Scientists have developed a large-scale economical method for extracting hydrogen (H2) from petroleum sands (natural bitumen) and oil fields. This can be used to power hydrogen vehicles already on the market in some countries, as well as to generate electricity; hydrogen is considered an efficient transport fuel, similar to gasoline and diesel, but without pollution problems. The process can extract hydrogen from existing oil sands reservoirs, with huge existing reserves located in Canada and Venezuela. Interestingly, this process can be applied to oil fields, leading to the production of hydrogen instead of oil.
Hydrogen vehicles, including cars, buses and trains, have been developed for many years. These vehicles have been recognized as effective, but the high cost of extracting Hydrogen from oil reserves means that the technology is not economically viable. Now a group of Canadian engineers have developed a cheap method to extract H2 from the oil sands. They presented this work at the Goldschmid Geochemistry Conference in Barcelona.
"There are huge reservoirs of oil sands in several countries, with huge deposits in Alberta, Canada, but also in Venezuela and other countries," says Dr. Ian Gates, of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Calgary and Proton Technologies Inc.
Oil fields, even abandoned oil fields, still contain significant amounts of oil. Researchers have found that injecting oxygen into the fields raises the temperature and releases H2, which can be separated from other gases by specialized filters. Hydrogen does not exist in the tanks, but pumping oxygen means that the reaction to form hydrogen can take place.
Grant Strem, CEO of Proton Technologies, which commercializes the process, says: "This technique can extract huge amounts of hydrogen while leaving carbon in the ground. When working at production level, we anticipate that we will be able to use existing infrastructure and distribution chains to produce H2 for between 1
The economics of the process are favorable, according to Grant Strem, "What comes out of the earth is hydrogen gas, so we don't have the huge above-ground refining costs associated with refining oil: we use the earth as our jet with e. Just taking Alberta as an example, we have the potential to deliver all of Canada's electricity demand in 330 years (Canada uses about 2.5% of global electricity – about the same amount as Germany and more than France or the United Kingdom) Our original the goal is to scale production from Canadian oil sands, but in fact, we anticipate that most of the interest in this process will come from outside Canada, as the economy and the environmental implications make it very difficult for people to see whether want to continue conventional oil production. The only product of this process is hydrogen, which means that the technology is efficient for pollution and emissions. All other gases remain in the ground as they cannot pass through the hydrogen filter to the surface. "
The technology was developed by Ian Gates and Jacky Wang as a result of an agreement between the University of Calgary and Proton Technologies. Inc., which now holds the patent.
Prof. Brian Horsfield (German Geoscience Research Center in Gerts, Potsdam ) said: "The exploration is highly innovative and exciting. It is an adaptation of some concepts from the 1970s flood-fire production, but set to a modern perspective. Falling oilfields are now able to lease life. Extensive test nd place will be crucial in assessing how the system works on industrial scales and over time "
Effective hydrogen compression for large-scale mobility applications
Production of Pure Hydrogen (Only!) From Heavy Oil Tanks, goldschmidt.info/2019/
Scientists extract hydrogen gas from oil and bitumen, giving potential energy without pollution (2019, August 19)
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