Industry: Transitioning to Green Hydrogen
Although hydrogen has been used throughout heavy industrial sectors for decades, most of the hydrogen in use today is produced from natural gas. As a result, a near-term opportunity exists to transition to hydrogen produced from renewables, reducing emissions in the following sectors:
- Chemicals: In the chemical sector, the largest industrial market for hydrogen, the primary chemical produced is ammonia (NH3), used as nitrogen fertilizer and for the production of other chemicals.
- Refining: Refineries are the second-largest industrial consumer of hydrogen. At oil refineries hydrogen is used for hydrocracking and for desulphurization of fuels.
- Liquid Fuels: Hydrogen is also an important basic substance for producing the liquid fuel methanol (CH3OH). Methanol is used directly as a fuel in internal combustion engines or in direct methane fuel cells.
- Other: Several other industrial sectors use hydrogen in their operations and have the potential to become massive end-users as technologies are scaled. These include iron and steel production, glass and ceramics manufacturing, and the cooling electrical generators. Currently, steelmaking uses coking coal as a carbon source. However, an alternative process called direct reduction via hydrogen is in demonstration phase, and has the potential to drastically decarbonize the steelmaking industry.
For hydrogen, the possibilities are truly infinite!