The Hydrogen Economy
The Hydrogen Economy will be a megatrend during the next decade and beyond, driven by decarbonization of fuels and chemical feedstocks, continued momentum towards zero sulfur fuels, expanded usage in transportation and stationary fuel cells, and the need to provide clean heating and power options for industry and consumers. Current demand for hydrogen is around 70 MM/mt/yr, but future roadmap projections see demand increasing by up to 800% by 2050.
For decades, the predominant method to produce hydrogen has been steam methane reforming (SMR), often dubbed “grey” hydrogen. Utilizing SMR with carbon capture and storage (CCS) is called “blue” hydrogen, while utilizing electrons from clean energy sources like solar and wind to split water into hydrogen and oxygen is considered “green” hydrogen. Grey hydrogen is still the most cost-effective method today, but this could change with the development of carbon pricing frameworks. In places around the world with access to cheap natural gas and CO2 storage, blue hydrogen will become increasingly important. Continued R&D and scale-up will be required to bring down the cost of green hydrogen, so blue hydrogen is likely to fill this gap in the near term.
In further posts, we will elaborate on this and other topics; for more information, see our reports below:
- Power-to-X: Techno-economic, Commercial and Strategic Developments for Production of Energy Carrier Chemicals, Petrochemicals and Sustainable Fuels
- Advances in Syngas Production: Catalyst and Process Developments Update – 2018
- Advances in Electrocatalysis and Photocatalysis for Chemicals Production
- Progress Towards Cost-Effective and Sustainable H2 Production