Unlocking opportunity to produce clean & affordable hydrogen
We are laying the foundation for industrial-scale renewable hydrogen production in Iowa.
In collaboration with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, Ideal Energy is charting the path to a green hydrogen economy. We’re developing a new value chain that will bring the state’s resources and infrastructure together to build a resilient and robust energy future.
Now, we’re also working on the second requirement. Renewable hydrogen is perfectly suited to all of the situations renewable electricity and batteries are not, from longer-term energy storage to agrichemical uses to heavy transport. We think the growth potential for the renewable hydrogen industry is hard to overstate, and we’re excited to be on the leading edge.
Creating Renewable Hydrogen
WIND & SOLAR POWER
Excess power can provide clean electricity for electrolysis
Electrolyzers use electricity to convert water (H20) into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2)
H2 can be used onsite for energy storage or shipped elsewhere for other uses
Hydrogen can be stored onsite and used in co-located gas turbine power plants or fuel cells to produce electricity when needed
Hydrogen can be used as an ingredient in ammonia production for fertilizer or other industrial uses
Hydrogen can be converted into electricity directly using fuel cells – in vehicles, power plants, or other settings
Hydrogen can be mixed into the natural gas grid at up to 10% with no changes to downstream appliances and no safety issues
We are identifying wind energy and Iowa’s growing solar PV resources and potential hydrogen off-takers. With abundant wind energy resources and a huge demand for ammonia (which is a hydrogen product), Iowa is the ideal place to begin growing America’s hydrogen economy.
Iowa generates 41.9% of its energy with wind – the highest percentage of any state in the nation – and is second only to Texas in total installed capacity with 10,664 megawatts. Iowa is a major agricultural state with the highest corn production in the nation and the second-highest soybean production. Iowa has a thriving biofuels industry and a large manufacturing sector – both of which could benefit from competitively priced hydrogen.
Renewable hydrogen production requires a renewable energy source, an electrolyzer, and hydrogen storage and transport infrastructure. Wind and solar PV farms provide the perfect energy source. Wind farms have high capacity factors while solar farms provide the lowest cost of electricity during the daytime. Competitively priced renewable H2 will require both low-cost renewable electricity and a high electrolyzer capacity factor.
The petroleum refining and chemical processing industries have decades of experience with H2 purification, storage, and transportation. Electrolyzers are the key pieces of infrastructure that are still evolving. Current options include proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzers and alkaline water electrolyzers. PEM utilize a solid polymer electrolyte rather than a liquid alkaline water solution. Over time, solid oxide electrolyzers, currently used in space, are expected to displace PEM devices.
As experience with renewable H2 increases in Iowa and the societal cost of CO2 emissions becomes increasingly important in investment decisions, other use cases will emerge. Renewable H2 will be used to fuel medium and heavy-duty trucks and eventually, ammonia and fertilizers based on ammonia will be produced with 100% renewable H2. In the future, biofuels will be converted to high-value aviation fuel using renewable H2 as well.