DDP - Power-2-Gas-2-Refineries


Research: 2017


Is the use of sustainable hydrogen in refinery processes technically and economically feasible?



Nowadays, hydrogen used in refinery processes is generated by using fossil fuels. TNO researched the technical and economic feasibility of the use of sustainably produced hydrogen in these processes.
TNO elaborated on the electrolysis needed for the production of green hydrogen. Requests for information, containing variations in specifications, were send to several suppliers within the market. Thus, insight has been obtained about the actual costs and returns of investments in electrolysers.


  • Emission reduction – Besides the already common addition of biofuels, sustainably produced hydrogen can be used in the production of transport fuels and contribute to a CO2 emission reduction from well to wheel.
  • More knowledge of electrolysers – Producing higher volumes of hydrogen per electrolyser (efficiency increase) as well as increasing the number of electrolysers (economies of scale) have an impact on the business cases.
  • Towards wider application – The use of hydrogen is crucial in all Deep Decarbonisation Pathways. The use of green hydrogen in the refining process can be the first leap towards large scale application.


  • Ownership – Which stakeholder will be the owner of the electrolyser, which of the hydrogen and which of the whole process?
  • Legislation and regulation – European legislation explicitly ordains the mixing of biofuel in refinery processes. If these directions could be transformed into target regulations aiming for CO2 emission reduction, the use of green hydrogen could be used in a similar manner in business cases, just like the mixing of biofuels. In addition, there are no current policies on CO2 emissions that lead to financial consequences. Therefore making competitive business cases around sustainable alternatives is difficult. Adjustment of regulations and policies can help to overcome this hurdle.
  • Upscaling necessary – The market for electrolysers is now a niche market, the equipment is still expensive.
  • Collaboration in the chain – The use of hydrogen in refinement has a complex business case. Parties with varied interests need to find each other and engage in new collaborations.


  • Reducing CO2 emissions in the production of transport fuels. The sustainable production of transport fuels is a front end solution aimed at reducing CO2 emissions from well-to-tank. (Capturing emissions from individual vehicles is not possible, hence front end solutions are necessary.)
  • New collaborations and new business models arise.
  • The governance of new chains is being developed.


BP, Joulz, Port of Rotterdam, TNO, Uniper.

“This project, in which green hydrogen is made by electrolysis of wind peaks, pushes the port of Rotterdam into a sustainable future.”

P2G2Ref Consortium (BP, Uniper, Joulz)

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