Hydrogen will play an important role in a decarbonised, climate-neutral energy system. Emerging technologies, such as thermolysis of wastes, the use of plasma for methane splitting and in-situ underground gasification of fossil fuel reserves are likely to play increasingly important roles as low-carbon hydrogen production pathways.
To achieve carbon neutrality, it will be essential to produce hydrogen at scale with minimal CO2 emissions. When traditional steam methane reforming (SMR) technology is combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS), blue hydrogen is produced. Another clean energy source is green hydrogen, which can be produced through electrolysis using renewable electrical power or from biomass. However, there is a constant drive to find technologies that reduce the cost of low-carbon hydrogen production.
Hydrocarbons contain hydrogen in their molecular structure and it is possible to use underground fossil hydrocarbon resources to produce low-carbon hydrogen through in-situ gasification. Instead of bringing oil and gas from the underground fossil fuel reserves to the surface, oxygen and electromagnetic radiation are used underground in the reservoir to stimulate gasification and reforming reactions, thereby creating hydrogen which can be brought to the surface as a clean energy vector.
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