How is green hydrogen produced?
Water is 2 parts hydrogen, 1 part oxygen (H₂O). Green hydrogen is produced by separating the hydrogen from the oxygen. This is achieved by passing a current of renewable energy (such as solar power) through a sealed cell called an ‘electrolyser’ – a technology that has been used in industry for nearly 120 years – and feeding treated water through the cell.
The electrical current passes from an anode to a cathode, which are separated by a membrane. This forces the hydrogen and oxygen atoms to separate. The hydrogen is stored in specialised tanks, ready for use in a wide range of applications – from industrial and domestic heating via the gas network, to fuel for agricultural equipment, freight and chemicals.
“Blue Hydrogen” is taken from fossil fuels – coal or natural gas. It is just as carbon-intensive as they are, unless the carbon-emissions from its manufacture are permanently captured and stored.
ABOUT HYDROGEN TECHNOLOGY
Hydrogen has been used in industry for well over 100 years – in oil refining, fertiliser production and many other industrial processes. Internationally, and in Australia, production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen is well-regulated, and safety regulations and procedures are highly advanced.
Now that green hydrogen is taking a prominent and vital role in the transition from fossil to renewable energy systems, these regulations and safety systems are being expanded. Training and skills development – to equip trades such as electricians, plumbers and fitters, and engineers
Legislation and government policy
The state and federal governments are developing safety codes of practice for the production and storage of green hydrogen which is based on existing practices for natural gas. These standards consider the safety of people and the environment around the facilities. The project must comply with these state and federal standards.
Air quality and emissions
Making green hydrogen produces no exhaust or fumes though there may be some odour if wastewater is used in the production of hydrogen. Hydrogen gas is odourless and for safety reasons, an odourant is added in line with current practices for natural gas.
Green hydrogen projects produce no carbon emissions, no dust, no smoke, no fumes. All they produce is clean hydrogen and pure oxygen.
Green hydrogen production is quiet; no combustion, no turbines, no diesel engines. One electrolyser produces about 65 db of noise – about the same as a group conversation.
The electrolysers are enclosed in a class 7 or 8 building, along with a small water treatment facility with similar low noise levels.
Water and Waste
Solarig aims to use waste water for the majority of our green hydrogen projects – for example, treated effluent from waste-water systems, mine tailings dams and irrigation water run-off.
«Waste» products from the green hydrogen process are just water and oxygen. Around half the feedstock water is discharged, for use on crops or released in accordance with the EPA requirements.
Oxygen has many uses – such as medical applications, industrial processes and waste treatment.
Please contact us if you are a landholder interested to know what green hydrogen development could mean for earnings from your land, if you are a major gas or fuel user looking to reduce carbon emissions and stabilise fuel costs, or just to find out more about our team and work in Australia.