Defining Hydrogen From A to Z

February 10, 2022

Defining Hydrogen From A to Z: G is for Green Hydrogen

Continuing in our Defining the Hydrogen Economy from A to Z series, we are revisiting the topic of Green Hydrogen as we focus on the letter G.

As we have discussed previously, hydrogen will play a critical role as an energy carrier in the new clean energy economy.  Most hydrogen gas that is already widely used as an industrial chemical is either “brown,” if it is made through the gasification of coal or lignite; or “grey,” if it is made through steam methane reformation, which typically uses natural gas as the feedstock and produces carbon dioxide (CO2) as the by-product. The goal of moving to a cleaner energy source is to change the prism colors of hydrogen production and a “greener” hydrogen process.

One of the important types (or color) of that spectrum of hydrogen is Green Hydrogen which many experts in the industry believe it to be a pathway in helping reach the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Fortunately, Green hydrogen holds enormous promise for industries across the board – shipping, aviation, trucking and more.

Currently Green hydrogen is produced via electrolysis by using renewable energy and separating water into hydrogen and oxygen. Green hydrogen is seen as the cleaner hydrogen choice because it is emission-free, leaving nothing but oxygen as a by-product. This eco-friendly color involves an Electrolyzer and electric current from renewable electricity. Green hydrogen has previously been very expensive due to high costs of supply chain logistics and electrolyzers, but the declining cost of renewable energy and other incentives are contributing to a significant growing interest in green hydrogen on the color prism.

It would be amiss to not address some of the other spectrums of Hydrogen as we transition to greener hydrogen goals. “Blue” hydrogen is made using natural gas but allows for the separation and capture of CO2, decreasing the carbon footprint of this kind of hydrogen production. Another alternative is a greener shift from blue hydrogen to turquoise hydrogen. Turquoise hydrogen is made using methane pyrolysis, a thermal process which produces hydrogen and solid carbon. Because turquoise hydrogen does not use oxygen in the reaction, the process results in low to zero CO2 gas emissions.  This process also requires up to 50% less energy than the current state of the art electrolysis without the drain on clean water resources in water impoverished areas. Turquoise hydrogen also provides a promising option for reaching the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050, as the technology is advancing, and full commercial scale production is still pending.

Adding to the renewable energy choices, GenH2 is including other innovative approaches to the company’s portfolio options for greener hydrogen production, as hydrogen needs are expected to increase, and projected costs are expected to decrease in the next several years.

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