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7th Egyptian Rural Development Conference (ERD7) ‫اﻟﻤﺆﺗﻤﺮ اﻟﺴﺎﺑﻊ ﻟﺘﻨﻤﯿﺔ اﻟﺮﯾﻒ اﻟﻤﺼﺮى‬

Faculty of Engineering, Shebin El-Kom ‫ﻛﻠﯿﺔ اﻟﮭﻨﺪﺳﺔ ﺑﺸﺒﯿﻦ اﻟﻜﻮم‬


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Potential of Renewable Hydrogen Production Technologies


For Energy Requirements in Egypt
BALABEL. A, SAKR .I.M. and IBRAHIM. K.
Mechanical Power Engineering Department,
Faculty of Engineering, Minoufiya University, Shebin El-kom, Egypt.
Email: ashrafbalable@yahoo.com
Email: ismailsakr@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

As a result of the industrial revolution in the last ten years in Egypt, a variety of energy
sources are required in order to overcome the increased demand of energy. The fossil fuels
supplies still the major source of energy although of its serious environmental pollution.
Egypt is a rich country with renewable energy sources, such as solar energy, wind energy and
natural resources of fresh water, groundwater and flat desert. Previous scientific studies have
shown that Egypt has a distinct geographical site and an excellent climate. Hydrogen is one of
the most suitable energy carriers for the technological and environmental perspectives of the
21st century. This paper reviews the recent development of hydrogen technologies over the
world, followed by an overview of the available opportunities for renewable hydrogen
production which support the long-term energy supply in Egypt

KEY WORDS

Hydrogen production, Renewable hydrogen, water electrolysis

1. Introduction

One of the main reasons for many people doing research for production of hydrogen is
"Global warming". Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's
near – surface air and oceans. Increasing global temperature will cause temperature level to
rise, and is expected to increase the intensity of extreme weather events and to change the
amount and pattern of precipitation. In the past century, Earth's temperature has rise about 1

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o
F. The global sea levels have risen 4 to 8 inches [1]. The past 50 years of warming has been
attributed to human activity. On Earth, the major greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide (CO2),
methane (CH4) and ozone.

Human activity since the industrial revolution has increased the concentration of various
greenhouse gases, leading to increased radiative forcing from CO2, CH4, troposphere ozone,
chloro fluro carbons (CFCs) and nitrous oxide. The atmospheric concentrations of CO2 and
CH4 have increased by 31% and 149% respectively since the beginning of the industrial
revolution in the mid- 1700s [2]. Fossil fuel burning has produced about three-quarters of the
increase in CO2 from human activity over the past 20 years. Figure 1 shows the increase in the
global fossil carbon emissions in the last two centuries. The fossil carbon emissions in the
beginning of the industrial revolution were in control. But, after 1850, it rose drastically and is
expected to increase at a higher rate in the future.

Fig.1. Global fossil carbon emissions in the last two centuries [3]

Another important reason for the increasing research work on production of hydrogen is,
the above mentioned fuels are non-renewable energy sources. Non-renewable energy is
energy that comes from the ground and is not replaced in a relatively short amount of time.

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Fossil fuels are the main category of non-renewable energy. Fossil fuels include; coal, oil and
natural gas. They currently provide more than 85% of all the energy consumed in the United
States, nearly two-thirds of the electricity and virtually all of the transportation fuels [4]. As a
consequence, investigations of renewable energy strategies have recently become important,
particularly for future world stability. The most important property of renewable energy
sources is their environmental compatibility. In 2006 about 18% of global final energy
consumption came from renewables [5]. Figure 2 shows the different kinds of renewable
sources used to generate energy in 2006. From this pie diagram it can be found that 50% of
the renewable energy that is used is generated from hydropower.

Figure 2: Renewable energies in year 2006 [5].

