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MITEI researchers build a supply chain model to support the hydrogen economy

Over the past decades, the need for carbon-free energy has driven increasing interest in hydrogen as an environmentally clean fuel. But shifting the economy away from fossils fuels to clean-burning hydrogen will require significant adjustments in current supply chains. To facilitate this transition, an MIT-led team of researchers has developed a new hydrogen supply chain planning model.

“We propose flexible scheduling for trucks and pipelines, allowing them to serve as both storage and transmission,” says Guannan He, a postdoc at the MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) and lead author of a recent paper published by IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Energy . “This is very important to green hydrogen produced from intermittent renewables, because this can provide extra flexibility to meet variability in supply and demand.”

Hydrogen has been widely recognized as a promising path to decarbonizing many sectors of the economy because it packs in more energy by weight than even gasoline or natural gas, yet generates zero emissions when used as an energy source. Producing hydrogen, however, can generate significant emissions. According to the U.S. Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, 95 percent of the hydrogen produced today is generated through steam methane reforming (SMR), an energy-intensive process in which […]

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