HYDROGEN POLICY: US lawmakers, ACC promote Hydrogen for Industry Act

JT Strasner

02-Dec-2022

HOUSTON (ICIS)–US senators are working on legislation to support the adoption of hydrogen in energy-intensive sectors.

Senators Chris Coons (Democrat, Delaware) and John Cornyn (Republican, Texas) joined forces on the bipartisan Hydrogen Infrastructure Initiative, also known as the Hydrogen for Industry Act, which is a package of three bills and is also known as S. 3112.

Hydrogen is a high-energy fuel source that does not emit greenhouse gases at the point of use, properties that allow it to be used in intense and long-duration applications, the lawmakers said, in promoting hydrogen use.

“In order to move toward a more sustainable future, it is imperative that we invest in the programmes and technologies that will help us get there,” said Coons.

“Delaware is leading the way in advancing hydrogen technologies, which can provide a clean and reliable source of energy for the hardest to decarbonise applications and help us move away from fossil fuels.

“Hydrogen deployment in emissions-intensive sectors, such as steel production and shipping, offers the potential to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality, all while maintaining energy and economic security.”

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) on Thursday expressed its support for the Hydrogen for Industry Act.

The legislation would amend the Energy Policy Act of 2005 to establish a hydrogen technologies for heavy industry grant programme.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is holding a hearing on Thursday to receive testimony on the Hydrogen for Industry Act and other bills.

“We commend Sen. Coons for helping to drive critical investment in the development of hydrogen technologies for the industrial sector,” said Charles Franklin, the ACC’s senior director for energy, climate, and environment.

“Chemical companies are among the leaders and participants in exploring the use of hydrogen to help reduce emissions and create jobs. The chemical industry is both a use market and a solution provider for the hydrogen economy.”

He added: “The Hydrogen for Industry Act recognises the US industry’s key role in hydrogen production and technology development and how it can contribute to the hydrogen and fuel cell supply chain going forward. The grant programme created by S. 3112 can help accelerate hydrogen projects that benefit our economy and environment.”

Some ACC members have begun or are developing projects to use hubs for hydrogen, carbon capture, and other lower-emissions technologies.

As part of this effort, the ACC is urging the US Department of Energy (DoE) to fully support chemical industry participation in the development of industrial hydrogen hubs.

As an energy-intensive industry, the chemical sector is a promising use market for hydrogen fuels and technologies.

Meanwhile, chemistry products are being used to build the hydrogen economy.

Examples include carbon fibre used in hydrogen storage, chemistries used in proton exchange membranes, specialty polymers and other inputs for fuel cell components and technologies, thermoplastic and thermoset composites for hydrogen pressure vessels, and recycling of fuel cell materials.

The Hydrogen for Industry Act requires the DOE to establish grant programmes to support the use of hydrogen in energy.

Specifically, the DOE must establish a grant program for projects that demonstrate the uses of hydrogen in heavy industry (for example steel, cement, glass and chemical manufacturing).

It also directs the DOE to establish a grant programme for carrying out projects that demonstrate the end-uses of hydrogen; constructing a new commercial-scale facility that will use hydrogen as a fuel or feedstock; or retooling, retrofitting, or expanding an existing facility to enable the use of hydrogen as a fuel or feedstock in industrial end-use applications of hydrogen.

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