At the end, hydrogen is one of the most suitable energy carriers for the technological and
environmental perspectives of the 21st century, particularly in the context of sustainable

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development. Egypt depends on fossil fuel and hydroelectric power for its energy supplies. In
the mid 1990s, petroleum supplied the majority of the energy, and the hydroelectric power,
25%. Egypt has the capacity to generate 9302 million kWh of electricity. Two thirds of this
amount is generated by hydroelectric plant, most at the Aswan High Dam. Industrialization
and the national program of rural electrification have demanded additional generating
capacity [6]. Production of hydrogen by water electrolysis using renewable energy, i.e.
hydropower, has a long tradition in Egypt. In the KIMA Company in Aswan such production
has taken place on an industrial scale for 30 years, after the building of the High Dam at the
south of Aswan in Upper Egypt [7].The rate of production is 35400m3/hH2. Recently, the
government has embarked on a large multi-purpose project, in the western desert, which is
called Toshka. The aim of this project is to reclaim the land by supplying it with water from
the Nile River. In this region, the solar isolation exceeds 2500 kWh/m2 year, which is the
highest universal rate for solar energy. Consequently, solar energy can be exploited in
generating electricity via photovoltaics. Thus, a solar hydrogen energy system is being
proposed to meet the energy and environmental needs of Egypt [8].
Hydrogen can be produced by various methods, such as fossil, renewable biomass and
water. Water electrolysis is the common method, which is fully developed and is being used
on a large scale. In this paper reviews the recent development of hydrogen technologies,
followed by an overview of the opportunities for renewable hydrogen production for long-
term energy supply in Egypt.

2. Hydrogen
Hydrogen can be produced from water through electrolysis or from fossil fuels through
reforming. The energy required by these processes can be obtained from various sources than
include fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy sources, including biofuels.

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Ele ctrolysis
4%
Coa l
18%

Na tura l Ga s
48%

Oil
30%

Figure 3: Total energy distribution in the year 2005 [9].

This plurality in terms of energy sources is one of the main advantages of the hydrogen
energy vector, since the world economy can disentangle itself from its dependency on oil. If
hydrogen is produced through the reforming of fossil fuels, then CO2 is released. Nuclear
energy although CO2 free, has still to address nuclear waste disposal issues. If hydrogen is
produced through water electrolysis, then the emissions related to its production are those
associated with the power industry. Huge quantities of hydrogen as an industrial gas are
produced around the world. Total annual production amount to 500 billion normal cubic
meters (Nm3/yr), equivalent to less than 10% of the world oil production in 2002. Almost all
of this hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, as shown in Fig.3, while only 5% of this
hydrogen is commercially used and distributed the majority is consumed internally in
refineries or chemical plants. Commercial hydrogen sales are expected to increase by over 8%
per annum till 2008 [10].

Even through electrolysis provides a much more pure from of hydrogen, only a small
present of the global production is obtained in this way in small plants due to the fact that it is
much more costly than natural gas reforming, which is three times more energy efficient than
electrolysis if fossil source electricity is used (80% for reforming and 40% x 70% = 28% for
electricity production and electrolysis). The following table 1 shows indicative costs for
hydrogen production.

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Method Cost ($/GJ)


Natural Gas Reforming 5
Coal gasification 11
Biomass gasification 13
Electrolysis with large scale hydro 12
Wind electrolysis 32
PV electrolysis 50-100
Table 1 Hydrogen production costs [11].

3. Hydrogen properties

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in nature but can be found only in compounds due
to its high reactivity (e.g. water, hydrocarbons), which on the other hand makes hydrogen
such as an interesting fuel, suitable for many combustion applications (table 2). Hydrogen can
be produced from a variety of energy sources and if combusted in fuel cells the only by
product is water vapour.

Energy Carrier H2 Methane Methanol Petrol Diesel

Energy density
per weight 33.3 12.8 5.0 12.7 11.8
(kWh/kg)

Energy density
per volume 3.0 9.1 4030 8680 10.90
3
kWh/m

Table 2: Comparison of energy properties of various energy carriers at 1 atm and 25oc [12].

