Our gas boilers are a leading cause of climate change. Burning natural gas to heat our homes and hot water releases carbon into the atmosphere and this is a leading cause of climate change. So, to tackle this, the government is planning to turn to hydrogen.
What is Hydrogen?
Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Oxygen make up 75% of the universe and form the foundation of much of our planet’s life. Hydrogen is found in almost all plant matter and water. The sun is also made up of a lot of hydrogen, but it is so light that it evaporates from the surface of the earth through the heat of the sun’s rays.
Advantages of hydrogen energy:
- Hydrogen is a renewable energy source which means we cannot run out of it, at least not on a human timescale. It’s a rich source of energy which is all around us.
- When we burn hydrogen, no harmful by-products are released into the atmosphere. In fact, once hydrogen has been used as an energy source, it can be converted to drinking water for astronauts.
- Hydrogen is incredibly dense in energy and is able to provide a lot of power. It is 3 times more powerful than most fossil-based fuel sources so less hydrogen is required to perform the same tasks. This is why hydrogen is used in space exploration to fuel spaceships, aeroplanes, boats, cars and fuel cells.
- Hydrogen doesn’t cause damage to human health unlike nuclear energy or natural gas.
Disadvantages of Hydrogen Energy:
- Hydrogen energy is expensive to produce Both steam-methane reforming and electrolysis are expensive processes which prevents a lot of countries from committing to mass production. Research and trials are in process to try and discover a cheap and sustainable way to produce enough hydrogen without contributing more carbon into the atmosphere.
- Hydrogen can be dangerous and is incredibly flammable which makes it a dangerous fuel if not handled correctly. There is also no smell to hydrogen so sensors are required to detect leaks.
- Hydrogen is volatile Because of its high energy content; hydrogen gas is a highly flammable and volatile substance which makes it a risky fuel to work with.