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Hydrogen is now produced industrially and in large quantities: each year world industry consumes more than 75 million tonnes of it, nearly half of which (45%) is used for refining and desulphurizing petroleum. The other half is used mainly to produce ammonia, a feedstock in the chemical industry.

Today, more than 95% of the hydrogen consumed in the world is extracted from fossil fuels, mainly natural gas, under the action of superheated steam. This technique called steam reforming requires bringing the gas – vapor mixture to a very high temperature: between 700 ° C and 1000 ° C. It is therefore energy intensive and is accompanied by a significant emission of carbon dioxide (10 T of CO2 emitted / T of H2). Produced from fossil fuels, this dihydrogen is called “gray”.

Green hydrogen is produced by the electrolysis of water. This is the process of breaking down water (H2 0), into oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) using an electric current. The installation which allows this operation is called an electrolyser. If the electricity used is exclusively of renewable origin (solar, wind or hydroelectric installations), this hydrogen is qualified as “green”. “Green” hydrogen is much more expensive than gray hydrogen. But the research efforts, the substantial budgets currently allocated by national and international plans and the economies of scale envisaged by gigafactory projects such as H2 V, allow us to hope for a reduction in costs and an improvement in the performance of the solution. of renewable electricity storage by green hydrogen.

H2 au coeur de la décarbonation

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