Tasks in definition

Natural Hydrogen

Importance of the topic

Natural Hydrogen is a reality and it’s not rare.

The Earth is producing constantly natural hydrogen by several reactions linked to oxidation of Fe(II)-minerals, degassing of magma, or radiolysis of water. Seepages of hydrogen are known both on continents and off-shore (mid-oceanic ridges). One exhaustive review shows H2 occurrences in 465 geo-references (Zgonnik, 2020)

Some examples of this are the Bourakebougou site in Mali that has twelve positives boreholes with pure hydrogen (98%) for a surface of 50 km2 (Prinzhofer et al, 2018) and geothermal power plants in Iceland that emit to the atmosphere a total of 1.2 kt H2 per year (Combaudon et al, 2022).

Benefits of Natural Hydrogen include:

  • It’s clean: There’s no carbon in the chain, no need for electricity, or water and has a low physical footprint at production sites. Its flow is steady and avoids intermittence of supply.
  • It’s not an energy vector, but a resource in itself.
  • New research targeting a range of countries across the world – plus discoveries in US and Mali – suggest there are multiple viable plays and a cost-effective exploitable resource.
  • Provides diversity and flexibility and complements other renewable hydrogen feedstocks and aid security of energy supply.
  • No need for purified water (as electrolytic hydrogen), CO2 or nuclear-waste disposal (as some low-C hydrogen alternatives).
  • Costs should be substantially lower than all other forms of proposed H2 production and will deploy over a century of know-how, technology and skills from associated industries.
  • An intrinsically very low carbon footprint minimises investment risk and ensures long-term EU Taxonomy compliance.

Main goals

  1. Bibliographic synthesis / state of the art (Science / web / pro-journals). Deliverable: position paper of about 20 pages
  2. Road map production=> Development of this new economic sector,
    • Needs of public support in research and pilots
  3. Development of Reserves Economic Evaluation
  4. Policy recommendation for Research & Development and Methods for adapting national mining codes.
  5. Environmental impacts of Natural H2
  6. Organization of Events

More information

Gaucher, E.C. (2020) New perspectives in the industrial exploration for native hydrogen. Elements 16, 8-9. http://elementsmagazine.org/2020/02/01/new-perspectives-in-the-industrial-exploration-for-native-hydrogen/

Hand E. (2023) Science VOL 379 ISSUE 6633 https://www.science.org/content/article/hidden-hydrogen-earth-may-hold-vast-stores-renewable-carbon-free-fuel

Future Demand of Hydrogen in Industry

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