Reliance AGM: Mukesh Ambani reveals plan to shift to green hydrogen

Published on Aug 29, 2022 06:04 PM IST

“We aim to progressively commence transition from Grey Hydrogen to Green Hydrogen by 2025” Reliance industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani said.

Green Hydrogen is hailed as the cleanest alternative of conventional energy. ( (SHUTTERSTOCK))
Green Hydrogen is hailed as the cleanest alternative of conventional energy. ( (SHUTTERSTOCK))
By | Edited by Aryan Prakash

Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani unveiled his plan to shift to Green Hydrogen, the clean form of hydrogen fuel, and aimed to start the transition by 2025.

“We aim to progressively commence transition from Grey Hydrogen to Green Hydrogen by 2025, after proving our cost and performance targets,” Ambani said. He also informed that the company has partnered with Stiesdal, a climate technology company, to speed up cost reduction and commercialisation of their Pressurised Alkaline Electrolyser technology.

Hydrogen gas is often hailed as the cleanest alternative of a conventional energy source as burning it emits no greenhouse gases. As our textbooks say, hydrogen when combined with oxygen produces water, thus after burning it will theoretically release water.

But, even though hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, here on Earth, it rarely exists as a gas. To use it, we have to separate it from other elements. Most of the methods for extraction of hydrogen for fuel are carbon intensive and harmful to the environment. It becomes necessary to follow the non-polluting path of getting hydrogen to use it as clean fuel.

Scientists’ hence colour code hydrogen fuels so that it can be distinguished. According to the World Economic Forum (WEF), hydrogen can be grey, blue or green and sometimes even pink, yellow or turquoise, depending on production methods.

What is Grey Energy?

Grey hydrogen is the most common method to generate hydrogen fuel. It is generated from natural gas, or methane, by ‘steam reforming’. It is a process where a preheated mixture comprising methane and steam is passed through catalyst filled tubes that releases a mixture of hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide.

In this method, the emissions of greenhouse gases are less, but still these by-products of hydrogen are harmful for the environment, making it not the cleanest way to produce hydrogen fuel. In fact, it generates only a slighter less amount of emissions than black or brown hydrogen, which uses bituminous or lignite coal in the hydrogen-making process.

What is Green Hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is produced by electrolysis, using an electric current which splits water molecules into two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. The energy for electrolysis is clean energy from surplus renewable energy sources, such as solar or wind power.

It is estimated that this method of obtaining green hydrogen would save the 830 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, which is emitted annually when this gas is produced using fossil fuels. This gives the method the name Green hydrogen .

“Today it accounts for just 0.1% of global hydrogen production. However, the declining costs of both renewable electricity (accounting for ~70% of the cost of producing hydrogen) and electrolysis technology indicate that green hydrogen could be the next best investment in the world of clean energy.” WEF expects.

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