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Hydrogen as an energy source of the future

Hydrogen as an energy source of the future

Potentials of hydrogen as an energy carrier

Hydrogen (H2) has great potential to play a decisive role for the future of Germany as a business location. Compared internationally, Germany is well positioned with regard to the development and export of technologies for hydrogen and power-to-X. However, additional political measures are necessary to achieve international competitiveness. Hydrogen is not only an important building block for achieving the climate goals that are essential for the future of our planet. The competitiveness and innovative capacity of the German economy can also only benefit from hydrogen.

Advantages of hydrogen

The use of hydrogen offers numerous advantages, with the following benefits being particularly important for climate protection and the economy:

  • The combustion of the carbon-free energy carrier hydrogen does not produce any pollutants are produced during the combustion of the carbon-free energy carrier hydrogen.
  • In general, hydrogen production is possible with all electricity sources. This allows the production of green hydrogen by means of electrolysis using renewable energies.
  • For renewable energies, hydrogen acts as an effective energy store: it can be used to compensate for fluctuations in power generation from solar and wind energy, which contributes to their improved integration and to securing the power supply.
  • Hydrogen can make an important contribution to the decarbonization of economic sectors such as industry, transport or heat.
  • In combination with fuel cells, hydrogen has great potential to become the key technology for development and value creation in the fuel sector.

Energy of the future: This is how hydrogen is produced

Producing Hydrogen Producing Hydrogen Producing Hydrogen Producing Hydrogen
Energy of the Future - Producing Hydrogen: This infographic shows the relationship between electrolysis, steam gas reforming and pyrolysis.

Renewable energies

There are different processes for hydrogen production. If water electrolysis is used with electricity from renewable energies, green hydrogen is produced.

Electrolyzer

Water (H2O) is split in the electrolyzer - into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). At the cathode, the protons form hydrogen molecules. These rise and are collected.

Natural gas as a source

Blue hydrogen can be obtained from methane (CH4), for example through processes such as steam reforming or methane pyrolysis, if the resulting carbon (C) or carbon dioxide (CO2) is also subsequently either stored or industrially/processually utilised.

Steam reforming

Steam reforming produces pure hydrogen - by means of numerous steps, the hydrogen contained in the methane (CH₄) is separated from the carbon. This produces carbon monoxide (CO), which is converted into carbon dioxide.

Methane pyrolysis

This is how methane pyrolysis works: Methane is broken down into carbon and hydrogen in a high-temperature reactor.

Use/ Storage

Carbon dioxide and carbon can theoretically be stored in geological formations or used in industrial processes. In both cases, release into the Earth's atmosphere is bypassed.

Specific application

Whether via an existing infrastructure or directly: in the next step, hydrogen is brought to the user and used by him. The spectrum of applications ranges from vehicles to fuel cell heating systems to industry.

National Hydrogen Strategy of the Federal Government

H2 readiness and the establishment of a corresponding hydrogen infrastructure create the prerequisites for achieving numerous goals - a successful energy transition, an economic use of hydrogen and a rapid market ramp-up. In this respect, the German Federal Government has set a fundamental course and defined ambitious goals with the National Hydrogen Strategy adopted on June 10, 2020. It stated that concrete instruments would be needed in the coming years to promote and stimulate the market ramp-up of hydrogen along the entire value chain. The spectrum ranges from the production of hydrogen to its storage and transport (e.g. through hydrogen pipelines) to its widespread use in all sectors.

Hydrogen is a topic with many facets - from production, transport and storage to use. With our expertise, know-how and many years of experience, we are an independent partner for safety and security by being able to test, inspect and certify various aspects of hydrogen technology.

TÜV NORD: Your partner for hydrogen safety

For more than

150

years, we have been turning technical revolutions into safe investments.

By

2030

TÜV NORD Group plans to be climate neutral.

We are

1

one strong partner at your side.

It is crucial for the market ramp-up and in particular the role of hydrogen as an energy carrier of the future to dispel reservations of the population about hydrogen. However, the National Hydrogen Strategy does not yet give sufficient consideration to the safety aspects of hydrogen. In order for the necessary confidence in hydrogen technology to develop, measures are needed for safe operation, accident prevention and the control of incidents. Moreover, this is not only the prerequisite for the public's trust in hydrogen, but also the cornerstone for developing the potential for a sustainable and safe future. A safe infrastructure prevents environmental damage from hydrogen and reduces costs.

In the market introduction and establishment of hydrogen technologies, reliable and independent safety and quality standards lead to a competitive and locational advantage for Germany. This is the only way to achieve the goal of H2 readiness. With its comprehensive expertise and experience in the areas of hydrogen technology, industry, renewable energies, environmental protection and sustainability, in combination with its very own knowledge of safety issues, TÜV NORD is a valuable partner for the safety of the energy carrier of the future. Be it in plants and infrastructure or the production, storage, transport and use of hydrogen: TÜV NORD supports all players involved in the market ramp-up of hydrogen with test procedures, tests and certifications.

For hydrogen services within TÜV NORD GROUP in the areas of engineering, consulting, training please click here.

Consolidated knowledge on hydrogen

Producing hydrogen: Process and colour theory

What processes are there for hydrogen production? What is the difference between green and blue hydrogen? Why can hydrogen protect the environment? Here you will find a comprehensive introduction to the basics of hydrogen production and sustainability.
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Electrolysis for the production of hydrogen

Electrolysis is one of the most common methods for producing hydrogen. Find out now about the different electrolysis processes, their individual advantages and disadvantages, and the current status of electrolysis technology in Germany.
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Hydrogen: properties, safety and hazards

Especially with regard to hydrogen transport, questions are often raised about the properties and safety of hydrogen. Here are the answers - from energy density to explosion hazard to hydrogen embrittlement.
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Hydrogen fuel cell: function & types

Fuel cells can be used to convert hydrogen into electricity, with a variety of different types of fuel cells available. Find out everything you need to know about the function and design of fuel cells and the different types of fuel cells.
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Hydrogen storage: overview of possibilities

Various methods are also available for storing hydrogen. Underground storage facilities such as caverns and pore storage facilities have great potential. Learn more about how all the important types of storage work.
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Hydrogen pipelines and hydrogen grids

There are plans to establish a German and European hydrogen grid. Not only new dedicated hydrogen pipelines, but also rededicated gas pipelines play an important role in this: Find out about the goals now!
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Hydrogen in mobility

Hydrogen is playing an increasingly important role in the mobility revolution, whether in the field of hydrogen cars or in rail transport. Get an overview of the role hydrogen will play in this context today and tomorrow.
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