Thermodynamic and Irreversibility Analysis of the ‎Use of Hydrogen for the Energy Conversion of Fossil ‎Fuel in Power plants

Document Type : Original Article


Energy and Physics Department, Amirkabir University of Technology, 424 Hafez Ave., Tehran, Iran


This work seeks to investigate the possibilities of using hydrogen as a fuel in medium-large power generation plants. Possible strategies for converting fossil sources, particularly coal and natural gas, into electricity, using hydrogen-powered cycles, are examined, trying to quantify the energy efficiencies of thermodynamic cycles and the entire conversion process. It is observed how, by analyzing the entire conversion process from a thermodynamic point of view and taking as a reference possible thermodynamic cycles proposed in the literature (open H2-air and closed H2-O2 cycles), the overall efficiencies of the conversion process, from the source fossil to electricity passing through hydrogen as an energy vector, are overall lower than those obtainable through conventional systems used today, even assuming the use of advanced technologies (turbines with operating temperatures above 1500 ° C) not yet available on the market. In particular, the overall efficiencies of the conversion process are less than 40% in the case of coal and 50% in the case of natural gas. The road to using hydrogen, therefore, although interesting, is still long and difficult.


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