If you’ve been looking for a clean energy source that produces heat, water, and electricity, you’ve probably come across hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen is a viable choice whether you’re an environmentally conscious person or want to save money on your fuel bill, and the fuel is light and can be refueled faster than traditional fuels. International delivery service DHL has 100 hydrogen panel vans in its fleet.
A hydrogen fuel cell is a clean energy source
Hydrogen fuel cells are a promising renewable energy source for homes and businesses. The use of hydrogen is highly efficient but is still expensive compared to other energy sources such as solar panels. This is because hydrogen transportation is more costly than fossil fuels, and this added cost is an obstacle to its widespread use. However, the technology is expected to reduce costs and increase fuel cell vehicles’ adoption rate in the coming years.
The majority of hydrogen used today is created from steam methane reforming. During the process, methane reacts with a catalyst to produce hydrogen. It also produces carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. This carbon monoxide is then removed, and the hydrogen left is pure. Other fossil fuels, such as propane, can also produce hydrogen. However, these methods generate gray hydrogen. These processes create more than 830 million metric tons of CO2 per year, which is the equivalent of the emissions of the United Kingdom and Indonesia combined.
It produces electricity
A hydrogen fuel cell is an electric generator that uses hydrogen to power vehicles. The process produces electricity and water by reacting hydrogen and oxygen across an electrochemical cell. There are many types of fuel cells to suit different uses. Small fuel cells can be used in personal computers, cell phones, and military applications. Large fuel cells provide electricity to buildings, serve as backup power, or in isolated locations.
In 2050, hydrogen will account for ten percent of the total energy supply, primarily grey hydrogen. It will need around 60 GWe of electrolysis capacity to meet this demand, and it will cost about $2 a kilogram of green hydrogen by that time. However, hydrogen production technology has many drawbacks. First, it requires a significant capital investment and a more extended operation. It also uses expensive electrolyzers.
It produces heat
Hydrogen fuel cells produce pure water and heat with no emissions or other adverse effects on the environment. These fuel cells have many uses and provide power to homes and small commercial facilities. Since their inception, hydrogen fuel cells have been used in NASA spacecraft, providing energy and heat to the space shuttle and its crew. The technology is currently under development and may soon be available in the commercial world.
It produces water
A hydrogen fuel cell produces water. In producing hydrogen, about two and a half billion cubic meters of water are consumed. This amount is only a fraction of the water used in fossil fuel energy processes. The water is used only to produce hydrogen and will have minimal effect on the global water supply. Water for hydrogen production comes from renewable sources such as seawater and freshwater. In addition, the water used in hydrogen production is not a significant portion of the world’s water supply, which is essential for human life.
In addition to hydrogen vehicles, hydrogen-powered cars are already available. There are 96 hydrogen-refueling stations in Japan, while in Germany, there are 80. In the United States, there are 42 hydrogen-fueled car stations. Hydrogen-powered cars will have a more significant presence in the transportation industry.
It uses natural gas
A hydrogen fuel cell is an alternative fuel source for cars and other vehicles that use natural gas. It is less expensive and environmentally friendly than other fuels like gasoline and diesel. It can also be produced relatively inexpensively and is not subject to high taxes. In the US, hydrogen is not subject to the same taxes as natural gas and diesel. The United States is currently working toward a hydrogen future, and the use of hydrogen in automobiles could significantly reduce carbon emissions.
While hydrogen is abundant in natural gas, its supply can be problematic. Most fuel cells run on pipeline natural gas, but one can also use landfill gas and biogas from wastewater treatment. Using natural gas as a fuel source is the most common solution. It is cheap and abundant, but it is also readily available. This will allow hydrogen fuel cells to be made with a much larger number of natural gas. It is also possible to route the water output of a hydrogen fuel cell to a steam reformer.