What is green hydrogen?
It is a type of hydrogen that does not produce greenhouse gas emissions during its production, since it is generated from a process called electrolysis. It is called “green” because the sources for obtaining the resource, as well as the energy sources to extract it, must be free of emissions, as is the case with renewable energy resources.
Main uses and applications
Currently the industries of oil refining, obtaining chemical products and iron and steel, such as the production of iron and steel, are those that demand greater amounts of hydrogen. However, hydrogen is also used for high-temperature thermal processes, but its use remains minimal as fossil fuels are used as the main sources of high-temperature heat.
New potential uses can also be considered, taking into account the ability to store the resource and use it as fuel to produce energy in various ways, for example:
- Power-to-Hydrogen: Use of renewable energy for the production of green hydrogen through electrolysis. Energy that will later be used to activate the generating plants.
- Power-to-gas: Process that involves injecting hydrogen in a gaseous state into existing natural gas pipeline networks for its use. The resource can also be used to produce methane and take advantage of it.
- Power-to-fuel: Use of the resource as fuel for mobility or transportation.
- Power-to-liquid: Hydrogen is used as an alternative in those cases that require high-density liquid fuels, for the production of fuels such as diesel, gasoline or methanol for maritime or air transport.
Despite the availability of the resource and the possibility of using it by various markets and sectors, it is still very expensive to implement measures and infrastructure – electrolysers, lithium batteries (to name a few) – to be able to use hydrogen. However, strategies are being developed to reduce costs and make using hydrogen more competitive.
This considering that not only does it represent low risks at the time of its use, but also that using it would allow reducing emissions of polluting gases in various industries and sectors, without affecting the production of certain goods.