NEW DELHI -- The global demand for hydrogen continues
to increase. How this demand will be met was the topic in the
IRPC 2013 presentation by Sanjiv Ratan, an official
with Technip Stone & Webster's process technology business.
The increased need for hydrogen is spurred by growing demand
for cleaner transportation fuels and upgrading of "opportunity"
crudes, he said. Refiners are challenged to convert the bottom
of the barrel into higher-value products.
Mr. Ratan stressed that hydrogen is a refinery asset, adding
that refiners should focus on refinery margins and less on costs.
One option to meet future hydrogen demand is the concept of the
mega-hydrogen plant, which are single train facilities of 100 to 200 kNm3. The
refinery Hy-Way, though, has several
technical issues to resolve.
A major concern is the tight natural gas supplies needed for
hydrogen plants and the need improve reliability, availability and maintenance (RAM), which impact
Global hydrogen demand will increase from 128 bcmy in 2001 to
245.5 bcmy by 2021, Mr. Ratan said. Much of new hydrogen will
come from China and India, with both nations more than
tripling their present hydrogen levels, he said.
Hydrogen is available in refinery fuel gas. Technip noted
that it has management product HyN DT (hydrogen network design
tool) that provides guidance in cost-effectively identifying
hydrogen resources in fuel gas.
In hydrogen plants, switching from naphtha to natural gas
provides benefits too. Natural gas is a cheaper feed. Other
processing bonuses include lower carbon dioxide emissions along with improved
The other option, Mr. Ratan said, is making hydrogen
through a mega H2 facility. The Mega H2 facility uses a single
train to capture economies of scale over a smaller, two-train
unit, he said.
The installed costs are less and the unit requires a small
footprint. The facility turn down is more efficient as well,
given the high energy efficiencies with the single train.
Whatever the solution, Mr. Ratan believes the growing refining landscape and its emerging
needs, especially in Asia, call for concerted strategies for
ensuring H2 availability efficiently and
In modern high-conversion integrated refineries, the need
for hydrogen can be satisfied starting with judicious hydrogen
management, followed by a potential capacity revamp of
existing H2 plants, he said.
Eventually, that can lead to efficient and
reliable H2 generation, furthered by adopting
a buy mode via over-the-fence
supply.For full coverage of IRPC 2013, visit