Hydrogen as an energy vector is perhaps the best card we have against global warming. And the first applications are already available
February 4, 2022
The energy landscape is dramatically changing. The increase in extreme weather events, the resulting loss of biodiversity and risks to human health are all closely linked to global warming. Reducing CO2 emissions is essential to avoid dramatic consequences.
Although oil and natural gas will continue to play an important role in our energy mix, we have to look for alternative fuels to supply heat, above all other needs, in our industry.
According to several studies, hydrogen may become a crucial element in accelerating the energy transition and generating significant socio-economic and environmental benefits. It is potentially available in large quantities, burns with zero carbon emissions, is non-toxic, and does not pollute nor produce emissions.
Green hydrogen – an emission-free hydrogen
Not all hydrogen is the same. Most hydrogen used today is so-called “grey hydrogen” and is produced primarily from fossil fuels.
However, there is another hydrogen that is 100% sustainable, called green hydrogen, produced through the electrolysis of water in special electrochemical cells powered by electricity produced from renewable sources.
Hydrogen boilers – An even more sustainable production
Burning hydrogen is not the same as burning oil and gas. Still, it requires new combustion methods, which means rethinking the distribution equipment, and safety devices.
Thanks to the intense R&D activity on combustion and materials used in the realization of boilers, our advanced solutions can work also with hydrogen, pure or in combination with other fuels, as an energy source.
Moreover, through our cutting-edge and energy efficiency-oriented technologies, with the ability to reduce costs and environmental impact, we can support you in making your industrial production processes more future-oriented, sustainable, and carbon-free.
The importance of tailor-made water treatment
Water plays an important role in the production of green hydrogen: renewable electricity is used to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, employing about 9m3 (9,000 liters) of purified H2O required for each ton of H2
According to a Rystad Energy study, almost 85% of the planned green hydrogen projects will be built in water-stressed regions such as Spain, Chile and Australia. This amounts to roughly 520 million cubic meters per year of purified water.
Lack of access to purified water could spell the death of a potential green hydrogen project.
A typical process for producing purified water includes:
- Pre-treatment: this prepares water for subsequent treatments, mostly by removing solid and organic contaminants, and can be more or less complex depending on the water source (well, surface or sea).
- Ion Removal: pre-treated water needs to be treated to remove ions and dissolved salts, normally by means of membrane processes. Based on the water source, the section can have a very severe impact on the overall water balance, like in the case of seawater desalination.
- Polishing: this is the final step and consists of removing residual contaminants and dissolved ions, normally through membrane systems, until the required water quality for feeding the electrolyzers is met.
With its vast experience in industrial water treatment, Cannon Artes’ solutions can maximize the efficiency of the water treatment plant and minimize or re-use the effluents, contributing to the successful development of these projects.