Hydrogen is the first and lightest element of the periodic table: multifaceted and versatile, it has been at the top of the list of many European Union countries for months, and not only, as a raw material or energy carrier with low impact to achieve the fundamental goal of zero CO2 emissions by 2050.
2050 may seem a fairly distant date, but environmental planning issues must necessarily be addressed in the medium and long term: speaking of hydrogen today, therefore, is consistent with the goal of the so-called decarbonisation of the economy.
Many types of hydrogen
The versatility of hydrogen can be seen in the different colours with which it is identified, depending on how it is produced and its environmental impact. While grey hydrogen is the most polluting (produced from natural gas or hydrocarbons), blue hydrogen has low carbon dioxide emissions because it is produced from methane (or by electrolysis). The most environmentally friendly is green hydrogen (with zero or near-zero emissions), produced by electrolysis powered by renewable or bioenergy. We also speak of turquoise hydrogen when it is produced by a kind of ‘purification’ of waste.
Why use it?
As we said earlier, one of the great advantages of hydrogen is its versatility: it can be stored both in liquid and gaseous form, it can be used in all those energy-intensive industries (such as the steel industry), or as a clean fuel for means of long-range transport, or for civil and industrial heating.
In addition to contributing to decarbonisation, hydrogen is also convenient because it has a lower transport cost than electricity and can “exploit” the existing infrastructure for natural gas.
The importance of safety
Hydrogen is not a “perfect gas”: this is because it is highly flammable and, under certain circumstances, it also becomes potentially explosive. Furthermore, the lightness of hydrogen is a double-edged sword because any loss of this gas does not settle on the ground, but quickly disperses upwards.
Like carbon monoxide, hydrogen is also odorless and colorless, and therefore requires the presence of ad hoc detectors in all those environments where hydrogen is processed or used.
At Beinat we constantly follow innovation and market trends, including those relating to green energy: for this reason we already have a series of high-tech sensors (conventional, special and addressable) that detect the presence of hydrogen in the air for all those companies that are already working with this gas. These include the SGM533, an autonomous probe with IP55 protection degree capable of detecting methane, LPG and precisely hydrogen.
Click here to explore all our solutions relating to gas, civil and industrial safety.