What is Renewable Hydrogen and what is NOT?

Hydrogen makes up 73% of the elements in the atmosphere. Petroleum and coal are made of Hydrogen and Carbon, where as water is made of Hydrogen and Oxygen. Therefore, it is possible to extract the Hydrogen from both of these substances.
But this is the tricky part!
Not all of the hydrogen produced can be labeled as Renewable Hydrogen. The Hydrogen extracted from fossil fuels or which use nuclear energy in the process of making hydrogen are NOT Renewable Hydrogen.
The key to be Renewable Hydrogen is to use renewable energy derived electricity (from solar, wind, tidal, geothermal, etc.) in the process of water electrolysis to make Hydrogen. The process of producing electricity must be Carbon free and renewable.

How to make Hydrogen ?

Which of the below hydrogen production methods are Renewable hydrogen? (*there is more than one!)

1. Reform fossil fuel

Use a catalyzer to reform oil, coal, and natural gas
Examples: Enefram (hydrogen generating system) / Hydrogen fueling stations

2. By-product from manufacturing process / Reforming of by-product gases

Examples: North Kyushu Hydrogen Town (Japan)

3. Water electrolysis by thermo-chemistry using waste heat from nuclear plants

Reference: Toshiba Co., Ltd. Website

4. Reform biomass

-Reform biogas such as Methane gas released as a waste product at wastewater treatment plants
-Thermo separation from woody biomass
-Decompose algae using bacteria
Examples: Orange Country Sanitation District wastewater treatment plant (U.S.A) /
North Kumamoto wastewater treatment plant (Japan) / Blue Tower System

5. Water electrolysis using renewable energy

Make Hydrogen with water electrolysis using electricity derived from natural energy
Example: Honda solar hydrogen station (California, U.S.A. / Saitama, Japan)

Answer to the quiz:

#4 and #5
*Hydrogen produced using nuclear power does not emit Carbon dioxide, but the use of Uranium is not sustainable because of unsolved issues of radioactive waste and it is a rare element found only in limited amounts and locations.

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