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Geological hydrogen



  Mar 05, 2024

Geological hydrogen


 
Geological hydrogen, also known as natural hydrogen, white hydrogen, or gold hydrogen, is hydrogen gas found trapped underground. Unlike its industrial counterpart, it forms naturally through various geological processes, making it a potentially viable clean energy source.

Here's a deeper dive into its formation:

Serpentinization: This process occurs when water interacts with ultramafic rocks in the Earth's mantle, triggering a reaction that releases hydrogen gas. Imagine superheated water encountering specific rock formations under immense pressure and temperature – that's the recipe for serpentinization-driven hydrogen production.

Radiolysis: This intriguing process involves the natural breakdown of water molecules by radiation. Radioactive elements present in certain rocks emit radiation, which can split water molecules into their constituent parts, including hydrogen gas.

Bacterial activity: Even tiny organisms play a role. Certain bacteria possess the unique ability to produce hydrogen gas as a byproduct of their metabolic processes.

While still in its early stages of exploration and development, geological hydrogen holds immense promise for the future. Researchers are actively investigating efficient methods for extracting and utilizing this resource, paving the way for a potentially significant contribution to the clean energy landscape. The potential benefits are numerous:

Reduced carbon footprint: Unlike traditional hydrogen production methods that often rely on fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gasses, geological hydrogen extraction boasts a significantly lower carbon footprint, contributing to a cleaner environment.

Wider application potential: Geological hydrogen's clean nature makes it suitable for various applications beyond traditional energy generation. It can potentially power transportation, industrial processes, and even serve as a clean feedstock for various industries.

Geographical diversity: Early findings suggest the presence of geological hydrogen in diverse geological settings, including mid-ocean ridges, sedimentary basins, and even specific regions with hyperalkaline rocks. This geographical spread offers hope for wider accessibility and potential for large-scale adoption.

Although challenges like efficient extraction and infrastructure development remain, geological hydrogen presents an exciting avenue for a cleaner and more sustainable energy future.

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