It’s hidden deep in the Earth’s rocks: natural hydrogen – a completely underestimated source of sustainable energy until now. European and African researchers want to start exploiting the gas.
Hydrogen can make an important contribution to the transfer of energy, because only water remains after combustion. Unfortunately, energy is always needed to produce hydrogen. However, our planet could offer a solution in the form of white hydrogen. The European Union and the African Union are now looking into the extent to which this natural hydrogen can be used, German magazine Opinion reports. woman.
He didn’t consciously search for it
For a long time it was believed that it was not present in high concentrations in the Earth’s crust, so commercial use was hardly feasible. One of the reasons for this is that while drilling for natural gas and oil, we have never encountered large reserves of hydrogen. However, hydrogen and fossil fuels rarely occur in the same places. In addition, it was not measured whether hydrogen leaked from the well – after all, people were looking for oil or natural gas.
According to a USGS model presented at the October 2022 meeting of the Geological Society of America, there could be enough natural hydrogen to meet the world’s growing energy demand for thousands of years.
Currently, this natural energy source is only used by people in the African country of Mali. At a distance of 60 kilometers from the financial capital, Bamako, there is a small generator that generates the electricity needs of the village Boracibogou. This is powered by white hydrogen, which is extracted from the ground there. White hydrogen is formed when iron and water in the Earth react with each other under high pressure and temperature, leaving hydrogen behind, among other things.
Earth may infinitely produce white hydrogen
The Africa-EU project Hyafrica is now exploring the continent’s energy source potential. Because if countries skip the fossil fuel step, millions of tons of carbon dioxide could be saved. White hydrogen from Earth has another advantage.
White hydrogen may be available indefinitely, because the reaction between iron and water is continuous and thus hydrogen is produced in large quantities permanently by the Earth. Although experts believe that pumping it is relatively cheap, everything will depend on the cost and energy density of white hydrogen.
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