The global hydrogen
market is expected to reach $124.5 billion by the end of 2021 and to rise
further to $184 billion by 2028.
Currently, about 45 million tonnes of pure hydrogen are produced worldwide.
Of this, less 1% of global pure hydrogen is made from renewable sources.
The IEA’s report on the Future of Hydrogen found that hydrogen is benefiting
from unprecedented political and industrial support, which should now be
accompanied by technological scale-up and a reduction in associated costs to
allow hydrogen to be more widely available globally. It is therefore reasonable
to think that the global market share of renewable hydrogen will significantly
increase in the years and decades to come.
Hydrogen has a varied
range of commercial uses, from electricity generation, to rocket fuel and the
production of fertiliser. Hydrogen (H2) can be produced via multiple
pathways and technologies, and from different sources, each of which results in
the production of hydrogen with varying degrees of environmental impacts.
which is currently the most widely used form of hydrogen, is produced from
fossil resources, more specifically, it is obtained from natural gas. Natural
gas is primarily composed of methane (CH4) (along with small amounts
of ethane, butane, pentane and propane), which can be converted to hydrogen via
steam-methane reforming. This process relies on heat, as methane reacts with
steam under specific pressure conditions to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide
and small amounts of carbon dioxide. Further hydrogen can then be produced via
a subsequent process referred to as water-gas shift reaction. The gas obtained
from both of these can then be purified via pressure-swing adsorption, which
removes impurities, leaving pure hydrogen as a final product.
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