Archives par mot-clé : Hydrogen

Natural H2 Emissions in Colombian Ophiolites: First Findings

by A. Carillo Ramirez et al., Dec 2023 in MDPI/Springer


The exploration of natural H2 or white hydrogen has started in various geological settings. Ophiolitic nappes are already recognized as one of the promising contexts. In South America, the only data available so far concerns the Archean iron-rich rocks of the Mina Gerais in Brazil or the subduction context of Bolivia. In Colombia, despite government efforts to promote white hydrogen, data remain limited. This article introduces the initial dataset obtained through soil gas sampling within the Cauca-Patia Valley and Western Cordillera, where the underlying geology comprises accreted oceanic lithosphere. In this valley, promising areas with H2 potential were identified using remote sensing tools, in particular vegetation anomalies. The Atmospherically Resistant Vegetation Index (ARVI) appears to be well adapted for this context and the field data collection confirmed the presence of H2 in the soil in all pre-selected structures. The valley undergoes extensive cultivation, mainly for sugar cane production. While H2emissions lead to alterations in vegetation, unlike reports from other countries, they do not result in its complete disappearance. Soil gas measurements along the thrusts bordering the Cauca Valley also show high H2 content in the fault zones. In the valley, the presence of sedimentary cover above the ophiolites which are presumably the H2generating rocks, which addresses the possible presence of reservoirs and seals to define potential plays. Drawing parallels with the Malian case, it could be that the intrusive element could serve as seals.

The problem with hydrogen

by Global Witness, Sept 1, 2022

Hydrogen could be an important part of the renewable energy transition, but not if the fossil fuel industry has its way.

At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity.

All in all, hydrogen seems too good to be true. No wonder the energy industry is currently pushing hydrogen as the fuel of the future. So…what’s the catch?

Not all hydrogen is created equal

While it’s true that hydrogen is carbon-free at the point of use, this only tells part of the story. Before we get to the stage where hydrogen is used, it first needs to be produced. And it’s this process where the complications begin.

There are several different ways of producing hydrogen, with varying levels of carbon intensity. One is to pass an electric current through water, splitting the water molecules apart into their constituent hydrogen and oxygen atoms. With this method, the key is what kind of electricity you’re using to create the electric current. If the electricity is from renewable sources, then the overall process will be effectively carbon free. If you’re using electricity generated by burning fossil fuels, then the hydrogen will be very carbon intensive.

A Hydrogen Future? Some Basic Facts

by P. Homewood, July 5, 2020 in NotaLotofPeopleKnowThat

There has been a wide ranging debate about hydrogen in the last couple of days, so I thought it worthwhile to recap some of the basic facts. Most of these are from the Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report last year, otherwise I will provide links.

I have referred to many of these facts before, but they sometimes get lost in the fog of technical debate. If anybody disagrees with these facts, please explain where the CCC went wrong.


There are essentially two methods of producing hydrogen:

1) Steam reforming

This process typically usually uses natural gas as the feedstock, but produces CO2 as a by-product. Therefore, for the process to be “low carbon”, carbon capture and storage would be necessary. Unfortunately even then not all of the CO2 is captured. Allowing for upstream emissions as well, the CCC estimate that the process will only reduce emissions by 60 to 85%, compared to burning natural gas instead.

The cost of producing hydrogen via steam reforming with CCS is estimated to be triple the current wholesale price of natural gas (ie before adding distribution costs).

2) Electrolysis

The CCC explain why electrolysis can only offer a limited contribution:

Hydrogen station explodes, Toyota halts sales of fuel cell cars, is this the end?

by Fred Lambert, June11, 2019 in Electrek

A hydrogen refueling station exploded in Norway on Monday and the company operating the station has suspended operation at its other locations following the explosion.

Now, Toyota and Hyundai are both halting sales of fuel cell vehicles in the country.

Does this spell the end of fuel cell hydrogen vehicles as a “zero-emission” alternative?

The Uno-X hydrogen station in Sandvika in Bærum exploded on Monday and resulted in two injuries in a nearby non-fuel cell vehicle.

According to the police, the explosion was strong enough that it activated the airbags in the vehicle without any impact.

The cause of the explosion is currently unknown and the rest of the refueling network is being shut down.