Carbon free hydrogen
Electrolysis is a method that uses water (H2O) as a raw material for producing hydrogen and oxygen gas using an electric current. Discovered in the late 18th century, this method was industrialized for the first time in 1900. In 1939 the first electrolyzers generating 10.000 Nm3/h of hydrogen were installed; this capacity is still used in the largest production facilities in the world today.
The carbon footprint of hydrogen remains relatively high irrespective of the source of electricity used for electrolysis. An electric current produced from renewable energy (solar, wind, hydro, biomass, etc.) allows the production of hydrogen whose carbon footprint is minimal: green hydrogen.
Water electrolysis, combined with renewable energy, is therefore a very relevant solution for:
However, currently only 5% of global hydrogen production comes from this process. The remaining 95% is produced by converting natural gas.
The emergence of renewable energies should encourage the production of green hydrogen and provide input for future markets that are key to the environment, notably green mobility and renewable energy storage at competitive prices.