Power-to-X 

The technological answer to sector coupling – a pathway to a carbon-free world
Learn how to decarbonize the world with Power-to-X

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December 2nd – 13th, 2019

UN Climate Change Conference COP 25

The conference is designed to take the next crucial steps in the UN climate change process.

A great challenge of coming years is to decarbonize different sectors, e.g. the power industry, mobility or the process industry. Learn more about your opportunities on this webpage.

 

Stay informed with our news and developments related to the topic.

 
Introduction

Power-to-X: Solutions to decarbonize economy

Siemens supports global decarbonization, the shift from fossil to renewable energy sources and the associated massive reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Climate change and the urgent need for worldwide decarbonization

The climate crisis is palpable. The continued projections of damage caused by the emission of greenhouse gases are dire and incalculable: rising global temperatures, shrinking glaciers, warming oceans, vanishing coastlines and increasing natural catastrophes leading to the displacement of millions of people. Curbing the greenhouse effect is becoming the decisive factor for energy policies worldwide.

 

In an effort to limit global warming to well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels, 174 countries have signed the Paris Agreement to limit emissions substantially and move to a decarbonized economy.  Political pressure in industrialized countries is mounting.

 

In order to reach the goal, sector coupling – the energetic link of previously separated sectors like power, heating, or mobility is required. Sector coupling acts as a link between renewable energy sources such as wind, solar, biomass, waste, etc. and consumers such as industry, households, or use in other sectors.

 

It has the potential to reduce primary fossil energy consumption by 50% even while power demand grows by 25%.

Power-to-X as a key technology in sector coupling offers the opportunity to transform and save energy from renewable resources in a chemical form for long term storage and use, with e-Hydrogen as the core component. 
Dr. Volkmar Pflug, Head of Energy Economics and Competitive Intelligence
Magazine article

Power-to-X: The pathway to a carbon-free world

Our expert Dr. Volkmar Pflug talked to Junior Isles from The Energy Industry Times about how Power-to-X enables the decarbonization of the other sectors using renewable electrical energy from the power sector.

What is Power-to-X?

Power-to-X describes methods for converting electrical energy into liquid or gaseous chemical energy sources through electrolysis and further synthesis processes. Using electrical current, water is split into oxygen and hydrogen – a 100% CO₂ emission-free process. Being a key technology for the energy transition, Hydrogen can be easily stored and further used or processed in many ways.

Decarbonization via Power-to-X starting today

  1. Mobility: Power-to-X produces synthetic fuels for immediate application: e-Methane, e-Methanol, e-Diesel, e-Gasoline or e-Jet fuel – ready for instant use.They can be blended gradually with fossil fuels until they fully replace fossil fuels as a primary energy source. 
    Existing infrastructure such as gas pipelines, gas stations, or storage facilities can be used as well as existing and low-cost consumer applications, powered by e-Fuels. 
  2. Heating/Cooling: Power-to-X also includes using electrical energy from renewable sources for heat/cold via e.g. heat pumps. 
  3. Power generation: Modern gas turbines can be operated with a mix of hydrogen and natural gas, with a hydrogen share of 5 to 100%. Hydrogen can be cached, transported in gas grids and re-electrified in gas turbines, combined cycles or fuel cell power plants.

Power-to-X technologies offer a smooth transition from the fossil world to a fully sustainable world. Through a continuously increasing share of e-Fuels in the fuel mix, no immediate changes are needed in the fuel infrastructure and end-user applications.

 

For the synthesis of e-Fuels and e-Chemicals, CO₂ is required. It can be withdrawn from unavoidable emissions in carbon-based industrial processes or will be obtained directly from the air – an active method for decarbonization! 

 

 

 

The opportunities of hydrogen economy

Using renewable electrical energy from the power sector to decarbonize energy across all sectors unlocks enormous environmental and business benefits. Through Power-to-X technologies, sectors beyond power generation will benefit from renewable power and become increasingly green over the total chain from production to application. 

In times when we must slow and even reverse the effects of climate change, sector coupling is key to making the energy supply greener. By utilizing existing infrastructure and surpluses from wind and solar power, Power-to-X offers opportunities for CO₂ neutrality and efficiency along the entire energy value chain.
Lisa Davis, CEO Gas and Power, Siemens AG
Siemens offering

Components or turnkey solutions

With Siemens as a partner, you benefit from more than a century of experience in oil&gas, power generation, and transmission technologies. Following a modular approach, we offer various Power-to-X plant packages and configurations to match individual use cases. For turnkey solutions, Siemens optimizes all assets from a technical and commercial point of view.
power2x

Renewable
power
package

H2 package

Re-
electrification
package

e-Fuel
sythesis
package

Turnkey package

Power2x
Power2x
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H₂ package: Electrolyzer, hydrogen compression and intermediate storage

Currently 95% of H₂ is produced from fossil sources, which in turn produces CO₂ emissions. In comparison, producing hydrogen from renewable energy and water via electrolysis is a CO₂-free alternative. 

 

The Siemens hydrogen generation plant is a facility that integrates key technologies to produce e-Hydrogen. It is the basic module of the Siemens Power-to-X plant solutions.

The Siemens hydrogen generation plant is a facility that integrates key technologies to produce e-Hydrogen. This innovative solution will serve, connect, transform and reduce carbon emissions in multiple industries. It is the basic module of the Siemens Power-to-X plant solutions.

