green hydrogen uses

In the article Hydrogen Myths and opportunities, we looked at misconceptions, but thin this article will summarise green hydrogen opportunities. A flurry of new announcements has meant that with good funding, focus and opportunities then green hydrogen might play a role in decarbonisation. Here are just some of the challenges and opportunities

  1. Where is the supply?
  2. How do you get sufficient renewable energy
  3. Can you mass produced the electrolyzer to bring the cost down
  4. Market opportunities.

Recent H2 Media

  • FFI (Fortescue Metals ASX:FMG) has already developed their own hydrolyser to create green hydrogen (CleanTechnica) in their article Green Hydrogen Dominoes Stacking Up. FFI Chief Executive Officer Julie Shuttleworth “FFI has developed a number of new electrolyser technologies that will form part of their electrolyser patent family. The outcomes of these projects will inform FFI’s electrolyser technology selection going forward, as FFI works towards its target to produce 15 million tonnes of green hydrogen per year by 2030”. The electrolyser will be producing green hydrogen by the end of 2022 powered by solar panels installed on the roof of FFI’s Dawson Road facility near the Perth Airport, Western Australia.
  •  Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leading provider of turnkey hydrogen solutions for the global green hydrogen economy, and Fortescue Future Industries Pty Ltd (FFI) 50/50 joint venture to build a Gigafactory in Queensland, Australia. Under the agreement, FFI will also purchase 250 megawatts of Plug Power’s electrolyzer solutions, used to create hydrogen and oxygen from water, for its Australian projects. Plug Power will supply these from its Gigafactory in Rochester, N.Y., . Delivery is planned for the second half of 2022
  • The Queensland government has announced a feasibility study will be conducted into the use of hydrogen-powered trains for bulk freight. Freight operator Aurizon and mining group Anglo American will conduct the study, looking at whether hydrogen fuel cell and battery hybrid power units can be used in heavy-haul freight rail operations. (Press release)
  • QLD Govt fast tracked a construction site at Gladstone QLD. FFI and Plug Power intend to build a two-gigawatt factory to produce large-scale proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysers, with the ability to expand into fuel cell systems and other hydrogen-related refuelling and storage infrastructure in the future. (Press release)
  • FFI and JBC – a manufacturer of industrial construction equipement have agreed that green hydrogen will be used to power construction equipement (press release)
  • FFI and JBL signed a deal to convert UK bus fleet to hydrogen (Press Release)
  • The agreement has JCB and Ryze purchasing 10 percent of Fortescue’s global green H2 output. The UK companies will be managing the distribution of the renewable energy fuel alongside the UK’s “development of customer demand, (Press Release)

Green Hydrogen Opportunities

Green hydrogen has 3 problems to solve: cheap manufacture; cheap storage and transport; and customer uses

  1. Replacement of existing gray Hydrogen use
  2. Heavy vehicles such as construction or mining
  3. Shipping – replacement for bunker oil
  4. Green steel making
  5. Heating
  6. Backup for electricity production

Replacement of existing Hydrogen

The Economists View of Hydrogen is that existing use of gray H2 can be rapidly substituted with green hydrogen. No change is needed at the end-use – just paying a fair price. Much of the capital in the production gas to H2 facilities will be stranded assets. Not the compression / storage or transport infrastructure.

Today’s hydrogen business is, in global terms, reasonably small, very dirty and completely vital. Some 90m tonnes of the stuff are produced each year, providing revenues of over $150bn—approaching those of ExxonMobil, an oil and gas company. This is done almost entirely by burning fossil fuels with air and steam—a process which uses up 6% of the world’s natural gas and 2% of its coal and emits more than 800m tonnes of carbon dioxide, putting the industry’s emissions on the same level as those of Germany.

The Economist Oct 2021
Creating the new hydrogen economy is a massive undertaking | The Economist
Creating the new hydrogen economy is a massive undertaking (Read the Article Here)

Heavy Vehicles

A supply contract has been made with JBC in UK. But FFI has mining companies in Australia that use 3 billion litres of diesel each year. Conversion of that would provide immediate end use.

Heating – substitition of Methane Gas (LPG and natural gas) by H2

Depending on the reticulation system of gas then hydrogen can substitute for the gas.

Green Steel Making

See previous article on steel making. It may be that FFI has its eye on establishing a steel production factory in Western Australia. Iron ore can be processed in Australia, and therefore shipping costs are reduced, value added, and with renewable energy and green hydrogen may be cheaper than burning metallurgic coal. The demand for green steel will only rise.

Backup Electricity Grids

Using green hydrogen for intermittent electricity generation is touted, but the economics of battery, grid interconnection and mix of energy sources seems that the cost may exceed a reasonable use. But the gas speakers could use a gas / H2 mix.

Back to Top