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Article Writing | CBSE Class 12 | Report Writing | Board Exam 2024

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

Blue Hydrogen: the Future our Earth Looks forward to

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Knowledge in Brief

  • Blue hydrogen refers to hydrogen gas that is produced from natural gas through a process called steam methane reforming (SMR) or autothermal reforming (ATR) while capturing and storing the resulting carbon dioxide emissions. The captured carbon dioxide is then stored underground or utilized for other purposes.

  • Blue hydrogen is considered a low-carbon alternative to traditional grey hydrogen, which is produced from natural gas without carbon capture and storage. The term "blue" refers to the fact that the carbon emissions associated with the production of hydrogen are mitigated or reduced through carbon capture technologies.

  • Blue hydrogen is seen as a transitional solution towards a low-carbon or carbon-neutral hydrogen economy, as it reduces greenhouse gas emissions compared to grey hydrogen but still relies on fossil fuel sources.

Why Blue?

  • The term "blue" in blue hydrogen refers to the color coding used to distinguish different types of hydrogen production. The color code is based on the source of energy used in the production process and the associated carbon emissions.

  • In this context, "blue" is used to indicate that the production process includes carbon capture and storage (CCS) to reduce or mitigate carbon dioxide emissions. The captured carbon dioxide is typically stored underground or utilized for other purposes. The color blue was chosen to differentiate it from "grey" hydrogen, which is produced from natural gas without carbon capture and storage, resulting in higher carbon emissions. Grey hydrogen is considered the conventional or traditional method of hydrogen production.

  • The color-coded terminology helps to highlight the environmental impact and carbon footprint of different hydrogen production methods, making it easier to distinguish between low-carbon and high-carbon hydrogen sources.

Let's Learn further from the Conversation.

Teacher: Good morning, students. Today, I want to talk to you about an important topic—blue hydrogen. Have any of you heard about it before?

Student: Good morning, Teacher. No, I haven't heard about blue hydrogen. What is it?

Teacher: Blue hydrogen is a term used to describe hydrogen gas that is produced through a process called steam methane reforming (SMR) or autothermal reforming (ATR), where natural gas is the primary feedstock. The process involves extracting hydrogen from natural gas while capturing and storing the resulting carbon emissions, preventing them from being released into the atmosphere.

Student: Oh, I see. So, blue hydrogen is a way to produce hydrogen while reducing carbon emissions. Why is it called "blue"?

Teacher: That's a good question. The term "blue" comes from the fact that during the production process, the carbon emissions are captured and stored underground, typically in geological formations, often referred to as carbon capture and storage (CCS). The captured carbon is stored in these formations, giving the process its name—blue hydrogen.

Student: That's interesting. So, blue hydrogen is more environmentally friendly compared to other methods of producing hydrogen?

Teacher: Yes, indeed. Blue hydrogen is considered a transitional solution towards a low-carbon future because it significantly reduces carbon emissions compared to traditional hydrogen production methods. By capturing and storing the carbon emissions, it helps to mitigate the greenhouse gas impact and contributes to a cleaner energy system.

Student: That's really important. How widely is blue hydrogen being used?

Teacher: Blue hydrogen is still in the early stages of development and adoption. While it is gaining attention as a cleaner alternative to conventional hydrogen production, its usage is not as widespread as grey hydrogen, which is produced without carbon capture. However, as the focus on reducing carbon emissions grows, the demand for blue hydrogen is expected to increase.

Student: I see. It sounds like an exciting development. Are there any challenges or limitations associated with blue hydrogen?

Teacher: Yes, there are a few challenges. One of the main challenges is the cost of carbon capture and storage technologies, which can be expensive to implement. Additionally, there is a need for the development of infrastructure to support the production, distribution, and utilization of blue hydrogen. However, with advancements in technology and increased investment, these challenges can be overcome.

Student: Thank you, Teacher, for explaining blue hydrogen to us. It's great to learn about new solutions that can help reduce carbon emissions and promote a more sustainable future.

Teacher: You're welcome, and I'm glad you find it interesting. It's crucial for us to stay informed about emerging technologies like blue hydrogen that have the potential to shape our energy landscape and contribute to a cleaner and greener planet.

Student: Definitely, Teacher. I'll make sure to keep myself updated and continue learning about such important advancements.

Extra Bite

India's Initiative for Blue Hydrogen Promotion

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Industries Ltd is targeting to become one of the largest producers of blue hydrogen globally, producing the zero-emission fuel at costs that will be half of the global average.

The operator of the world's largest oil refining complex will re-purpose a Rs 30,000 crore plant that currently converts petroleum coke into synthesis gas to produce blue hydrogen for $1.2-1.5 a kilogram, Reliance said in a presentation detailing the separation plan.

Source: Business Standard.



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