Hydrogen Technologies: Are Advancements Robust Enough to Deliver on Hydrogen's Immense Potential?

Dec 21, 2004, 00:00 ET from Frost & Sullivan

    LONDON, December 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The need for 'green' power and fuel
 efficiency is motivating the energy community to investigate hydrogen as a
 compelling alternative fuel. While hydrogen continues to pose significant
 challenges in terms of commercial production, storage and transportation, the
 market is rapidly evolving with diverse production and storage technologies,
 which are at different stages of commercial development.
     Hydrogen is being regarded as a promising candidate to replace
 conventional hydrocarbon fuels in the long run. As researchers strive to
 solve inherent problems of hydrogen production and storage, the energy
 community is eagerly awaiting the commercialisation of this novel energy
     Currently, hydrogen could be produced by three methods - thermo-chemical,
 electrolysis and photochemical reactions, depending on the sources used for
 generation of hydrogen. Among various hydrogen storage methods presently in
 use are compressed and gaseous hydrogen storage, metal hydride hydrogen
 storage, slurry based chemical hydride storage and sodium borohydride
 hydrogen storage.
     "Every hydrogen production and storage technology has a role to play in
 helping the energy community to inch towards this commercial production of
 green power," notes Frost & Sullivan Technical Insights (
 http://technicalinsights.frost.com) Analyst Viswanathan Krishnan. "The market
 is big enough to accommodate many players in this segment."
     Positive signs abound with methanol or steam reforming and electrolysis
 technologies having developed complete commercial systems for hydrogen
 production for industrial uses. Reinforcing this trend has been the emergence
 of compressed or gaseous hydrogen storage and metal hydride hydrogen storage
 as some of the commercialised technologies in hydrogen storage.
     Hectic activity is ongoing as hydrogen production using solar power,
 biomass, oxidative reforming of ethanol over platinum catalysts, solid state
 reactions, bacterial hydrogen production, PEM electrolysis for back-up power
 and other applications are being considered for their commercial potential.
 At the same time, chemical hydride based hydrogen storage, carbon nanotube
 hydrogen storage, boron nitride hydrogen storage and nanoporous materials
 storage exhibit prospects for commercialisation.
     A key challenge for the future centres on achieving cost competitiveness
 in relation to conventional fuels. "The anticipated cost reduction in the
 hydrogen technologies coupled with the developments in the fuel cells would
 decide the pace of commercialisation of hydrogen technologies," says Mr.
 Krishnan. " Research activities would add a new dimension towards the
 commercialisation of these technologies"
     The potential application base of hydrogen is projected to be wide and
 varied. From powering homes, industries, laptops, cell phones and back power
 applications to personal transport and mass transportation, hydrogen has
 immense potential. When deployed in conjunction with a fuel cell, hydrogen
 could provide unlimited power, making it much sought after fuel for military
 applications. Prospective uses in a military setting include flight line tow
 tractors, mobile command centres, tactical wheeled vehicles and personal
 transportation at base operations.
     Apart from numerous high-end military applications, hydrogen could be
 generated on board in a vehicle and supplied along with the conventional fuel
 to the combustion engine. This is expected to effect substantial fuel savings
 and efficiency. With the development of hydrogen infrastructure, it is set to
 find widespread use in fuelling stations for powering vehicles.
     "The day is not too far for a green fuel like hydrogen to conquer the
 conventional hydrocarbon fuel, as we are forced to find an alternative and a
 long lasting fuel in terms of efficiency and low emissions", concludes
     If you are interested in a summary of this research service providing an
 introduction to the Hydrogen Technologies: Advances in Hydrogen Production
 and Storage Technologies, please send an email to Magdalena Oberland,
 Corporate Communications at magdalena.oberland@frost.com with the following
 information: full name, company name, title, country, contact telephone
 number, email. Upon receipt of the above information, the summary will be
 emailed to you.
     Title: Hydrogen Technologies: Advances in Hydrogen Production and Storage
     Code: D318
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