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The benefits and the usage

 

Hydrogen has many benefits:

  • Does not emit CO2 or pollutants
  • Can be produced from renewable sources, with significantly lower costs of both solar and wind energy as well as of electrolysers
  • Has a lower transportation cost than electricity
  • Can be stored for a long time in a reliable, safe and convenient way
  • Can effectively decarbonise so-called "hard-to-abate" sectors such as steel and refinery
  • Can be used in sustainable mobility, through the use of fuel cells located in vehicles
  • Can promote a "sector coupling" strategy, that is the integration between the electricity and gas sector which allows greater flexibility and therefore lower costs for the energy system as a whole

 

The usage

Hydrogen in free form is not present in nature, but it can be produced through a wide range of chemical and physical processes: currently there are more than 50 possibilities to produce (green) hydrogen, but most of the processes tested in research are not currently used commercially. The processes commonly used for commercial production of hydrogen are: the reforming of hydrocarbons and biogas (95%), a thermochemical conversion process, which requires conversion temperatures between 150 ° and 500 ° C. with equivalent CO2 production hydrocarbon used, and water electrolysis (4-5%).

The most common means of hydrogen transport are:
- in gaseous form through pipelines, both as a mixture with natural gas (thus even exploiting the existing natural gas transportation network and therefore avoiding the costs associated with the construction of a dedicated infrastructure for the transport of hydrogen in the initial phase of market development) and through dedicated pipelines;
- in gaseous form in cylinders or tankers;
- in liquid form in cryogenic tankers or in ships, in suitably isolated cryogenic containers.

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updated
24 July 2020 - 17:50 CEST