The New York Times (NYT) reported on the 12th (local time) that a joint study conducted by Stanford and Cornell universities in the United States found that hydrogen would not help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as much as expected.
According to the study, most of the hydrogen in use today is extracted from natural gas, which consumes a lot of energy and emits a large amount of carbon dioxide. Natural gas production also emits a large amount of methane, which is not environmentally friendly.
According to a study published by the two universities in Energy Science and Engineering, the natural gas industry promotes the production of “blue” hydrogen, which does not emit carbon dioxide, but the amount is greater during production than during combustion.
“It’s totally wrong to call hydrogen a zero-emission fuel,” said Robert Howers, professor of biogeography and chemical engineering at Stanford University, who led the study.
Mark Jacobson, a professor of environmental engineering at Stanford University, who participated in the same study, analyzed the greenhouse gas emissions of “blue” hydrogen and found that 3.5 percent more than previously known were released into the atmosphere during production of the necessary natural gas.
Consequently, he determined that producing “blue” hydrogen emits 20% more greenhouse gases than burning natural gas or coal for heating.
According to The New York Times, hydrogen could play an important role in the future for airplanes, long-distance trucks, and energy storage, but that will require the continued use of natural gas, which will cause environmental damage and high costs to correct, reports the news outlet.
Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California-Irvine, Jack Brower, says hydrogen must be derived from renewable sources and obtained by splitting water in order to eliminate polluting emissions from fossil fuels and methane.