Color of Hydrogen, Achilles Hell for Antis?
We have seen Hydrogen labeled by color, indicating its source and emissions if any. Green hydrogen is via renewables – solar, wind and hydro, applying electricity to water and release hydrogen. Grey hydrogen production is via steam reforming of natural gas, with release of the by-product CO2 to the air. 95%+ of current global hydrogen is production is grey hydrogen. Blue hydrogen is the same as gray except ~90% capture and sequestration of the CO2 emissions.
Other colors of Hydrogen
While not official, the following colors are gaining acceptance:
· While – byproduct production from industrial process
· Pink/Red – electrolysis via nuclear power
· Yellow – electrolysis via solar
· Turquoise – pyrolysis of methane to hydrogen and carbon black
· Brown – via coal or oil using a variety of processes
Blue versus Green Hydrogen
To most of the public, a 90% emissions reduction is a major achievement. It is a major win and implementation is in a relatively short time frame. With tax incentives such as 45Q it becomes economic. Existing infrastructure such as hydrogen-producing assets for fertilizer production continue instead becoming stranded. This eliminates the investment in replacement assets. The economy continues instead of disruption.
Anti Position Viewpoint
Environmental antis view the goal as eliminating use of all fossil fuels. Any investment in fossil fuels emission reduction is a distraction. They see only green hydrogen. This point of view is widely promoted in discussions on the US Infrastructure bill, and a major EU climate legislation, both of which are include CCS as core tool to fighting climate change.
Numerous studies have come out in support of blue hydrogen as an important part of achieving the 2050 goal. Blue hydrogen can happen in a short time frame, Investments will build out an infrastructure of hydrogen pipelines and storage. Green hydrogen, which is in its infancy, can leverage that infrastructure as it matures. Policy makers such as the European Commission are coming to just that conclusion.
The entire fight over the color of hydrogen is a weak link in the anti agenda, The color of hydrogen is difficult to explain with clarity. The argument of 90% carbon emissions reduction via CCS is clear. A disconnect with the public over the wrong issue is the Achilles Hell for the Antis.
Joe Barone 610-764-1232 email@example.com
Tom Gellrich 367-205-1263 firstname.lastname@example.org