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Green Hydrogen

Focus: GS III- Environment

Why in News?

Oil India Limited (OIL) has taken the first significant step towards Green Hydrogen Economy in India with the commissioning of India’s First 99.999% pure Green Hydrogen pilot plant, with an installed capacity of 10 kg per day at its Jorhat Pump Station in Assam.

About Green Hydrogen

  • The technology for green hydrogen is based on the generation of hydrogen through electrolysis.
  • It is a universal, light and highly reactive fuel.
  • Under this method, electrical current is used to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in the water.
  • In case the electricity is produced through renewable sources of energy, the hydrogen would be green hydrogen. 
  • Hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth. Also, the global demand for hydrogen as a fuel has become thrice of what it was in 1975. It is also the only source of energy that only emits water vapour and leaves no residue in the air.
  • Hydrogen has been used to fuel cars, airships and spaceships since the beginning of the 19th century. 

Green Hydrogen Advantages

  • Hydrogen is a 100 % sustainable source: Green hydrogen does not emit polluting gases in its combustion or production processes.
  • Green Hydrogen is a gas and thus would be easily stored. It can be subsequently used for other purposes just following its production.
  • It can be easily transformed into electricity or synthetic gas which can then be used for domestic, commercial, industrial purposes.
  • Green hydrogen can be mixed with the natural gas, up to a maximum of 20 %. It can also be transported through the same pipes and in the same infrastructure.  

Green Hydrogen Disadvantages

  • Renewable sources, which would be used to generate green hydrogen through electrolysis, are extremely expensive currently taking the cost of the whole production to sky heights. 
  • The production of green hydrogen requires more energy than other fuels.
  • Green hydrogen is an extremely volatile and flammable element.  It needs extensive safety measures to prevent leakage and explosions.

Green Hydrogen Importance

  • Hydrogen is being used across the United States, Russia, China, France and Germany. Countries like Japan desire to become a hydrogen economy in future.
  • Green hydrogen can in future be used for
    • Electricity and drinking water generation, energy storage, transportation etc. 
    • Green hydrogen can be used to provide water to the crew members in space stations.
    • Energy storage- Compressed hydrogen tanks can store the energy longer and are easier to handle than lithium-ion batteries as they are lighter.
    • Transport and mobility- Hydrogen can be used in heavy transport, aviation and maritime transport.
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September 2022
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