B9 Power-to-X

Deep Decarbonisation starts here

Holistic solutions at scale and speed

Using excess renewable energy to produce green hydrogen based fuels for transport, heat and power

An Exciting Collaborative Growth Project

Defining & Creating the Green Hydrogen Economy in Northern Ireland

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Power-to-X

B9 Power-to-X systems produce hydrogen, oxygen, grid services and heat using electrolysis powered by renewable energy and subsequently store and distribute these gases for later use in heat, power, transport and industrial applications. The block diagram below shows the typical system elements….

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Power-to-X Elements Explained

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Wind at Night

Wind energy is imported from the electrical grid during windy nights so that the System Operator does not have to switch wind turbines off. This will reduce compensation payments to wind farmers and help to keep electricity bills low. It will directly reduce curtailment and thereby support continuing wind farm investor confidence.
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Daytime Solar PV

Power from off-grid solar PV panels is imported during the day through a private DC connection. A smoothing battery will be deployed and the electrolyser operated in a generation following mode.
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Grid Balancing Services

The existing SEM ancillary services markets for DS3+ and capacity services can be accessed and the controllable electrolyser load can be used by the system operator for demand side balancing purposes.
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High Pressure Electrolyser

The heart of a Power-to-X project is the electrolyser machine. It consumes electrical energy through the electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen, oxygen, heat and grid services. 9 tonnes of water is converted to 1 tonne of hydrogen and 8 tonnes of oxygen. All modern designs are high pressure in that they produce hydrogen at up to 35bar without the need for a compression step. Traditional Alkaline and PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) machines are being challenged by emerging Membrane Free Electrolyse technology.
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Water

Water supply needs to be at tap water quality. This can be sourced from the water main, borehole or even certain effluents that are cleaned up using reverse osmosis, for example.
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Hydrogen

Green hydrogen can be compressed to 500bar pressure for onward  dispensing into buses and HGV tractor units which store onboard at 350bar. We expect cars to be mostly battery electric in future and therefore not a significant market for hydrogen fuel. Dedicated pipelines can be used for storage and transportation of 100% hydrogen and/or once legislation has been finalised hydrogen can be injected into existing natural gas pipelines up to a limit of 20% by volume without the need to upgrade home appliances.
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Methanol

The market for pure hydrogen in transport will naturally take some time to appear because it depends on older vehicles being retired and new fuel cell versions being procured to replacing them. Electrolysers can be installed much faster that this so it becomes imperative to find something else to consume the hydrogen. An attractive option is to synthesise methanol from hydrogen and carbon di-oxide using a catalytic reactor. There is already a market for Methanol, and a sub-section for Green Methanol, and this product can be used as fuels, additives and/or precursors for the chemical industry.
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DME

A further de-hydrogenation step will process Methanol into Dimethyl Ether (DME) which has a cetane number and so can be used in diesel engines.
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Oxygen

There are many uses for oxygen but a prominent application can be found at sewage treatment plants where conversion of the secondary treatment process from aeration to oxygenation saves energy in electrically operated air blowers and provides capacity headroom. This is especially useful if the existing plant is already capacity constrained and operating at full throughput as expensive upgrades / extensions can be deferred or avoided.
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Heat

The electrolysis process has a conversion efficiency of  between 70% and 80 % which means that 20% to 30% of the input electricity is available in the form of heat that can be stored and distributed in urban areas as part of a district heating system.

3 Phase Deployment Strategy

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Trialling addition of oxygen in the sewage treatment process

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Full scale Membrane-Free Electrolyser

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One of the largest electrolyser installations in the world

Stakeholder Group Member Responsibilities

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EPC Turnkey contractor

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Low carbon project debt

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M&E design and contracting – e.g. district heating

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Vehicle fuelling strategies

Benefits of Power-to-X

  • Simple project
  • Uses existing grid connections
  • Provides balancing load for existing and future wind farms
  • Compact design fits easily onto existing land banks
  • Uses future proof “disruptive” membrane free electrolyser technology
  • Lowest cost of ownership in the electrolyser market
  • Gas separation uses cryogenic process, which enables…
    high density, cost effective liquid hydrogen storage and distribution
  • H2 to transport sector (high value)
  • H2 to Gas grid sector (high volume)
  • H2 to heat sector (few alternatives)
  • H2 to chemical industry (circular economy)
  • O2 to alleviate constraint of Waste Water Treatment plants
  • Controllable load to alleviate constraint of power transmission and distribution lines.
  • Controllable load to alleviate curtailment

Latest News

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Northern Ireland can be a global leader in hydrogen energy

  • On September 16, 2020
Economy Minister Diane Dodds today said the time is right for Northern Ireland to explore the development of a local hydrogen economy. Pictured in photo – left to right: Buta Atwal, Bamford Bus; Peter Johnston, Mayor, Mid & East Antrim Council; Jon Duffy, Clean Power Hydrogen (CPH2); Joe Scott, Clean Power Hydrogen (CPH2); Mark Welsh, […]
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Farewell to being agnostic

  • On September 3, 2020
As a independent developer of renewable energy projects over the last 28 years, B9 has always been agnostic to the choice of technology supplier that we contract with….. until now that is! When it comes to electrolysers, which are at the heart of B9’s Power-to-X projects, we have discovered a novel membrane free electrolyser technology that is able […]
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Dodds: Northern Ireland can lead the way in hydrogen energy

  • On August 19, 2020
‘The real potential is for Northern Ireland to become a centre of excellence for the ‘hydrogen economy’, with local manufacture of electrolysers, hydrogen fuel, and hydrogen-fuelled vehicles for which there will be a rapidly growing demand world-wide.’
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An Interview with David Surplus

  • On February 25, 2020
Action Renewables met with David Surplus, Director of B9 Energy, a business dedicated to the development of innovative renewable energy projects, to find out more about what inspired him to work in this sector, the company’s latest projects, including the ambitious hydrogen project, ‘Belfast Power-to-X’, and why the Cap and Adapt scheme might be key to guaranteeing […]
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