However hydrogen has its drawbacks: since it does not exist free in nature energy must be
consumed to extract it from its compounds. The following table compares the properties of
various energy carriers. Hydrogen combusts in air in a much wider range than methane. Its
explosion limits are also much wider; it is these properties after all than render it such an

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interesting fuel. However, as can be observed in the following table, hydrogen first goes
through a combustion range, before going to the explosion range (4-13% volume), meaning
that it will most probably combust rather than explode, which is not the case for methane (5-
6%). Hydrogen being much lighter than air disperses quickly and much faster than methane.

Hydrogen Methane Propane

LCV (kWh/Nm3) 3 9.9 25.9

Density (kg/m3) 0.09 0.7 2

Concentration for combustion (volume %) 4.1 – 72.5 5.1 – 13.5 2.5 – 9.3

Explosion limits (volume %) 13 - 65 6.3 - 14 -

Dispersion coefficient (cm3/s) 0.61 0.15 -

Table 3: Comparison of combustion properties of various energy carriers [12].

4. Hydrogen production
Over the last few years, energy seems to be one of the major problems all over the world.
Plenty of researches and projects are taking place in order to find alternative ways to produce
energy that will fulfill the needs of each country in a clean and sustainable fashion. Such kind
of energy is called renewable energy.
Renewable energy is energy obtained from the continuous flows of energy occurring in
the natural environment, such as solar energy, wind, hydro and energy from biomass. The
idea of creating sustainable energy systems has lead over the past decade to several hydrogen
energy demonstration projects around the world. The method that has plenty of potential to
improve the production of hydrogen is electrolysis. The principle of electrolysis has been well
known since the early 19th century and today’s state of the art electrolysers are systems of
high security and easy use [13].
Water Electrolysis is a very simple process that takes water and passes a supply of
electricity through it using immersed electrodes to split into positive hydrogen (H+) and
negative oxygen (O-) ions.

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Figure 4: water electrolysis

These hydrogen and oxygen ions migrate through the water towards the cathode and
anodes respectively, where electron transfers allow for the diatomic H2 and O2 molecules to
form at high purity. The electrolysis of water to generate hydrogen or oxygen is practiced in
certain situation where the cost of electricity is not prime consideration. Large scale plants
have been built in Brazil, Canada, Egypt and Norway, which are countries that have surplus
hydroelectric capacity. Generally, alkaline electrolyzers are employed and the electrode
reactions are as follows:

At the negative electrode (Cathode):


− −
4H 2 O + 4e → 2H 2 + 4OH (1)

At the positive electrode (Anode):


− −
4OH → O2 + 2H 2 O + 4e (2)

The overall reaction takes place as follows:

2H 2 O → O 2 (gas) + 2H 2 (gas) (3)

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In this process water is consumed and only two electrons are involved in the dissociation
of two molecule of water. There are no side reactions in water electrolysis that could yield
undesirable products, so the process is clean and requires no extra separation or purification
of products.

4.1. Electrolysis

The electrolyser is a device that generates hydrogen and oxygen from water through the
application of electricity and consists of a series of porous graphite plates through which
water flows while low voltage direct current is applied.

Electrolyzers split the water into hydrogen and oxygen gases by the passage of electricity,
normally by breaking down compounds into elements or simpler products. An electrolyser
has to fulfill requirements such as high efficiency, low cost, large range of operation etc.
Physically a practical electrolyser stack will consist of several cells linked in series.
Monopolar and bipolar are two types of cell designs [14]. A monopolar design is when the
electrodes are either negative or positive with parallel electrical connection of the individual
cells as shown in Figure 4. In a bipolar design the individual cells are linked in series
electrically and geometrically as shown in Figure 5. An advantage of the bipolar electrolyser
stack design is that is that it is more compressed than the monopolar design. This means that
the length of the electrical wires is minimized and the losses due to the internal ohmic
resistance of the electrolyte is reduced therefore the electrolyser efficiency is increased. On
the other hand, there are also some disadvantages with bipolar cells design. One of these is the
corrosion problem that can occur because of parasitic currents. This current is caused by
parasitic elements of the electric circuit and it can lead to losses of electrical energy.
Furthermore, the compactness and high pressures of the bipolar electrolysers, which results
that large quantities of hydrogen and oxygen can be generated in a small unit with small space
requirement, involve relatively sophisticated and complex system designs, which mean that
the manufacturing cost is increased. The relatively simple and sturdy monopolar electrolyser
systems are in comparison less costly to manufacture [15]. The advantages and disadvantages
of this type of electrolyzer are summarized in table 4.

