Australian scientists have discovered a revolutionary process for producing and storing powdered hydrogen. This discovery could ensure the global energy transition and revolutionize the entire energy sector.
Hydrogen, the energy of the future.
Hydrogen is considered the energy of the future because it produces zero emissions when burned as fuel and may even be more efficient than fossil fuels. Due to its low CO2 emissions, this energy seems to be a credible alternative, associated with a fuel cell, this energy does not emit CO2. Hydrogen will play a key role in reaching carbon neutrality in 2050. However, in order for this energy to become democratized one day, it will have to be transformed and stored in an environmentally friendly way, while remaining viable in terms of security.
The issue is that currently, 95% of hydrogen is made from fossil fuel sources (natural gas, oil) and wood. There are currently three types of production process:
Natural gas reforming or steam reforming. Most used method.
The gasification of charcoal.
This makes the production of hydrogen expensive and polluting, thus pushing some critics to qualify hydrogen as "false good idea for energy".
Revolutionary Australian discovery.
a team from Deakin University (Australia) explains that it has made a very important discovery making it possible to obtain powdered hydrogen using a safe and inexpensive process, which uses boron nitride (BN), a chemical compound that is thermally resistant and stable well known and already widely used in different industries.
Boron nitride in powder form is very absorbent, according to a mechanochemical process, scientists were able to extract hydrogen from other gases and store it in boron hydride.
The experiment was repeated several times in order to be confirmed. This process, although long to implement, consumes very little energy and it is a simple process.
Boron nitride can absorb hydrogen. Thus, it becomes possible to store hydrogen in the form of powder by a simple process that consumes little energy.
This discovery has a medium-term impact with tomorrow, the use of hydrogen in the automobile. But above all, it has an immediate value because it brings a revolution in the process of oil refineries.
Immediate impact in petroleum refining processes.
Cryogenic distillation and the chemical separation of petroleum elements now represent between 10 and 15% of global energy consumption. This process based on boron nitride, allows an energy saving of about 90% and can be implemented in petroleum refining instead of cryogenic distillation.