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Hydrogen: the future energy source

  • by JW

There are some very interesting projects happening in the Orkneys:

Orkney: a model for renewable energy

In particular, the production and use of hydrogen:

Orkney Hydrogen | Surf ‘n’ Turf

An innovative new community project in Orkney taking excess electricity generated from renewable energy sources and turning it into hydrogen.

H2 in Orkney – The Hydrogen Islands – Orkney Islands Council

Hydrogen can be produced by electrolysis of water (H2O) by using an electric current to split water into it component parts of Hydrogen (H2) and Oxygen (O2). Orkney has an over-abundance of renewable electricity, which at present is wasted or lost when the electricity grid reaches capacity.

How hydrogen is transforming these tiny Scottish islands – BBC

Mar 27, 2019 – Orkney has five vans that run on hydrogen, a fuel which emits no greenhouse gases or pollution. Since Orkney started planning its hydrogen-based economy in 2016, the process hasn’t always been this smooth.

And now new research suggests things are really moving forward.

As a Vision Group commentator notes: It is still a way off but it looks like they may have managed to cause hydrogen production through a photosynthesis like reaction:

‘Artificial leaf’ successfully produces clean gas

A widely-used gas that is currently produced from fossil fuels can instead be made by an ‘artificial leaf’ that uses only sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, and which could eventually be used to develop a sustainable liquid fuel alternative to petrol.

“Being able to produce syngas sustainably would be a critical step in closing the global carbon cycle and establishing a sustainable chemical and fuel industry:” Erwin Reisner

‘Artificial leaf’ successfully produces clean gas | Research | University of Cambridge

Bias-free solar syngas production by integrating a molecular cobalt catalyst with perovskite–BiVO4 tandems | Nature

To quote the World Economic Forum:

Hydrogen isn’t the fuel of the future. It’s already here

When the leaders of the world’s economic powerhouses meet at this year’s G20 in Japan, two important decarbonization options are expected to finally garner the attention they deserve: carbon capture and hydrogen. The urgent need to reduce CO2 emissions means these two technologies – together and on their own – will be necessary alongside accelerated efficiency, exponential renewables growth and nuclear power.

Hydrogen is a rising star. Versatile and environmentally friendly, hydrogen produces no CO2 when combusted, only water and heat. It can be used to decarbonise electricity, heating, transport and industry. A clean energy vector, hydrogen is easily transported, stored and blended with current fuels.

To many, hydrogen remains elusive; it is thought of as an energy source of the future. However, proven large-scale and low-emission hydrogen production is already here through hydrogen production from natural resources coupled with carbon capture and storage (CCS), a suite of emission-reduction technologies that store CO2 underground. As such, alongside other key mitigation options, the large-scale deployment of hydrogen production can kickstart the energy transition.

Hydrogen isn’t the fuel of the future. It’s already here | WEFORUM 

Yes, it’s already here:


File:RH2cycle.png – Wikimedia Commons