Can hydrogen really become a climate solution?


Hydrogen or H is getting a lot of attention lately as governments in the U.S., Canada and Europe push to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. But what exactly is H2 and is it really a clean power source?

Here are some key facts about this versatile chemical that could play a much larger role in our lives in the future.


Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, but because its so reactive, it isn’t found on its own in nature. Instead, it is typically bound to other atoms and molecules in water, natural gas, coal and even biological matter like plants and human bodies.

Hydrogen can be isolated, however on its own, the H2 molecule packs a heavy punch as a highly effective energy carrier. It is already used in industry to manufacture ammonia, methanol and steel and in refining crude oil.


As a fuel, hydrogen can store energy and reduce emissions from vehicles, including buses and cargo ships. Hydrogen can also be used to generate electricity with lower greenhouse gas emissions than coal or natural gas power plants. Because it can be stored, H2 could help overcome intermittency issues associated with renewable power sources like wind and solar. It can also be blended with natural gas in existing power plants to reduce the plants emissions. Using hydrogen in power plants can reduce carbon dioxide emissions when either blended or alone in specialised turbines, or in fuel cells, which consume H2 and oxygen, or Oz, to produce electricity, heat and water. But it’s typically not entirely CO-free. That’s in part because isolating Hz from water or natural gas takes a lot of energy.

Picture Credit : Google

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