Hydrogen Energy: Advantages And Disadvantages

by | Mar 27, 2023 | Renewable Energy, Sustainable Development

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Introduction to Hydrogen Energy

Hydrogen energy is the usage of hydrogen or chemicals containing hydrogen to produce energy with great energy efficiency, overwhelmingly positive environmental and social effects, and competitive economic rewards. Hydrogen is the most prevalent element in the universe regarding its natural occurrence. Large amounts of hydrogen make up the sun and other stars. More chemicals contain hydrogen than any other element. The most prevalent hydrogen compound on Earth is water.

Earth does not have any readily accessible natural sources of molecular hydrogen. On Earth, most hydrogen is bound to carbon in living, dead, fossilized biomass, and oxygen in the water. Water molecules can be split into hydrogen and oxygen to produce them. When hydrogen is consumed, water is produced once more.

By dissolving the chemical bonds from compounds, it could be prepared. A few popular techniques include electrolysis, the interaction of metals with acids, the reaction of ionic metal hydrides with water, and others. Today, natural gas provides 48% of the world’s hydrogen generation, followed by oil (30%), coal (18%), and water electrolysis (4%).

Due to the variety of applications, its storage is crucial. They cover everything from transportation to portable and stationary power. Moreover, it is the fuel with the maximum energy per mass. However, more sophisticated storage techniques must be developed because of the low energy density per unit volume due to its low ambient temperature density.

Can Hydrogen Solve Our Energy Crisis?

What are the Current Sources of Hydrogen Energy Production in India?

1. The chloralkali industry produces hydrogen as a by-product

Some of it was used for non-energy purposes, and the remainder was either flared or vented into the environment. As time passed, people’s knowledge of hydrogen’s potential for energy applications grew. By 2013–14, about 90% of the hydrogen produced for chemical and captive (mainly energy) purposes was being used.

2. Hydrogen is created for non-energy uses in the fertilizer and oil refining sectors

A National Hydrogen Energy Road Map (NHERM) was created and approved for implementation by the National Hydrogen Energy Board in January 2006 to accelerate the development of the hydrogen energy sector in India. NHERM’s main goal was to pinpoint the routes enabling the country to adopt hydrogen energy gradually, speed up commercialization activities, and ease the development of hydrogen energy infrastructure.

NHERM, including production, storage, distribution, transportation, use, norms and standards, public education, and capacity building, addressed all facets of hydrogen energy development in India. The Hydrogen Energy Program was implemented nationwide starting in 2006–2007 on the foundation of NHERM. NHERM recommended updating and changing it in light of local field experience and global advancements.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Hydrogen Energy?

Advantages of Hydrogen Energy

1. It is easily accessible

It is a fundamental element of the Earth and is standard. Separating hydrogen gas from its companion compounds takes time. Even though it might be the case, the outcome creates a rich and clean energy source.

2. No harmful emissions are produced

It doesn’t release any hazardous compounds when burned. In essence, it combines with oxygen without burning and has energy that can produce power for an electric motor. Like other power sources, it doesn’t release carbon dioxide when burned.

3. It’s safe for the environment

For a fuel source, this is unusual because it is non-toxic. Others, including coal, nuclear power, and gasoline, are toxic or can be found in dangerous circumstances. Hydrogen may be used in ways other fuels cannot match because it is environmentally beneficial.

4. It can be used as rocket fuel

It has strength and effectiveness. It is sufficient to power vital devices like spacecraft. In addition, it is a safer option compared to other fuel sources because it is environmentally friendly. Hydrogen is three times more potent than gasoline and other fossil fuels, which is a fun statistic. This indicates that it can get more done with less.

5. Fuel consumption is low

It is significantly more fuel-efficient than diesel or gas because it can generate more energy per pound of fuel. This means a car running on hydrogen can travel further than one utilizing a more conventional fuel source while carrying the same point. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are twice as efficient as conventional combustion methods. For instance, a traditional combustion-based power plant typically produces electricity with an efficiency of 33 to 35 per cent. Up to 65% of the electricity produced by hydrogen fuel cells is made efficiently.

6. It is regenerative

Compared to other non-renewable sources, it can be produced repeatedly. As a result, hydrogen is a fuel with a finite amount of energy. In essence, hydrogen energy may be made whenever it is needed.

Disadvantages of Hydrogen Energy

1. The cost is high

It is pricey while being widely accessible. The fact that it takes a long time to separate the element from other elements is an adequate explanation for this. Many people would have been able to complete the process with relative ease if it were genuinely straightforward, but it is not. Even though hybrid cars are now powered by hydrogen cells, it still needs to be a practical fuel source for everyone. Hydrogen energy will only be a pricey choice if the technology is created that can make the entire process much more straightforward.

2. Storage is challenging

Moving hydrogen is quite tricky. Oil is a substance that can be transported through pipelines. When talking about coal, that can be taken off on the back of trucks with ease. Transferring hydrogen costs a lot of money, even in small quantities. Transporting and storing such a chemical is judged impractical for that reason alone.

3. It is difficult to replace the current infrastructure

Even today, gasoline is still frequently utilized. Furthermore, infrastructure currently needs to be in place to facilitate the use of hydrogen as fuel. Because of this, it becomes costly even to consider replenishing the gasoline. Moreover, modifications to vehicles are required to provide room for hydrogen fuel.

4. It has high flammability

Hydrogen can be particularly explosive because it is a potent fuel source. It routinely makes news due to the numerous threats it poses. Between 4 and 75% of hydrogen gas can be burned in the atmosphere.

5. Using fossil fuels is necessary

Although hydrogen energy is environmentally friendly and renewable, it must be separated from oxygen using non-renewable resources like coal, oil, and natural gas. While switching to hydrogen is intended to eliminate the use of fossil fuels, they are still required to produce hydrogen fuel.

The Bottom Line

Meeting the world’s energy needs using hydrogen is a fantastic potential option. When our need for economical, efficient, dependable, and clean energy is satisfied, a world with reduced or eliminated emissions from burning fossil fuels and other environmental harm issues may be represented by hydrogen energy. The best future energy answer may be hydrogen, but getting there will take political will and financial commitment. Yet, when fossil fuels become scarce, hydrogen might be a significant answer to our world’s energy problems.

Also Read: First Jet To Ever Run On 100% Hydrogen Power: Rolls-Royce and easyJet

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