Hydrogen is a clean fuel. When used as fuel, it produces only water as waste. It can be used to store, transport and provide energy. Hydrogen can be produced from various energy sources such as natural gas, nuclear energy, biomass, wind energy and photovoltaics.
These qualities make hydrogen an attractive fuel for transportation and electricity generation applications. It can be used in industries, homes, energy storage or sustainable mobility. So where is hydrogen fuel used?
Hydrogen can be obtained in various ways. Some ways are more effective than others. One of the most important alternatives to produce gaseous hydrogen is electrolysis from water. However, there are other equally effective methods currently used in industry.
Usage areas of hydrogen
Energy must be used to produce hydrogen. For this reason, its production is expensive and its usage areas are limited. The contribution of hydrogen as a sustainable fuel is that hydrogen-powered vehicles only emit water as the only waste, rather than emitting CO2.
Hydrogen is not only an ally of sustainable automobile mobility, but is also used as a transportation fuel in general. Thus, we can see numerous applications in public transport, trucks, trains and even ships.
These vehicles have a tank to store hydrogen under pressure. This hydrogen is then directed to the fuel cell. A chemical reaction occurs there, resulting in electricity. This energy powers the electric motor and moves the vehicle.
The revolution experienced by hydrogen is undoubtedly the result of the numerous advantages it provides as a fuel. Hydrogen is the most available energy source on the planet. There is no other element in nature that has more existence than this. If hydrogen is obtained through renewable energy, it does not create waste that needs to be managed, as the only by-product is water.
Hydrogen-powered vehicles have the advantage of rapid fuel supply. Refueling may take up to five minutes. Vehicles with hydrogen technology have a range very similar to conventional vehicles due to their fuel storage system.
How does hydrogen fuel work?
Pressurized hydrogen enters the cell from the anode side and forces this gas through the catalyst using pressure. When the hydrogen molecule comes into contact with the platinum catalyst, it splits into two ions (H+) and two electrons.
Electrons are passed through the anode to reach the external circuit. This process produces electricity, which is used in the electric motor that produces movement in the machine.
At the cathode, oxygen passes through the catalyst and forms two very negatively charged oxygen atoms. This attracts the previous ions (H+) and these combine with the 2 electrons returning from the external circuit. Everything together forms a water molecule (H2O), which is removed as waste from the process.