Ambitious Engineering Challenge Provides Potential Pathway Toward Stable, Global Hydrogen Supply Chain
HOUSTON, Oct. 13, 2021 — A consortium of public, private and academic experts led by Shell International Exploration and Production, Inc. (Shell), a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, is pioneering an ambitious path to enable large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage for international trade applications. This is a largely untapped field with potential for advancing the global commercialization of hydrogen as an accessible, affordable and low carbon energy commodity.
Shell and the consortium partners — including McDermott's CB&I Storage Solutions, NASA's Kennedy Space Center, GenH2 and the University of Houston — have been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office to demonstrate that a large-scale LH2 tank, with a capacity ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 cubic meters, is both feasible and cost competitive at import and export terminals. The DOE has awarded $6 million to finance the project, and Shell and CB&I Storage Solutions will both provide an additional $3 million each, for a total project fund of $12 million.
"A cost-effective, long-range hydrogen supply chain can have a transformative impact in shaping a sustainable future for energy," said Yuri Sebregts, Chief Technology Officer for Shell. "Our consortium recognizes that this project can become a cornerstone in making that future possible. It's a sizable engineering challenge—but we have the right people, partners and outlook to deliver this first-of-its-kind LH2 storage technology."
"McDermott is leveraging the sixty years of LH2 storage technology expertise of our CB&I Storage Solutions business to exponentially scale up safe capacity thresholds to meet growing demands," said Samik Mukherjee, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, McDermott International. "This consortium will accelerate that momentum as we work together to advance the next generation of sustainable energy."
The consortium will collaborate to develop a technically innovative and economically viable concept design for the large scale LH2 storage tank. Additionally, the group will engineer and construct a scaled-down demonstration tank that will be tested to validate the feasibility of the design and the thermal model for commercial-scale design.
"GenH2 is focused on establishing efficient manufacturing capabilities and repeatable processes to mass produce standard solutions for hydrogen production, liquefaction, storage and transfer," said Cody Bateman, Founder and CEO of GenH2, a leader in liquid hydrogen infrastructure. "We're excited to be part of this consortium in demonstrating the viability of LH2 storage solutions that will facilitate a global shift to carbon free energy."
"The Cryogenics Test Laboratory at Kennedy leverages its experience supporting space exploration to provide cryogenic services for government and industry partners, cryogenic expertise and experimental testing and technical standards for energy-efficient cryogenics on Earth and in space," said Adam Swanger, NASA principal investigator for the Cryo Lab. "For many years, Kennedy has had the largest liquid hydrogen storage tanks in the world and we're excited to lend our years of experience in working with liquid hydrogen and liquid nitrogen to assist with this project."
This project aims to advance the US as a global energy leader in LH2-based international supply chain development and facilitate the commercialization of both blue and green hydrogen export opportunities. The insulation technology, cryogenic testing equipment and thermal model developed under this program aims to have widespread benefits for several LH2 applications.
"I am honored to represent the University of Houston on this project," said Vemuri Balakotaiah, Ph.D., a professor and the Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Distinguished University Chair in the William A. Brookshire Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston. "I am eager to work with the University of Houston students and post-doctoral fellows alongside the other consortium companies in the development of effective insulation and thermal models of commercial scale LH2 tanks."
This public, private and academic endeavor will support the goals of the DOE H2@Scale and Hydrogen Shot initiatives, bringing stakeholders together in an effort to reduce the cost of clean hydrogen and advance its role in the energy transition.
Shell will lead the project and provide guidance on hydrogen supply chain and safety. CB&I Storage Solutions will provide engineering, design and LH2 construction storage expertise. GenH2 will design and manufacture one of the world's most advanced thermal testing devices, known as Cryostat-900. NASA will work closely with GenH2 on novel testing development. The University of Houston will focus their efforts on the creation of detailed thermal models of the proposed insulation systems.
The ability to transport hydrogen between countries via pipelines and ships will be a key element of the future energy system. Multilateral cooperation between government and industry, as well as coordinated investment in infrastructure, ships and international standards, are fundamental to achieving an effective hydrogen supply chain.
Royal Dutch Shell plc is incorporated in England and Wales, has its headquarters in The Hague and is listed on the London, Amsterdam, and New York stock exchanges. Shell companies have operations in more than 70 countries and territories with businesses including oil and gas exploration and production; production and marketing of liquefied natural gas and gas to liquids; manufacturing, marketing and shipping of oil products and chemicals and renewable energy projects. For further information, visit www.shell.com.
About McDermott's CB&I Storage Solutions
CB&I Storage Solutions is the world's leading designer and builder of storage facilities, tanks and terminals. With more than 59,000 structures completed throughout its 130-year history, CB&I Storage Solutions has the global expertise and strategically-located operations to provide its customers world-class storage solutions for even the most complex energy infrastructure projects. To learn more, visit www.cbistorage.com.
About NASA's Kennedy Space Center
As a premier multi-user spaceport, NASA's Kennedy Space Center is the agency's main launch site, as well as home to research and development facilities that drives innovation and application of cross-cutting technologies to meet the needs of industry and government. Kennedy supports development of new technologies that boost the U.S. economy and maximize the return on the nation's investment. The presence of commercial companies is larger than ever before, enabling the agency to embark on a new era of space exploration.
GenH2 is an industry leader in liquid hydrogen infrastructure solutions. The Titusville, Florida-headquartered technology company was founded by Cody Bateman, who is widely recognized as a visionary and expert in this industry. The GenH2 team includes former NASA researchers and developers that possess decades of experience researching, engineering, and producing hydrogen solutions. At GenH2, they are focused on the mass production of infrastructure solutions necessary for the transition to a clean energy economy. GenH2 technology will allow safe onsite production and storage of clean liquid hydrogen, making the product accessible for everyday use. GenH2's innovative approaches include end-to-end filling station solutions to make clean hydrogen on site with near-zero CO2 emissions; the company has plans to deliver its product to hundreds of locations across the country in the coming years. Learn more about GenH2 at www.DiscoverHydrogen.com.
About University of Houston
The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized with a Phi Beta Kappa chapter for excellence in undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation's fourth-largest city and one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse regions in the country, UH is a federally designated Hispanic- and Asian-American-Serving institution with enrollment of more than 47,000 students.
For media inquiries, please use the below contact information for each company:
- Shell Media Line: 832-33-SHELL (832-337-4355)
- McDermott's CB&I Storage Solutions Media Line: 281-588-5636
- NASA's Kennedy Space Center Media Line: 321-867-2468
- GenH2 Media Line: 530-654-3642
- University of Houston Media Line: 713-743-4094
Draft prepared by McDermott International, Ltd, with input from each partner.