Are We Being Conned? Sometimes, Yes!
The above diagram shows the relatively small amount pf hydrogen produced by electrolysis (GCSE science style), the electrical process which is less “dirty” than most, depending on how “green” the electricity is in the first place.
Next we have hydrogen produced by the various chemical processes
which create all sorts of less desirable emissions and by-products. Depending on how this unwanted waste is dealt with will indicate how green is green.
CCUS refers to the need for “carbon capture and storage” whereby the nasties are collected and buried deep in the earth’s crust to sit there until geologists decide they are doing great long term harm. At the moment the feeling is that they are safely tucked away – but you do wonder.
So (at last, we hear you cry!) to the “colours” of hydrogen. The gas is colourless, so these “colours” are only labels to show (or maybe to hide?) how the stuff is produced.
These two (fairly interchangeable) colours refer to the most environmentally damaging hydrogen currently produced; which uses the chemical process on coal or thick oil. It produces lots of VERY nasty waste which costs a great deal to re-process. So the waste is NOT processed! Awful!
Slightly less horrid than black or brown, this uses the chemical process to extract hydrogen from methane, “cleaner” than coal or heavy oil. Greenhouse gases etc are NOT captured. Currently this is the most common production method for hydrogen. Not very good with plenty of emissions.
Same as grey hydrogen (chemical process) but the carbon dioxide IS “captured” and mostly stored. So the process is much more expensive but better overall.
This is a new chemical process which is beyond fbb’s understanding; but it makes hydrogen and solid carbon. IF the steam is created using “green” power this might be the best of the chemical lot. The world awaits a practical production set-up.
Despite the current PR, this is a very small proportion of hydrogen production. It uses the electrical process but, to be truly “green”, the power station electricity has to be produced from renewable resources.
Despite some publicity by the power companies, green electricity goes into the National Grid and cannot be separated out for sale or use in making hydrogen. To be reliably green, the hydrogen producers really have to make their own juice! Good if you can get it.
PR people can’t decide on the “best” colour! Basically it uses the electrical process but the electricity comes from nuclear energy. Again, good if you can get it.
As pink/red/purple above but but with electricity generated by solar power.
The headlines are all over the media and one company has even dragged Bill Gates into its PR.
Nearby Spain is staking a claim …
Even La Belle France is claiming reserves of white gold – as in The Gold Rush!
So this is pure hydrogen, just sitting there underground and waiting to be dug up using drilling or fracking. And it doesn’t need any processing and doesn’t produce any nasties!
Drilling is always expensive and nobody yet knows the cost of sieving out the hydrogen from whatever else comes up the pipe. Only an undetermined percentage of the stuff from the hole’s output will actually be pure hydrogen – if the prospectors are right.
Will it be real gold; cheap clean fuel and no greenhouse gases?
Will it really be self renewable (deep underground) as some have suggested?
Or will it be the iron pyrites of fuel supplies …
… Fools’ Gold!
Whichever is the economic and environmental truth, it is likely that fbb will be kicking his height in heaven long before the pumps deliver cheap environmentally indestructible nirvana fuel.
Profuse apologies to any fuel science professor reading this. It has really hurt fbb’s brain to get this far with his “studies”.
But one thing is absolutely certain, hydrogen is not currently particularly “green”; it is currently expensive (more so than diesel or petrol) and vehicles using hydrogen cost far more than petrol or diesel normality; and even more than electric powered cars, buses, lorries or cycles.
Free lunch anybody? Cheap lunch anybody? Best buy a bike!
Where is this?
The End Of A Tram Service
But where? Here is a clue!
A Bit More X43
Thanks to Ian Armstrong’s excellent London Buses site, we can read that the X43 started in 1992 …
… extended from Friern Barnet to High Barnet in 1994 …
… (High Barnet top centre, Friern Barnet bottom right on map below) …
… and was withdrawn in 1998.
So not a great success., then?
Withdrawn Tram and Mr Khan blog : Monday 24th July