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Freegrass

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The hydrogen economy
« on: March 12, 2021, 07:05:12 PM »
The hydrogen economy is coming, and it is very exciting, because it can use existing infrastructure for distribution and storage of clean energy. So I think it deserves it own thread.

Let's start off with his exciting news from Belgium, where someone invented the solar hydrogen panel, and is now working together with Fluxys (a Belgium-based company, mainly acting as a natural gas transmission system operator) to see if they can feed the solar hydrogen directly into the existing system.

Will we soon be heating with clean hydrogen gas instead of fossil natural gas?

https://www.leuvenmindgate.be/news/will-we-soon-be-heating-with-clean-hydrogen-gas-instead-of-fossil-natural-gas

KU Leuven and Fluxys are launching a pilot project in which they will send solar-powered hydrogen into the natural gas grid to replace fossil natural gas. In doing so, they hope to reduce CO₂ emissions. Therefore they are building a solar panel that produces hydrogen, which they developed two years ago. Leuven MindGate members Comate and the Province of Flemish Brabant were also involved in the process.



Two years ago, KU Leuven came up with a pioneering solar panel that produces hydrogen. The device looks like an ordinary solar panel, but it is not. It actually extracts green hydrogen from the air with the only ingredients being water vapor and sunlight.

"After the presentation of the first hydrogen panel, we were inundated with questions from home and abroad. Many people also wanted to order a hydrogen panel. But it is still too early for that," says researcher Jan Rongé.

KU Leuven is now going to test, together with Fluxys, whether they can send the hydrogen from solar energy into the natural gas grid to replace fossil natural gas. The aim is to reduce CO₂ emissions in this way. Leuven MindGate members Comate and the Province of Flemish Brabant were also involved in the process.

Hydrogen has several advantages. It can be used to generate both electricity and heat. You can heat or drive with it. It can be used as a raw material to replace oil products and its only by-product is water vapor.

It is also a gas that does not release greenhouse gases or toxic substances when used. The prerequisite for all these advantages is that you make hydrogen with clean energy. And Professor Martens' team has already succeeded in this.

Now the next step comes with a pilot project on the green roof of the Fluxys laboratory in Anderlecht. With this project, the researchers want to find out whether their green hydrogen meets the quality criteria of natural gas. Can it replace natural gas? Can it be injected into the natural gas grid? These tests should answer those kinds of questions.



But hydrogen also has drawbacks. It has been a promise in the energy market for years, but it has not yet made a real breakthrough. Hydrogen would still be expensive and cumbersome to make and store.

Another weakness of hydrogen is that it contains very little energy at normal pressure. To compare: for the same energy of 1 liter of gasoline, you need 3,200 liters of hydrogen gas. That's a huge volume.

That's why hydrogen is usually compressed under high pressure or converted into a liquid at a very low temperature (-253 degrees Celsius). Both processes require energy and a solid tank for storage. Injecting hydrogen into the gas network is therefore an obvious solution.

The Netherlands, with its extensive gas grid, is also working on this. Fluxys itself plans to convert part of the natural gas grid to a hydrogen network by 2025. Raphaël De Winter, Director of Innovation at Fluxys: "We want to advance the energy transition and gradually transport more carbon-neutral gases in our infrastructure."

But to make this happen, research is still needed. This is because the panels do not always produce the same amount of hydrogen, or hydrogen of the same composition. That depends on the orientation to the sun, the number of hours of sunshine, the season, the time of day and the weather.

Ten researchers are working on the project in the meantime. They are still trying to optimize the current hydrogen panels and develop the most efficient way to produce on a larger scale.

The project, named Solhyd, is meanwhile also receiving support from the Flemish government, which is aiming for a climate-neutral industry by 2050.


The Solhyd project is launched!
https://solhyd.org/en/

Dear visitor,
Dear follower,

Exactly two years ago we first demonstrated our hydrogen panel to the world. We had worked on it for 10 years, as KU Leuven scientists. The idea is simple: get water vapor from the air and energy from the sun, which enables you to make green hydrogen anywhere in the world. The unique part of our hydrogen panels is not just that they don’t require any liquid water, but also that we succeeded in building them on a large scale (1.6 m2).

The news spread like a fire. The story was shared broadly, many media published it, also international. Not all news articles were fully accurate, however. We got questions, invitations, messages of support from all over the world. To this day we still receive messages every week, from large corporations as well as interested individuals.

Much has changed in two years time. We are no longer just scientists who keep within the walls of their laboratories. We develop standardized hydrogen panels, investigate methods to upscale production and explore potential applications. This is no longer a research topic. It is a quest for producing more green hydrogen in our world.

The biggest challenges are still ahead of us. The stories in the media sometimes made it seem as if this technology is completely ready to be deployed all over the world. This is not the case. Developing a solid product and bringing it to the world in a sustainable way, is not an easy task. But we accept the challenge. We are developing the equivalent of solar photovoltaics, but for hydrogen. We are working towards a product that is ready for production at large scale, that is sustainable, safe, affordable and with a long lifespan.

The path towards impact, that is the Solhyd project. And we don’t want to walk this path alone. The time has now come to break radio silence and regularly update you about our developments. This project was established thanks to years of academic research, followed by tax payer-funded pilot projects. Society is our angel investor.

Thus this is also your project. Help us to make renewable hydrogen accessible to anyone, anywhere. Follow our activities. Share them with friends. And in the coming years, we hope you may become an even closer part of our story.

– The Solhyd project team
https://solhyd.org/en/solhyd_blog_en/the-solhyd-project-launched/
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Sciguy

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #1 on: March 12, 2021, 07:15:10 PM »
Quote
But hydrogen also has drawbacks. It has been a promise in the energy market for years, but it has not yet made a real breakthrough. Hydrogen would still be expensive and cumbersome to make and store.