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Characteristic Unipolar (Monopolar) Bipolar


1)Construction -simple, low degree of - complex, high degree of
precision precision of machined
Parts
2)Electrolyte - common throughout cell - restricted to individual
bank cells
3)Cell connections parallel Series
4)Operating - high current at low -lower current with
Characteristics voltage higher
- need for external bus voltage
bars -simplified power
- need for DC power conditioning
conditioner
5)Service - high reliability - cells in series makes
Characteristics - easy removal of maintenance and repair
individual cells for repair of
individual cells costly
Table 4: Comparison of Unipolar and bipolar electrolyzers.

Figure 4: Monopolar Design

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Figure 5: Bipolar Design

4.2. Types of Electrolyzers

Water electrolysis is currently the most dominant technology used for hydrogen
production from renewable sources because of high energy conversion efficiency. Water, used
as a feedstock, is split into hydrogen and oxygen by electricity input. There are three types of
water electrolyzers available in the industry: (1) alkaline electrolyzer, (2) proton exchange
membrane (PEM) electrolyzer, (3) solid oxide electrolyzer [16-17], (4) Thermochemical
water splitting and (5) Photoelectrolysis. Their characteristics are summarized in table 5.
Alkaline electrolyzers have relatively low efficiency, but it is widely used because the costs
are low. Asbestos and caustic KOH used as diaphragm material and electrolyte, respectively,
make alkaline electrolyzers less environmental than PEM and solid oxide electrolyzers. PEM
electrolyzers exhibit the highest efficiency; however, the costs are high due to expensive
polymer membrane electrolytes and platinum electrodes. It is expected that PEM electrolyzers
will become very competitive in hydrogen production as the costs are reducing. Solid oxide
electrolyzers are also highly efficient and cost between alkaline electrolyzes and PEM
electrolyzers. Since solid oxide electrolyzers operate at high temperature, they can be coupled
with power system to utilize the waste heat.

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Alkaline PEM Sold oxide


electrolyzer electrolyzer electrolyzer

Electrolyte KOH (20-30%) PEM polymer Yttria stabilized


(Nafion) Zirconia

Operating 340-420 K 320-360K 870-1270K


temperature

Charge carrier OH- H+ O2+

Efficiency 80% 94.4% 90%

Cost Lowest Highest Median

Table 5: Characteristics of different electrolyzers [18].

i) Thermochemical water splitting

In thermochemical water splitting, also called thermolysis, heat alone is used to


decompose water to hydrogen and oxygen [19]. It is believed that overall efficiencies of close
to 50% are achievable using these processes. It is well known that water will decompose at
2500 oC, but materials stable at this temperature and also sustainable heat sources are not
easily available [19]. Therefore chemical reagents have been proposed to lower the
temperatures. Research in this area was prominent from the 1960s through the early 1980s.
There are more than 300 water splitting cycles referenced in the literature [20]. All of the
processes have significantly reduced the operating temperature from 2500oC, but typically
require higher pressures.

ii) Photoelectrolysis

Photoelectrolysis uses sunlight to directly decompose water into hydrogen and oxygen,
and uses semiconductor materials similar to those used in photovoltaics. In photovoltaics, two
doped semiconductor materials, a p-type and an n-type, are brought together forming a p–n
junction [19]. At the junction, a permanent electric field is formed when the charges in the
pand n-type of material rearrange. When a photon with energy greater than the semiconductor

