Review on techno-economics of hydrogen production using current and emerging processes: Status and perspectives

Medhat A. Nemitallah*, Abdulrahman A. Alnazha, Usama Ahmed, Mohammed El-Adawy, Mohamed A. Habib

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


This review presents a broad exploration of the techno economic evaluation of different technologies utilized in the production of hydrogen from both renewable and non-renewable sources. These encompass methods ranging from extracting hydrogen from fossil fuels or biomass to employing microbial processes, electrolysis of water, and various thermochemical cycles. A rigorous techno-economic evaluation of hydrogen production technologies can provide a critical cost comparison for future resource allocation, priorities, and trajectory. This evaluation will have a great impact on future hydrogen production projects and the development of new approaches to reduce overall production costs and make it a cheaper fuel. Different methods of hydrogen production exhibit varying efficiencies and costs: fast pyrolysis can yield up to 45% hydrogen at a cost range of $1.25 to $2.20 per kilogram, while gasification, operating at temperatures exceeding 750 °C, faces challenges such as limited small-scale coal production and issues with tar formation in biomass. Steam methane reforming, which constitutes 48% of hydrogen output, experiences cost fluctuations depending on scale, whereas auto-thermal reforming offers higher efficiency albeit at increased costs. Chemical looping shows promise in emissions reduction but encounters economic hurdles, and sorption-enhanced reforming achieves over 90% hydrogen but requires CO2 storage. Renewable liquid reforming proves effective and economically viable. Additionally, electrolysis methods like PEM aim for costs below $2.30 per kilogram, while dark fermentation, though cost-effective, grapples with efficiency challenges. Overcoming technical, economic barriers, and managing electricity costs remains crucial for optimizing hydrogen production in a low-carbon future, necessitating ongoing research and development efforts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101890
JournalResults in Engineering
StatePublished - Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Authors


  • Biochemical conversion
  • Hydrogen production
  • Lifecycle assessment
  • Renewable liquid reforming
  • Techno-economics
  • Thermochemical conversion
  • Water electrolysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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