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Keywords:

  • supply chain management;
  • optimization;
  • sustainability;
  • hydrogen;
  • life cycle assessment

Abstract

In this article, we address the design of hydrogen supply chains for vehicle use with economic and environmental concerns. Given a set of available technologies to produce, store, and deliver hydrogen, the problem consists of determining the optimal design of the production-distribution network capable of satisfying a predefined hydrogen demand. The design task is formulated as a bi-criterion mixed-integer linear programming (MILP) problem, which simultaneously accounts for the minimization of cost and environmental impact. The environmental impact is measured through the contribution to climate change made by the hydrogen network operation. The emissions considered in the analysis are those associated with the entire life cycle of the process, and are quantified according to the principles of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). To expedite the search of the Pareto solutions of the problem, we introduce a bi-level algorithm that exploits its specific structure. A case study that addresses the optimal design of the hydrogen infrastructure needed to fulfill the expected hydrogen demand in Great Britain is introduced to illustrate the capabilities of the proposed approach. © 2009 American Institute of Chemical Engineers AIChE J, 2010