Nebraska Public Power District, Nebraska’s largest electric utility, plans to replace an existing coal-fired boiler at its Sheldon Station plant in Hallam, Neb., with one that uses clean-burning hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen will be produced by Monolith Materials as a co-product from its production of carbon black, which uses natural gas as a feedstock.
During its production of carbon black, Monolith Materials produces hydrogen as a byproduct. When burned, the hydrogen fuel produces no greenhouse gas emissions. Through this agreement, NPPD is expected to reduce CO2 emissions at Sheldon Station by 1.1 million tons per year. The Sheldon Station boiler using hydrogen as a fuel will be capable of generating 125 MW of electricity for NPPD’s customers. The boiler conversion is also expected to result in a reduction in other types of air emissions. It also will bring NPPD's carbon-free energy sources closer to 50 percent.
Monolith Materials will employ a patented process to manufacture carbon black, using natural gas as feedstock in its process instead of oil or coal tar as in the conventional process. The company will build its new manufacturing facility adjacent to Sheldon Station so NPPD can access the hydrogen.
The companies expect to break-ground on their respective operations in 2016, with an expected completion date of 2019.