- can be applied as a fuel in both ICE and fuel cells
- is a truly zero harmful emission fuel
- has a very high energy density per mass
- is a natural element
- is an abundantly available element
- has a very low energy density per volume
- is extremely highly flammable
- storage and transportation requires a lot of energy
Hydrogen is the smallest and lightest gas molecule on earth. It can be produced from natural gas (methane) via steam reforming – a highly polluting technique creating what is commonly known as “brown” hydrogen. Hydrogen can also be produced from electricity and water via electrolysis. If renewable electricity is used no emissions are produced in the process, creating what we call “green” hydrogen.
Hydrogen can be applied efficiently and effectively as a fuel in energy production systems. As a fuel it needs to be stored either at cryogenic conditions as a liquid at -253oC or to be highly compressed. Typical compressed hydrogen storage units varies from 200 to 700 bar.
Another interesting storage method of hydrogen is in a solid form where hydrogen can be stored physically or chemically in a solid form or through other chemicals the most typical methods are:
- The Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs)
- The Graphene
- The H2-Fuel: NaBH4 + 2H2O –> 4 H2 + NaBO2 + heat
- The Silicon fuel: Si + 2H2O –> 2H2 + SiO2
All of these methods are still at early stages of development and have not yet been tested at a large scale in a marine environment and most options require more fundamental research.
Hydrogen has a great potential to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and storage of renewable energy. Rapid technological improvements are overcoming the technical drawbacks of hydrogen currently hampering it from becoming the fuel of the future for maritime transport.
* Video by CSIRO – the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization. THRUST selects the information on this website independently and does not have any interests in the companies or organisations behind the videos.