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Hydrogen: A New Way - Yazgı Nur Akın

As a hot topic in the modern energy world, hydrogen is under the power industry’s focus and the technology and investment companies.

When we consider hydrogen only as a “fuel,” it can be seen that it has the highest energy content, among other fuels. The energy per unit mass is three times that of natural gas. However, there is no harmful waste that will harm the atmosphere and the environment due to the combustion of hydrogen. Also, after the burning phase, water that does not harm the environment is released.

One of the biggest challenges in using hydrogen as a fuel is its storage. However, hydrogen can be easily stored and transported today with new developing technologies. It can be stored in compressed gas, liquid, or metal hybrid form. Another difficulty with hydrogen is that it cannot be found in pure form in nature. In other words, it is necessary to separate it from other compounds to obtain hydrogen.

Hydrogen is produced in several ways, and these are called the grey, blue and green types of hydrogen. Firstly, hydrogen can be produced by fossil fuels, and this is the grey method. According to the latest statistics, almost 96 percent of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels. Although there are different ways of producing hydrogen, one of the cheapest ways is to separate it from methane gas or produce gasification of coal.

The second way of production is the blue production of hydrogen. In this production, fossil fuels are still in use; however, the difference between the grey and blue types is technology. In this method, carbon capture technologies are used in order to restrain power plants from causing CO2 emissions. In the third type, the green one, the method is the electrolysis of water. In brief, hydrogen is separated from water thanks to the direct current flowing through the water. The green type is the desired production of hydrogen due to its prominent role in the zero carbon emissions.

Hydrogen-sulfur, which is excessively found in the Black Sea depths, is another source of hydrogen. Since its electrolysis is easy, it is considered as a very efficient source. Due to the Black Sea being exposed to many waste brought by various rivers flowing into it, there are many harmful elements in the seabed like H2S. However, it can be used to obtain hydrogen gas to use in electricity generation and sulfur in the industry. In addition to all these, according to the researchers, it is likely to produce green electricity from hydrogen while removing the contamination accumulated in the seabed. Furthermore, besides the Turkish natural gas discovery in the Black Sea, a focus on the other clean fuel like hydrogen can also boost Turkey’s economic and technological interests in the following years. This kind of step in the energy sector will also be important in regards to Turkey’s green energy policy.

The rise of developing vehicle technologies together with hydrogen, are seen as factors that will stimulate many green and smart city policies, especially in European countries. The production of hydrogen-powered automobiles and public transport vehicles and the construction of hydrogen stations will increase employment and support the sub-industries. At that point, it will be a sine qua non for large oil and gas companies to prepare themselves for the newly formed sector and be agile when necessary. Likewise, airline companies and aircraft manufacturers’ fuel consumption models will also change due to the feature of hydrogen that enables aircraft to travel much longer distances when compared with the jet fuel.

Taking all this into account, it can be stated that the probability of a hydrogen-focused energy world and industry, technology, and employment that will gain momentum in the following years is extremely high. At that point, the collaboration among the public, companies, industrial and trade unions, civil societies, academia, and others is one of the most important and necessary factors that spring to mind. In the next article, this topic will be researched and presented to the readers of Bilkent Synergy.


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