The future of Hydrogen
As an energy storage medium, hydrogen is at least as versatile as carbon based fuels finding potential applications in domestic and industrial heating, transportation, and electricity generation.
Taking into account this inherent versatility and the fact that burning it produces only water as a by-product, the transition from the carbon economy we have today to a hydrogen economy in the future is seen by many to be the ultimate solution to the climate crisis. Critical to this transition will be provision of hydrogen in quantities great enough to displace today’s carbon based fuels.
There are two main routes to production of hydrogen at large scale.
Green hydrogen is produced via the electrolysis of water – using electricity to split water into its constituent elements, hydrogen and oxygen. Using renewable electricity to power the electrolysis process makes the entire fuel cycle zero carbon however technical challenges to this approach remain to be solved, not least how best to use the limited renewable electricity currently available. Until green hydrogen technology can be scaled so called blue hydrogen, manufactured by reforming carbon based fuels such as natural gas or gasified biomass, combined with carbon capture technology can be used as a low carbon alternative to carbon based fuels.