The many colours of hydrogen


The goal is green energy, but hydrogen currently comes in many “colors.”

David Bow, Nel Hydrogen’s SVP of Business Development said that, while green is the ideal, production of an intermediate hydrogen like blue hydrogen is a necessary step toward a world in which green hydrogen is widely available.

“Blue is carbon capturing off the process of steam reforming. Brown is doing nothing and letting CO2 be emitted from the process, and green, again, [involves an] electrolyzer, renewable energy source, and water [where] you get pure hydrogen and oxygen,” Bow said.

One big benefit of hydrogen is that, no matter what color it is, in addition to utilizing solar and wind energy for production, it also uses water but is net-zero in its usage.

“I think it’s very important to realize that the beauty of hydrogen is, although you use water to make it, when you convert that hydrogen back to an energy source – whether it’s thermal, whether it’s electricity, whatever the case may be – it gives you the water back,” Bow said. “So, it’s a net-zero impact on the water requirements, which is a wonderful added component of green hydrogen in that it truly is, in every aspect, 100% green and 100% offering our planet strong sustainability.”

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