Confidential Central California refinery generating 'green hydrogen' from biomass

Location Client Project Size Team Members Christine M Halley, PE – Principal-in-Charge

Eric N. Dhanens, Project Manager

Confidential Central California refinery generating ‘green hydrogen’ from biomass

California’s carbon neutrality goals establish high goals for our citizens and industries. Petroleum refineries stand at the center of lessening the carbon intensity of the state’s fuel supplies such that they explore a variety of options to lessen greenhouse gas emissions associated with their products.

This was the driver behind the evaluation of producing hydrogen from biomass at a Central California refinery. The specifics of Cornerstone’s work for this client is held confidential.

Cornerstone evaluated the size of biomass facility and potential sources of feedstock to generate hydrogen for a refinery with a baseline hydrogen consumption on the order of 3.5 MMSCFD. Material handling exceeding 1,000 tons/day was studied. Cornerstone team members prepared a conceptual site layout, investigated sources of feedstock, considered two conversion processes, and provided an opinion of probable construction and operational costs. Our scope also included a permitting overview for each of the two biomass conversion processes.

Cornerstone’s findings were foundational to the refinery’s facility planning. The overall conclusion was that the scale of the biomass undertaking (footprint and truck traffic) to generate appreciable quantities of hydrogen rendered this approach less attractive than other decarbonization options available to this specific refinery.