It’s currently hard to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources due to the high costs involved with getting wind or solar power on our rooftops and hydroelectricity on our oceans. However, there are several steps we can take to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by finding alternative energy sources. It was believed that blue hydrogen could play a vital role in the fight against climate change if it is converted into electricity, rather than creating carbon dioxide when burning coal or other existing fossil fuel power plants.
However, new evidence suggests that blue hydrogen might be even more dangerous to our planet than coal or gas are. The information comes from a study titled “How green is blue hydrogen?”, which was realised by researchers from Stanford University and Cornell University. The team discovered that the creation of blue hydrogen leads to a carbon footprint that is 20% greater than the one generated by the use of coal or gas for direct heating. More than that, compared to diesel oil, the carbon footprint is 60% higher.
“In the past, no effort was made to capture the carbon dioxide byproduct of grey hydrogen, and the greenhouse gas emissions have been huge. Now the industry promotes blue hydrogen as a solution, an approach that still uses the methane from natural gas, while attempting to capture the byproduct carbon dioxide. Unfortunately, emissions remain very large,” explained the co-author of the study, Robert Howarth.
While scientists strongly advise politicians to stop promoting blue hydrogen, they also recommend a much better option: green hydrogen. This is a hydrogen type derived from electrolysis, and unlike the blue variety, it can be safely used to generate energy in a sustainable world.