Another weakness of hydrogen is that it contains very little energy at normal pressure. To compare: for the same energy of 1 liter of gasoline, you need 3,200 liters of hydrogen gas. That's a huge volume.

That's why hydrogen is usually compressed under high pressure or converted into a liquid at a very low temperature (-253 degrees Celsius). Both processes require energy and a solid tank for storage. Injecting hydrogen into the gas network is therefore an obvious solution.

Given how cheap the alternatives (solar, wind, batteries) are, I'm not sure that hydrogen will be able to compete.  If they can develop relatively inexpensive hydrogen fuel cells, it might be able to make a dent in the aviation or shipping industries.  I think it's a niche market at best.

Sciguy

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2021, 07:33:23 PM »
Here's an article summarizing the current state of hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles:

https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Fuel-Cells/Can-Fuel-Cell-Cars-Compete-With-The-EV-Boom.html

Quote
Can Fuel Cell Cars Compete With The EV Boom?
By Irina Slav - Mar 11, 2021

Quote
In this, Diess appears to share the opinion of the man he sees as a major competitor: Elon Musk, who said a few years ago hydrogen cars were "incredibly dumb". Hydrogen as a fuel and as an energy storage vehicle has been gaining increasing popularity in the past couple of years, but somehow hydrogen cars have failed to take off in any way comparable to EVs.

That's because of two things. First, hydrogen fuel cell technology is expensive, and it has not been able to accomplish the major cost cuts that EV technology—specifically battery technology—has recorded in the most recent past, making some EVs quite affordable. Second, major investments have yet to be made in the construction of hydrogen fueling stations. For that, carmakers need to send more hydrogen cars.

Quote
The Financial Times report notes how major European carmakers all toyed with fuel cell technology before quietly giving up, including Diess' Volkswagen and even Mercedes, which, according to the report, spent decades trying to make hydrogen technology work for it.

Yet fuel cell technology could become viable in the future, at least according to Renault's head of alternative fuels. Philippe Prevel told the FT that while regular passenger cars using fuel cell technology are unlikely to become economically viable over the next ten years, some vehicles on closed networks or fixed routes could make it before that, likely because it is easier to set up fueling stations at the two ends of a fixed route.

Indeed, fueling station infrastructure seems to be the biggest obstacle, and not just in Europe. It is a problem in the United States as well, in its only hydrogen car market – California.

Quote
China, however, is betting on these alternatives along with EVs. Last year, Beijing said it will direct a package of policies towards improving the hydrogen car production supply chain and advancing relevant technologies in a bid to make hydrogen cars more popular in the country. Plans are to have a million hydrogen cars on Chinese roads by 2030. And if China does something, it might pay to watch it closely.

EVs are on pace to become competitive with gas-powered autos in the next few years (they are already competitive on total cost of ownership).  Given how quickly we have to reduce carbon emissions, we can't wait until 2030 for hydrogen vehicles to reach the level of development that EVs have already achieved.

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2021, 07:34:28 PM »
Given how cheap the alternatives (solar, wind, batteries) are, I'm not sure that hydrogen will be able to compete.  If they can develop relatively inexpensive hydrogen fuel cells, it might be able to make a dent in the aviation or shipping industries.  I think it's a niche market at best.

Pretty much this. Especially using hydrogen for heating makes absolutely no sense. It's the same as using electricity, because the hydrogen is produced with electricity, except with a significant added cost and inefficiency due to an extra step, as well as risks like flammability.

Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2021, 07:37:49 PM »
Quote
But hydrogen also has drawbacks. It has been a promise in the energy market for years, but it has not yet made a real breakthrough. Hydrogen would still be expensive and cumbersome to make and store.

Another weakness of hydrogen is that it contains very little energy at normal pressure. To compare: for the same energy of 1 liter of gasoline, you need 3,200 liters of hydrogen gas. That's a huge volume.

That's why hydrogen is usually compressed under high pressure or converted into a liquid at a very low temperature (-253 degrees Celsius). Both processes require energy and a solid tank for storage. Injecting hydrogen into the gas network is therefore an obvious solution.

Given how cheap the alternatives (solar, wind, batteries) are, I'm not sure that hydrogen will be able to compete.  If they can develop relatively inexpensive hydrogen fuel cells, it might be able to make a dent in the aviation or shipping industries.  I think it's a niche market at best.
Hi Sciguy. Did you read up on the Hydrogen panel? It's awesome techology, and found this in the FAQ on the Solhyd website.

What is the cost of a hydrogen panel?

We only use non-precious materials in order to keep the hydrogen panels affordable. Just like any innovative technology, hydrogen panels will have a higher price tag at first. The cost of photovoltaics has halved in the last 5 years. Similarly, we expect a decrease in the cost of hydrogen panels as more of them are produced. Eventually, the cost of a hydrogen panel should be close to that of a solar photovoltaic panel today.

https://solhyd.org/en/faq-en/

The benefit of Solar Hydrogen is that it can be injected into existing natural gas infrastructure for direct use or storage in buffer tanks. Test are ongoing now to see if it's feasible.

STAY TUNED!

Edit:
I don't think it's a choice between hydrogen or solar. I don't see why they couldn't exist side by side. If we could replace natural gas with solar hydrogen, we would be able to become carbon neutral much faster.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 07:44:16 PM by Freegrass »
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Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2021, 07:50:43 PM »
KU Leuven scientists crack the code for affordable, eco-friendly hydrogen gas

26 Feb 2019

Bioscience engineers at KU Leuven have created a solar panel that produces hydrogen gas from moisture in the air. After ten years of development, the panel can now produce 250 litres per day – a world record, according to the researchers. Twenty of these solar panels could provide electricity and heat for one family for an entire year.



