3 Questions: Blue hydrogen and the world’s energy systems – MIT News

by | Oct 17, 2022 | Energy

In the past several years, hydrogen energy has increasingly become a more central aspect of the clean energy transition. Hydrogen can produce clean, on-demand energy that could complement variable renewable energy sources such as wind and solar power. That being said, pathways for deploying hydrogen at scale have yet to be fully explored. In particular, the optimal form of hydrogen production remains in question.

MIT Energy Initiative Research Scientist Emre Gençer and researchers from a wide range of global academic and research institutions recently published “On the climate impacts of blue hydrogen production,” a comprehensive life-cycle assessment analysis of blue hydrogen, a term referring to natural gas-based hydrogen production with carbon capture and storage. Here, Gençer describes blue hydrogen and the role that hydrogen will play more broadly in decarbonizing the world’s energy systems.

Q: What are the differences between gray, green, and blue hydrogen?

A: Though hydrogen does not generate any emissions directly when it is used, hydrogen production can have a huge environmental impact. Colors of hydrogen are increasingly used to distinguish different production methods and as a proxy to represent the associated environmental impact. Today, close to 95 percent of hydrogen production comes from fossil resources. As a result, the carbon dioxide (CO2) …

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