The hydrogen myth refuses to go away. The theory is fine — hydrogen when used as a fuel produces no carbon emissions. At most, it results in some water vapour and a little heat. If the world ran on hydrogen, the theory suggests, we could slash carbon and methane emissions and maybe forestall the existential climate crisis that is staring us in the face.
The reality is very different. According to the New York Times, a peer-reviewed study by researchers at Cornell and Stanford has been published in the journal Energy Science & Engineering which finds that most hydrogen used today is extracted from natural gas in a process that requires a lot of energy and emits vast amounts of carbon dioxide. Producing natural gas also releases methane, a particularly potent greenhouse gas.
"Further, our analysis does not consider the energy cost and associated greenhouse gas emissions from transporting and storing the captured carbon dioxide. Even without these considerations, though, blue hydrogen has large climatic consequences. We see no way that blue hydrogen can be considered 'green.'"
See Theory Versus Reality: The Dirty Hydrogen Story
Researchers at Cornell and Stanford say the promise of