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Significant Impacts of Hydrogen Leaks- Study by Cicero

Here’s an article posted in Green Car Congress.

According to the article,


Hydrogen Leaks Amplify Warming
: CICERO-led research confirms leaked hydrogen’s global warming impact, nearly 12 times stronger than CO2. Despite emitting only water vapor when burned, leaks during production, transport, and use exacerbate the greenhouse effect.

Under-Researched Impact: Prior to this study, hydrogen’s climate effects were largely overlooked. Dr. Maria Sand and team utilized five models to assess its global warming potential. This highlights the need for further research and emphasizes the urgency of addressing hydrogen leaks.

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Tech Innovation Needed: The study emphasizes the necessity of developing better technology to detect and monitor hydrogen leaks on a large scale. Current capabilities are insufficient, underscoring the importance of reducing leaks to mitigate their significant climate impact.

Additional details about the post:

The study led by Dr. Maria Sand and her team at CICERO, alongside collaborators from the UK, France, and the US, sheds light on the significant impact of leaked hydrogen on global warming. Here’s a breakdown of the process and key points from the study:

  1. Hydrogen Production, Transportation, and Usage: Hydrogen, while not a greenhouse gas itself, can contribute to global warming through its interactions with other atmospheric components when it leaks during its production, transportation, and utilization phases.
  2. Hydrogen’s Chemical Reactions in the Atmosphere: When hydrogen is released into the atmosphere, it undergoes chemical reactions that influence greenhouse gases such as methane, ozone, and stratospheric water vapor. These interactions indirectly contribute to global warming, despite hydrogen itself not possessing direct radiative properties.
  3. Assessment of Global Warming Potential (GWP100): The study estimates the global warming potential of leaked hydrogen using five different atmospheric chemistry models. The GWP100 value determined by the study is 11.6, which means that the warming effect of 1 tonne of leaked hydrogen is approximately 11.6 times stronger than that of 1 tonne of carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.
  4. Factors Considered in Estimation: The research incorporates various factors into its estimation, including soil uptake of hydrogen, photochemical production of hydrogen, the lifetimes of hydrogen and methane, and the interactions between hydrogen and methane. These factors are crucial for understanding the complex dynamics of hydrogen emissions and their impact on climate change.
  5. Comprehensive Assessment: This study represents the most comprehensive assessment of the climate effect of hydrogen to date. By utilizing multiple models and considering various biogeochemical processes, the researchers provide a detailed understanding of the role of leaked hydrogen in exacerbating global warming.
  6. Importance of Reducing Hydrogen Leaks: The significant GWP100 value of hydrogen underscores the importance of reducing leaks throughout the hydrogen production, transportation, and usage chain. While technology for monitoring and detecting hydrogen leaks may currently be lacking, ongoing developments in this area are essential for mitigating the climate impact of hydrogen emissions.

Overall, this study highlights the need for increased attention to the environmental consequences of hydrogen leaks and emphasizes the urgency of developing effective strategies for leak detection and prevention in the burgeoning hydrogen industry.

Interestingly, we have some other posts related to this content:

“New Hydrogen Storage Technology By CSIRO & Electrochemical Technologies Group” – This post discusses a hydrogen storage technology developed by the CSIRO Thermal and Electrochemical Technologies Group that aims to reduce the cost of hydrogen storage and delivery. “Green Hydrogen Storage for Buildings with HPS Technology” – This post highlights Home Power Solutions’ patented HPS technology, which is the world’s first green hydrogen-based, year-round electricity storage system for buildings available on the market. “Hydrogen Storage Using Iron Balls: New Technology by Students of Eindhoven” – This post reports on a technology developed by students at Eindhoven University of Technology that uses small iron balls to safely store and transport hydrogen.



About Narasimhan Santhanam (Narsi)

Narsi, a Director at EAI, Co-founded one of India's first climate tech consulting firm in 2008.

Since then, he has assisted over 250 Indian and International firms, across many climate tech domain Solar, Bio-energy, Green hydrogen, E-Mobility, Green Chemicals.

Narsi works closely with senior and top management corporates and helps then devise strategy and go-to-market plans to benefit from the fast growing Indian Climate tech market.

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