What is green hydrogen and how is it produced?
Minimising the impact of human beings on the environment is one of the challenges facing today's society. To do this, it is essential to limit the use of polluting substances such as fossil fuels, and instead, to know and use other resources that can fulfil this function, one of which is green hydrogen, a clean alternative with many possibilities.
Decarbonisation is the current challenge faced by society in order to stop having a negative impact through the expulsion of substances that are harmful to the planet, and to regenerate the environment thanks to all the components that make up the world.
For this reason, it is necessary to develop new technologies capable of replacing the fossil fuels that have been used up to now, and it is at this point that green hydrogen comes into play.
Definition of green hydrogen
Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element on Earth. It is a gas that is found in all living components and is the least heavy of all those that make up the periodic table.
In order to convert it into a fuel that can be used as a source of energy, it must be transformed. This is the key difference of "green hydrogen": the way in which this element is obtained.
It is produced by electrolysis. This is a process which - through a discharge of electricity in which the electrodes attract the ions and by means of the oxidation produced - separates the different elements that make up H2O - hydrogen and oxygen - converting it into energy without having to emit gases that are pollutants for the planet.
Therefore, in order to be considered green, all the processes involved in this transformation must be clean. In the case of electricity, it must be generated from renewable energy sources.
The key fuel for decarbonisation
This alternative to traditional fuels is one of the keys to unlocking the future of zero greenhouse gas emissions and controlling harmful substances.
Within the framework of the Global Mobility Call event, due to its importance, it was one of the main topics of conversation. The first talk took place under the title "Hydrogen: the great green hope, challenges and realities", in which this fuel - which will make vehicles move without a negative environmental impact - was presented as crucial to the urban centres of the future.
It will also serve to drive and generate energy in industry, thus drastically reducing emissions. The second talk, "the opportunity of green hydrogen for Latin America", dealt with decarbonisation projects and alternatives for advancing towards a cleaner mobility system in which green hydrogen plays a major role.
Large energy companies are already working on this material to avoid the use of others and to offer green energy. After the research carried out, it is expected to be able to replace natural gas in both domestic and industrial use. Also, it is particularly in the field of transport that it is emerging as an urgent requirement. It will be the real alternative for the transport of goods, for example for boats or long-distance road transport.
On this subject, this article discusses the different alternative fuels that are in the pipeline, including green hydrogen. In this respect, a change has to take place, as only 0.1% of this fuel is produced with renewable energy, the rest with non-renewable sources, as indicated by the International Energy Agency.
In our country, we have a large green hydrogen plant that obtains energy through the installation of photovoltaic panels that store all the energy in batteries to help produce the electrolysis.
The outlook for this new fuel is very promising, as its use could avoid the emission of more than 820 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
In order to implement it in our country, this process requires large economic investments to get it up and running and a firm commitment to this new fuel, which will be truly competitive for all sectors of the industrial fabric and society. With the European Commission's 2030 plan, it is expected that by 2030 the production of 10 million tonnes of green hydrogen will be achieved by implementing electrolysis plants.