Why can’t hydrogen save us

This Monday, April 5, 2022, IPCCthe Intergovernmental Group of Experts on the Evolution of climate It published the third and final part of its sixth report dedicated to solutions that can help us Decarbonizing our economies. Including the use ofhydrogen (h2Green says – Understand, hydrogen produced by electrolysis from’Renewable energy.

Thus, hydrogen can serve ‘To store electricity under a large-scale spread Renewable energy intermittently” or even Trade in electricity between different regions to overcome seasonal differences or generation capacities.. Hydrogen can also used instead of natural gas For peak production and supply the heat Process for industrial needs or use Theme The first in the production of various chemicals and hydrocarbons Synthetics ». Finally, of course, ” The fuel cells Hydrogen fuel can power the heavy transportation sector (trucks, buses, ships, trains)”.

But the A study published by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy BEIS may question the idea. According to scientists from the universities of Cambridge, Reading and National Center for Atmospheric Sciences (NCAS), any hydrogen leakage will affect the composition of the atmosphere – with implications for the quality ofair And it will have an indirect warming effect on the climate, partially offsetting some of the expected benefits from the decline emissions from satiate (Ko2).

Hydrogen and its indirect effect on global warming

What researchers confirm is, first of all, an increase in the concentration of hydrogen in our bodies Atmosphere – More specifically in the troposphere, the layer closest to the Earth – it will reduce the availability of hydroxyl radicals (OH). The same ones that participate in the decomposition of methane (CH4), strong greenhouse gases. According to these works, the Duration From the life of CH4 in our atmosphere by one year for every one part per million increase in concentration (ppm) of hydrogen. Finally, even if we can reduce methane emissionsits concentration in our atmosphere could continue to increase – in the event of a H.2 It will be completely out of control.

else Gas The greenhouse effect that researchers expect will be affected by the presence of hydrogen in the atmosphere:ozone (s3The troposphere layer. Sometimes referred to as ‘bad ozone’. Because it is polluted and warm. But they point out here that the benefits associated with reduced methane emissions, Carbon Monoxide (CO), volatile organic compounds (VOC) or oxidesnitrogen (NOx) generated by the adoption of the hydrogen economy has to balance things out. A slight increase in concentration on the one hand, versus a tendency to decrease in focus on the other. However, there is still uncertainty about how much these emissions will be reduced depending on the technologies that have already been replaced by hydrogen.

Increased H . concentration2 In our atmosphere it is also not expected to have a significant effect on stratospheric ozone. The one who protects us this time from radiation ultraviolet It is dangerous for us Sun.

On the other hand, more hydrogen in the atmosphere will lead to a concentration Water vapor (h20) in the stratosphere. Water vapor, which we must remember, is one of the main contributors to global warming. If the concentration of H2 1.5 ppm must be increased – the higher leakage scenario – the water vapor concentration could increase by more than 1 ppm.

The effects of hydrogen on temperature

In conclusion, the researchers note that the adoption of hydrogen as an energy carrier can certainly reduce carbon dioxide emissions.2 Thus providing significant climate benefits. But, to maximize it, it will be necessary to strictly minimize leaks and reduce emissions from others greenhouse gases Like methane in particular.

According to calculations, an increase in hydrogen concentration – on the order of 1.5 ppm – “taken alone” It would raise global temperatures by 0.12°C – without taking into account the effects of reducing carbon dioxide emissions2 linked. If methane emissions did not decrease in parallel, the temperature would increase by 0.43 °C. But if leaks as well as methane emissions – and the other greenhouse gases mentioned above – are controlled, adopting a hydrogen economy will help lower temperatures by 0.26°C.

Taking into account all this new data including the indirect effects on greenhouse gases, the researchers finally show that the global warming potential (GWP) for hydrogen over 100 years is of 11. Climate from carbon dioxide2. Even if researchers realize that major uncertainties remain regarding the extent of Earth’s hydrogen basin, they advocate making reducing hydrogen leakage a real priority.

