Can white hydrogen be an energy carrier?

Natural hydrogen, also known as white hydrogen, is a form of the gas that occurs naturally in the earth, but it is rarely considered to be an option as a source of clean energy.

The fossil fuel industry is hyping hydrogen of all kinds as a low-carbon replacement for all sorts of uses of fossil fuels. From powering vehicles and heavy industry to heating buildings. In reality, many hydrogen projects will only lock us in to continued fossil fuel use and additional investments in fossil fuel infrastructure.

Some say that white hydrogen has the potential to be world changing, except that we know little about it. The reason is that as common as H2 is, sources of it that can be extracted are few and far between.

At least, that’s how it is primarily understood. However, more recently, sources of natural hydrogen are being discovered in various parts of the world. The key will be in understanding if it can be feasibly extracted so that it can be shipped and stored for use as a clean energy source.

What is white hydrogen?

White hydrogen is referred to naturally occurring hydrogen. Natural hydrogen is still a little-known source of energy but some projects are already set-up and produce natural hydrogen in industrial quantities. It is the cheapest solution to produce carbon-neutral hydrogen and is competitive with fossil fuels.

Natural hydrogen is the most common element but dissipates quickly and rises through Earth’s atmosphere.

hydrogen production

White hydrogen is also highly reactive. In fact, it is combined with carbon in fossil fuels. Therefore, in its pure, gaseous form, it is considered to be quite rare, simply because it vanishes quickly once it hits the air. It is for this reason, among others, that scientists typically look to other sources when they’re attempting to obtain H2 as a fuel.

That said, as rare as natural hydrogen seems to be, it isn’t quite as rare as once believed. Now that scientists and geologists are paying close attention, sources of white H2 are being found in a rising number of places around the world.

The greatest challenge for hydrogen production, particularly from renewable resources, is providing hydrogen at lower cost. For transportation fuel cells, hydrogen must be cost-competitive with conventional fuels and technologies on a per-mile basis. This means that the cost of hydrogen — regardless of the production technology — must be less than $4/ gallon gasoline equivalent. To reduce overall hydrogen cost, research is focused on improving the efficiency and lifetime of hydrogen production technologies as well as reducing the cost of capital equipment, operations, and maintenance.

Source: Hydrogen Fuel News

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Hydrogen itself is a colorless gas. But as there are different sources and processes used to make hydrogen, there are different hydrogen colors codes to identify them. To know more , read about the different hydrogen color codes.

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