How Green Is Blue Hydrogen?
Hydrogen is widely considered one of the potential clean fuels to power a green economy. Since the by-product of burning hydrogen is water, using hydrogen to replace gasoline or natural gas holds significant promise. But as with electricity, how it is generated matters.
This discussion between the Foreign Press Association’s President Ian Williams and Cornell University Biogeochemist and ecosystem scientist Dr. Robert Howarth highlights the greenwashing of blue hydrogen.
Normal or grey hydrogen is generated from the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal and natural gas, through a process called steam methane reforming. This process results in the emission of carbon dioxide and methane into the air.
Generating blue hydrogen, touted as being environmentally friendly, because the process includes the capture of carbon dioxide as a byproduct, has according to Dr. Howarth a carbon footprint that is far bigger than simply burning natural gas or methane. He notes that the marketing of blue hydrogen ignores the methane emissions which are far more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
In the discuss Dr. Howarth highlights the importance of producing green hydrogen through electrolysis, using 100 percent renewable energy to a decarbonized energy future.
He argues for putting financial resources into renewable [energy] generation and its transmission. There’s no doubt if we are going to meet the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 more investment in truly green energy will be required. One key step is to ensure that as consumers of energy, we understand where it is coming from and do not fall prey to the idea that blue is green.
Please watch the full conversation below.
US Member - Foreign Press Association