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The importance of Hydrogen

10 November 2021

Hydrogen will help move us to a sustainable energy economy. To truly understand hydrogen’s benefits, we must understand the present concerns with the worlds existing energy economy.

The demand for energy is growing & the raw materials used for the fossil fuel economy are decreasing. Coal, oil & natural gas supplies are not replenished & an alternative needs to be found.

Majority of the people who consume fossil fuels don’t live where fuels are extracted. This causes a huge economic motivation for the consuming nations.

As a result of fossil fuel usage, the emissions caused significantly effect the air quality all over the world. Resulting in carbon by-products that are changing the world climate & further resulting in health & climate impacts that are unacceptable.

The fossil fuel economy puts people & nations under undue influence of energy suppliers. This shortage of economic independence is unacceptable to many businesses & governments.

So, what is the answer? Hydrogen.

The use of hydrogen greatly reduces pollution. Hydrogen combined with oxygen in a fuel cell environment produces a form of energy. This electricity has multiple uses including vehicle power, a heat source & much more. This is exciting as the only by product from using hydrogen in this way is water & heat. Most importantly no green house gases are produced using hydrogen fuels.

Hydrogen production can come from numerous local sources, either centrally & then distributed or onsite in the locations its used. It its produced from methane, gasoline, biomass, coal, or water. Each source will produce different quantities of pollution, energy requirements & technical challenges.

If hydrogen was only produced from water, we have a sustainable production system. The method of separating each into hydrogen & oxygen, known as Electrolysis, ensures renewable energy can be used to power electrolysers to produce the hydrogen from water. Prioritising renewable energy provides a sustainable system that is independent of petroleum products and most importantly non-polluting. Electrolysers can be powered by wind, hydro, solar & tidal energy. After the hydrogen is produced in an electrolyser it can be used in a fuel cell to produce electricity. The only by products of the fuel cell are water & heat. If fuels cells operate at high temperatures the system can be set up as a co-generator, with the waste energy used for heating.

With the increasing need for Hydrogen & technical advances, the costs of production, distribution & product manufacturing will become increasingly affordable. Hydrogen will be the foundation of a sustainable energy economy by continuing to build partnerships between business, government, universities & non-profit organisations.