The applications of hydrogen are as varied as the element itself. Hydrogen has long been used in industry, for example, to produce fertilizers and refine mineral oil. Hydrogen as an energy carrier can offer many interesting solutions for achieving the energy transition. We have summarized different applications here.
In which areas can hydrogen be used?
Hydrogen is a versatile element that can form compounds with many other substances. New processes for the production of green hydrogen, i.e. completely CO₂ -free hydrogen, open up new opportunities to employ hydrogen in various sectors of the energy industry as a climate-friendly and forward-looking alternative and to advance the energy transition.
Electrolysis reconversion for energy storage
Green hydrogen is produced by so-called electrolysis. Water is broken down into its components oxygen and hydrogen with the help of electricity from renewable energies. Since hydrogen is an efficient energy carrier, the electrolysis process can also be used to store electricity indirectly and then convert it back into electricity. Renewable energy sources in particular are subject to seasonal fluctuations, so that at certain times more electricity is produced than can be used and at other times very little electricity is available.
Green mobility thanks to hydrogen
In the mobility sector, it is becoming increasingly important to move away from fossil fuels, for example in the form of gasoline and diesel. Battery electric vehicles are already widely available on the roads. However, heavy vehicles, such as trucks and transport vehicles in particular, consume a great deal of energy over long distances. A hydrogen-powered fuel cell with a long range can act as an alternative to the battery.
The fuel cell, oxygen and hydrogen combine and produce energy and water. Fuel cell vehicles can be refueled with hydrogen at special refueling stations: their refueling time is fast, another advantage over electric batteries. However, the establishment of hydrogen refueling stations nationwide is just beginning.
Hydrogen in a climate-friendly economy
Much of the industry still uses fossil fuels and emits large amounts of CO2. A conversion to electrically operated processes is not always possible. Green hydrogen, on the other hand, can replace natural gas and generate immense emission savings. Hydrogen thus has the opportunity to connect different points and applications. On the road to a climate-neutral industry, green hydrogen can make a decisive contribution on several levels. The development of an integrated hydrogen economy will create numerous jobs in a future-oriented field of action.
Sustainable heat supply with hydrogen
Hydrogen storage and conversion by reverse electrolysis also offers potential for the heating and heating sector. When hydrogen is converted into energy, not only water but also a large amount of heat is generated. In perspective, this can also be used to heat buildings. Plants for heat generation in the district and local heating network could also be climate-neutral with green hydrogen being operated, but it would have to be technically converted.
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