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material’s band gap is absorbed at the junction, an electron is released and a hole is formed.
Since an electric field is present, the hole and electron are forced to move in opposite
directions which, if an external load is also connected, will create an electric current [21].
This type of situation occurs in photoelectrolysis when a photocathode, ptypematerial with
excess holes, or a photoanode, n-type of material with excess electrons, is immersed in an
aqueous electrolyte, but instead of generating an electric current, water is split to form
hydrogen and oxygen (Fig. 6)[19,21,22]. The process can be summarized for a photoanode-
based system as follows: (1) a photon with greater energy than the bandgap strikes the anode
creating an electron–hole pair. (2) The holes decompose water at the anode’s front surface to
form hydrogen ions and gaseous oxygen, while the electrons flow through the back of the
anode which is electrically connected to the cathode. (3) The hydrogen ions pass through the
electrolyte and react with the electrons at the cathode to form hydrogen gas [19, 21 and 22].
(4) The oxygen and hydrogen gasses are separated, for example by the use of a semi-
permeable membrane, for processing and storage.

Figure 6: Energetic diagram of n-type semiconductor photoelectrochemical cells.

Current photoelectrodes used in PEC that are stable in aqueous solutions have a low
efficiency for using photons to split water to produce hydrogen. The target efficiency is >16%
solar energy to hydrogen. This encompasses three material system characteristics necessary
for efficient conversion: (i) the band gap should fall in the range sufficient to achieve the
energetics for electrolysis and yet allow maximum absorption of the solar spectrum. This is

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1.6–2.0 eV for single photoelectrode cells, and 1.6–2.0 eV/0.8–1.2 eV for top/bottom cells in
stacked tandem configurations; (ii) have a high quantum yield (>80%) across its absorption
band to reach the efficiency necessary for a viable device; (iii) straddle the redox potentials of
the H2 and O2 half reactions with its conduction and valence band edges, respectively. The
efficiency is directly related to the semiconductor band gap (Eg), i.e., the energy difference
between bottom of the conduction band and the top of the valence band, as well as the band
edge alignments, since the material or device must have the correct energy to split water. The
energetics is determined by the band edges, which must straddle water’s redox potential with
sufficient margins to account for inherent energy losses. Cost efficient, durable catalysts with
appropriate Eg and band edge positions must be developed. To achieve the highest efficiency
possible in a tandem configuration, ‘‘current matching’’ of the photoelectrodes must be done.
Electron transfer catalysts and other surface enhancements may be used to increase the
efficiency of the system. These enhancements can minimize the surface over-potentials in
relationship to the water and facilitate the reaction kinetics, decreasing the electric losses in
the system. Fundamental research is on-going to understand the mechanisms involved and to
discover and develop appropriate candidate surface catalysts for these systems [23–24].

4. Potential of hydrogen production in Egypt from Renewable energy and


Conventional:
At the present time, Egypt depends on fossil fuels for its energy. Since these resources are
limited and have been declining, Egypt could face an energy deficit soon. Renewable energy
is the most abundant natural resource. It becomes imperative for Egypt to exploit this
important energy resource. As Egypt has more renewable solar energy than it knows what to
do with, the potential is there for huge projects, for instance in Upper Egypt at Toshka, Lake
Nasser and Oweinat, which could produce hydrogen all year round. The hydrogen would then
be transported by pipeline to power plants elsewhere in the country. Egypt's huge empty
spaces of vacant desert land, together with infallible good weather, will mean production
costs can be brought down much further than has been possible at experimental plants in the
US, Spain and Turkey. It could do utilizing hydrogen as an energy carrier, as well as
exporting it to Europe. Table 5 shows the diffuse solar ration data of Egypt.

