What’s the hype around hydrogen?
If you have ever taken a chemistry class, you probably know how fundamental hydrogen is to the living world around us. However, it is also a source of clean energy: when combusted, the only products are water and heat, contrary to the greenhouse gas emissions produced when burning fossil fuels.
Because of this, it is considered to be a critical part of the green transition, especially in decarbonising hard-to-electrify sectors.
Today, hydrogen use is dominated by industries such as ammonia production, steel production and oil refining. But most of it is “gray” hydrogen, meaning it is formed via steam-methane reforming (SMR) from natural gas.
A cleaner alternative is “blue” hydrogen, which adds carbon capture and storage to the traditional SMR process to limit greenhouse gas emissions. And the cleanest option is “green” hydrogen, which is obtained by electrolysis with water, powered by renewable energy. But given the high costs of the electrolysis process, less than 1% of today’s hydrogen is green.