Sunday, December 15, 2019
Can Hydrogen substitute Carbon and avoid catastrophic climate change?
The answer is most likely NO for the following reasons.
It has been established that man-made GHG emissions mainly by CO2 is causing the globe to warm by a phenomenon known as “Greenhouse gas effect” triggering change in climate. Therefore, many are suggesting Hydrogen as an alternative clean fuel to reduce or eliminate CO2 emission. But replacing Carbon with Hydrogen we will only substitute Oxides of Carbon (CO2) with Oxides of Hydrogen (H2O). But water vapor too is a potent greenhouse gas GHG and it may enhance the warming of the globe by a phenomenon known as Feedback effect as explained by NASA and American chemical society (ACS) by the following references:
Moreover, Renewable Hydrogen is still very expensive compared to Hydrogen derived from fossil fuel such as coal and gas even though cost of renewable energy has reduced substantially in recent past. By injecting valuable renewable Hydrogen into existing pipeline carrying natural gas one will generate additional issues because of varying physical and chemical properties of Hydrogen and its flammability and explosive nature compared to natural gas. Hydrogen is an unstable atom and readily forms a bond with Oxygen and Carbon and that is why Nature does not produce free Hydrogen. It requires a Carbon backbone. Only an emission free power generation technology can solve the problem of global warming. It is only possible by recycling Carbon (Carbon recycling technology) with the help of renewable Hydrogen and to achieve a circular economy. There is no shortcut.