Fuel Cell : Hydrogen Production & Applications


Hydrogen production, storage, transportation and applications

  • The current global demand of hydrogen is 70 million metric ton per year in terms of energy it is around 330 million. 
  • Most of the hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels ( 76% form natural gas, 23% from coal and remaining from electrolysis of water ) which consumes 6% of global natural gas and 2% of global coal, result in CO2 emission of 830 Mt per year. 
  • Most of CO2 is not captured, only 130 Mt is captured and used in fertilizer industry.
  • The production of hydrogen from non fossil fuel will increase and greater renewable deployment. 
  • Depending upon feedstock is used, hydrogen production can be reforming, gasification, pyrolysis, fermentation, electrolysis or photolysis. 
  • However the most widely used method for hydrogen production includes steam methane reforming, methanol reforming, gasification, partial oxidation of hydrocarbons, auto thermal reforming, coal gasification, electrolysis of water and thermochemical processes. 
  • The production of hydrogen by biomass gasification and photocatalytic or photoelectrochemical is at research level. 
  • Partial oxidation of oil produces large quantities of hydrogen and it is efficient method.

Applications of Hydrogen

  • Hydrogen is importance raw materials for chemical industry, petroleum refining, food processing, metal processing etc. 
  • It is also used in hydrotreatment process like hydrodesulphurization, hydro-denitrogenation and hydrocracking processes. 
  • Most of the hydrogen produced is used for oil refining ( 33% ), ammonia ( 27% ), methanol production ( 11% ) and steel production ( 3% ) and others. The cost of hydrogen production as per MNRE analysis is given here.

Methos of hydrogen production

Rs per Kg

Steam Methane Reforming


Coal gasification


Biomass gasification


Biomass microbial


Electrolyzer Alkaline



cost of hydrogen production per kg

Hydrogen production

Steam methane reforming ( SMR )

Partial oxidation ( POx )

Coal gasification

Biomass gasification and pyrolysis

Electrolysis and photolysis

Thermo chemical processes

Hydrogen storage

Compressed gas in underground caverns

Compressed gas in tank

Cryo compressed tanks

Liquefied form

Solid state form

Hydrogen transportation

Pipeline for compressed hydrogen

Compressed gas tube trailers

Liquefied hydrogen truck

HCNG blended

High energy density carriers


Fuel cell vehicles

Hydrogen hybrid vehicles

Power generations

Chemical industries

Fertilizer industry



hydrogen feedstock, production and application

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