Return to Today's Publications

 

Newsletter:
Date Range (YYYY-MM-DD) -
Company, Industry or Technology:
  Search Tips


Blue Hydrogen Found Worse for Climate than Fossil Fuels (Alt. Fuel)
Cornell
Date: 2021-08-16
Blue hydrogen, an energy source that involves obtaining hydrogen by using methane in natural gas, is usually described as a "low-carbon option for generating electricity, powering vehicles, and even heating buildings." But researchers from Stanford and Cornell universities found that blue hydrogen's carbon footprint is more than 20 pct greater than that generated by natural gas or coal and around 60 pct higher than burning diesel oil for heat and causes more harm to the climate than conventional fossil fuels

"Blue hydrogen provides no benefit. We suggest that blue hydrogen is best viewed as a distraction, something than may delay needed action to truly decarbonize the global energy economy, in the same way that has been described for shale gas as a bridge fuel and for carbon capture and storage (CCS) in general."

"In the past, no effort was made to capture the carbon dioxide byproduct of gray hydrogen, and the greenhouse gas emissions have been huge. Now the industry promotes blue hydrogen as a solution, an approach that still uses the methane from natural gas, while attempting to capture the byproduct CO2", study co-author Robert Howarth noted.

The vast majority of hydrogen (96 pct) is generated from fossil fuels, particularly from steam methane reforming (SMR) of natural gas, but also from coal gasification. In SMR, heat, and pressure are used to convert the methane in natural gas to hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen so produced is often referred to as "gray hydrogen" -- this type is responsible for 6 pct of all-natural gas consumption globally, the study notes.

Blue hydrogen is produced using the same reforming process that is used to create other types of hydrogen, but the CO2 that would ordinarily be released is captured and stored underground. As of 2021, there were only two blue-hydrogen facilities globally that used natural gas to produce hydrogen on a commercial scale, according to the study.

The full study is available HERE. (Source: Cornell University, PR, Aug., 2021) Contact: Cornell University, Robert Howarth, Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, (607) 255-6175, howarth@cornell.edu, www.eeb.cornell.edu/howarth

More Low-Carbon Energy News Blue Hydrogen,  Alternative Fuel. Climate Change,  

Showing 1 to 1 of 1.