Texas Tech University

Texas Tech and TerraVent Targeting Clean, Affordable Hydrogen Production

Allen Ramsey

September 20, 2023

Qingwang Yuan

A group of researchers from the Department of Petroleum Engineering has partnered with a Florida-based clean energy company to produce affordable hydrogen.

Texas Tech University researchers are partnering with TerraVent Environmental, a clean energy company based in Florida, to bring affordable hydrogen energy solutions to the public. 

Qingwang Yuan, an assistant professor in the Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering, is leading the efforts for Texas Tech. 

Yuan and his team, The HOPE Group, focus on hydrogen production from the Earth's subsurface. Together with TerraVent, they provided the Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) with the data needed to perform techno-economic analysis (TEA) and life-cycle analysis (LCA) on TerraVent's proprietary electromagnetic heating technology. 

“The cost of hydrogen production is an impediment to growth and adoption of Hydrogen as a clean fuel,” said TerraVent Chief Operating Officer Allan Adzima.  “Over the next decade, hydrogen production must significantly scale up and become cost-effective to enable pathways to net zero. Through our collaboration with Texas Tech University, we will accelerate the development and deployment of clean energy technologies that reduce CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions, while lowering production costs to the Department of Energy's targeted range, supporting a sustainable hydrogen economy.”

ANL's analyses concluded that the TerraVent and Texas Tech hydrogen production method would be financially viable with a kilogram of hydrogen potentially produced for as little as 86 cents. 

Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the Hydrogen Shot Incubator Prize Program, along with experimental results funded by The CH Foundation, the analyses are a promising step in meeting the DOE's stated goal of being able to produce one kilogram of hydrogen for $1 within the next decade. 

“Existing hydrogen generation technologies suffer from either high cost or high carbon footprint,” Yuan said. “Ironically, both carbon and hydrogen elements, which are originally from petroleum reservoirs, have to be stored in reservoirs to meet the requirements of the environment and large-scale energy storage needs. Why not generate, store and extract hydrogen directly from petroleum reservoirs or other hydrogen-generating formations? 

“The Hope Group at Texas Tech aims to revolutionize hydrogen production by developing transformative technologies focusing on clean, affordable hydrogen production from the Earth's subsurface. The group is striving to make hydrogen carbon-zero, carbon-free, and even carbon-negative by unlocking the potential of the subsurface resources.”