Breakthrough in pollution-free hydrogen extraction technology

In a potential breakthrough for the automotive industry, scientists in Canada have developed a method for extracting hydrogen that does not release any greenhouse gases.

Hydrogen has been considered a sleeping giant in renewable and alternative sources of power for vehicles but has failed to take off. The cost of extracting hydrogen, which is the most plentiful element found on earth, has not been economically viable to this point, and current methods of extraction use large amounts of natural gas, a producer of methane.

But in an unveiling at the Goldschmidt Geochemistry Conference in Barcelona, a group of scientists have shown off a new method of sourcing hydrogen directly from oil that leaves carbon dioxide and methane in the ground.

The technology is already being predicted to drastically alter the energy landscape, with Swiss technology company, Proton Technologies AG, coming on board to commercialise the extraction process. It is already estimated that this technology could supply Canada’s entire electricity requirements for the next 330 years.

“Low-cost hydrogen from oil fields with no emissions can power the whole world using mostly existing infrastructure,” said Proton Technologies CEO, Grant Stem.

“This is the silver bullet for clean energy and climate change.

“The only product in this process is hydrogen, meaning that the technology is effectively pollution – and emission-free.”

The team found that by injecting oxygen into abandoned oil fields, most of which are still full of oil, the temperature of the fields rose which freed hydrogen, making for easier extraction.

According to Stem, this new method of hydrogen extraction would cost $0.10-0.50 per kilo, whereas current production costs approximately $2 per kilo.

The breakthrough has been met with cautious optimism among experts as they wait for further testing to be conducted.

Original source: oilgasdaily | Pollution-free hydrogen: green energy breakthrough

21 Aug 2019

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