Hydrogen is an attractive alternative to fossil fuels, especially for powering trucks, ships and airplanes, where the use of batteries is not so easy.
The batteries quickly become too large and heavy if these large ships and transport vehicles have to travel far.
As a result, hydrogen is being discussed like never before. Norway and the EU have said they will invest more in hydrogen in the coming years.
But much more needs to be done before hydrogen becomes truly climate-friendly. And it’s not just about the manufacture of hydrogen, which is one of the challenges highlighted by the Norwegian government in its hydrogen strategy published in the summer of 2020.
One thing that is rarely talked about is hydrogen gas itself. What happens when he flees in the vicinity?
Researchers at Cicero, the International Centre for Climate and Environment Research in Oslo, are finding the answers to these and other questions about hydrogen in a new research project.
The world’s lightest gas
“It is important that we are aware of the effects that hydrogen can have on the climate and the environment, before we start large-scale production and use. In this way, we can avoid making the same mistake as when we started using chlorofluorocarbon gases. , which would later prove damaging to the ozone layer,” said Maria Sand, a cicero researcher leading the new project.
Some of the hydrogen will inevitably escape during production, transport, storage and use.
“Hydrogen is the lightest gas in the world, so it’s impossible to avoid leaks,” she says.
May affect the whole situation
This concept is probably new to many, including politicians and scientists.
“People often think there is no hydrogen emissions because it’s not a greenhouse gas,” Sand said.
Hydrogen alone does not trap heat inside the atmosphere as CO2 and other greenhouse gases do.
But hydrogen can still affect the whole situation. At least in theory.
Calculate the effect with climate models
Cicero researchers launched the new project in collaboration with industry and several international research groups.