India, A potential exporter of Clean hydrogen
India can pole-vault from being net importer of fossil energy to becoming net exporter of clean hydrogen energy and thus, providing global leadership in hydrogen space by becoming a large green hydrogen producer and supplier of equipment for green hydrogen,” Singh said, according to a statement from the ministry of science and technology.
Hydrogen defined as green is the only sustainable hydrogen because it is obtained through electrolysis of water powered by electricity produced from renewable sources. Grey hydrogen, on the other hand, uses fossil fuel sources, mainly natural gas, which produce greenhouse-gas emissions, thereby undermining its zero impact on the environment.
“It could constitute a breakthrough for the planet as the waste generated by its use to produce energy is water vapour, but today more than 96% of hydrogen production still derives from non-renewable sources, effectively cancelling out its green properties”, explains Professor Alessandro Abbotto
→ Pros and Cons
1.It is a clean fuel
Hydrogen is a perfectly clean fuel, because the only waste it produces is water vapour. In its free state it consists of two atoms (H2) which, when combined with oxygen (O) during its use (combustion or, more commonly, in a fuel cell), generate water (H2O).
2. It uses more efficient technology
The hydrogen combustion engine uses technology which stands out for the absence of any harmful emissions. Its main use, however, is not in the combustion engine but in a fuel cell, developed for space exploration since the 1960s, whereby an electrochemical process combines hydrogen and oxygen to generate electrical energy, which in turn powers an efficient electric engine.
3. It is convenient for heavy transport and trains
Hydrogen offers the advantages of a more compact propulsion system, with rapid refueling times and a long travel range. Hydrogen would solve both the problem of lack of electricity and the emission of pollutants.
1. If it is “grey”, it pollutes
If it is not produced using renewable sources, hydrogen pollutes. To date, more than 96% of the hydrogen used is grey. It costs less, but its impact on the environment is so great that 10 kilos of carbon dioxide are produced for every kilo of hydrogen obtained.
2. It is a gas that is difficult to handle
Pouring petrol into a tank is quick and easy, just as it is hooking up the cable to recharge the battery of an electric car. Hydrogen, on the other hand, is a difficult gas to handle because, having a low volumetric energy density, it has to be highly compressed at high pressures to be packed into a tank in sufficient quantities to power a car. 5/6 kg of hydrogen are required to cover about 600 km. In a car’s tank, if it were not compressed, there would be enough hydrogen to cover just 5 km.
3. It is less advantageous than electric power for cars
The battery-powered electric motor is now the most efficient system because it converts 80% of the electricity in the battery into energy. What’s more, it is currently cheaper to charge an electric car than to refill on hydrogen. Grey hydrogen costs $1-2 per kg, while green hydrogen costs $5-7 per kg.
The hydrogen engine still remains much more efficient than a conventional petrol/diesel engine. India could emerge as a leader in exporting Hydrogen as a fuel, when, Adequate resources are allocated for the research and development of such sophisticated technology and government along with private players step in, to make this happen.
Source : The Mint newspaper and Pirelli.com