Monday, October 2, 2023

Practically Living Green

Showing practical reasons to live green.


What Is Green Hydrogen and How Is It Different?

As the world looks to transition into a zero-carbon energy grid, hydrogen energy may play a huge role in providing fuel. However, there are multiple types of hydrogen with Green Hydrogen being the most promising.

And just to be clear, it does not mean that the hydrogen is actually the color green. Instead, the different types of hydrogen get their name from the processes they originate from.

Thus green hydrogen is created from renewable energy sources.

Let’s take a look at the different types of hydrogen to understand why this matters.

What Are the Different Types of Hydrogen Energy?

1. Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen is the cleanest form of hydrogen that does not generate greenhouse gases. Renewable sources of energy like solar and wind provide the energy necessary to create it.

To be even more precise, this is done through the process known as the electrolysis of water. This is where an electric current is sent through the water to separate the molecules.

The byproducts include oxygen and hydrogen gas.

2. Gray Hydrogen

Gray hydrogen is the most abundant form of hydrogen gas and does generate greenhouse gases during its production. One of the most common ways to get it is to separate the hydrogen gas from natural gas, which releases carbon into the atmosphere.

It is also the by-product of many industrial processes. Essentially, this is hydrogen gas that is generated with no concern for the environment.

3. Blue Hydrogen

Blue hydrogen is identical to gray hydrogen, with one key exception. The companies producing it actually care about the environment. Thus, instead of allowing the greenhouse gases to enter the atmosphere, they capture them.

Thus, it is a low-emission gas.

4. Brown/Black Hydrogen

Brown or Black hydrogen is very similar to gray hydrogen, but the main difference is that instead of coming from natural gas, it comes from the gasification of coal.

With the decline of coal, this has become far less common.

5. White Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. Thus, there are plenty of naturally occurring hydrogen gas deposits available, but currently, we lack a way to tap into them.

These deposits are referred to as white hydrogen.

Where Does Hydrogen Energy Fit Into the Future?

Freight Truck

Hydrogen energy isn’t new. It’s been around for decades, and hydrogen fuel cells have become one of the most likely candidates to replace fossil fuel sources that would be difficult to replace with more sustainable options.

For instance, electric cars will certainly replace passenger vehicles, but we are very far away from them replacing commercial trucks.

While there are many electric 18 wheeler prototypes, with a few coming this year, the challenges are there. Electric engines will consume too much energy to pull heavy loads.

Combine that with long distances and you have a real problem.

Hydrogen fuel cells solve this dilemma entirely and are the most likely power source for freight trucks. This is also likely a solution that the airline industry can explore with the expectation that it could be a reality by 2035.

Some areas are even testing hydrogen power plants as an alternative to natural gas for electricity generation.

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Robert Giaquinto

Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.

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