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 working to enable large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage for international trade applications.
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.
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 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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.