Hydrogen | Difference between Blue and Green Hydrogen | Hydrogen Fuel



What is hydrogen?

The chemical element hydrogen has an atomic number of one and is represented by the letter H. The lightest element is hydrogen. Under normal circumstances, the hydrogen is a gas made up of diatomic molecules with the formula H2. Hydrogen is non-toxic, colourless, odourless, tasteless, and extremely flammable. It is a gas that can burn, but it doesn't encourage combustion. Hydrogen is insoluble in water and lighter than air. Its ionisation enthalpy is 1312 kJ mol-1 and its atomic mass is 1.008 amu.

The nucleus of a hydrogen atom is composed of a proton, which has one unit of positive electrical charge, and an electron, which has one unit of negative electrical charge. Hydrogen gas is often a loose mixture of hydrogen molecules, each of which is a diatomic molecule, or H2, composed of two atoms. Since the name hydrogen is derived from Greek words that indicate "creator of water," this is the earliest-known significant chemical feature of hydrogen.

The natural gas Methane can be replaced with hydrogen as a clean fuel. It is expected to make up around 75% of the universe's mass and is the most common chemical element.

Water, plants, animals, and, of course, people all possess a significant amount of hydrogen atoms on Earth. Even though it is found in almost all living organisms' molecules, there are extremely few gaseous examples of it; there are less than one part per million in total.

Natural gas, nuclear power, biogas, and clean energy sources like solar and wind are just a few of the sources from which hydrogen can be created. To fuel our homes and companies, we must successfully harness hydrogen as a gas on a massive scale.

75% of the universe's mass is thought to come from this object.

Difference between blue hydrogen and green hydrogen

Blue Hydrogen

Blue hydrogen is a purer form of the fuel in which carbon emissions are caught, stored, or used again. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, is created through the electrolysis of water, which separates it into hydrogen and oxygen.

One of two main processes is used to generate blue hydrogen from nonrenewable energy sources. The most popular technique for creating bulk hydrogen is steam methane reformation, which generates the majority of the hydrogen produced globally. This process makes use of a reformer, which converts steam into hydrogen and carbon monoxide by reacting it with methane and a nickel catalyst at high temperatures and pressures.

As an alternative, autothermal reformation combines methane with oxygen, carbon dioxide, and/or steam to produce hydrogen. Due to the fact that these two techniques produce carbon as a by-product, carbon capture and storage (CCS) is necessary to capture and store carbon.

The term "blue hydrogen" refers to natural gas-derived hydrogen that is backed by carbon capture and storage. The CO2 produced during the production process is caught and kept underground forever. As a result, no CO2 is produced and low-carbon hydrogen is produced. In the future, blue hydrogen might prove to be the most affordable solution for decarbonizing heavy-duty cars, industrial heating, and homes in severely cold locations.

Green Hydrogen

By electrolyzing water and dividing it, green hydrogen is created. Only oxygen and hydrogen are produced by this. However, electricity is necessary for electrolysis, and this power is needed. Therefore, renewable energy sources like wind or solar are used to fuel the process of producing green hydrogen. In light of this, green hydrogen is the best choice.

Electricity is used to power an electrolyzer, which separates hydrogen from water molecules to make green hydrogen. Without any negative byproducts, this procedure yields pure hydrogen. An additional advantage is that since this process uses electricity, it has the potential to use any surplus electricity, which is difficult to store (like excess wind power), to electrolyze and produce hydrogen gas, which can be stored for future energy.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell

A hydrogen fuel cell is a clean type of energy system which generates electricity using the chemical energy of hydrogen. The hydrogen fuel is a clean type of energy, producing just electricity, heat, and water as waste. Fuel cells have several applications, including transportation and emergency backup power, and they can power systems as large as a power plant or as small as a laptop.

In hydrogen fuel cells, energy is generated chemically. Each fuel cell has two electrodes: a negative anode and a positive cathode. The electrical reaction occurs at these electrodes, accelerated by a catalyst, and is carried out with an electrolyte that transports electrically charged particles between them.

In a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen serves as the primary fuel, but oxygen is also necessary for the cell to function. Since the hydrogen and oxygen needed to generate the energy mix to produce water as a byproduct, one of the biggest benefits of these fuel cells is that they produce electricity with very little pollution. Pure hydrogen fuelled cells are entirely carbon-free.

Systems that run on hydrocarbon fuels like natural gas, biogas, or methanol are among the different kinds of fuel cell technology. Fuel cells are more efficient than conventional energy production techniques because they use an electrochemical reaction rather than burning. Combined heat and power generators that utilize cell waste heat for cooling or heating applications can further improve this.

  • The way a fuel cell operates can be summed up as follows:
  • The anode receives hydrogen atoms and the cathode receives oxygen.
  • At the anode, the hydrogen atoms are divided into protons and electrons.
  • The negatively charged electrons follow a new path as they are driven through a circuit to produce electricity, while the now positively charged protons move through the membrane (or electrolyte) to the cathode.
  • The electrons and protons move through the circuit and membrane as they should, and then they collide at the cathode where they react with oxygen to create heat and water as byproducts.
  • Since individual fuel cells can only produce a limited quantity of electricity, stacks of fuel cells are used to produce enough electricity for a power plant or a small digital gadget, depending on the application.
  • Fuel cells function similarly to batteries, but unlike batteries, they won't run out of power or need to be recharged. Instead, they can keep on producing energy as long as the fuel source—in this case, hydrogen—is available.
  • A fuel cell operates silently and with high reliability since it is made up of an anode, a cathode, and an electrolyte membrane.

Greater efficiency and less pollution are two benefits that fuel cells have over conventional combustion-based solutions. There is no carbon dioxide or other air pollution generated by hydrogen fuel cells; all that is released is water. Due to their lack of moving parts, fuel cells are also quieter when functioning than combustion systems.

Future of Hydrogen

Fossil fuels including coal, oil, and gas are currently the dominant energy source powering our economy. Their need for energy will rise as more people on the earth strive to raise their standard of living. In actuality, an indicator of development is the amount of energy consumed per person. Naturally, it is expected that energy is utilized productively rather than simply being wasted.

We are already aware that carbon dioxide produced by the combustion of fossil fuels is resulting 'Greenhouse Effect', etc. This is resulting in an increase in Earth's surface temperature, which is melting polar ice and raising ocean levels. Low-lying coastal areas will be flooded as a result, and some island nations, like the Maldives, risk total submersion. We must restrict our use of carbonaceous fuels in order to prevent such a catastrophe. Since hydrogen can only produce water when it is burned, it offers the best substitute.

Solar energy must be used to split water in order to produce hydrogen. As a result, hydrogen can be used as a clean, renewable energy source. The Hydrogen Economy sees the world in this way. Future hydrogen production methods will be crucial, including electrolysis of water and hydrogen combustion in fuel cells. Additionally, the foundation of both of these technologies is electrochemistry.

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