Hydrogen is a colorless, odorless and non-flammable gas. It occurs in nature in bound form, and its most important source is water. It is also contained in many organic compounds, such as hydrocarbons. Hydrogen is one of the most important energy resources in the world. Due to hydrogen’s high market potential, its production is becoming increasingly popular.
What is hydrogen and how to produce it?
Water is the primary source of hydrogen. Hydrogen can be produced from water in several ways, including by electrolysis, the process of reforming from fossil fuels, or by the steam reforming process, which produces hydrogen from biomass and gases.
Electrolysis – the process of producing hydrogen from water
Electrolysis is a process that is used to produce hydrogen from water. Water is split into hydrogen and oxygen by passing an electric current through it. The process requires a lot of electricity, but hydrogen production can be completely green if renewable energy is used for the process.
Reforming – the process of producing hydrogen from fossil fuels
Hydrogen gray gas is produced by steam reforming of fossil fuels. Natural gas, for example, is subjected to a transformation or gasification process, resulting in hydrogen. This process is environmentally unfriendly, as it leads to emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.
Steam reforming process – production of hydrogen from biomass and gases
This is an environmentally friendly process for producing hydrogen, as it uses renewable sources such as biomass and gas. The steam reforming process makes it possible to produce hydrogen without using fossil fuels.
What are the technologies for producing hydrogen?
Electrolyzer – equipment for electrolysis of water
An electrolyzer is equipment that is used to electrolyze water. It consists of a membrane, whose task is to separate hydrogen and oxygen, and a power supply, which speeds up the process.
Photovoltaics – producing hydrogen from solar energy
Photovoltaics is a technology that allows the production of hydrogen from solar energy. The technology uses solar panels to generate electricity, which is then used to produce hydrogen.
Biomass – producing hydrogen from organic waste
Biomass is an alternative energy source that comes from organic materials; in this case, organic waste. The process of producing hydrogen from biomass is very similar to the process of producing hydrogen from fossil fuels or gases, but it is greener because it uses waste that would otherwise go to the landfill.
What are the applications of hydrogen?
As a vehicle fuel – a zero-emission solution
One of the most important uses of hydrogen is as a fuel for vehicles. A hydrogen vehicle is powered by a hydrogen-powered electric motor. Emissions from such a vehicle are only water vapor, making a positive impact on the environment.
As a replacement for natural gas – a renewable energy source
Hydrogen can become a substitute for natural gas, which is good for the environment. Hydrogen is a renewable energy source, unlike natural gas, which is a fossil fuel and a non-renewable energy source.
In industry – as an energy source for the production of other gases
In industry, hydrogen is used as an energy source to produce a variety of gases, including ammonia and methanol.
How does hydrogen production affect the environment?
Green hydrogen – production with minimal greenhouse gas emissions
Green hydrogen is hydrogen that is produced from water using renewable energy, such as solar or wind power. This process leads to minimal greenhouse gas emissions.
Renewable sources – producing hydrogen without using fossil fuels
Production from water using renewable sources produces environmentally friendly hydrogen. Producing hydrogen without the use of fossil fuels, such as natural gas or kerosene, leads to reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
Distribution – safe transportation of hydrogen gas
Hydrogen distribution is different from other fuels. Hydrogen is shipped as a gas, which means that its transport is safe and easier than with other fluidized fuels.
What does the future of hydrogen production look like?
Production growth – strong market potential for hydrogen production
Hydrogen production has become profitable over the past few years. As a result, its production is projected to grow in the coming years, which means that the market potential for hydrogen will be huge.
Global trend – increasing investment in hydrogen generation technologies
More and more investment is being directed toward hydrogen generation technologies. Companies around the world are investing in the development of more efficient and environmentally friendly hydrogen production facilities.
2023 near-term forecasts for the hydrogen production industry
Further advances in the hydrogen production industry are expected in 2023. More and more companies are investing in developing technologies and designing innovative solutions. With the growing demand for renewable energy, the hydrogen sector is poised for significant growth. One of the most important lines of business will be the production of green hydrogen, i.e. that obtained by electrolysis using renewable energy. Demand for this type of hydrogen is forecast to increase in 2023, which in turn will increase the number of companies engaged in its production. Undoubtedly, the elimination of costs associated with the use of fossil energy will be a key factor, which will help reduce the cost of hydrogen production in the future. All in all, the hydrogen production industry in 2023 can look forward to growth, with green and ecology playing an increasingly important role in the production process.