Expert Opinion: Blue Hydrogen Economy
Dr. Parakram Pyakurel, Lecturer in Engineering looks at the potential of using Blue Hydrogen.
The potential of ‘blue hydrogen’ in combatting greenhouse gas emissions depends on the effectiveness of Carbon Capture, Usage and Storage (CCUS) technologies, says Dr. Parakram Pyakurel, Lecturer in Engineering at Solent University, Southampton.
The production of blue hydrogen also leads to the production of carbon dioxide as a by-product but there could be ways to effectively utilise the produced carbon dioxide. For example, construction companies can enhance the quality of concrete they manufacture by utilising the captured carbon dioxide by applying a technique known as ‘carbon curing’ of concrete. Likewise, existing coal-fired power generation plants that use steam as working fluid can instead use ‘supercritical carbon dioxide’ as their working fluid, as described by McKinsey.
Carbon dioxide captured from the production of blue hydrogen may also be used to make materials such as soaps, detergents and fertilisers, as explained by State of the Planet. British company drax is also exploring the use of captured carbon dioxide in the production of fizzy drinks, carbon nanotubes and bioplastics.
Captured carbon dioxide can also be used to produce methanol or other carbon-based fuels. Methanol can be used to produce hydrogen, so it may be possible to store and transport hydrogen in the form of methanol as there are several challenges with storing and transporting hydrogen in its original form.
Overall, CCUS is a promising research topic and if CCUS technologies can be made economically and technically feasible, they can greatly reduce greenhouse gases emissions in addition to enabling blue hydrogen economy.
Dr. Parakram Pyakurel, is a Postdoctoral Researcher within the Faculty of Creative Industries, Architecture and Engineering at Solent University.
Parakram obtained his PhD in engineering from Florida Atlantic University in the USA. He has previously worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Portugal where his research focused on development of sustainable energy infrastructure. His work areas are within renewable energy, sustainability and energy planning and policy.