A team of researchers at the University of Leuven has reported a breakthrough in the creation of green energy from hydrogen.

Hydrogen energy is a sort of Holy Grail for energy researchers. As a source of energy, it is not only clean – involving no production of noxious substances or greenhouse gases – but also endlessly renewable. The problem until now has been to find a way to harness the energy available in workable volumes and at a cost that is not prohibitive.

The Leuven researchers have been working for the last ten years on a solar panel which produces energy drawn from the hydrogen contained in water vapour in the air. They are now claiming to have produced a record volume of 250 litres a day.  An average household would need 20 such panels to provide itself with electricity and heating for an entire year.

The team led by Professor Johan Martens from the Centre for Surface Chemistry and Catalysis, part of the bio-engineering faculty of KU Leuven, is now at the stage of beginning a field project. The panel looks like an ordinary solar panel, to which the team have attached a flask of water, VRT reports so that the hydrogen bubbles can be seen.

“This is, in fact, a unique combination of physics and chemistry,” Prof Martens explained to the VRT, who were allowed to see the panel in action. “In the beginning, we had a yield of 0.1%, and really had to search for the hydrogen molecules. Nowadays you can see them bubbling up to the top. That's the result of ten years of work, constant improvement, looking for solutions. That's how you finally achieve something that works.”

Even before the KU Leuven breakthrough, Belgium was a world player in hydrogen energy, boasting the world's largest H2 network made of 600km of underground piping. The drawback at present, however, is that the hydrogen in question is produced by the cracking of hydrocarbon molecules derived from fossil fuels. The area around the Port of Antwerp is a European centre, from where the “grey” hydrogen is circulated and shared with industries in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.

If Prof. Martens and his team succeed in making H2 production feasible on a large scale, Belgium will be able to produce clean energy from a clean source. “If this really works, then our demand for energy will be for the most part satisfied,” commented Johan Danen of Groen.

https://nieuws.kuleuven.be/en/content/2019/belgian-scientists-crack-the-code-for-affordable-eco-friendly-hydrogen-gas
Same news, longer article
« Last Edit: March 12, 2021, 08:00:16 PM by Freegrass »
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KiwiGriff

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2021, 08:20:41 PM »
When you start with.
Quote
because it can use existing infrastructure for distribution and storage of clean energy
No it can not
Quote
The storage and use of hydrogen poses unique challenges due to its ease of leaking as a gaseous fuel, low-energy ignition, wide range of combustible fuel-air mixtures, buoyancy, and its ability to embrittle metals that must be accounted for to ensure safe operation. Liquid hydrogen poses additional challenges due to its increased density and the extremely low temperatures needed to keep it in liquid form.

 


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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2021, 08:35:02 PM »
And to make clean hydrogen you need clean energy so you might as well cut out the useless step.
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Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2021, 08:50:28 PM »
And to make clean hydrogen you need clean energy so you might as well cut out the useless step.
No you don't. You use a hydrogen panel like I posted about before.
https://solhyd.org/en/technology/

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2021, 09:45:54 PM »
Given how cheap the alternatives (solar, wind, batteries) are, I'm not sure that hydrogen will be able to compete.  If they can develop relatively inexpensive hydrogen fuel cells, it might be able to make a dent in the aviation or shipping industries.  I think it's a niche market at best.

Pretty much this. Especially using hydrogen for heating makes absolutely no sense. It's the same as using electricity, because the hydrogen is produced with electricity, except with a significant added cost and inefficiency due to an extra step, as well as risks like flammability.
air sourced heat pumps move up to 4 times more heat energy than they use making them more efficient.

KiwiGriff

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2021, 10:16:29 PM »
Hydrogen at atmo?
Then what?
You will need to compress it or freeze it to have usable quantities available when needed.

I live off grid installing panels and storage then hooking up the system to my house circuits took basic wiring ability and commonly available components.
A Hydrogen system would take a much higher level of skill , very costly high tech components and represent  a high risk  of degradation to an unsafe condition over time.

 Even if you did develop a  hydrogen generating panel with a cost per unit of energy comparable with solar at the panel the added  complexity and cost of  storage and circulation systems will make it noncompetitive with already existing electricity from solar technology .

Hydrogen simply has to many issues to overcome to ever be the basis of a viable widely deployed energy distribution systems.
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2021, 10:19:30 PM »
Natural gas infrastructure is not designed to use hydrogen. Accelerated degradation of the natural gas infrastructure with hydrogen limits the hydrogen fraction to low levels and even then only marginally useful. Hydrogen is way to exacting to be safely used by most consumers. Experience in industry has repeatedly demonstrated that even industrial uses require more aggressive safety programs than other flammable gases. The problem with hydrogen is explosive combustion is possible between 4 and 75%. Common fuels are flammable within a ratio range of 10% or less with air. Long hydrogen pipelines are not a good idea. Reusing natural gas pipelines just about guarantees disastrous results. If it were up to me I would not allow this system in non industrial settings.

Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2021, 10:31:54 PM »
Hydrogen at atmo?
Then what?
You will need to compress it or freeze it to have usable quantities available when needed.

I live off grid installing panels and storage then hooking up the system to my house circuits took basic wiring ability and commonly available components.
A Hydrogen system would take a much higher level of skill , very costly high tech components and represent  a high risk  of degradation to an unsafe condition over time.

 Even if you did develop a  hydrogen generating panel with a cost per unit of energy comparable with solar at the panel the added  complexity and cost of  storage and circulation systems will make it noncompetitive with already existing electricity from solar technology .

Hydrogen simply has to many issues to overcome to ever be the basis of a viable widely deployed energy distribution systems.
For you, solar would probably be the way to go, but large buildings that now use gas for heating and cooking could have a hydrogen system installed. This would eliminate the need to replace the heating system.

