The Future of Green Hydrogen

By enabling sunlight to supplant fossil fuels, Halogen aims to enable a sustainable future. There is a huge chance right now to reduce transportation-related emissions and de carbonize the industrial sector. Green hydrogen could provide the solution.

Why Is Green Hydrogen Used?

Transportable and strong, hydrogen is an energy carrier that can power industries, generate electricity, and facilitate transportation. When burning hydrogen, unlike fossil fuels, all that is produced as a byproduct is water, hence there are no damaging greenhouse gas emissions. It is therefore a desirable fuel for the future.

However, not all hydrogen is made equally. Despite being the most prevalent element in the universe, hydrogen seldom occurs in nature on its own. Hydrogen may be separated from water, plants, or fossil fuels to create molecular hydrogen. The color identification of the hydrogen generated is a result of the procedure and raw materials employed.

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What “Colors” Does Hydrogen Come In?

The most widely accessible type of hydrogen nowadays is called “gray hydrogen,” which is produced from natural gas (mostly methane). Methane and steam combine in a high-temperature, high-pressure catalytic reactor to create hydrogen in a process known as steam methane reformation (SMR).Gray hydrogen, the least sustainable type of hydrogen known today, is a byproduct of the steam methane reformation process, which releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

Although “blue hydrogen” is created similarly to gray hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is the subterranean method used to store the emissions from SMR. Even though blue hydrogen has less carbon than gray hydrogen, using blue hydrogen still has drawbacks from the burning of fossil fuels, such methane emissions into the environment.

A 100% clean solution is referred to as “green hydrogen.” Solar and wind energy are two sustainable energy sources that are used to make green hydrogen. Less than 1% of the yearly total produced hydrogen is now “green,” but this is predicted to increase as the infrastructure required to produce it is developed and production costs continue to decline.

There are other color names for hydrogen as well: pink (made by nuclear energy), black/brown (generated by lignite or coal), and white (occurs naturally).

Gray HydrogenMade from natural gas (typically methane) through process known as steam methane reforming.
Green HydrogenMade from electrolysis of water, powered by renewable energy with zero carbon emissions.
Brown HydrogenMade from coal or lignite through process of gamification.
Pink HydrogenMade from electrolysis of water, powered by nuclear energy.
Blue Hydrogensame as gray or brown hydrogen, but with CO, emissions captured and stored (lower-carbon solution).
White HydrogenNaturally-occurring hydrogen found in underground deposits (generally not accessible today).

How Is Hydrogen Made That Is Green?

In contrast to gray hydrogen, green hydrogen is entirely renewable in terms of both its energy source and its source material. Nowadays, the most common method for producing green hydrogen as a source material is electrolysis, which breaks down water into its constituent components of oxygen and hydrogen using an electric current. An electrolyser, which uses cathode and anode (positively and negatively charged electrodes) is the tool used to do this. The sole consequence of this process is oxygen, or steam. Regarding energy supply, the electricity used for electrolysis must come from a sustainable source, such solar or wind energy, in order for it to be considered “green hydrogen.”

Electrolyzers come in three primary varieties: solid oxide, proton exchange membrane (PEM), and alkaline. The type of electrolyte substance utilized in these varies. PEM electrolyzers employ a solid polymer membrane (electrolyte) to enable electrical conductivity, whereas alkaline electrolyzers use an aqueous solution containing an alkaline-like salt. Solid oxide electrolyzers may function at considerably higher temperatures and with greater electrical efficiency since they employ solid ceramic material as the electrolyte. This makes it possible to use steam and outside heat instead of electricity as energy sources. Consequently, solid oxide electrolysis allows for much reduced operating costs because heat is generally less expensive and occasionally created spontaneously as a byproduct of specific industrial processes.

What Is The Potential Of Green Hydrogen?

Green hydrogen must be used extensively if traditionally carbon-intensive processes and industries are to be decarbonized. Over 20% of the carbon emissions in the United States and over one-third of global energy consumption are caused by the industrial sector.3.Green hydrogen will significantly cut emissions from sectors of the economy including chemical production, steel manufacturing, and refining. Additionally, traditional hydrogen obtained from natural gas may be replaced with green hydrogen in businesses such as fertilizer manufacture. Furthermore, green hydrogen offers a zero-carbon alternative for transportation, which currently contributes to about one-third of all carbon emissions in the United States.4 Internal combustion engines are not as efficient as hydrogen-powered fuel cells, which can significantly lessen the environmental effect of long-distance trains and trucks. In order to power and heat houses and buildings, hydrogen also has the ability to be transferred through pipelines, which would reduce the need for fossil fuels and greenhouse gas emissions even more.

The only thing limiting the applications of green hydrogen is its production cost. At Halogen, we are committed to advancing the development of cost-effective, commercial applications for green hydrogen generation. Our goal is to facilitate the transition to renewable energy sources while providing dependable, economical electricity that is both environmentally and commercially viable.

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