The goal of the US Department of Energy (DOE) hydrogen production portfolio is to research and develop low-cost, highly efficient and environmentally friendly production technologies based on diverse, domestic resources. The DOE Hydrogen Program integrates basic and applied research, as well as technology development and demonstration, to adequately address a diverse range of technologies and feedstocks. The program encompasses a broad spectrum of coordinated activities within the DOE Offices of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), Nuclear Energy (NE), Fossil Energy (FE), and Science (SC). Hydrogen can be produced in small, medium, and larger scale facilities, with small-scale distributed facilities producing from 100 to 1,500 kilograms (kg) of hydrogen per day at fueling stations, and medium-scale (also known as semi-central or city-gate) facilities producing from 1,500 to 50,000 kg per day on the outskirts of cities. The largest central facilities would produce more than 50,000 kg of hydrogen per day. Specific technologies currently under program development for distributed hydrogen production include bio-derived renewable liquids and water electrolysis. Centralized renewable production pathways under development include water electrolysis integrated with renewable power (e.g., wind, solar, hydroelectric, or geothermal), biomass gasification, solar-driven high-temperature thermochemical water splitting, direct photoelectrochemical water splitting, and biological production methods using algal/bacterial processes. To facilitate commercialization of hydrogen production via these various technology pathways in the near and long terms, a “Hydrogen Production Roadmap” has been developed which identifies the key challenges and high-priority research and development needs associated with each technology. The aim is to foster research that will lead to hydrogen production with near-zero net greenhouse gas emissions, using renewable energy sources, nuclear energy, and/or coal (with carbon capture and storage). This paper describes the research and development needs and activities by various DOE offices to address the key challenges in the portfolio of hydrogen production technologies.

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