Advantages And Disadvantages Of Hydrogen Energy Environmental Sciences Essay

Hydrogen is a combination of the Greek words “Hydro” and “Genes” meaning “water” and “generator”. It is the first element in the periodic table. Hydrogen is the main component of water, which covers over 60% of the planet’s surface. 1Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the world, although it also exists as a free gas on Earth. Currently hydrogen is produced mainly from fossil fuels for industrial purposes in petroleum refining, chemical production, metal manufacturing and electronics production.

Hydrogen technologies are the technologies will associate with the production & use of hydrogen. Hydrogen technology is the key to the advancement and improvement of fuel cells running on natural gas for domestic combined heat and power systems and for the distribution of electricity. Hydrogen technologies can replace incompetent traditional combustion technologies which waste up to 2 / 3 of the fuel used.

There are different ways of making hydrogen in the UK. The most inexpensive way is to convert natural gas into hydrogen by a process called reformation. The Reforming of natural gas into a hydrogen produces CO2 but no more than burning it. However, using the hydrogen in a hydrogen fuel cell or using the natural gas itself in a natural gas fuel cell .The best use from natural gas is to use it as in fuel cells, either directly or reforming it into hydrogen.


A fuel cell integrates hydrogen with oxygen from the air in a chemical reaction, producing electricity. 7 One of the fuel cell types is for transport, (the proton exchange membrane fuel cell and it consists of two electrodes, and it is separated by a membrane. )


Hydrogen use in the UK start with transport particularly for fuelling fleet vehicles and buses.

‘U.K. Technology Strategy Board (TSB) Awards £9m to Aid Hydrogen Fuel Cell Development ‘

Source : Energy technology companies are set to receive £9 million of funding for projects involving fuel cells and hydrogen technologies, it was announced today (August 28).

The government sponsored Technology Strategy Board (TSB) is to invest the money, along with a further £500,000 from government agency the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), into nine hydrogen fuel cell projects.’

8″Airbus to take off with fuel cell auxiliary power “

October 9, 2009 – by Lisa Sibley, Cleantech Group

UK-based Intelligent Energy says its technology is expected to help the French aircraft manufacturer reduce emissions and decrease fuel consumption

9Hydrogen fuel cell hybrid buses to hit the road in Sunderland

10 November 2009

Two hydrogen fuel cell hybrid buses are set to hit the streets of Sunderland, UK as part of a unique R&D program that is bringing Chinese expertise to the region.

The UK regional development agency One North East has invested £314 000 (US$523 000) to sponsor the ECO2Trans hydrogen buses project, which is converting two electric Gulliver U500EUK buses into hydrogen vehicles using a fuel cell, battery and capacitor combination.

4’The hydrogen fuel cell buses being introduced in London will use an electric motor, with the hydrogen stored in tanks on the roof.’

3. infrastructure FOR a hydrogen economy IN the UK

7An ‘infrastructure’ is defined as a collection of technologies that are connected together in a specified way and are grouped into the following five categories:

• sources of energy

• conversion (including compression)

• fuel transportation

• storage

• demand.

The technical model of hydrogen infrastructures developed on a nodal network structure.

Transporting hydrogen is a very important part of the cost of the transfered product. The design of infrastructure includes the gas pipelines and rail lines for delivering inputs for producing hydrogen that will be an integral part of the delivery system. The main challenges in achieving the best delivery system include selection of the site for hydrogen production and establishing a possible transportation network.The hydrogen infrastructure in the UK was evaluate current and potential hydrogen production and storage options.

The key findings of the research were that there are three main areas where hydrogen is produced at a commercial scale. These areas are the

Northwest of England,

Teeside (England)and

South Wales.

The infrastructure scenarios focus on two hydrogen production technologies-steam reforming of natural gas and electrolysis of water-and the different scales at which such plant can be installed.

The majority of hydrogen is produced by stream reformation of natural gas, although a proportion of worldwide hydrogen is produced as a by-product of Ethylene production via cracking. Most Liquid hydrogen is also imported from France, however it is very expensive.

In the short to medium term, the available gas production and supply system is incapable of supporting a major expansion of the use of hydrogen in fuel cell .

11″Hydrogen infrastructure for refuelling London buses.”

Imperial College London is examining transition strategies for a hydrogen infrastructure for vehicle refueling in London under a project funded by the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Imperial has five project partners from industry and local government to assist in this study: the Greater London Authority (GLA), BP, BOC, BMW and Air Products.