Listen, this technology is very young. Much has to be researched and discovered, but you can't get around the fact that we will always need hydrogen molecules to replace fossil fuels that create much of our plastics and other stuff.

Will solar and wind win the race? No problem for me, but I'm pretty sure solar hydrogen will become a part of the clean energy revolution.

I created this thread to discover all the possibilities.

It's easy to dismiss a new technology, but I don't work that way. I always keep an open mind to an energy carrier that leave only water behind...

Quote
Hydrogen is garnering real interest as a source of clean energy for the future – and for good reasons. In Europe and around the world, there is a growing realisation that this abundant element, which emits zero CO2 when used as a fuel, will play a vital role in building a decarbonised energy supply. It can also help shore up energy security through its storage capabilities and decarbonise hard-to-abate sectors such as heavy industry, chemicals and transport.

For these reasons, the EU recently made hydrogen a central part of its Green Deal and set out a clear strategy and roadmap for its adoption to help meet its goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.
https://www.euractiv.com/section/energy/opinion/making-europes-hydrogen-economy-a-reality/
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Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2021, 10:39:47 PM »
Natural gas infrastructure is not designed to use hydrogen. Accelerated degradation of the natural gas infrastructure with hydrogen limits the hydrogen fraction to low levels and even then only marginally useful. Hydrogen is way to exacting to be safely used by most consumers. Experience in industry has repeatedly demonstrated that even industrial uses require more aggressive safety programs than other flammable gases. The problem with hydrogen is explosive combustion is possible between 4 and 75%. Common fuels are flammable within a ratio range of 10% or less with air. Long hydrogen pipelines are not a good idea. Reusing natural gas pipelines just about guarantees disastrous results. If it were up to me I would not allow this system in non industrial settings.
Well apparently we can do it in Belgium. We must be special...

https://www.fluxys.com/en/energy-transition/hydrogen-carbon-infrastructure

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Fluxys is ready to build the gas network of the future. Our plan is to progressively reconfigure our natural gas network in Belgium into complementary systems. They will flow three kinds of molecules indispensable for making the energy transition a success:
Quote
Carbon emissions in Belgium for almost 40% originate from industry, either through energy use or process emissions. As large industrial companies are directly connected into the Fluxys network, reconfiguring this infrastructure offers a cost-efficient solution to make industry’s carbon emissions go down and thus making a key contribution to achieving the 2030 and 2050 climate targets for Belgium and its regions.

Industrial processes for which electricity is not an option – A range of industrial processes requires high temperature heat for which (carbon-neutral) electricity is not an option. Connecting these industries into hydrogen supply enables them to switch to a carbon-neutral alternative. The same goes for industry using carbon-intensive feedstock.
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KiwiGriff

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2021, 11:02:03 PM »
Quote
but large buildings that now use gas for heating and cooking could have a hydrogen system installed. This would eliminate the need to replace the heating system.
Nope.
Doing that would be extremely unsafe.
Pure Hydrogen will leak out of and degrade any present standard gas based system.
The topic  of the economics and potential of using hydrogen in existing networks covered in this paper.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032118306531
Hydrogen can be injected at up to 20% into existing networks over that you need an entire new system.

As far as I can discern The push for a "hydrogen economy" is really a way for existing fossil fuel based industry's to prolong the use of natural gas and keep stuffing our climate for dollars .


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Neven

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2021, 11:55:21 PM »
I agree the panel is pretty cool, but I also agree about the disadvantages of hydrogen.
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Sciguy

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #16 on: March 13, 2021, 01:25:07 AM »
The article is from more than two years ago, February 2019.  Please bring us up to speed on what has happened in the past two years (other than record amounts of the cheapest energy in history, solar, being installed).

Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2021, 02:52:22 AM »
The article is from more than two years ago, February 2019.  Please bring us up to speed on what has happened in the past two years (other than record amounts of the cheapest energy in history, solar, being installed).
I presume you are talking about the article that introduces the hydrogen panel? Yes, that discovery was revealed to the world only 2 years ago. The first article I posted is from 2 weeks ago, which means they brought this invention from the lab to the brink of mass production in just 2 years, which is pretty fast for a new technology. Development in the lab took 10 years.

I'm actually really surprised about all the negative feedback I'm getting here. I thought everyone would be excited about this amazing hydrogen technology. I really don't get it. Hydrogen will have to be a part of the green energy revolution to fill in the gaps that electricity can't fill. You put a hydrogen solar panel in the sun, and out comes clean green hydrogen. What's not to like about that?

Does hydrogen have it's drawbacks? Sure... But so does solar and wind. Turbines kill hundreds of thousands of birds a year around the world. And solar panels surely have their drawbacks as well. As does hydro and thermal energy. Nothing is perfect, but if this company can replace 10% of natural gas with hydrogen, it's a win.

I really don't understand all the opposition, I really don't...

Are you guys reading up on this technology before you react? Or are you just against hydrogen because you're still thinking about the old way of producing hydrogen?
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 03:03:08 AM by Freegrass »
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Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2021, 03:15:48 AM »
Quote
but large buildings that now use gas for heating and cooking could have a hydrogen system installed. This would eliminate the need to replace the heating system.
<snip>
Hydrogen can be injected at up to 20% into existing networks over that you need an entire new system.
<snip>
That is correct. In existing pipelines for natural gas you can't replace all the natural gas. You just add hydrogen as far as the system can take it. And even if they could only replace 20% of the natural gas with hydrogen, that's already a lot of CO2 that's not going into the air.

In other dedicated systems that are created for pure hydrogen, you can go 100% hydrogen. And we have lots of that here in Belgium for our petrochemical cluster.



