A fruitless controversy around blue hydrogen

Those opposing to hydrogen can be delighted: an American study concludes that blue hydrogen is not green hydrogen. What a discovery! It all started with a study led by two scientists, one from the University of Cornell (Robert W. Howarth) and the other from Stanford (Mark Z. Jacobson).
The study, entitled “how green is blue hydrogen” concludes that this method of production (from natural gas and capturing CO2) is not environment-friendly. According to both the authors, it would only make sense if carbonic gas was stored indefinitely and not released in the atmosphere.

However, these academics do not seem very neutral in their approach.
They wrote that “the Hydrogen Council had been founded by corporations involved in oil and gas and whose approach is centred around blue hydrogen”.

As regards to Joe Biden, the American president, he has never referred to blue hydrogen as part of his ambitious recovery plan which relies on renewables. Yet, the players in this sector do see the difference between renewable hydrogen and low-carbon hydrogen as it is green hydrogen that is favoured by European, French and German plans.

In short, this is a way of giving too much credit to a study which castigates a transitional mode of production whereas projects around green hydrogen are multiplying in the hydrogen world.

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King.

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About the author

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Logan King

After an unusual career (3 years in the French army followed by a 3-year degree in Applied Foreign Languages), it was my passion for environmental issues that finally caught up with me and led me to join Seiya Consulting and H2 Today in June 2022. First as an end-of-study internship, then as Marketing & Communication Manager and translator at Hydrogen Today.

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