DOE Entrusts University of Wyoming to Lead Hydrogen Project
The University of Wyoming has been granted $10 million to lead a hydrogen production project centered around a novel approach involving thermal desalination of produced water.

The Hydrogen Energy Research Centre (H2ERC) at the university’s School of Energy Resources (SER) will spearhead a collaborative initiative that combines thermal desalination of product water with autothermal or steam methane reforming (ATR/SMR) techniques to generate hydrogen.

The project’s funding, which originates from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management, is part of the ‘Clean Hydrogen Production, Storage, Transport and Utilisation to Enable a Net Zero Carbon Economy’ funding opportunity. The project has been chosen to receive approximately $5 million in funding, with additional contributions from partners to bring the total project value to $10 million.

The core objective of the project is to demonstrate a novel method for hydrogen production that leverages water produced during oil and gas extraction. This aligns with broader ambitions to advance hydrogen technologies, enhance their performance, dependability, and flexibility, and contribute to the global goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen holds significant promise as a clean energy carrier that could play a pivotal role in realising a net zero carbon economy.

By integrating produced water thermal desalination technology with hydrogen production processes such as ATR/SMR, the project introduces an innovative strategy to tackle both hydrogen production and water management challenges linked to oil and gas extraction. The project’s success could potentially establish more sustainable and efficient means of hydrogen production, thus accelerating the transition towards a cleaner energy landscape.