Clean Hydrogen : An inspiring energy
What is hydrogen (H2)?
Clean hydrogen; the energy vector of the future!
Hydrogen is the main constituent of the sun, the star that warms us and helps maintain the climate balance on our planet. Although it is the most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen barely exists, if at all, in its pure state in nature. Due to its strong reactivity, it associates with other atoms to form more stable molecules, such as water (H2O) or methane (CH4). It is considered an energy vector because, once isolated, it can store, transport and replenish energy.
How is clean hydrogen produced?
To put it simply, it is produced by applying an electrical charge to water, which breaks the link between the atoms forming the H2O molecule, thereby yielding two distinct gases: hydrogen and oxygen. This procedure is called electrolysis. The resulting hydrogen is then captured for future use of the potential energy it contains, whereas the oxygen can be captured and transported, or simply released into the atmosphere.
To obtain clean hydrogen, we have to use electricity generated through 100% renewable sources such as hydroelectric dams, wind farms, solar farms, biomass and geothermal energy.
When it is used, hydrogen reacts with the ambient oxygen and releases a tremendous amount of energy in the form of heat, giving off nothing but water vapour as its combustion gas. It can also be used in fuel cells to produce clean electricity!
Is hydrogen safe?
As with any fuel and form of energy, appropriate safety procedures are required for the safe use of hydrogen. It has also been used safely in the industrial world for over a hundred years, including here in Outaouais region.
What are the pros and cons of hydrogen?
- A good alternative to fossil energy sources, in particular for the transportation sector.
- Hydrogen is a gas that can be stored.
- The production of clean hydrogen requires large quantities of electricity, but research is underway to improve the process.