Advanced measurement solutions enhance blue hydrogen production

Emerson Automation Solutions
Thursday, 01 June, 2023

Advanced measurement solutions enhance blue hydrogen production

The topics of energy security and economic growth now encompass sustainability and decarbonisation. To achieve net zero emissions by 2050, many countries have passed laws and allocated subsidies and encouraged public and private investment in promoting renewable energy use over conventional fossil fuels. Hydrogen can play a crucial role in the worldwide reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by providing a cleaner energy source for challenging-to-decarbonise industrial processes, portions of the transportation sector, and extended energy storage.

Production challenges

In the past, hydrogen production was viewed as a financial burden on refinery operations. However, selling clean hydrogen now offers a chance to enhance plant profitability. With growing demand in the external market, there is a need to increase production capacity. Nevertheless, producers must focus on decreasing unit production costs by boosting production efficiency and minimising energy usage to expedite the shift towards blue hydrogen.

Emerson delivers environmentally sustainable solutions for customers across the hydrogen value chain, from production to transmission and storage, to distribution and consumption. The right technologies can help improve productivity, reduce variability, decrease energy usage, lower emissions and validate the sustainability of operations across the value chain. As part of measurement solutions product portfolio, Emerson offers a range of solutions, some of which are discussed below.

Hydrogen flow measurement

Several hydrogen service flow meter options are available, including differential pressure, vortex, Coriolis and ultrasonic meters. The most suitable choice depends on the process conditions and the specific application. Differential pressure-based flow measurement enjoys widespread acceptance across industries, particularly for non-custody or process control applications. Vortex meters are also frequently employed in hydrogen applications, as they have fewer potential leak points and are highly effective when flow measurement is part of a safety loop. The Rosemount Dual or Quad Vortex Meter provides multiple measurements in a single meter body, making it an excellent choice.

In custody transfer applications where high accuracy is crucial, Coriolis and ultrasonic meters are the most appropriate options. Coriolis meters can measure concentrations from 0% to pure hydrogen, covering a wide temperature range and even cryogenic conditions, and are independent of the flow profile. Ultrasonic meters, however, have a more limited temperature range and can only be used in services where hydrogen concentration is up to 30%. Nevertheless, they can be utilised in line sizes up to 36″ and do not incur pressure drop or have moving parts. It is essential to understand the flow meter application and the process conditions it will operate under to determine the best fit technology.

Coriolis flow meters

The variability of natural gas and other feed gas quality poses a significant obstacle to achieving optimal steam-to-carbon ratios in reformer reactors. Fortunately, employing Micro Motion Coriolis mass flow meters make it easier and more precise to maintain the molar ratio of steam to carbon in real time. This is because the mass ratio is more closely aligned with the molar ratio than the volumetric ratio. By optimising the steam-to-carbon ratio, the lifespan of catalysts can be extended, energy costs can be reduced and safety can be enhanced.

Continuous gas analysis

Continuous monitoring of the feed gas, intermediate streams and the final product is crucial in identifying process inefficiencies and facilitating further process optimisation. Emerson’s Rosemount continuous gas analysers and Rosemount 700XA gas chromatographs deliver exceptionally precise and continuous gas composition analysis, enabling the efficient monitoring of the reforming and shift converter efficiency.

Measurement solutions for hydrogen purity

Ensuring the final product meets the necessary hydrogen purity standards is crucial. The Rosemount CT5800 Continuous Gas Analyser delivers rapid and precise measurement and analysis within a single instrument, capable of identifying gas impurities at ppm levels. This device offers industry-leading accuracy, easy installation, operation, maintenance and reduced operational costs.

Emerson provides a range of measurement and control solutions that are both proven and innovative, helping you achieve optimal performance today while reducing costs in the future. For further information on advanced measurement solutions that can enhance blue hydrogen production, you can download our e-book: Measurement Solutions for Blue Hydrogen Production | Rosemount | Emerson (

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