On December 10th, 2020, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) allocated $33 million to further the research on hydrogen as a viable alternative for energy.
These funds would support the research and development of hydrogen production and innovative hydrogen fuel cells technology.
For those who only remember hydrogen as an element on the periodic table, you may be confused as to how hydrogen can turn into energy.
Here is an overview of what hydrogen production is and why it has become such a hot topic of discussion.
What Is Hydrogen Production?
Hydrogen is the most simple element in nature, but it is not usually found on its own. Like in a water molecule, hydrogen is usually bound to other elements and compounds.
To produce hydrogen, the element must be extracted from compounds that naturally contain the element. Hydrogen production cost is high and energy-exhaustive. This process also emits a lot of CO2 in the process.
There are a few hydrogen production methods.
Brown hydrogen describes hydrogen extracted from coal.
Gray hydrogen describes hydrogen produced from natural gas. This accounts for the majority of hydrogen production in the world today.
Blue hydrogen points to hydrogen produced by fossil fuels as well.
The stark difference between blue hydrogen and brown and gray hydrogen is that blue hydrogen introduces greater technology that captures and stores the CO2 emissions produced in the hydrogen production process.
Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen produced via a renewable energy source such as solar or wind energy.
Why Invest in Hydrogen Production?
As the Earth grows warmer every year, we’re reminded that our futures here on this planet may come to an end. To better conserve our resources while meeting the growing demands for energy and fuel, we turn to hydrogen as a viable solution.
Hydrogen itself is not an energy source, but it may carry energy. Hydrogen fuel cells turn hydrogen into usable energy and may be used in place of diesel and fuel.
This new method of power generation is huge for a few notable industries:
Hydrogen is a clean fuel that also happens to be more effective at storing energy. Compared to diesel and fuel, hydrogen is more efficient and can be used in several diverse applications from commercial to residential.
Different Hydrogen Production Methods
There are a few methods hydrogen production companies use to produce hydrogen. The most common hydrogen production methods fall under these three processes:
- Thermochemical process
- Electrolytic process
- Biological process
Thermochemical processes include natural gas reforming and coal gasification. This method yields brown and gray hydrogen.
Electrolytic processes use an electrolyzer machine to separate hydrogen from oxygen in the water.
Hydrogen is also produced in bacteria and microalgae using sunlight.
Hydrogen production is a process that takes a lot of time and money.
However, continuous flow chemistry, which uses reactors to convert materials into desired compounds, maybe a more efficient means of hydrogen production. Find out more information on how continuous flow energy can generate hydrogen more effectively.
The Future of Hydrogen Production
It doesn’t take one genius to change the world. One person can certainly make an impact, but there’s power in number.
When great minds and hydrogen production companies from all over the world come together to further this new field of sustainable energy, our future looks bright.
What do you think about the future of hydrogen production? How do you see it developing in the coming years? Let us know!
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