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Hydrogen Council report finds cost of hydrogen solutions to fall sooner than previously expected

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman identifies key steps to accelerate transition to hydrogen society

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) and Hydrogen Council Co-chair Euisun Chung has identified three key steps to accelerate the transition to a hydrogen society during the Hydrogen Council’s third annual CEO Meeting in Paris, France.

EVC Chung opened the meeting stressing that there is “no shortcut to creating a future hydrogen society,” emphasizing that it is essential to establish detailed implementation plans for respective sectors and different stages of the industry’s development. To achieve this, the EVC recommended three key action items: reduce cost through technological innovation; create a comprehensive safety management system; and foster broad acceptance of hydrogen.

As a first step, Chung recommended achieving cost reductions through technological innovation in all sectors of the hydrogen industry. In order to fully tap hydrogen’s potential as the ultimate alternative to fossil fuel, new creative ways of lowering cost in a shorter time span must be sought across the entire value chain—including production, storage, distribution and application.

Chung also stressed the need to establish a comprehensive safety management system throughout the entire hydrogen value chain in order to convince the general public that hydrogen is completely reliable in terms of safety.

To further foster a broad acceptance of hydrogen, Chung underlined the need for governments and policymakers to advocate the inclusive benefits of hydrogen and promote the vision of a hydrogen society and the opportunities it will create. This is in line with the co-chair’s message as conveyed in a recent interview with Hydrogen Council, where he said the council will continue collaborating with regional and national hydrogen associations to analyze the current status of government policies, regulations and technologies, in turn providing viable technological solutions and policy suggestions.



Two new developments in the use of hydrogen:

The meme that hydrogen is just an energy carrier, always produced from other sources, is not only untrue, but:

' The main subject of the meeting was the development of hydrogen energy, with a focus on the natural hydrogen.
This topic is gaining interest as more researchers and companies are looking to geologic sources of this gas as a potential solution to meet increasing demands for clean energy. While the occurrence of natural hydrogen has been recognized for a long time, it was only recently considered as a potentially scalable clean energy solution, when multiple discoveries demonstrated that it is more abundant than previously thought.'


'Dr. Michael Webber, who is Chief Science and Technology Officer for ENGIE and is the Josey Centennial Professor in Energy Resources at the University of Texas at Austin, presented his keynote on pathways for natural hydrogen energy integration. He stated that natural hydrogen could be the next revolution in the energy production comparable to the shale boom. In order to be successful and timely, he suggested that existing energy infrastructure must be integrated into any new solution, otherwise the replacement of infrastructure alone will be prohibitively expensive in terms of cost and time.'

In other news Gazprom is developing methane pyrolysis, which converts natural gas to hydrogen at a fraction of the energy cost of electrolysis but without the CO2 emissions of natural gas reforming.

They intend to supply it mixed in to their existing NG pipeline infrastructure:


It will be interesting to see who changed their opinion about the utility of hydrogen as new facts come in, and who can't bear to reconsider their position.


It's really no great revelation that there are natural geologic sources of hydrogen; serpentinization releases H2 and the tube worms living at ocean spreading ridges feed themselves off the H2S coming from the "black smokers".

That these sources could scale to hundreds of quads/yr... THAT would be a revelation, but the EVPs presentation does not address it.


My link on naturally occuring hydrogen was to the conference itself.
Individual presentations within it are where the foundations for the overview are laid

For instance:

We can't rule out that the hydrogen is being gobbled up by micro organisms, so does not exist in abundance to harvest, but since the paper for instance is from 2016 it seems that data in to date does not show that it is, either, in the years since.

So it is not a done deal, but there does not seem to be anything ruling it out.


That paper says the amount may be as much as 1e12 moles of H2 per year.

1e12 moles of H2 is 2e12 grams, 2e9 kg, 2e6 metric tons.  At 145.8 MJ/kg HHV it's a whole 0.277 quads/year.

Find a way to kick it up 3 orders of magnitude, then we'll talk.


Interesting that among the three steps identified by EVC Euisun Chung, infrastructure build-out was not mentioned.

This is not just a matter of cost reduction, it requires massive capital investment. So much that no industry, including the oil or gas industries, is willing to fund the transition.

On the other hand, the auto industry and the utility industries *are* making the required investment to support battery electric cars.

To anyone making energy or transportation investments or engaged in public policy, this is a fact worth serious consideration, and as much research as necessary to understand why this is so.

The automakers pursuing H2 do so because it presents a wonderful opportunity to build a technology moat. It’s very difficult for startups and new market entrants to participate (it’s difficult enough that Toyota, Hyundai and Honda have not fielded vehicles with performance and TCO competitive with BEVs).


Over a year ago I read about Natural Hydrogen, mostly related to Charles Joseph Odendhal, Natural Hydrogen Energy Ltd. He had worked for Shell Oil and knew that Oil companies always avoided Hydrogen due to problems with drilling equipment. You can read about it here (https://www.greeleytribune.com/news/energy-pipeline-greeley-man-spends-life-chasing-the-dream-of-hydrogen-drilling/). Also, a technical article that he referenced on ResearchGate,"Evidence for natural molecular hydrogen seepage associated with Carolina bays" (https://progearthplanetsci.springeropen.com/articles/10.1186/s40645-015-0062-5).


About 15 years ago the US thought it was running out of Natural Gas,and Oil companies burned off much of it as a nuisance. Then Fracking revolutionized the discovery of Natural Gas and now it is the number one fuel source for electric generation.
Here are two more articles on Natural Hydrogen: "On Generating a Geological Model for Hydrogen Gas in the Southern Taoudenni Megabasin" (http://www.searchanddiscovery.com/pdfz/documents/2017/42041jerzykiewicz/ndx_jerzykiewicz.pdf.html)and this one "Hydrogen self-diffusion in single crystal olivine and electrical conductivity of the Earth’s mantle" (https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-05113-6).


The U.S. thought it was running out of natural gas in the early 70s, they stopped NG air conditioning. Now we have fracking with bargain prices.


@electric car insider:

'Interesting that among the three steps identified by EVC Euisun Chung, infrastructure build-out was not mentioned.

This is not just a matter of cost reduction, it requires massive capital investment. So much that no industry, including the oil or gas industries, is willing to fund the transition.'

Presumably then the 310 hydrogen filling stations going in by 2022 in South Korea cost nothing then, nor the 100 station build out in Germany, due for completion soon?

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