DOE funds Shell-led group for liquid hydrogen demo project


Oil major Shell and a consortium of public, private, and academic partners were awarded $6 million in funding by the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate large-scale liquid hydrogen (LH2) storage for international trade applications. A statement said this is a largely untapped field with potential for advancing the global commercialization of hydrogen as an accessible, affordable, and low-carbon energy commodity.

Shell and its partners—including McDermott’s CB&I Storage Solutions, NASA’s Kennedy Space Center, GenH2, and the University of Houston—plan to demonstrate that a large-scale LH2 tank, with a capacity ranging from 20,000 to 100,000 cubic meters, is both feasible and cost competitive at import and export terminals. Shell and CB&I Storage Solutions will both provide an additional $3 million each, for a total project fund of $12 million.

The consortium will collaborate to develop what they said would be a “technically innovative and economically viable” concept design for the large-scale LH2 storage tank. The group also will engineer and construct a scaled-down demonstration tank to test the design.

The project aims to advance the U.S. as a leader in LH2-based international supply chain development and facilitate the commercialization of both blue and green hydrogen export opportunities.

Shell will lead the project and provide guidance on hydrogen supply chain and safety. CB&I Storage Solutions will provide engineering, design, and LH2 construction storage expertise. GenH2 will design and manufacture a thermal testing device, known as Cryostat-900. NASA will work with GenH2 on novel testing development. The University of Houston will focus on creating detailed thermal models of the proposed insulation systems.

Shell said that the ability to transport hydrogen between countries via pipelines and ships will be a key element of the future energy system.

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