- GS 3: Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life.
- On India’s 75th Independence Day, our Prime Minister announced the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission (NHM) to make India a global hub for the production and export of green hydrogen.
- The proposal for National Hydrogen Mission was made in the Budget 2021 to enable the generation of hydrogen “from green power sources“.
- Wherever hydrogen replaces fossil fuels— whether used in fuel cells or burnt to create heat—it slows global warming.
- Hydrogen can be a “decarbonising agent” for industries like chemicals, iron, steel, fertiliser and refining, transport, heat and power.
Steps taken so far
- Working on a pilot project on Blue Hydrogen, Hydrogen-Compressed Natural Gas (H-CNG) and Green Hydrogen.
- Blending hydrogen with CNG for use as transportation fuel as well as an industrial input to refineries,
- 50 buses have been rolled out which use H-CNG as its fuel.
- Combusting one kilo of hydrogen releases three times more energy than a kilo of gasoline and produces only water.
- Hydrogen fuel cells, which is an electrochemical cell that converts the chemical energy of hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, has only water as a waste product.
- Fuel cells can produce electricity continuously for as long as hydrogen and oxygen are supplied.
Production of Hydrogen
- 96 percent of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels via carbon intensive processes.
- Based on extraction methods, the hydrogen produced is classified as ‘grey’, ‘blue’, or ‘green’ hydrogen.
- From fossil fuel, ‘grey’ hydrogen can be produced, which releases a lot of carbon dioxide.
- When carbon dioxide (CO2), given out during its production, is locked up through carbon capture and storage (CCS) processes, ‘grey’ hydrogen becomes ‘blue’ hydrogen.
- Both grey and blue hydrogen are produced by the same processes, the only difference for ‘blue’ hydrogen being that the CO2 produced is sequestered.
- Government is aiming to produce ‘green’ hydrogen, which is mostly produced from clean energy sources like renewables.
- The ‘green’ hydrogen is released via electrolysis of energy from renewable sources.
- The hydrogen produced from this method gives rise to no CO2 emissions, is expensive and not commercially viable