In our time, domestic solid fuel is used at thermal power plants (TPP) with very low efficiency (with a thermal efficiency of 25 to 34 % in condensing mode of operation), which is associated with the use of out-of-date technology at power plants in Ukraine, as well as the physical depreciation of main and auxiliary equipment. Reduced effectiveness of this equipment and low quality of solid fuel supplied to the power stations result in significant levels of harmful emissions, which are 2-4 times higher than the standards adopted in industrialized advanced countries.
Proven world coal reserves are 826 billion tons. It is enough for 115 years with today's global rate of coal use. The use of coal provides 26 % of all primary energy needs in the world. 41 % of world electricity is generated due to the use of coal.
In Ukraine, there are 4.1 % of all proven world reserves of coal - 33.9 billion tons. In addition, 3118 peat deposits (estimated reserves are 2.2 billion tones) exist in Ukraine. Proven reserves of solid fuel in Ukraine are enough for the next 300 years at current level of its use.
Thus, Ukraine has enough of its own source of energy (solid fuel) to create a new hydrogen economy.
An increase in prices for imported natural gas and oil sets the problems of priority use of domestic energy resources in Ukraine, as well as their efficient and environmentally appropriate using.
The development of hydrogen energy technologies abroad shows their high efficiency (electrical efficiency of fuel-cell power plant is above 50 %), ecological cleanness (harmful emissions can be reduced in 10 -100 times as a result of deep cleaning of synthesis gas with high hydrogen content before its use in fuel-cell power plants), as well as the possibility of transition to new principles of economy operation with an increase in the part of hydrogen in power engineering, metallurgy, chemical industry, transport, and other sectors of the economy.
The project aims are the research of the processes: production of synthesis gas with high hydrogen content from Ukrainian high-ash coals of different metamorphic grade (from brown coal to anthracite), peat, and PET during steam conversion of volatiles and steam gasification of the obtained char; hydrogen production with absorption of CO2 by lime in the reactor of steam gasification, catalytic conversion of CO in water shift reactor, and CO2 removal in the reactor for low-temperature absorption of CO2. Research of the processes is carried out at the modernized Fuel Cell Test Installation of Coal Energy Technology Institute of National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine.