Industry veteran, William (Bill) J. Kroll, Chairman Emeritus at Matheson & Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, is a self-admitted hydrogen fan and discussed his views on the future of blue and green hydrogen while in conversation with gasworld TV as part of the Industrial gas: The year so far webinar.

Following on from Leslie Waller, Vice-President of Global Sales, Industrial Gases, at Anova, and Ravin Mirchandani, Chairman at Mack Valves and Executive Chairman at ADOR India, Kroll spoke about how he views the future of energy and the possibilities of blue and green hydrogen.

Determined to extoll the virtues of green and blue hydrogen, Kroll said, “I have been yelling, you know, about what can be done and what should be done, especially as I spend a lot of time advising people in the hydrogen area and green and blue hydrogen is going to become a real factor.”

To explain the differences, blue hydrogen is produced using a process called steam reforming, which brings together natural gas and heated water in the form of steam. Hydrogen and carbon dioxide is produced, with the CO2 being captured through Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) projects, mitigating the impact on the environment.

Green hydrogen is hydrogen made using renewable electricity, via electrolysis. Using renewable methods such as solar and wind to power the electrolysis process, an electrochemical reaction occurs to split water into its base components of hydrogen and oxygen, all the while emitting zero CO2.

With the current disadvantages of producing blue and green hydrogen being the relatively high cost and logistical issues, Kroll sees more practical and cost-saving measures coming through the pipeline, he said, “I’ve been having some very interesting conversations with people on hydrogen where it looks like, you try to think about how am I going to move all of this hydrogen around to be a fuel?”

“I have a hunch where all of the major stations are going to be. But I’ve been hearing a lot of noise about moving the hydrogen along the existing natural gas network and then using some form to take it out instead of reinstalling or putting in a bunch of new pipelines all over the world and all that.”

“I see all of that as a new future. I’m a big hydrogen fan, I think hydrogen’s going to be interesting.”

He also sees parallels with the development of liquid helium production and thinks that, as they’re cryogenically “the same”, the monitoring of green hydrogen should become an interesting industry.