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Annual
Mon.Station Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr. May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct. Nov Dec.
average
Sir Pranee ٦٫٩ ٧٫٨ ٧٫٩ ٩ ١٠٫٨ ١٢٫٢ ١٢٫١ ١٢٫١ ١٠٫٦ ٩٫٢ ٨٫٤ ٦٫٨ ٩٫٥
Marsa Matruh ٦٫٩ ٧٫٧ ٧٫٩ ٩ ١٠٫٦ ١١٫٧ ١٢٫١ ١١٫٩ ١٠٫٥ ٨٫٩ ٨ ٦٫٤ ٩٫٣
Alex. ٦٫٤ ٧٫٨ ٨٫٢ ٩٫١ ١٠٫٦ ١١٫٨ ١٢ ١١٫٣ ١٠٫٣ ٩٫٦ ٧٫٣ ٦٫٢ ٩٫٢
Damietta ٧٫٢ ٨٫٣ ٨٫٤ ٩٫٧ ١١٫٤ ١٢٫٥ ١٢٫٣ ١١٫٩ ١٠٫٧ ٩٫٧ ٨٫١ ٦٫٦ ٩٫٧
Port Said ٧ ٧٫٨ ٨٫٤ ٩٫١ ١١٫٢ ١٢٫١ ١٢٫١ ١١٫٦ ١٠٫٥ ٩٫٧ ٨ ٦٫٨ ٩٫٥
Altahrer ٧٫٤ ٧٫٩ ٨٫٨ ٩٫٨ ١١ ١٢٫٢ ١٢٫٢ ١١٫٨ ١٠٫٦ ٩٫٦ ٧٫٨ ٧٫٢ ٩٫٧
Tant ٧٫٢ ٨٫١ ٨٫٧ ٩٫٩ ١١ ١١٫٥ ١٢ ١١٫٤ ١٠٫٧ ٩٫٥ ٨٫٣ ٧٫٢ ٩٫٧
Bhettim ٧ ٨٫٣ ٨٫٦ ٩٫٦ ١٠٫٨ ١١٫٩ ١١٫٨ ١١٫٢ ١٠٫٤ ٩٫٦ ٨٫٢ ٧٫٧ ٩٫٦
Almaza ٧٫٦ ٧٫٨ ٨٫٦ ٨٫٩ ١١٫٢ ١١٫٩ ١١٫٤ ١١٫٤ ٩٫٥ ٩٫٤ ٨٫٢ ٧٫٦ ٩٫٥
Giza ٧٫٨ ٨٫٢ ٨٫٨ ٩٫٦ ١١٫٢ ١٢٫٢ ١٢ ١١٫٥ ١٠٫٥ ٩٫٨ ٨٫٥ ٧٫٧ ٩٫٨
Siwa ٨٫٣ ٩٫٣ ٩٫١ ٩٫٣ ١١٫١ ١٢٫٣ ١٢٫٦ ١٢ ١٠٫٧ ٩٫٧ ٩٫٧ ٨ ١٠٫١
Kharga ٩٫١ ٩٫٧ ١٠٫٢ ١٠٫٤ ١١٫٥ ١٢٫٢ ١٢٫٤ ١٢ ١١ ١٠٫٦ ٩٫٩ ٩٫٥ ١٠٫٧
Minya ٨٫٧ ٩٫٤ ٩٫٥ ١٠٫١ ١١٫٤ ١٢٫٥ ١٢٫٦ ١٢ ١٠٫٨ ١٠٫٢ ٩٫٢ ٨٫٣ ١٠٫٤
Alghardka ٩٫٤ ٩٫٧ ٩٫٧ ١٠٫١ ١١٫٥ ١٢٫٨ ١٢٫٧ ١٢٫١ ١١٫٢ ١٠٫٤ ٩٫١ ٩٫١ ١٠٫٧
Aswan ٩٫٤ ٩٫٢ ٩٫٤ ١٠٫٦ ١١٫٨ ١٢٫٤ ١٢٫٣ ١١٫٦ ١٠٫٩ ١٠٫٥ ٩٫٦ ٩٫٦ ١٠٫٦
Oweinat ٧٫٧ ٨٫٨ ٩٫٨ ١٠٫٣ ١٠٫٢ ١٠ ٩٫٩ ٩٫٦ ٩٫٦ ٩٫٢ ٧٫١ ٧٫١ ٩٫٢
Table 5. Monthly averages for the number of diffuse solar radiation (kWh/m2/day) [25].

14
12
Jan.
10
Feb.
8
6 Mar.

