Waiting for a new golden age of hydrogen

Waiting for a new golden age of hydrogen

Financial Times Geologists believe we are approaching a new energy gold rush in underground hydrogen, referred to as geological hydrogen, he writes on Sunday.

At the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in the United States, a preview was presented of the results of an unpublished study conducted by the US Geological Survey, in which it appears that as many as 5 trillion tons, 5,000 billion tons, are in underground reservoirs around the world.

During the meeting, project manager Jeffrey Ellis stated, according to the newspaper, that most of the hydrogen may not be available, but extracting a small percentage of it will provide enough gas to cover all expected demand, which is about 500 million tons annually, for hundreds of years.

Hydrogen is produced as a fuel and as an industrial raw material, especially for making ammonia for fertilizer production, mostly by producing a chemical gas consisting mainly of methane, known as “blue hydrogen” when carbon emissions are captured or “gray hydrogen”. “When they don't.

A smaller amount is produced by breaking down water via electrolysis, but it requires excess energy production because it requires large amounts of energy. This type is referred to as “green hydrogen” despite the energy requirements.

Cleaner and cheaper

According to the Financial Times, Mengli Zhang of the Colorado School of Mines stated that exploiting natural deposits of hydrogen would be cleaner and cheaper than these other types of hydrogen, and that a new gold rush is on the horizon.

Investors are reportedly starting to join in, with US startup Koloma raising $91 million last year from funds including Bill Gates' energy ventures.

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Previous scientific opinion, according to the paper, was that there might have been little pure hydrogen near the Earth's surface because it would be consumed by underground microbes or destroyed in geochemical processes. Geologists now believe that hydrogen is formed in large quantities when certain iron-rich minerals react with water, Alexis Templeton of the University of Colorado told the conference.

Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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