The UK Environment Agency announced on Feb.3 a guidance on blue hydrogen production with CO2 capture, including a requirement for a carbon capture rate of at least 95% for companies planning to produce hydrogen from fossil gas in the country.
The blue hydrogen plants must be designed to maximize CO2 capture efficiency, the government unit said. The Environment Agency, which will give permits for blue H2 production, said the companies that propose plants with a 95% or more CO2 capture rate should also provide justification for doing so.
Low-carbon hydrogen is crucial to the UK’s hydrogen strategy and many fossil fuel plants in the country are planning to launch plants that use the technology, including BP, Equinor, and Ineos.
Hydrogen will likely be “an important part” of the UK’s low-carbon future, which is why robust regulation was needed to make sure it delivers promised emissions reductions, said Georgina Collins, director of regulated industry at the Environment Agency. “As an environmental regulator, our role is to ensure that hydrogen production is conducted in a way that protects people and the environment. Our emerging techniques guidance will go a long way towards achieving that,” she also said.
The Agency will define the overall CO2 capture efficiency as the mass of carbon equivalent captured for storage as a percentage of the mass of the carbon dioxide used to produce fuel such as methane or refinery fuel gas.
The industry has been urged to include space in plants for additional CO2 capture technologies in order to be ready for upcoming stricter regulations and “likely changes” to the carbon capture efficiency rules. The Environment Agency has also asked companies to consider a wide range of environmental factors when building a plant, including energy requirements, selecting the appropriate solvents, effluents and wastes, and treated flue gas dispersion.
Read more: UK Blue Hydrogen Plan Could See Rise In Carbon Emissions