What is Hydrogen?
Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical element in the Universe. It is the raw’s stars material and equivalent to 75% Cosmos’s mass composition.
In our planet, it is the third most abundant element on the surface. In the human body, it is the most abundant element in number of atoms and the third one in mass. Besides being the fuel of the stars, hydrogen is an essential energy vector for a more sustainable planet.
Because it doesn’t separately occur in nature, the most utilized method for obtaining it is the electrolysis of water. In this process, water is decomposed, what means that the hydrogen and oxygen’s water molecules are separated by the electricity.
When isolated, hydrogen can be used to store and generate energy by means of fuel cells (in small, medium and large vehicles, such as cars and trucks); it can be used as input for steel, chemical, petrochemical, agricultural, food and beverage production; Also, can be used as ships and airplane’s fuel and for buildings heating etc.
Although the electrolysis results in pure hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2), the origin of the electricity determines the environmental impact of the process. In other words, if hydrogen is obtained from electricity generated with emission of CO2 into the atmosphere – such as thermoelectric energy –, it contributes to the increase of the global average temperature.
Nowadays, most of the hydrogen produced and consumed in the world is generated from fossil energy sources, such as natural gas in refineries: this is the so-called gray hydrogen. There is also blue hydrogen, also obtained from fossil energy sources, but whose carbon generated in the process is captured in order to neutralize the emissions. Besides gray and blue hydrogen, there is also the so-called green hydrogen.