Could the discovery of sufficient white hydrogen impact decarbonization? 

White hydrogen

Earlier this year, scientists in northern France made a potentially massive discovery of naturally occurring H2, also known as ‘white hydrogen’.

Will the natural H2 deposit discovered by French scientists earlier this year help with the problems associated with going carbon-free?

This may be one of the least expensive and purest types of H2 depending on how it is extracted. 

With the implementation of global climate change policies, hydrogen has gained significant attention as a low- or zero-carbon alternative to fossil fuels. However, depending on how it is made, not all types of gas are created equally pure. For example, procedures involving fossil fuels like coal or natural gas are used to produce brown, black, and grey H2. Due to their unabated carbon emissions, they are no longer as environmentally beneficial as burning fossil fuels directly as an energy source. 

Green hydrogen is typically generated through electrolysis, which involves splitting water molecules. This process is commonly powered by renewable sources of energy like solar or wind. On the other hand, white hydrogen is a type of hydrogen that is found naturally in subterranean deposits. It can be directly extracted, transported, stored, and utilized without the need for any additional processing steps. 

Until this point, practical-sized deposits of white hydrogen were not known to exist. However, the recent discovery in France presents a potentially significant supply of this clean energy source. Philip Jessop, a professor at Queen’s University in Canada and the Canada Research Chair in green chemistry, highlighted the potential global impact of this discovery, particularly in addressing global warming issues. The professor emphasized the widespread implications of this finding. 

Replacing traditional fossil fuels 

White hydrogen stands out as a viable alternative. Its role is considered crucial in strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a major factor in combating climate change. White hydrogen’s versatility allows it to be used as a fuel alternative for vehicles traditionally powered by gasoline or diesel and to produce electricity. 

Frequently asked questions about white hydrogen 

1. In what ways does white hydrogen differ from green hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is generated through electrolysis, splitting water molecules using power from renewable sources such as solar or wind energy. Conversely, white hydrogen is a form that naturally occurs and can be directly extracted from underground deposits.


2. What is white hydrogen?

White hydrogen is hydrogen that naturally exists in underground reserves and can be extracted, transported, stored, and used without additional processing.

3. How was the white hydrogen deposit in France discovered?

The white hydrogen deposit in France was found in July 2023 by scientists Philippe de Donato and Jacques Pironon at the Université de Lorraine, during their search for a methane source in the northeast region of the country.

4. Why is white hydrogen considered a potential solution to zero-carbon challenges?

Regarded as a low or zero-carbon substitute for fossil fuels, white hydrogen is distinct from other hydrogen types like brown, black, and grey, which are produced using fossil fuel processes and yield significant carbon emissions. White hydrogen’s minimal emissions significantly reduce its environmental impact.


5. What is the potential impact of the white hydrogen deposit found in France?

Discovered in France, this substantial deposit of white hydrogen could provide a significant source of clean energy. Philip Jessop, a professor and Canada Research Chair in green chemistry at Queen’s University in Canada, suggests that an adequate supply could be key in resolving many global warming issues.

6. How might white hydrogen be utilized in the fight against climate change?

As an energy source, white hydrogen could replace traditional fuels like gasoline or diesel or be used for electricity generation. It’s seen as a crucial part of strategies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change.


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In the context of the significant discovery of white hydrogen in France and the growing global interest in hydrogen as a sustainable energy solution, UH2 stands out as a company committed to environmental innovation. Read more about hydrogen!

Specializing in harnessing the potential of hydrogen, UH2 offers services that contribute to the transition to cleaner and more efficient energy sources. Our involvement in the hydrogen sector, aligned with recent advancements in this alternative energy, positions UH2 as a progressive force in the fight against climate change and the promotion of sustainability.

For more information about UH2’s services and commitments, please visit our website.

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