4 Apr.
2 May
0 Jun.
Minya
Alex.

Oweinat
Bhettim
Sir Pranee
Marsa

Damietta
Port Said

Almaza
Giza
Siwa
Kharga

Alghardka
Aswan
Tant
Altahrer

Jul.
Aug.

Figure 7: Monthly averages for the number of diffuse solar radiation (kWh/m2/day).

Table 6 shows the sites of that could be used in the hydro electric power generation and
the separation of hydrogen in Egypt.

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Site H (m) Q(m3/s) Power (MW)


Mixed 21 4.9 1
Aqueduct Rashid 3 180 6
Wind compromise 2 134 2
Aqueduct Odwina 2 96 2
Assuat 1 230 3
Jmejrp 2 50 1
Wind caliphs 1 137 2
Out Channel Abrahamic 1 114 2
Wind Sea 1 188 2
Channel Alpajurip 2 34 1
Wind Menoufi 1 173 2
Channel Mansourieh 1 74 1
West Naga Hammadi 1 81 1
Sea Moyes 1 69 1
Aqueduct centuries 1 80 1
Channel Acharquaouip 1 232 2
Bahr Youssel Canal Owainat 1 120 1
Table 6. The possibility of generating hydrogen from hydropower in Egypt [25].

5-Conclusion
In order to decrease the dependence on fossil fuels, significant development in other
hydrogen generation technologies from renewable resources such as water is being done.
Table 7 summarizes the technologies, along with their feedstocks and efficiencies. How the
efficiency is calculated depends on the technology. The most mature technologies are
reforming and gasification. Electrolysis coupled with renewable energy is near term low
emission technology. In addition, it is important to note that hydrogen can be produced from a
wide variety of feed stocks available almost anywhere. There are many processes under
development which will have a minimal environmental impact. Development of these
technologies may decrease the world’s dependence on fuels that come primarily from
unstable regions. An often over-looked impact is that by producing and using hydrogen
internal to one’s country keeps money and jobs from being exported. The ‘‘in house’’
hydrogen production may increase both national energy and economic security. The ability of
hydrogen to be produced from a wide variety of feedstocks and using a wide variety of
processes makes it so that every region of the world may be able to produce much of their

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7th Egyptian Rural Development Conference (ERD7) ‫اﻟﻤﺆﺗﻤﺮ اﻟﺴﺎﺑﻊ ﻟﺘﻨﻤﯿﺔ اﻟﺮﯾﻒ اﻟﻤﺼﺮى‬
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own energy. It is clear that as the technologies develop and mature, hydrogen may prove to be
the most ubiquitous fuel available.
Technology Feed stock Efficiency Maturity Reference

Alkaline electrolyzer H2O + electricity 50-60% Commercial [18]

PEM electrolyzer H2O + electricity 55-70% Near term [18]

Solid oxide H2O + electricity 40-70% Med. term [20]


electrolysis cells + heat

Thermochemical H2O + heat NA Long term


water splitting

Photoelectrochemical H2O + sunlight 12.4% Long term [18]


water splitting

Table 7. Technology summary [26]

At the present time, Egypt depends on fossil fuels for its energy. Since these resources are
limited and have been declining, Egypt could face an energy deficit soon. Solar energy and
water energy are the most abundant natural energy resources. It becomes imperative for Egypt
to exploit these important energy resources. It could do so by solar and water electrolysis
production of hydrogen and then utilizing hydrogen as an energy carrier, as well as exporting
it to Europe. This would provide Egypt with a clean and permanent energy system, as well as
improve its quality of life.

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Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tenn.,

U.S.A., 2007.

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Faculty of Engineering, Shebin El-Kom ‫ﻛﻠﯿﺔ اﻟﮭﻨﺪﺳﺔ ﺑﺸﺒﯿﻦ اﻟﻜﻮم‬
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Faculty of Engineering, Shebin El-Kom ‫ﻛﻠﯿﺔ اﻟﮭﻨﺪﺳﺔ ﺑﺸﺒﯿﻦ اﻟﻜﻮم‬
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