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Major processes for producing hydrogen are:
Steam reforming of hydrocarbons
Non-catalytic partial oxidation
Disassociation of hydrocarbons
Large volumes hydrogen can also be produced as a by-product from a variety of production processes.
There have been some studies that have looked at hydrogen an indirect greenhouse gas and has an impact on global warming effects. Hydrogen reacts in the atmosphere with tropospheric OH radicals and if there are hydrogen emissions to the atmosphere, it can react with the oxygen in the stratosphere and form water vapor and reduce the temperate, especially in the polar regions. This would disrupt the distribution ozone, causing depletion. Though the environmental impact would be lesser than that of carbon dioxide, it is none the less an area where attention is needed to reduce the leaks of hydrogen.
According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), by 2050, global emissions need to be reduced by 85% from current levels in order to meet the 2°C warming threshold. Hydrogen is expected to play a major role in helping to attain zero emissions by 2050. Improvements in technology to produce low-cost hydrogen can be a solution for providing alternate sources of energy related to transportation. This, in turn, would mean less consumption of fossil fuels and correspondingly lower pollutants and greenhouse gases
New methods of hydrogen production have become increasingly important. The economics of steam reforming and partial oxidation have been changing at small scales in recent years. Research in hydrogen fuel cells has triggered improvements in hydrogen-generation technology.
Hydrogen has been hailed for decades as a key component of a clean energy future, but so far, the idea has failed to take off. This could be set to change. Hydrogen can be used for heat, transport, or industry, as well as power generation, but it is neither as cheap and convenient
Brown: Hydrogen produced from coal gasification
Grey: Hydrogen produced from natural gas through steam methane reformation, without any mechanism for carbon capture
Blue: Hydrogen produced from natural gas with a mechanism for carbon capture
Green: Hydrogen produced through electrolysis from renewable or other carbon-neutral sources.
Other than the above, other types are 'Yellow hydrogen,' which uses nuclear electricity for electrolysis. 'Turquoise hydrogen' is produced from by molten metal pyrolysis of methane, with solid carbon byproduct.
The three major players are Linde, L'Air Liquide, and Air Products And Chemicals Inc. Other players include Nippon Sanso Corporation and Messer.
The largest volumes of intentionally produced or merchant hydrogen are consumed in ammonia production, at refineries, and in methanol production. Energy applications including the production of green ammonia, green methanol as well as fuel cell applications in the automotive sector are fast-growing segments for hydrogen, with plenty of potential ramping up in the near future. Hydrogen is also used in gas to liquids processing, metals, chemicals production, electronics and powering rockets.
"Hydrogen Economy" is a scenario where hydrogen is used for fuel and transportation and also long distance carrier of energy. This is done to move away from fossil fuels based energy and significantly limit global warming. The idea of “hydrogen economy” has been on and off the energy agenda since the 1970s, with occasional spikes of interest but without ever catching hold—the drivers have simply not been strong enough.
Hydrogen has several advantages: it is a very clean fuel at the point of use, it can be used quite efficiently in fuel cells to generate electricity, and it can be used in most of the same applications as natural gas. But it is more expensive and more difficult to handle than natural gas, and it is not as versatile as electricity.
Yes. NASA interests concerning hydrogen involve research and development for advanced hydrogen components and systems in support of aeronautical and aerospace projects, utilization of hydrogen for electrical power systems (fuel cells), and significant use as a propulsion fuel.
For many years, NASA has used hydrogen as rocket fuel to deliver crew and cargo to space. Hydrogen is used in the Centaur, Apollo and space shuttle vehicles.
Overall global demand for hydrogen is expected to increase at around 4–5% per year during the next five years, primarily as a result of demand from petroleum refinery operations, and the production of ammonia and methanol. Asia will continue to lead demand growth in line with the increasing growth of its domestic economies.