European Hydrogen Backbone plan

https://www.fluxys.com/en/news/fluxys-belgium/2020/200717_news_european_hydrogen_backbone

A group of eleven European gas infrastructure companies including Fluxys Belgium presents a plan for a dedicated hydrogen transport infrastructure. New research shows that existing gas infrastructure can be modified to transport hydrogen at an affordable cost.

The plan has been developed by Enagás, Energinet, Fluxys Belgium, Gasunie, GRTgaz, NET4GAS, OGE, ONTRAS, Snam, Swedegas and Teréga, supported by Guidehouse. The companies foresee a network gradually emerging from the mid-2020s onwards to an initial 6,800 km pipeline network by 2030, connecting ‘hydrogen valleys’. By 2040, a hydrogen network of 23,000 km is foreseen, 75% of which will consist of converted natural gas pipelines, connected by new pipeline stretches (25%). Ultimately, two parallel gas transport networks will emerge: a dedicated hydrogen and a dedicated (bio)methane network. The hydrogen network can be used for large-scale hydrogen transport over longer distances in an energy efficient way, also taking into consideration hydrogen imports.

Creating this network has an estimated cost of €27 to €64 billion, which is relatively limited in the overall context of the European energy transition. The levelised cost is estimated to be between €0.09-0.17 per kg of hydrogen per 1000 km, allowing hydrogen to be transported cost-efficiently over long distances across Europe. The relatively wide range in the estimate is mainly due to uncertainties in (location dependent) compressor costs.



This announcement comes one week after the European Commission published its Hydrogen Strategy which highlights the need to create a dedicated hydrogen pipeline network.

“We are glad to see the European Commission’s ambitious strategy to scale up hydrogen, already starting in this decade, and we think our initiative can play an important role in facilitating this. A European Hydrogen Backbone provides the opportunity to make large potential EU hydrogen supplies available to various demand sectors emerging during the energy transition. It is essential for a future EU hydrogen market. We recognise that the hydrogen backbone must become a truly European undertaking with strong links going towards eastern Member States,” said Daniel Muthmann (OGE).

The group of gas infrastructure companies is convinced that the hydrogen backbone will eventually cover the entire EU. The group invites other European gas infrastructure companies to join in the thinking to further develop the backbone plan.
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Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2021, 03:26:00 AM »
I agree the panel is pretty cool, but I also agree about the disadvantages of hydrogen.
Like I said Neven, no technology is perfect. The trick is to develop the technology further and get rid of as many disadvantages as possible.

But thank you for being the first with some positive feedback. I really though everyone would be jumping for joy, but apparently I was wrong about that...  :'(
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Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2021, 03:33:08 AM »
Hydrogen in aviation: how close is it?
Understanding the challenges to widespread hydrogen adoption

https://www.airbus.com/newsroom/stories/hydrogen-aviation-understanding-challenges-to-widespread-adoption.html
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2021, 07:23:10 AM »
I agree the panel is pretty cool, but I also agree about the disadvantages of hydrogen.
Like I said Neven, no technology is perfect. The trick is to develop the technology further and get rid of as many disadvantages as possible.

But thank you for being the first with some positive feedback. I really though everyone would be jumping for joy, but apparently I was wrong about that...  :'(
It seems very interesting, but there are some efficiency issues. The cost of the panel will be what makes the difference.
On the web site, they talk about 10% efficiency, which is much less that PV, so energetically speaking, it could be more efficient to have PV and a normal hydrolysis system behind.

Because of the efficiency issues, I'm not convince of using hydrogen for things that can be done with electricity. Storage is the main advandage, but is it possible do produce enough to have something to store ?

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #22 on: March 13, 2021, 07:59:54 AM »
We can already very efficiently create energy from the sun (even up to 40% efficiency) with solar panels.
I think he only point in using hydrogen would be storing this energy, because that is the weak point of renewables (lithium batteries are not a viable solution for storing big amounts of energy).

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #23 on: March 13, 2021, 08:14:33 AM »
We can already very efficiently create energy from the sun (even up to 40% efficiency) with solar panels.
I think he only point in using hydrogen would be storing this energy, because that is the weak point of renewables (lithium batteries are not a viable solution for storing big amounts of energy).
There is also a good business cases for hydrogen in the steel industry, and generally in the metallurgy.

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #24 on: March 13, 2021, 10:42:27 AM »
I can see a place for H2

If we want to replace the Liquid and gas distribution with electricity only, we’ll have a distribution problem

I’m not aware of any particular problems with H2 in pipework (critics – can you enlighten me?)– remember the old town gas was H2 + CO and even now natural gas has a trace of H2.

Uk gas pressure is 21milibar at your house

Advantages of H2:
Storage of months’ worth in depleted gas fields (study underway for the Rough gas field)
Distribution system already in place
Suits heavy haulage trucks
Can be combined with abundant Nitrogen to make liquid fuel, fertilisers
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #25 on: March 13, 2021, 11:55:31 AM »
The only issue with hydrogen is efficiency. You  get more heat with thermal panels or PV panels and a heat pump, you drive more distance with PV and battery, but there are many cases where electricity is not an option, or where  hydrogen can be produced with electricity overproduction. These hydrogen panels are good if the price per kW hydrogen is lower than with PV and electrolyse.

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #26 on: March 13, 2021, 12:45:13 PM »
Given how cheap the alternatives (solar, wind, batteries) are, I'm not sure that hydrogen will be able to compete.  If they can develop relatively inexpensive hydrogen fuel cells, it might be able to make a dent in the aviation or shipping industries.  I think it's a niche market at best.

Pretty much this. Especially using hydrogen for heating makes absolutely no sense. It's the same as using electricity, because the hydrogen is produced with electricity, except with a significant added cost and inefficiency due to an extra step, as well as risks like flammability.
air sourced heat pumps move up to 4 times more heat energy than they use making them more efficient.

