Ground Report | New Delhi: Blue hydrogen is worst; Hydrogen is currently produced by steam reforming methane into natural gas with high carbon dioxide emissions. Carbon capture and storage are used to reduce emissions and produce so-called blue hydrogen or blue hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is often suggested to be used as a low emitter.
A study published in the journal Energy Science and Engineering states that blue hydrogen emissions are not free. The study examined the emissions of both carbon dioxide and methane in generating hydrogen. It found that, far from being low carbon, the production of hydrogen leads to higher emissions of greenhouse gases, especially from the release of methane.
Hydrogen energy is being promoted vigorously all over the world. Take the US, Biden’s $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill recently passed by the Senate doesn’t mention hydrogen but does include $8 billion for at least four regional clean hydrogen hubs.
Blue hydrogen is worst
But the researchers caution that using the fuel as part of a clean energy strategy, which includes carbon capture and storage (CCS), is not a problem. This only works to the extent that it is possible to store carbon dioxide indefinitely in the future without leaking into the atmosphere for long periods of time.
The US Department of Energy announced $52.5 million in June this year for 31 projects to support “the next generation of clean hydrogen.” A 2019 International Energy Agency (IEA) report also highlighted the potential of hydrogen to be a more sustainable and an important part of the future of safe energy.
According to a study by Cornell’s Robert Howarth and Stanford’s Mark Jacobson, hydrogen energy requires a heating and pressurization process to produce it, all of which emits greenhouse gases. The use of natural gas as fuel causes emissions.
Blue hydrogen also emits, the carbon-capture process also requires energy, the study said. As a result, it is of no use, as the simultaneous emissions of carbon dioxide and methane emit another greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Blue and brown hydrogen emit far more greenhouse gases than natural gas, diesel oil, or coal.