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Hydrogen Emissions from the Hydrogen Value Chain-emissions Profile and Impact to Global Warming


Future energy systems could rely on hydrogen (H2) to achieve decarbonisation and net-zero goals. In a similar energy landscape to natural gas, H2 emissions occur along the supply chain. It has been studied how current gas infrastructure can support H2, but there is little known about how H2 emissions affect global warming as an indirect greenhouse gas. In this work, we have estimated for the first time the potential emission profiles (g CO2eq/MJ H2,HHV) of H2 supply chains, and found that the emission rates of H2 from H2 supply chains and methane from natural gas supply are comparable, but the impact on global warming is much lower based on current estimates. This study also demonstrates the critical importance of establishing mobile H2 emission monitoring and reducing the uncertainty of short-lived H2 climate forcing so as to clearly address H2 emissions for net-zero strategies.

Funding source: The authors would like to acknowledge the funding from the Sustainable Gas Institute, founded by Imperial College London. Funding for projects under the umbrella of the Sustainable Gas Institute is gratefully received from Imperial College London, Royal Dutch Shell, Enagás S.A., FAPESP, CNPQ, SNAM, NERC, EPSRC and Horizon 2020 programmes.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: United Kingdom

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