And they run on electricity.

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #27 on: March 13, 2021, 12:46:00 PM »
One general  objection to hydrogen is that it is used as a greenwashing method.

Fluxys is a LNG player with some interests in pipelines so no wonder they prefer this technology to actual renewables because it does not make them irrelevant.

https://www.fluxys.com/en/company

We have to replace the old grid so we best do it in one step and not add extra steps.

A gas grid is not a static thing. you have to maintain it and replace it so if you don´t have it you can spend the energy and money somewhere more useful.
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2021, 01:23:54 PM »
I agree the panel is pretty cool, but I also agree about the disadvantages of hydrogen.
Like I said Neven, no technology is perfect. The trick is to develop the technology further and get rid of as many disadvantages as possible.

But thank you for being the first with some positive feedback. I really though everyone would be jumping for joy, but apparently I was wrong about that...  :'(
It seems very interesting, but there are some efficiency issues. The cost of the panel will be what makes the difference.
On the web site, they talk about 10% efficiency, which is much less that PV, so energetically speaking, it could be more efficient to have PV and a normal hydrolysis system behind.

Because of the efficiency issues, I'm not convince of using hydrogen for things that can be done with electricity. Storage is the main advandage, but is it possible do produce enough to have something to store ?
Efficiency is already at 15% now according to this article. And as development progresses, I'm sure price will go down as efficiency goes up.

https://www.kuleuven.be/english/research-stories/2019/solar-hydrogen-panels

Quote
The panel is able to directly convert no less than 15 per cent of sunlight into hydrogen gas, Which is a world record. The innovation speeds the production process up to the extent you can actually see hydrogen bubbles appear as sunlight hits its surface. This unique combination of physics and chemistry manages to produce an average of 250 litres of hydrogen gas a day. And that is taking into account our less than sunny Belgian weather! Moreover, production of hydrogen using these panels is more efficient than conventional methods of creating the gas: to get through the winter with enough heat and electricity in a well-insulated house, you would need a mere twenty of them.

Happy to be reading more positive feedback now.  :)
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2021, 02:49:14 PM »
"We have to replace the old grid ...."

Are you sure? Why?
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #30 on: March 13, 2021, 03:01:37 PM »
"One general  objection to hydrogen is that it is used as a greenwashing method."

If you mean methane stripping with CCS, that's because it's cheaper. Still green, though.

As Green electricity gets cheaper, I expect it to be  will be cost neutral:

https://www.iea.org/data-and-statistics/charts/global-average-levelised-cost-of-hydrogen-production-by-energy-source-and-technology-2019-and-2050
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #31 on: March 13, 2021, 03:28:30 PM »
Complexity.
At the link: a 1-minute walk around all the infrastructure installed for a single H2 pump for trucks/cars. :o
37.7 €,   3.97 kg
Quote
Hahahydrogen this is all for one „Pump“
➡️ https://twitter.com/cmdrarchadder/status/1366395294162817029

< (I am serious now) [it is] not just they have only one pump. That pump cannot be continuously use. Every time it use it need to be re-pressurize (may be every 2 or 3 cars if it is a small fill) and you need to sit there and wait even though there is no car ahead of you!!
People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #32 on: March 13, 2021, 04:50:28 PM »
I don't see any storage at all at the EV charge point. I mentioned the distribution problem upthread

On price I make it:

£1 buys 4.7 kwh H2
For diesel £ 1 buys 7.9 kwH
Fast charge £1 buys 4.3 kwh, plus 30 - 60 mins at your hourly rate

Round trip efficiency post pump is similar for FC or C-D cycle, though less at c. 50% for diesel

Broadly the same on cost, but H2 wins on space saving! : )

Realistically, H2 charge points in the future would be fed from the gas mains, only a compressor would be required at the station.
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #33 on: March 13, 2021, 05:11:42 PM »
"We have to replace the old grid ...."

Are you sure? Why?

Well the gas grid. Not the electricity grid.
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #34 on: March 13, 2021, 05:15:43 PM »
The gas grid itself is storage, the mainline pipes are deliberately oversized, once the trench is dug, the cost of the oversized pipe is a small proportion of the whole job

If we went electric distribution only, we'd have to dig up the road to each of 25 million homes, c. 5 million businesses at a cost of £nuts and inconvenience off-the-scale

Instead, we could change the jets in each boiler, it's been done before for the town gas to N sea gas transition in the 1970s. When rolled out en-masse, each boiler can be done in 20mins, say £10 - 15 each at trade rates

When home, the H2 FC car is the electricity generator for the heat pumps, incidentals,  fed from the grid.

Anyone want to make the case that it can't be done?
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #35 on: March 13, 2021, 05:16:44 PM »
@ Kassy - I don't believe the gas grid needs replacing to carry H2 - Why do you think it does?
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #36 on: March 13, 2021, 05:21:31 PM »
"We have to replace the old grid ...."

Are you sure? Why?

Well the gas grid. Not the electricity grid.
What's your plan to store electricity? Batteries that plunder the natural world for lithium and other minerals? And why are you so against gas? We will need bio and hydrogen gas. Without it we can never achieve 100% CO2 neutrality...

And to transport huge amounts of electricity around the world, you need a whole lot of new copper mines...

My point being that every technology has its drawbacks. To become 100% carbon neutral, we can't just rely on one technology... It'll be a combination of many...
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #37 on: March 13, 2021, 05:41:27 PM »

[/quote]
can't just rely on one technology... It'll be a combination of many...
[/quote]

Agreed. In the past there was support (FITs) for a wide range of technologies - solar, wind, biogas...kryptonite : )

PV and big wind became cheap quickly, so were widely adopted, others will emerge

If we had PV and Hydrogen generation on each workplace roof, the gas and electric grids would see much less traffic.
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #38 on: March 13, 2021, 06:03:34 PM »
We've relied on 1 energy technology for way too long, and the dominant oil industry became the cause of many problems. What will the next wars be about? Copper and lithium mines?

