Are you counting on the hydrogen car to save the planet? This new study will chill you | TechBuzz

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A new American study points to the risk of leakage from hydrogen cars. With the consequence, a major impact on global warming, which may be worse than that of fossil fuels.

Toyota Mirai

Hydrogen is expected as the Messiah by many industrial sectors and in particular transport. Some believe that the electric car is only a step towards the hydrogen car. But as we saw in previous news, the hydrogen car is not necessarily a good idea compared to the electric car because of the disadvantages of this technology. A new study drives the point home, studying the risks of hydrogen leaking into the atmosphere, which could prove fatal for the climate.

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Until now, hydrogen was presented as the miracle solution in the fight against global warming, on one condition: succeed in producing green hydrogen (from the electrolysis of water) using low-carbon energy, such as renewable energies or nuclear power. This is already a challenge, since in France, only 5% of the hydrogen produced in 2020 falls into this category. But the new study, carried out by the American NGO EDF (Environmental Defense Fund for Environmental Defense Fund), points to another defect of hydrogen.

Hydrogen: more harmful for the planet than CO2?

According to this study, the hydrogen leaks during transport, tank filling and use are extremely dangerous for the planet. This risk was already known, but largely underestimated according to the authors of this new analysis. Indeed, until now, the global warming potential of hydrogen was calculated over a period of 100 years, as for CO2. But the problem is that hydrogen has a much shorter lifetime in the atmosphere than CO2. If we calculate the global warming potential of hydrogen over 20 years, it would have an impact two to six times greater on the climate than CO2.

Green or blue hydrogen?

The authors of the study therefore carried out simulations in order to find out whether these hydrogen leaks totally remove the interest of this gas in the face of fossil fuels. The researchers took different hypotheses, with green hydrogen on one side and blue hydrogen on the other. The latter is less ecological since instead of being produced by electrolysis, it is extracted from natural gas, with capture and storage of CO2 at the same time. One of the disadvantages of gray hydrogen is that it emits methaneand during its production.

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In the worst case (many leaks and gray hydrogen), hydrogen has a higher global warming potential in the short term (10 to 20 years) than fossil fuels! Green hydrogen, meanwhile, will always be “cleaner” than fossil fuels in the short, medium and long term. But the risks of leakage must however be taken into account because of their impact on global warming. Especially since according to other studies, the development of green hydrogen would require 2 to 14 times more energy than 100% electric alternatives.

The hydrogen car, good or bad idea?

And this is where the question of the hydrogen car arises in the face of the electric car as we know it today. Indeed, green hydrogen is very energy-intensive in its production phase and the risks of leaks are not insignificant for the climate. It is for this reason in particular that the IPCC recommends the use of hydrogen rather for modes of transport that do not have better choices, such as aviation, trains or ships.

Hyundai N Vision 74
Hydrogen-powered Hyundai N Vision 74 Concept

Areas in which the risk of collisions is minimal and much lower than that of the automobile. These are also uses that make it possible to avoid the proliferation of stations to fill up with hydrogen, thus reducing leaks related to transport and refilling of tanks.

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This new study does not draw a line under hydrogen for the transport industry. It is possible that hydrogen cars will become a mass reality in the coming decades if all technical constraints are lifted. But there is still a lot of work to be done to successfully produce “clean” hydrogen with low risk to the planet. The electric car and soft mobility thus have a beautiful and long road ahead of them.

BMW confirms the arrival of a hydrogen SUV: why it's a bad idea
BMW announces the mass production of a hydrogen-powered SUV for 2025. It will be the successor to the iX5, which is scheduled for sale this year.
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I am admin of techbuzz.asia blog & I provide tech-related news. As a part of my hobby, I make content related to technology and gadgets reviews too. I love to be a content creator apart from it, I am a full-time employee in an MNC company and manage blogs systematically. You can mail me at [email protected]

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