Hydrogen’s Relevance in the Future

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Hydrogen is one of the clean fuel options for reducing motor vehicle emissions. Hydrogen is not an energy source. It is not primary energy existing freely in nature. A hydrogen is a secondary form of energy that has to be manufactured like electricity. It is an energy carrier. Hydrogen has strategic importance in the pursuit of a low-emission, environment-benign, cleaner, and more sustainable energy system. The combustion product of hydrogen is clean, which consists of water and a little number of nitrogen oxides. Hydrogen has very special properties as a transportation fuel, including a rapid burning speed, a high effective octane number, and no toxicity or ozone-forming potential. It has much wider limits of flammability in the air than methane and gasoline. Hydrogen has become the dominant transport fuel and is produced centrally from a mixture of clean coal and fossil fuels (with C-sequestration), nuclear power, and large-scale renewables. Large-scale hydrogen production is probable on a longer time scale. In the current and medium-term the production options for hydrogen are first based on distributed hydrogen production from the electrolysis of water and reforming of natural gas and coal. Each of the centralized hydrogen production methods scenarios could produce approximately 40 million tons per year of hydrogen.

Hydrogen production using steam reforming of methane is the major economical method among the current commercial processes. In this method, natural gas raw materials’ costs generally contribute approximately 52–68% to the final hydrogen rate for larger plants, and about 40% for smaller plants, with remaining expenses composed of capital charges. The hydrogen production cost from natural gas via steam reforming of methane varies from about 1.25 US$/kg for large systems to about 3.50 US$/kg for small systems with a natural gas rate of 6 US$/GJ. Hydrogen is cheap by using solar energy or by water electrolysis where electricity is cheap, etc. 1) Hydrogen is a vital element with the ability to potentially help both individuals and the environment! Isn’t it captivating? More researches are needed to be done about this topic here!

Despite hydrogen’s clear advantages, it is likely that the future might see a mix of both EV and hydrogen-powered cars. For urban traveling, the range and slow charging time for EVs is not an issue with the average daily urban drive in Germany being around 25km, meaning that the cars could be charged at home overnight. The real win for hydrogen comes when you look at longer driving scenarios. For heavy-duty vehicles such as trucks and buses, it is impractical to have a large enough battery for the thousands of kilometers they must travel. The only practical solution for a smaller carbon footprint in transportation is a fuel cell truck. Fuel cell trucks are already being manufactured while different industries are working on ways of producing, storing, and delivering green hydrogen.

It is not just road travel where hydrogen could have an impact; it is also beginning to make inroads in rail transportation. To further progress its hydrogen train portfolio, Siemens is collaborating with Canadian fuel cell manufacturer Ballard Power Systems to develop a modular and scalable traction system with fuel cells that could be integrated onboard its Mireo train platform. The technology is particularly appealing to areas of Europe that have not yet benefited from the electrification of the rail network because of the high cost. Moving from diesel trains to fuel cell trains that link with a network of fuel cell buses might provide a cost-effective solution to reduce carbon emissions. (2) Make sure to check out for these incredible industries that are advancing the low-carbon energy transition! If you want to know more, stop by here.

There are applications where hydrogen and fuel cells could also play a significant role in the oceans. However, the heavy fuel need for larger ocean-going vessels and the long distances they travel make it impractical for alternative propulsion. But when you get into coastal waters with local shipping such as ferries then the possibilities abound. Here, there are already electric ferries powered by batteries and it seems these applications could make perfect sense for hydrogen-powered boats. Keep your thoughts active since this article might capture your attention! Check the disclaimer on my profile.

Source 1: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0360319908005272

Source 2: https://www.intelligenttransport.com/transport-articles/97670/hydrogen-an-opportunity-to-reduce-co2-emissions-in-transportation/

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