As Green Hydrogen Production Scales, Blue Hydrogen Can Maintain Demand

Nov 23, 2021 3:00 PM ET

The sheer abundance of hydrogen on this planet, along with the gas’ status as a clean burning fuel, makes it an appealing decarbonization tool. The alternative fuel source can be derived from water and has uses across sectors including food processing, fertilizer, medicines and rocket fuel. But while hydrogen produced with renewable energy offers a sustainable fuel for these applications, the global supply of hydrogen is still mainly derived from natural gas, according to a recent article by TriplePundit.

The article, “Charting a Sustainable Course for the Hydrogen Economy of the Future,” explores the hydrogen economy through a discussion with Jonathan Cristiani, an advanced power fuels engineer at Black & Veatch. He points out that although green hydrogen is the answer, it will take years to build its production systems to scale. As we bridge this gap, blue hydrogen paired with carbon capture technologies offer a cost-effective way to stimulate hydrogen supply over the near term, maintaining demand.

"Some are not convinced that blue hydrogen is a sustainable solution, but the fact is that natural gas will be available well into the foreseeable future for hydrogen production and other uses,” Cristiani told TriplePundit. “The carbon capture technology for reducing those emissions is available now, at a scale large enough to make a significant difference."

As the nation presses onward toward its target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, green hydrogen will be key in fueling the processes of various industries. When technologies catch up, green hydrogen production facilities may even be located offshore, using a practically endless supply of seawater to create the fuel. To get there, time, patience, blue hydrogen and a trust in innovation will chart the course.