Is blue hydrogen the new frontier in energy production?

Blue hydrogen could become our new main energy source

Scientists and technical specialists are working right now on improving the techniques we have at our disposal today to produce and store hydrogen, so that this substance could become one of the world’s main energy sources. At the moment, the processes we know are not yet a definitive solution to the environmental issue. 

The problem is that, in order to be completed, the production processes must exploit fossil fuels, which leads to the emission of CO2. However, there is now a new technique available that makes it possible to balance pollutant emissions; this is a major discovery that represents a very important step in the fight against air pollution.

The result of this innovative process is a type of hydrogen known as blue hydrogen. The main feature of this production technique is that all – or at least part – of the CO2 that is created, along with the hydrogen, is recovered. This is a real revolution that could really transform the energy sector in a few years’ time. 

How blue hydrogen is produced and what limitations there are so far

But why are we still not making the most of this solution? The truth is that the most widely used method for producing blue hydrogen – so-called Steam Reforming – produces a kind of CO2 characterised by such low pressure that it is very difficult to recover. According to official data, we are talking about a recovery rate of 60 to 90%. 

If we add to this the difficulty encountered when storing CO2 – no completely safe and proven methods of storing it have yet been found – it becomes clear why experts think it will still be some time before blue hydrogen can become our main energy source

However, there is plenty of data that gives us hope that in the future, blue hydrogen will be able to replace the far more polluting energy sources that we continue to exploit on a primary basis. For example, through the Autothermal Reforming production method – which for various technical reasons is not yet widespread – it is possible to fully recover CO2, while the storage problem is being solved by preparing depleted natural gas and oil fields to perform this task.