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Nikola, KeyState working on low-carbon H2 production value chain in Pennsylvania

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Zero-emission transportation firm Nikola Corporation and KeyState Natural Gas Synthesis, a clean hydrogen developer, are working together to create Pennsylvania's first low-carbon hydrogen production value chain, which includes full integration of commercial carbon capture and storage. 

The project is intended to represent the transition to lower emissions transportation, chemicals and manufacturing. The parties are currently working towards a definitive agreement to expand the hydrogen supply for Nikola's zero-emissions heavy-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). 

"Nikola's participation in the project will allow us to secure sufficient volumes of hydrogen to underpin and accelerate the adoption of zero-emission trucks by unlocking new customer demand and enabling key investments in downstream hydrogen refueling infrastructure in the Mid-Atlantic region," said Nikola President, Energy, Carey Mendes. 

"This will be key to our supply strategy and will help develop our refueling network at scale. Additionally, the low carbon, clean hydrogen will allow us to maximize value under the Inflation Reduction Act and future downstream fuel and dispensing incentive programs, he added. 

KeyState is planning to supply Nikola with up to 100 metric-tons per day of low carbon hydrogen. This can supply fuel for up to 2,500 Nikola Tre hydrogen trucks and will displace over 51,000,000 gallons of fossil diesel fuel per annum consumed, as per latter's claims. 

Once operational in 2026, the 7,000 plus-acre KeyState site is expected to have the capacity to store the CO2 associated with the hydrogen production and will provide strategic reach and access to premium Mid-Atlantic FCEV markets. The company will also produce ammonia and urea for industrial and transportation markets, in addition to Nikola's hydrogen mobility demand.

The KeyState project is expected to integrate carbon capture from high-efficiency autothermal reforming with onsite geological carbon sequestration and onsite close-system sourced natural gas feedstock, all while generating zero-carbon electricity. A true carbon circle will be completed, with the separation of 99 percent of carbon from the hydrogen in methane and returning this CO2 to deep underground onsite geological storage, according to the company. 

"KeyState has developed a replicable model for low carbon, low-cost hydrogen at large scale production," said Perry Babb, CEO of project developer KeyState Energy. "This project will have multi-county, multi-generation, economic impact and job creation in a formerly booming Pennsylvania coal and rail region, demonstrating that unprecedented emissions reduction and great long-term job creation are both possible."

In addition to working toward the hydrogen supply agreement, the parties are also developing a liquefaction solution to support the economic and efficient distribution of hydrogen. The parties also plan to support an application as a principal project of the DOE Hydrogen Hub Program representing the full-use hydrogen ecosystem from production through demand.

Author : Dhiyanesh Ravichandran
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