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A Critical Review of Renewable Hydrogen Production Methods: Factors Affecting Their Scale-Up and Its Role in Future Energy Generation


An increase in human activities and population growth have significantly increased the world’s energy demands. The major source of energy for the world today is from fossil fuels, which are polluting and degrading the environment due to the emission of greenhouse gases. Hydrogen is an identified efficient energy carrier and can be obtained through renewable and non-renewable sources. An overview of renewable sources of hydrogen production which focuses on water splitting (electrolysis, thermolysis, and photolysis) and biomass (biological and thermochemical) mechanisms is presented in this study. The limitations associated with these mechanisms are discussed. The study also looks at some critical factors that hinders the scaling up of the hydrogen economy globally. Key among these factors are issues relating to the absence of a value chain for clean hydrogen, storage and transportation of hydrogen, high cost of production, lack of international standards, and risks in investment. The study ends with some future research recommendations for researchers to help enhance the technical efficiencies of some production mechanisms, and policy direction to governments to reduce investment risks in the sector to scale the hydrogen economy up.

Funding source: This research was funded by the Deputyship for Research & Innovation, Ministry of Education in Saudi Arabia through the project number “IF_2020_NBU_403”.
Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain

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