The more clean energy technologies we have, the more balanced the world will be... Nobody should be able to dominate the world with a single energy monopoly ever again...
« Last Edit: March 13, 2021, 06:17:07 PM by Freegrass »
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2021, 06:42:39 PM »
@ Kassy - I don't believe the gas grid needs replacing to carry H2 - Why do you think it does?

It needs replacing because it is redundant technology and thus a waste of resources.

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #40 on: March 13, 2021, 10:36:38 PM »
@ Kassy - I don't believe the gas grid needs replacing to carry H2 - Why do you think it does?

It needs replacing because it is redundant technology and thus a waste of resources.

I was in a meeting where somebody said that all the valves are not compatible with hydrogen, but that it is possible to make the required updates in a reasonable time. The problem would be that all systems connected to the network are not hydrogen compatible. I read about a project in France where they put 10% hydrogen in the natural gas network because that would be compatible with any appliance.

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2021, 12:38:13 AM »
Adding hydrogen to gas lines will substantially increase the risk of explosion in several ways.


Hydrogen is far more likely to ignite than other fuel gases. The range of flammability is 4 to 75%. Natural gas is flammable between 5 and 15% depending on its constituents. At really low concentrations the fire can not spread but at high concentrations like a broken pipe natural gas needs more air where hydrogen burns just fine. Natural gas is 85 to 90% methane


Hydrogen autoignition temperature is 585C. Natural gas autoignition temperature is 760C.


The kinetic diameter of H2 is 289 pm where as methane is 380 pm. This smaller molecule is more likely to leak. 


Hydrogen reacts with metal leading to hydrogen embrittlement. This will lead to accelerated degradation of natural gas infrastructure. Much of the natural gas infrastructure in residential areas is iron.


Experience in industry indicates hydrogen is more likely to leak and more likely to cause fatal accidents than natural gas. A utility or industrial customer is far more likely to maintain proper safety conditions than a residential customer.



Finally the main reason to add hydrogen to natural gas is to stall the transition from fossil fuels. This leads to my question "How many more people have to die to protect fossil fuel interests?"

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2021, 11:01:24 AM »
I acknowledge the heightened explosion risk, as everyone did pre 1970s when town gas was 50% H2, plus poisonous CO though H2 disperses quickly.

“Hydrogen reacts with metal leading to hydrogen embrittlement.”  - I’m aware of the issue wrt monatomic H, but not H2 – can you point me to a source? Town gas pre 1970s was 50% H2, natural gas still has a trace, so having been exposed for decades, the gas grid would have broken by now if it really was an issue

“I was in a meeting where somebody said that all the valves are not compatible with hydrogen, but that it is possible to make the required updates in a reasonable time.” 
Tell me more – what is the issue with the valves? Note that the gas leakage (CH4 or H2) past seals is never zero, just acceptably small.

“A utility or industrial customer is far more likely to maintain proper safety conditions than a residential customer.” – Customers are not allowed to do any work on gas piping or  appliances. Has to be a Gas Safe registered engineer.

“Finally the main reason to add hydrogen to natural gas is to stall the transition from fossil fuels.”
I sense a pejorative attitude toward Oil and Gas companies, perhaps because they were so influential when lobbying for their interests. However, many are starting the transition and have the expertise which can be helpful. Let them help.
As OP, Methane strippng with CCS is, at the moment, the cheapest way to produce green-ish H2.

Finally, I don’t see a solution to storage on the scale needed for seasonal – summer production to winter consumption – storage, nor an easy way to distribute enough energy on the electricity grid.
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2021, 11:14:01 AM »
5 industrial scale UK projects get the go-ahead. 2 methane strippers, 2 electrolysers and one steam reformer.

I have no problem with funding more than one process, we don't know now which will get cheapest soonest.

https://www.nsenergybusiness.com/news/hydrogen-production-plants-uk/#
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #44 on: March 14, 2021, 11:48:27 AM »
“I was in a meeting where somebody said that all the valves are not compatible with hydrogen, but that it is possible to make the required updates in a reasonable time.” 
Tell me more – what is the issue with the valves? Note that the gas leakage (CH4 or H2) past seals is never zero, just acceptably small.
I don't know the details, but it had to do that all the valves for natural gas are not compliant with hydrogen.

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #45 on: March 14, 2021, 01:40:30 PM »
Here Iain

The topic  of the economics and potential of using hydrogen in existing networks covered in this paper.
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1364032118306531
Power-to-gas for injection into the gas grid: What can we learn from real-life projects, economic assessments and systems modelling?

2.2. Distribution and transmission
Quote
A concern with direct injection of hydrogen into the natural gas network is hydrogen embrittlement, which can occur in pipes made of iron and steel, and can lead to propagation of cracks in the pipework [32]. It is broadly agreed that hydrogen can be injected into the distribution network at a low concentration with no serious safety issues. Although the exact level is disputed, several studies suggest that up to 15–20% hydrogen blend by volume (vol%) should be allowable [4], [5], [13]. Meanwhile, many regulators have seemingly arbitrarily low allowances on the amount of hydrogen in the blend. In the UK for instance the allowable limit is 0.1 vol%, whilst in the Netherlands up to 12 vol% is permitted [17]. Nowadays, polyethylene, which is not susceptible to hydrogen embrittlement, is being used more commonly in distribution networks. In the UK, for example, a major scheme is underway to replace iron gas pipes in the distribution grid with polyethylene (the Iron Mains Replacement Program), for safety reasons unrelated to hydrogen [33].
High pressures are thought to worsen the effects of hydrogen embrittlement, so it is generally agreed that allowable levels in high pressure transmission grids, which are often made from high strength steel, would be considerably lower than for distribution grids. Should transmission of hydrogen by pipeline over longer distances be required, it is possible that a purpose built pipeline network would need to be built [14]. Another concern which has been raised regarding transporting hydrogen in existing gas grids is the propensity of hydrogen to leak. However, several studies have concluded that leakage rates would not be high enough to be a major concern [5], [16].

