The Time for Hydrogen is Now

October 21, 2022

I recently had the pleasure of attending Hydrogen Technology Expo Europe, the world’s largest hydrogen event. October 19th and 20th, nearly 6,500 attendees convened for two full days to interact with 360 exhibitors and learn from key industry and government stakeholders on hydrogen production, systems integration & infrastructure, fuel cells, e-Fuels and carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS).

From the moment I entered the exhibition hall, I could feel the excitement and the importance of the event. As the hours passed and the hallways were filled with people from over the world, it became clear that “for a successful hydrogen market to be established, we need a true global and international collaboration,” as the Minister of Economic Affairs, Labour and Europe, Kristina Vogt, mentioned.

But what is the importance of Hydrogen? With the many challenges of today’s environment, energy supply needs to be secure, affordable and in-line with climate protection. The role of hydrogen becomes fundamental to support the dual challenge of meeting the needs of a higher standard of living for a rapidly growing population while achieving sustainability and profitability goals.

Technology licensors, EPC owner/operators and other stakeholders discussed alternatives that are driving the development of the Hydrogen Economy across the value chain. While hydrogen has a key role in the energy transition, CCUS will have a game-changing complementary role to reduce CO2 and achieve sustainability commitments, especially as companies think about conversion into valuable chemicals.

During the event, there were discussions around the latest technologies and innovations for hydrogen and carbon solutions. While many hydrogen and CCUS projects are at an advanced stage, there is still work to be done to accelerate the energy transition. As Mohamed A. Elreheem from Aramco highlighted, “strategic partners are crucial to leverage innovative technologies.”

Our long track record of innovation and leadership in optimization spans more than 40 years and makes AspenTech a strategic partner to enable the multiple sustainability pathways through digitalization. As a world leader in industrial software for capital-intensive industries, our digital solutions can support innovation, bring solutions to market faster and help run assets safer, greener, longer and faster, becoming a key player in the energy transition and the sustainability journey of the industry.

With our comprehensive portfolio that covers the complete asset lifecycle from design to operations and maintenance, AspenTech solutions can support decisions and prioritize investments, help reduce costs of technology to support deployment at a wider scale, accelerate project design and execution, and improve efficiency in operations.  

At a stage where investment decisions need to be made, digital technologies, like our well-known process simulators Aspen Plus® and Aspen HYSYS®, can help to evaluate the economics and feasibility of a technology to support vendor selection. Aspen Fidelis™ assesses reliability and risks of the complete system over the asset lifecycle and helps to avoid CAPEX overspending in new projects and reduces risks of integrating with existing facilities or processes. And AspenTech Subsurface Science & Engineering can support with planning and development of hydrogen underground storage solutions. 

AspenTech’s Performance Engineering can enable rigorous modeling of hydrogen production and transportation, hydrogen carriers like methanol and ammonia, fuel cell development, battery manufacturing and recycling, and other key processes of the hydrogen value chain. Successful carbon capture technology developers such as Fluor and Carbon Engineering have been relying on our Performance Engineering solutions to innovate and commercialize carbon capture. And according to Christina Martavaltzi, Advisory Services Lead of Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), Aspen Plus provides “the closest models you can find to predict the behavior of your plant,” referring to the use of our digital solutions to improve amine-based CO2 capture at large-scale.

With Aspen Hybrid Models, AspenTech augments the power of engineering models by incorporating AI to increase accuracy of the models to help reduce energy use and costs of any chemical processes, such as green hydrogen and ammonia. As an example, Nissan Chemical estimates 2% energy reduction and 1% costs in an ammonia plant, being able to “create a model that can reproduce real plant data more accurately than the conventional model” in half the time.

AspenTech’s Concurrent Engineering, streamlining modeling solutions, equipment design, cost estimation, basic engineering and plant layout can reduce concept selection from 30 to four weeks and project duration & man-hours by 20%, bringing processes faster to market.

In addition to using models for design, the digital assets developed in early stages can be reused to train operators and develop strategies for safe operations start-up. Digital solutions for operations can help identify any potential issues and act rapidly to reduce risks. As an example, Air Products prevented more than$1M USD in losses in a fleet of Hydrogen plants by using engineering simulations reconciled with operational data. And Cepsa used Aspen GDOT™ Dynamic Optimization solution to reduce losses by 72% in a hydrogen network.

By partnering with AspenTech and leveraging our solutions, you can advance your journey along the energy transition.  

Learn more about using digitalization to accelerate the hydrogen economy

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