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What Green Technologies are Used for Hydrogen Generation Around the Globe

According to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, hydrogen has the potential to significantly reduce air pollution in the form of greenhouse gases. However, the way hydrogen fuel is produced matters to its impact on the environment.  

Some methods of producing hydrogen are more sustainable than others. Grey hydrogen production uses steam methane reforming technology (SMR) to create hydrogen from natural gas, a process that vents large volumes of CO2. 

Blue hydrogen uses carbon capture and sequestration technology to capture and store the carbon produced in steam methane reformation. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, is produced by splitting water molecules into oxygen and hydrogen through electrolysis using renewable electricity to extract the hydrogen from steam.

Although the availability of renewable power is a limiting factor in the expansion of green hydrogen, it produces zero CO2 emissions, leading to a growing demand for this source of clean energy. In upcoming years, we can expect to see hydrogen used in green technologies around the globe. 


Green Hydrogen Technologies Worldwide 

Once produced, uses of green hydrogen include energy storage like fuel cell technology, and alternative fuel production. Here are examples: 

Fuel Cells Technology 

Hydrogen is used to power fuel cells, which generate electricity through a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. This technology is used in vehicles, backup power systems, and portable power devices. Hydrogen fueled cell-powered vehicles travel longer distances, use less energy, emit zero emissions and are more efficient than gas-fueled vehicles. 

Alternative Fuel Technology 

Hydrogen serves as a fuel for an internal combustion engine to power cars, heavy-duty trucks, buses, and maritime vessels, or generate electricity. When hydrogen is burned, the only byproduct is water vapor, making it a clean fuel source. This fuel can reduce the emissions of heavy-duty vehicles. 

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), made from non-petroleum feedstocks, is an alternative fuel that reduces emissions from air transportation. SAF currently serves as a drop-in fuel—which means it is blended at various levels with limits of 10% to 50%, depending on the feedstock and how the fuel is produced. SAF has the potential to evolve into a low carbon impact fuel for use with propulsion, flight, and infrastructure technologies of the future—but this technology is still in early stages. 

Industrial Processes 

Hydrogen is key in various industrial processes in the chemical industry. Some processes include manufacturing ammonia and fertilizers, oil refining crude petroleum and producing transportation fuels, manufacturing ammonia in the petrochemical industry, ethylene and fertilizers, producing renewable diesel in the clean fuels industry, sustainable aviation fuel and E-methanol. 

Managing Process Temperatures for Green Hydrogen 

In Hydrogen plants, the generation, conversion, transport, or storage stages require specific process temperature maintenance or freeze protection. Water lines for steam systems, utility water systems, and process gas lines need freeze protection, while salt storage and brine lines need to be kept at certain temperatures throughout production.  

Additionally, transporting Green H2 requires converting hydrogen into a less volatile and less flammable compound for transport. This conversion typically includes a Haber-Bosch process to convert H2 with nitrogen into green Ammonia, and Fischer-Tropsch process to convert H2 with CO into liquid e-fuels. Both processes are complex and require temperature maintenance applications. 

When used in vehicle fuel cells, hydrogen needs to have an ultra-high purity level to maximize the lifespan of the electrolyte and catalysts. Industrial deoxidizer and purification units deliver up to 99.9999% purity levels and are based on pressure or temperature swing absorption technologies, including high temperature mineral insulated heat tracing cables. 

nVent is prepared to support green hydrogen freeze protection and process temperature maintenance opportunities through high-temperature heat tracing cables, including advanced control and monitoring and turnkey project management for implementing these heat trace systems.  

To learn more about our Mission Critical Hydrogen applications, visit: 


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