UK plan to replace fossil gas with blue hydrogen ‘may backfire’

hydrogen-fuel‘Academics warn fugitive emissions from producing hydrogen could be 20% worse for climate than using gas’, reports The Guardian. Climate claims aside, the lack of practicality in the hydrogen plan (is there one?) is becoming ever clearer. Why waste time and effort, and a fortune, for no known benefit to anyone or anything, but plenty of economic pain to citizens?
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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, says The Guardian.

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.

Professors from Cornell and Stanford universities calculated that these “fugitive” emissions from producing hydrogen could eclipse those associated with extracting and burning gas when multiplied by the amount of gas required to make an equivalent amount of energy from hydrogen.

Robert Howarth, a Cornell University professor and co-author of the study, said the research was the first to be published in a peer-reviewed journal to lay bare the “significant lifecycle emissions intensity of blue hydrogen”.

The paper, which will be published in Energy Science and Engineering, warned that blue hydrogen may be “a distraction” or “something that may delay needed action to truly decarbonise the global energy economy”.

Full article here.

Cornell University analysis: How green is blue hydrogen? [pdf]

CU: ‘the use of blue hydrogen appears difficult to justify on climate grounds.’

via Tallbloke’s Talkshop

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August 12, 2021 at 05:27AM

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