In focus…Hydrogen equipment


More than 13 billion years ago the protons that compose the nuclei of hydrogen came into existence. Following several million years of cooling, due to the Universe being so hot following the ‘Big Bang’, it became cold enough to allow molecules of hydrogen to form – which, in turn, gave rise to immense clouds known as ‘nebulas’ that formed stars.

Hydrogen (and helium) is the main component of the Sun, as well as Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. But the Earth’s atmosphere is almost totally free of the gas that brings life due to our planet’s gravitational field not being strong enough to retain these lightweight molecules. So our need for the gas has to be obtained from various sources that contain it – either from organic compounds (principally hydrocarbons) or water – by either decomposing it using electrolysis, or through photosynthesis.

The latter of those three options is the ‘new kid on the block’ in hydrogen production, with trials and developments in the field still ongoing. Very much like the production of hydrogen, the development of newer end uses has escalated with the advancement of technologies. Starting from the beginning, this In Focus… feature will begin with the production of hydrogen, and follow its journey through the industrial gases business.

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