2022.

The ColdSpark project will validate a novel non-thermal plasma technology to produce hydrogen at an industrial scale from methane, with a process energy efficiency of 79%, achieving a conversion rate of 85% with zero CO2 emissions. This will be achieved by designing an industrial relevant reactor that leverages the best features of the non-thermal plasma technologies, gliding arc and corona discharge, to ensure high efficiency and scalability. The innovation addresses for the first time the critical step of matching the reactor with a pulsed power supply.

The project will develop and test a novel plasma reactor at lab scale and validate it in conjunction with the power supply at large-scale, pursuing the industry’s most power efficient generation of hydrogen alongside high-value carbon. The technology will assess its application for both, natural gas and biomethane producers. A low energy cost (< 15 kWh/kg H2 produced) without the need for catalysts and water and the production of high-value by-product solid carbon (CNTs targeted). They make the proposed solution the most cost-competitive, environment friendly, and less complex to implement. The reactor design and modularity bring lower CAPEX and OPEX and make it easily scalable and flexible.

The project has a total budget of 2.5M€ and will run for 4 years. The consortium is formed by 7 European partners including SEID AS (leader), IREC, UiS (Universitetet i Stavanger), NORCE (Norce Norwegian Research Centre AS), EUROPROJECT, IBBK (Fachgruppe Biogas GMBH) and UOL (University of Liverpool). The project gathers the expertise of a mix of academic, research, and industrial partners from five countries, which bring both outstanding research and topic competence, as well as knowledge and access to the solution for end-user industries.

The role of IREC in the project is to conduct a full environmental, economic and technology assessment to study the environmental and cost performance of solution and demonstrate its competitiveness. This action is led by Victor Ferreira from the Energy Systems Analytics group at IREC.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or [name of the granting authority]. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.