Scope

Siemens provides the full EPC for this package, comprising of

  • Electrical equipment (transformer, switchgear, rectifier etc.)
  • Treatment and deionization of water as needed
  • PEM electrolyzer
  • Cleaning of e-Hydrogen, i.e. drying and de-oxygenation (de-oxy-dryer) according to the needs of the downstream applications
  • Gas hold
  • Pressurization of e-Hydrogen with reciprocating or turbo-compressors, depending on final pressure level and mass flow

Due to the low molecular weight and chemical characteristics of H₂, the effective safe handling of hydrogen needs specific solutions, products and know-how. Gases containing hydrogen require a limitation of yield strength and hardness according to API 617. Of course, this is part of the Siemens designs.

Re-electrification package: H₂ gas turbine solutions

A growing share of electricity is generated from fluctuating renewable sources such as sun and wind. With less reliance on carbon-emitting power sources, the need to change energy systems becomes increasingly urgent. After all, power must also be available when sun and wind are scarce. Storing and re-electrifying surplus renewable energy thus becomes critical.

The primary source for the re-electrification package is e-Hydrogen generated and stored with the Siemens H₂ package. 

 

Re-electrification of e-Hydrogen is achieved either by combustion in gas turbines (simple or combined cycle) or reciprocating engines, or through fuel cells.

 

This arrangement can also be combined and/ or extended with Battery Energy Storage (BES) in a hybrid generation unit to further increase flexibility.

Scope

Siemens is providing the full EPC for this package, comprising of

  • Fuel system (incl. admixing other fossil fuels or steam, where needed)
  • Gas turbine and combined cycle power plants
  • Reciprocating engine plants
  • Fuel cell plants (supplied by partner)
  • Battery energy storage system in case of hybrid system
  • Grid connection

Already natural gas-fired power generation units boast a much higher efficiency level and lower CO₂ emissions than coal-fired plants. By blending e-Hydrogen with natural gas or even substituting natural gas altogether, these CO₂ emissions can be further reduced until, ultimately, they reach zero. 

Siemens gas turbines – H₂ capability

Today, most Siemens gas turbines turbines can accommodate high levels of hydrogen. Selected engines can even burn up to 100% of H₂. 

e-Fuel sythesis package: Convert renewable hydrogen into synthetic fuels to decarbonize mobility and other industries

e-Hydrogen can further contribute to decarbonization through the syntheses with captured CO₂ to carbon-based e-Fuels (which, thus, are widely carbon-neutral).

This way, even sectors with requirements on high energy density fuels such as the aviation and shipping industries, could be decarbonized to a far extent. Prominent use-cases are e-Methanol, e-Diesel, e-Gasoline, and e-Jet fuel for mobility. Other applications include e-Methane or e-Ammonia, a base chemical for fertilizers or future energy transport.

The primary source is e-Hydrogen generated in the Siemens H₂-package.

Hydrogen is then further processed through e.g. methanol synthesis or Fischer-Tropsch process. The CO₂ can either be gained from inevitable emissions, for instance, from cement, glass, or steel production. Alternatively, CO₂ could prospectively be extracted from the atmosphere (direct air capture - DAC).

Scope

Siemens together with its partners provides the full EPC for this package, comprising:

  • Siemens' proprietary PostCap™ carbon capture, oxyfuel and direct air capture with partners
  • Synthesis processes with partners – directly from CO₂ and H₂ without the need for reverse water gas shift
  • For e-Ammonia, the system includes the nitrogen supply, e.g. by a cryogenic air separation unit (supplied by partner)

Turnkey Solution: Decarbonization for the entire energy chain

Wind generators, hydrogen-producting electrolyzers, hydrogen compressor and storage solutions, post-combustion carbon capture, and gas turbines for re-electrifcation of e-hydrogen are part of the Siemens portfolio.

 

For large-scale Power-to-X plants, Siemens offers a variety of scopes from individual products to turnkey EPC solutions including a full technical optimization of the entire H₂ value chain.  

Scope

Renewable power package

  • Renewable energy supply including grid connection or captive power supply for the Power-to-X plant
  • Wind turbines onshore and offshore as well as complete wind parts and renewable energy solutions are offered together with Siemens-Gamesa

 

H₂ package

  • Electrical equipment (transformer, switchgear, rectifier etc.)
  • Treatment and deionization of water as needed
  • PEM electrolyzer
  • Cleaning of e-Hydrogen, i.e. drying and de-oxygenation (de-oxy-dryer) according to the needs of the downstream applications
  • Gas hold
  • Pressurization of e-Hydrogen with reciprocating or turbo-compressors, depending on final pressure level and mass flow

 

Re-electrification package

  • Fuel system (incl. admixing other fossil fuels or steam, where needed)
  • Gas turbine and combined cycle power plants
  • Reciprocating engine plants
  • Fuel cell plants (supplied by partner)
  • Battery energy storage system in case of hybrid system
  • Grid connection

 

e-Fuel package:

  • Siemens' proprietary PostCap™ carbon capture, oxyfuel and direct air capture with partners
  • Synthesis processes with partners – directly from CO₂ and H₂ without the need for reverse water gas shift
  • For e-Ammonia, the system includes the nitrogen supply, e.g. by a cryogenic air separation unit (supplied by partner)

PostCap™: Remove CO₂ from exhaust gases of your power plant

Siemens has developed a process for post-combustion removal of CO₂ from power plant flue gases that employs an aqueous solution of an amino acid salt. 

 

~90% of the flue gas’ CO₂ is captured.

 

Siemens PostCap™ technology has demonstrated its availability for use in a pilot plant and is now ready for an extended demonstration  in a large-scale demo plant.

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COP25 Special

Power-to-X reshaping the energy world

References

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