Grey . . . blue . . . green . . . the science and marketing of hydrogen seems to get more complex as we learn about the many types of forms and uses for this trailblazing new fuel.
OceanBased Perpetual Energy, which has been garnering increasing interest with investors and has even inked a deal to provide commercial-grade green hydrogen for Summit Worx, a South Carolina high-tech engineering firm, is among the few hydrogen producers that can actually call its product clean “green hydrogen.”
The U.S. Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO), which focuses on research, development and demonstration of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies across multiple sectors, thus enabling innovation, a strong domestic economy, and a clean, equitable energy future, is laser focused on slashing the cost of clean hydrogen by 80 percent over the next decade through its first “Energy Earthshot” program.
According to the HFTO, ten million metric tons of hydrogen are currently produced in the United States every year (95 percent of which are via centralized reforming of natural gas). Other hydrogen production approaches include using photoelectrochemical cells or solar thermochemical systems. Or, like OceanBased, creating hydrogen by using water-splitting techniques like electrolysis.
Whether a hydrogen product is classified as “gray,” “blue,” “green” or even one of the other lesser-known identifying colors ultimately depends on the type of method used to create it.
Whereas hydrogen itself is colorless, its “gray” version is essentially created from natural gas without capturing the greenhouse gases made in the process. The “blue” version is made in a similar manner, but its carbon dioxide byproduct is captured and stored for other uses.
However, only hydrogen that is made with zero carbon emissions like OceanBased can be classified as the gold standard “green hydrogen,” which is produced by electrolysis and powered by renewable ocean current to produce a clean and sustainable carbon net-zero fuel.
Other types of hydrogen generation processes include:
- Biomass-derived liquid reforming
- Biomass gasification
- Thermochemical water splitting
- Photoelectrochemical water splitting
- Photobiological processes
- Microbial biomass conversion
OceanBased Perpetual Energy is expected to spur worldwide interest in the ability to produce electricity from ocean currents around the world, stored as hydrogen produced from sea water, transported to remote and populated locations alike, where the hydrogen can be converted back to electrical current, or used to power automobiles, trucks, trains, planes and a variety of industrial applications