Hydrogen has been playing an important role in the energy industry as an efficient source of energy, being used in a wide range of applications, such as oil refining; ammonia, methanol and steel production; transport fuel; power generation; and heating.
Developing a low-carbon route for hydrogen production is critical for a transition to clean energy. Currently, around 96% of the world's hydrogen production is developed from fossil fuels (mostly natural gas, but also oil and coal), while 4% by electrolysis of water. With declining costs of renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaic and wind, policy makers have been showing a growing interest in green hydrogen.
The hydrogen industry demands an attractive market logistic from the production to the transport, fuel stations deployment and storage, generating business opportunities, improving the local social-economic conditions, and providing more flexibility into the energy supply.
The interest of several countries in distributing hydrogen via pre-existing infrastructure, such as natural gas pipelines, has been growing due to the low cost or even no need for investments for hydrogen concentrations up to 20%. For projects that require higher H2 concentration, the enhancement of the pipeline network may be required, protecting the steel structure against the hydrogen embrittlement phenomena.
The production of green hydrogen from renewable sources enables the storage of energy during off-peak times, when the demand for energy is low. Thus, the produced hydrogen can be stored in tanks or distributed over long distances by pipelines to end users for later use, enhancing the energy supply at peak periods.