Hydrogen production

Currently, hydrogen is produced from many different sources and is commonly available. Hydrogen can be made from hydrocarbons in a process known as reformation. Today most hydrogen is produced in this way using fossil fuels, primarily natural gas, but also oil, coal, and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG). The reformation process can also be used to generate “green” hydrogen either by starting with a biological hydrocarbon as the feedstock, or by capturing the carbon dioxide and burying it (CCS), or even doing both, which leads to “carbon negative” hydrogen.

Alternatively, hydrogen can be produced by using electricity to ‘split’ water into hydrogen and oxygen through a process called electrolysis.  If the electricity is generated from renewable sources it is then called “green hydrogen”.

The CHIC cities use hydrogen produced from both reformation of fossil fuels and renewable electrolysis, with the majority of cities producing hydrogen “on-site”. In Cologne hydrogen is supplied as a by-product from the chemical industry.

Because hydrogen can be made in a variety of ways and from many different sources, every region of the world can produce its own fuel.  This has the potential to be both good for the environment and the local economy.

Hydrogen delivery

Currently, hydrogen is mainly transported via road or pipeline in gaseous or in liquefied form.

Both methods are applied within CHIC cities: hydrogen is supplied in its liquefied form (in Whistler) or in its gaseous form (in Cologne and London).

Other options to transport hydrogen are being explored such as the use of chemicals which absorb hydrogen (not within CHIC).

Read more on hydrogen delivery here

Picture: High pressure tube trailer on the way to the hydrogen refuelling station in London; © AirProducts

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