2.3. End use
Quote

Gas from the distribution grid is most commonly used in homes for cooking and/or heating. In the UK for example, 86% of homes are connected to the natural gas grid [2]. Further safety concerns arise when considering hydrogen in the home, particularly regarding leakage and risk of ignition. For example, hydrogen has a higher risk of ignition than natural gas and, as with natural gas, it may be necessary to add an odorant to hydrogen to improve detectability. It may also be necessary to add a colourant as, unlike natural gas, a pure hydrogen flame is almost invisible [4]. Multiple studies have considered the effect hydrogen would have on the performance of household appliances, notably the NaturalHy project [5], [35]. Whilst most modern appliances should be capable of burning hydrogen blends of up to 20 vol% [4], above this level it is likely that appliances would need adjusting or replacing, which would be a major undertaking [14], [36].

Besides in the home, the other major uses of natural gas are in power generation and industry. These facilities are more likely to be connected to high pressure pipelines or have their own direct supply of natural gas. Introducing hydrogen blends into combustors for equipment such as gas turbines will alter the combustion characteristics. However, a considerable amount of work has been performed in recent years to design burners suited to these characteristics. Although a gas supply with a time-varying hydrogen blend level would present additional challenges, work is ongoing to overcome these challenges [37].


If you look though the hype of Hydrogen.
There are some edge cases where hydrogen could be usable in the future .... however the already spent tens of billions of dollars and decades of effort has failed  to make hydrogen any closer as a clean and economically viable large scale energy medium.

Cause the physics..... of both creation and use do not stack up.
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Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #46 on: March 14, 2021, 02:53:56 PM »
Many thanks for all the great contributions!
Here's a thought...
(I've made some edits in the last hour)

The electric grid currently transports a mix of electricity from Nuclear, Gas, Coal, and Renewables. There is no way of knowing what kind of electricity we are consuming in our homes. If you live close to a nuclear power plant, it's probably nuclear... Should we therefore stop putting renewables on the electric grid because it is also used by "dirty" electricity producers? Or do we update it to a smart grid so it can handle an increased level of prosumers with solar panels on their roof?

The same goes with gas. If we can replace some of the fossil gas with renewable gas, it's a good thing! And over time the grid will be adapted to increased levels of clean green Hydrogen gas. That's what they call the Energiewende... It'll take time, but eventually we'll get there, step by step... And Hydrogen surely has to be a part of that change.

Quote
“Finally the main reason to add hydrogen to natural gas is to stall the transition from fossil fuels.”
I sense a pejorative attitude toward Oil and Gas companies, perhaps because they were so influential when lobbying for their interests. However, many are starting the transition and have the expertise which can be helpful. Let them help.
Exactly Iain. It's one thing to say we have to get rid of oil and gas companies, it's another to make that a reality. The expertise they possess has value, and the best way to get rid of them is to give them alternatives.

A global carbon tax would surely help... Hopefully the world can agree on that in Glasgow at the end of this year...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2021, 04:08:16 PM by Freegrass »
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #47 on: March 14, 2021, 03:51:16 PM »
@Kiwi

Distribution

I had read the ref, and the ref it referred to which considers monatomic hydrogen cracking, not H2:

"HE is the loss of ductility and strength due to the entry of atomic hydrogen into the metal lattice."
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/engineering/hydrogen-embrittlement

From the common sense approach, you are arguing that the present gas grid must be in bits, having been exposed to Hydrogen for decades. It's not in bits.

I note the point on explosivity. See attached for the aftermath of a CH4 explosion.

"however the already spent tens of billions of dollars and decades of effort has failed  to make hydrogen any closer as a clean and economically viable large scale energy medium"

Methane stripping + CCS is fairly easy. Note that PV and wind were prohibitively expensive just a decade or so ago, now the cheapest time-of-use sources.
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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #48 on: March 14, 2021, 05:24:38 PM »
The same goes with gas. If we can replace some of the fossil gas with renewable gas, it's a good thing! And over time the grid will be adapted to increased levels of clean green Hydrogen gas. That's what they call the Energiewende... It'll take time, but eventually we'll get there, step by step... And Hydrogen surely has to be a part of that change.

We do not have much time and the final solution will not be a hydrogen home grid so experimenting with that is mostly a waste of time and another way the gas and piping industry is delaying things.

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I sense a pejorative attitude toward Oil and Gas companies, perhaps because they were so influential when lobbying for their interests. However, many are starting the transition and have the expertise which can be helpful. Let them help
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They still are quite influential and none are compliant with the Paris agreement. What transition do you expect of them? They mainly want to sell their oil and gas reserves. They bought many early renewable projects just to gut them. They will help safe the planets ecoservices as much as tobacco companies will help you quit smoking.





Second quote:


Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Freegrass

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Re: The hydrogen economy
« Reply #49 on: March 14, 2021, 06:13:53 PM »
We do not have much time and the final solution will not be a hydrogen home grid so experimenting with that is mostly a waste of time and another way the gas and piping industry is delaying things.
I would argue that we're already 30 years too late to save our planet. And that's exactly the reason why we have to look at all technologies without bias. Dismissing one before it is properly researched, would be insanity IMHO...
When factual science is in conflict with our beliefs, we cuddle up in our own delusional fantasy where everything starts making sense again...