Hydrogen Production Future

Analysis and solutions for hydrogen production

Ash Sinha

4/10/20233 min read


In recent years, hydrogen has emerged as a key player in the pursuit of sustainable and clean energy solutions. With its potential to revolutionize multiple industries, from transportation to energy storage, hydrogen production has garnered significant attention. In this blog, we will delve into the intricacies of hydrogen production, exploring its cost-effectiveness, the expenses involved in setting up production plants, and the remarkable benefits it offers.

1. Understanding Hydrogen Production:

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, can be produced through various methods. The primary techniques include:

A. Steam Methane Reforming (SMR): This method utilizes natural gas and steam to produce hydrogen, but it also generates carbon dioxide as a byproduct.

B. Electrolysis: Electrolysis uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. If the electricity comes from renewable sources, such as wind or solar, this process becomes an emission-free option known as "green hydrogen."

C. Biomass Gasification: Organic materials like agricultural waste are gasified to produce hydrogen.

1. Cost-Effectiveness of Hydrogen Production:

  • Green Hydrogen Cost: The cost of producing green hydrogen (produced through renewable-powered electrolysis) has been declining steadily. In 2023, the cost of green hydrogen was approximately $3 to $6 per kilogram. Projections indicate that it could reach $1 to $2 per kilogram by 2030 with further advancements and scale.

  • Grey Hydrogen Cost: Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) produces grey hydrogen, and its cost in 2020 was roughly $1 to $2 per kilogram. However, this process emits carbon dioxide, which adds to environmental costs.

  • Blue Hydrogen Cost: Blue hydrogen is produced through SMR, but the carbon emissions are captured and stored (carbon capture and storage, CCS). The cost in 2020 was around $2 to $3 per kilogram.

2. Production Plant Costs:

  • Electrolysis Plant Cost: The cost of setting up an electrolysis plant depends on its capacity and efficiency. As of 2020, the capital cost for a large-scale electrolyzer was approximately $400 to $600 per kilowatt (kW). Projections suggest that costs could decline to around $200 per kW by 2030.

  • Infrastructure Costs: The infrastructure costs for hydrogen storage and distribution vary significantly depending on the region and the scale of deployment. Costs for building hydrogen pipelines or retrofitting existing gas pipelines can range from $500,000 to $2 million per mile.

3. Benefits of Hydrogen Production:

  • Carbon Emission Reduction Potential: Replacing fossil fuels with green hydrogen can lead to significant carbon emission reductions. For example, replacing one ton of coal with green hydrogen can save approximately 2.75 tons of CO2 emissions.

  • Energy Storage Potential: Hydrogen can play a crucial role in energy storage. One kilogram of hydrogen can store about 33.3 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy.

  • Decarbonizing Transportation: Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) have a range of approximately 300 to 400 miles per full tank of hydrogen, providing a viable option for long-range, zero-emission transportation.

Sinhasco can provide interesting solution for generating hydrogen with farms which produce a lot of waste and can be converted to hydrogen which is the future of emission free economy.

Turquoise Hydrogen a patented technology on the block of Hydrogen production technologies and is something which should interest policy makers as well as those venturing into Hydrogen production.

To provide a perspective on this matter the below illustration would help in understanding how turquoise hydrogen is produced compared to other prevalent hydrogen production methods.

Turquoise hydrogen trumps other methods both in terms of production efficiency thus making it quite economical and the

Another key factor is the abundant availability of methane (PNG piped natural gas or CBG compressed biogas which is produced from bio waste). For investors who wish to get into hydrogen production, methane pyrolysis proves to be the best path as the Capex requirement is lower compared to both SMR and Electrolysis technologies. This provides a better ROI and more importantly a cleaner and economical way to produce hydrogen and reduce carbon footprint and also to abate a potent GHG methane, effectively.

With the government agencies taking note of this method of hydrogen production and taking steps to classify methane pyrolysis under ‘Green Hydrogen’ whenever the feedstock used is CBG and the reactor heating uses renewable mode of electricity, the emergence of methane pyrolysis is bound to gain traction.

These positive developments taking place are bound to give a fillip to methane pyrolysis and turquoise hydrogen becoming a front runner as the preferred choice of hydrogen for producers and end users.

  • Conclusion:

    Hydrogen production costs and benefits are evolving rapidly as the technology matures and the world shifts towards cleaner energy sources. With continuous advancements and supportive policies, hydrogen has the potential to become a cost-effective and environmentally friendly energy solution, contributing significantly to global efforts to combat climate change.