Track leaks

To help with this, a Another study also published by BEIS Assessment of leakage risks at all stages of the hydrogen production, transportation, storage and use chain. It tells us that during electrolysis, approximately 10% of hydrogen is lost Breathing and purify”. but what Reassemble of this hydrogen It can reduce losses to less than 1%.

The study also classifies hydrogen transport media according to the losses they cause. Transport by tank truck H.2 liquid Seems to be the worst solution as it lost more than 13% of hydrogen. And we learn that approximately 3% of hydrogen is still lost in fuel cells. But less than 1% in distribution stations.

Hydrogen leakage into the atmosphere could ‘undermine the climate benefits of decarbonization’

It’s the new Holy Grail of energy: hydrogen is the subject of all major investment plans to supply transportation, industry, or even electricity storage. However, this gas, which is supposed to be green when produced using renewable energies, is not so much. According to some scholars.

Article from Celine DeLosarch Published on 11/13/2021

file roll cars and the trainsaircraft theft or energy industriesGreen hydrogen – produced from renewable sources – is emerging today as a decarbonizing solution. Last year, the European Commission introduced Big Hydrogen Planwith a goal of producing 40 gigawatts of “green” hydrogen by 2050. Germany has openly declared that it wants to become the world number one in green hydrogen, while France I planned seven billion euros to finance the development of this fuel. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA)17 states have already published a hydrogen plan and more than 20 countries are working on it. In total, hydrogen can account for 10% of Energy consumption By 2050, the International Energy Agency predicts.

Hydrogen is a powerful indirect greenhouse gas 200 times more than carbon dioxide

But have we measured all the consequences of this mass production correctly? ” Hydrogen is a powerful, short-lived indirect greenhouse gas that is 200 times more powerful than carbon dioxide when released. Kg per kilogram ‘, explains to Euro Active Steven Hamburg, chief scientist at the American NGO Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The latter, who is one of the lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), assures Futura that hydrogen leakage can ” Significantly reduce the climate benefits of switching fuels fossils If not minimized “.

How does hydrogen exacerbate the greenhouse effect?

The scientist explains that hydrogen interacts with other gases in the atmosphere in several ways. On the one hand, it extends the life of methane by delaying its removal. In fact, methane reacted with hydroxide radicals in the air It is the primary mechanism of methane decomposition (CH4 + OH → CH3 + H2O). However, hydrogen also reacts with OH radicals (H2 + OH → H2O + H). ” So more hydrogen in the air means less OH to react with methane ”, continues the scientist. In addition, this reaction also releases water vapor, This contributes to increasing the greenhouse effect. Finally, hydrogen also leads to the formation Tropospheric ozone, which is another very powerful greenhouse gas. ” Today, it is said that switching to hydrogen would eliminate the impact of climate on the climate Fossil fuelsHowever, when you consider these potential leaks, this is not the case. ‘, he warns.

1 ton of hydrogen consumed = 1 to 6 tons of CO2 equivalent2 Released

according to European Commission document published in 2011, up to 10% of hydrogen can “leak” during production, transportation and storage, multiplying current emissions by five. Hydrogen already has a high tendency to leak due to its low Collective Its molecular weight and its low density. According to Falko Ueckerdt of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, the consumption of one ton of hydrogen can release between 5 and 30 kilograms of this gas into the atmosphere, which depends on warming 200 times higher than carbon dioxide.2 May up to release 1 to 6 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent2. We are far from green hydrogen!

Reduce leaks

Other scholars he interviewed Euro Active However, we believe these concerns are exaggerated. Since hydrogen is a highly flammable gas, Protocols Safety is more stringent than natural gas. Furthermore it, “ Since hydrogen is more expensive than natural gas, this encourages the prevention of leaks in infrastructure“, Tempers Gniewomir Flis, expert on hydrogen at the German research center Agora Energiewende.” The problem is that detection thresholds today are very high. So it is impossible to know how much hydrogen is actually leaking into the atmosphere.“,” supports Elisa Oko, and another climate world from EDF. So it’s time to look into this issue. ” Otherwise, the massive conversion to hydrogen will have dire consequences combating climate changeStephen Hamburg concludes.

Interested in what you just read?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.