Scientists are warning that ‘blue’ hydrogen, which is produced by splitting natural gas and capturing process emissions, could generate 20% more emissions over its life-cycle than burning the natural gas in the first instance. The figure is a headline conclusion of a new study published in the journal Energy Science & Engineering today (12 August) by a team of researchers at Cornell University, New York, and Stanford University, California. While proponents of blue hydrogen often claim that more than 90% of the emissions resulting from the production process can be addressed using onsite carbon capture and storage (CCS) or carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) arrays, the study states that the capture rate varies from 15% to 90% for facilities currently in commercial operation. The scientists use a base rate in which 85% of emissions are captured. Moreover, these capture rates are only associated with the carbon dioxide released by the steam methane reforming (SMR) part of the process – the process of heating the methane component of natural gas with steam to produce a mix of carbon monoxide and hydrogen. Methane released in the extraction of natural gas will remain.
Edie 12th Aug 2021 read more »
The government’s plan to replace fossil gas with “blue” hydrogen to help meet its climate targets could backfire after US academics found that it may lead to more emissions than using gas. In some cases blue hydrogen, which is made from fossil gas, could be up to 20% worse for the climate than using gas in homes and heavy industry owing to the emissions that escape when gas is extracted from the ground and split to produce hydrogen. The process leaves a byproduct of carbon dioxide and methane, which fossil fuel companies plan to trap using carbon capture technology. However, even the most advanced schemes cannot capture all the emissions, leaving some to enter the atmosphere and contribute to global heating.
Guardian 12th Aug 2021 read more »
‘Blue’ hydrogen plan for greener boilers dealt blow as process has ‘higher carbon footprint than natural gas’
iNews 12th Aug 2021 read more »
A key part of Boris Johnson’s plan to lower greenhouse gas emissions could be worse for the climate than continuing to burn gas, a study says. The prime minister will support “blue hydrogen”, which is made from natural gas with the carbon captured and stored, in a hydrogen strategy due to be published within days. The strategy will also back “green hydrogen”, which is made from water using electrolysis powered by renewable energy. The gas industry says blue hydrogen will be low carbon because the emissions produced when the fuel is made will be piped under the North and Irish Seas and injected into saline aquifers and depleted oilfields and gasfields. The study, in the journal Energy Science & Engineering, concludes: “The greenhouse gas footprint of blue hydrogen is more than 20 per cent greater than burning natural gas or coal for heat. The use of blue hydrogen appears difficult to justify on climate grounds.”
Times 12th Aug 2021 read more »
Academics from Cornell and Stanford universities brand blue H2 with carbon capture a ‘distraction’ from genuinely green options in what’s claimed as first-of-a-kind research
Recharge News 12th Aug 2021 read more »