Hydrogen is one of the most abundant types of gas in the universe. Many discoveries have come up on how to reduce the carbon emissions polluting the earth where hydrogen has solved that problem. It is in terms of energy. It is required to power our houses, offices, residential buildings, and so on. Over the years, it evolves from the burning of fossil fuels like oil and coal. Its impact is the release of carbon compounds that have been detrimental to public health and the environment. Green hydrogen helps to reduce the carbon emission, it reduces these impacts for its burning results into the water and not any carbon compound.
Types of hydrogen
Hydrogen occurs in three forms depending on its production.
- Grey hydrogen
- Blue hydrogen
- Green hydrogen
Grey Hydrogen occurs from the splitting of natural gas which its by-products are hydrogen and carbon iv oxide: The carbon iv oxide results in the damaging of the atmosphere. It combines with other greenhouse gases that are harmful to the earth’s climate change.
The production of Blue hydrogen is done similarly to grey hydrogen. The difference occurs when carbon iv oxide is released; it goes back to the production system.
Green hydrogen occurs when water turns through electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen. It is referred to as ‘green’ since it comes from renewable sources. Renewable sources include biomass energy, wind energy, and solar energy, and so on. It does not emit carbon (carbon emission) hence it is very safe.
Uses of green hydrogen
- Infrastructure, heating, powering, and industrial processes.
- In infrastructure to power fuel cells used in cars; rockets, ships, trains, and planes. In heating, to provide energy for cooking. It goes hand in hand with cooling:
- Cooling appliances like refrigerators. In power, to provide energy to power our houses, offices, residential buildings, and so on. In industrial processes, in the production of ammonia fertilizer in the harbour process, also in the hydrogenation process that produces fats and oils. It is also used in the manufacturing of glass and steel.
The production of green hydrogen
As stated earlier, green hydrogen is produced from the splitting of water into hydrogen and oxygen by the use of renewable energy sources. It is made possible through a process referred to as electrolysis. It involves passing an electric current from any renewable source to breakwater (H2O) into two molecules of hydrogen and a single molecule of oxygen. Its production is safe as its release to the atmosphere. Carbon emissions are less.
Importance of green hydrogen
Green hydrogen plays a vital role in the reduction of carbon emissions that are polluting the environment. Its production does not lead to the release of any carbon compounds. It also plays a role in the economy as in a variety of sectors that contribute to economic growth.
Advantages of green hydrogen
- Provision of a sustainable source of energy
The emission of carbon iv oxide is a global problem. It is due to the increasing demand for stable electricity, heating, cooling, and transportation due to the growing human population. Green hydrogen has proven to be a carbon-free fuel that uses renewable energy. It meets the requirements of the increasing population. Electricity generated from solar power is not that reliable. However, hydrogen can be stored for later use and also converted to electricity.
- Storing Ability
Renewable energy cannot be stored and used for a long time. However, it is stored. Its storage can be geologically, materially – based, compression, and liquification. Geologically, in underground salt caverns, in depleted oil and gas fields and aquifers. Materially- based, it is converted to ammonia. In compression, in tanks and fuel cars. In liquid form, it is cooled to near absolute zero to avoid evaporation and thereby used to fuel rockets.
- Easy to transport
It is transported by different means that include: compressed cylinders or tankers, pipelines, and blending with natural gas. In compressed cylinders, in gaseous form. In tankers, in liquid form due to its low density. By ship or rail. Through pipelines in large quantities. In blending with natural gas, it is mixed with green hydrogen and transported through the same gas pipes and infrastructure reducing the cost of transporting it separately.
Green hydrogen is versatile in various ways i.e. it can be used as a raw material for manufacturing ammonia fertilizer. In industrial processes such as metalworking, flat glass production. In electricity generation. As fuel in aircraft, ships, trains, buses, passenger cars, and material-handling vehicles. It is also used domestically for heating, cooling, and operating electrical home appliances.
Disadvantages of green hydrogen
- High production cost
The electrolysis process is expensive. It is costly to build pipelines that transport it in bulk. It requires a lot of effort to separate it from other elements.
- Storage is Difficult
Green hydrogen has to be compressed to liquid form and maintained at low temperatures. It makes it difficult to store.
- Safety issues
One of its characteristics is that it is colourless. It is dangerous as it cannot be detected when leaking. That is why there is a huge requirement for the installation of sensors.
In conclusion, green hydrogen is a critical element for a stable and sustainable energy system. It has been proven as a pollution-free fuel. Air pollution a global environmental threat; reduced by the use of green hydrogen.
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