Project: Research

Project Details


Because of its low environmental impact, hydrogen is one of the leading options for clean and sustainable energy. The economic value of hydrogen is well known throughout the, with high demand from energy agencies and other industrial sectors. For this, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) established the Consortium for Hydrogen Future to lead Saudi Arabia's efforts in the field of hydrogen production and mobility. King Fahd University is a pioneer in the Middle East in terms of education and scientific research. Over the past years, it has maintained an advanced position among the universities of the world in terms of the number of patents registered annually, until it reached the fourth position globally, thanks to its wise management and distinguished researchers. Cranfield University is an industry leading university in the United Kingdom and is recognized the scale of its research and it’s higher TRL impact developed from its research. Cranfield University owns and operates the world’s largest sorbent enhanced reforming (SER) pilot plant (1 MWth) and has decades of experience in this field and other high temperature solid looping cycle processes. Cranfield has extensive material synthesis facilities coupled with the ability to characterize and test new sorbents and catalysts from bench to pilot scale. This proposal goes beyond traditional academic research and pushes the boundaries of international collaboration between two scientific superpower countries. The project aims at the development of a technology for clean (blue) hydrogen production based on sorption enhanced reforming (SER) using different feedstock including mainly methane and the Arabia oil and its derivatives. Between Cranfield University and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals we have combined expertise covering the whole value chain of research required to scale this technology and push it towards market commercialization. Joint advanced research will be conducted on: • Evaluating the SER process performance and whole systems design when operating with methane and Arabian oil or derivate feedstock, • Development of database of catalytic properties of potential new catalysts for SER, • Synthesizing the developed new catalysts and sorbent materials at KFUPM labs, and testing them in a lab model for blue hydrogen production by SER that will be established at KFUPM for the purpose of technology transfer, • Evaluation of coking and methods to control coking when utilizing the different feedstocks including methane and Arabian oil or derivate, • Investigation of process control methodologies for achieving accurate steam to carbon ratios, and • Modelling platform development for evaluation of different reactor designs, and The project will also include as part of its international collaboration activities: • Visits from Cranfield experts to KFUPM. • Hosting KFUPM researchers at Cranfield for training, research, and upskilling. • Co-advising and hosting KFUPM students at Cranfield. • Student and researcher exchange events including the potential for summer schools focused on blue hydrogen. • Training and skill development of early career researchers and students. Certainly, KFUPM’s students (about two PhD and two MS students), post-docs (three post-docs), and researchers (about two researchers) will be trained at Cranfield University for the sake of technology transfer. Short (a week) to long (a semester) visits will be arranged throughout the project’s lifetime depending on the stage-needs. • Access to facilities at both sides to undertake cutting edge research into SER.
Effective start/end date10/10/237/10/26


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