indispensable link in the energy transition
Hydrogen (H2) is the most abundant, lightest and simplest element in the universe. It makes up 75 percent of the total mass and is the first atomic element in the periodic table. A hydrogen atom consists of one proton with positive charge and one electron with negative charge. In its purest form, hydrogen is a non-toxic colorless and odorless gas.
Hydrogen is a gas at room temperature, but changes to a liquid at -252.77 °C and to a solid at -259.2 °C. Although it is ubiquitous, it does not exist in isolation on Earth. This means that it must be soaked from components that contain it, the most famous example being water (H2O). It is also an important component of all organic matter, such as coal, petroleum, and natural and biomass gases.
Hydrogen as energy carrier
H2 is an excellent energy carrier, extremely suitable for storing and transporting energy as a liquid, compressed gas or in solid form.
The energy content of gaseous hydrogen is 33.33 kWh/kg, for example with a lithium-ion battery it is only 0.16 kWh/kg. In the liquid state, hydrogen has an even higher energy density, namely 125 MJ per kg. For comparison: this is 3,500 kJ/kg at 350 bar of gaseous hydrogen.
In contrast to classic fossil fuels such as natural gas or oil, hydrogen has to be produced and is therefore not an energy source. Hydrogen production requires a different energy source. The nature of that source determines the sustainability (‘the colour’) of the hydrogen.