Hydrogen adoption: Methanol may give fillip to agenda
Use of the fuel to produce and transport hydrogen can cut costs by more than half, offering a vital source of clean energy, experts have said
To put it into perspective, the production of one kg of hydrogen requires 55 kwhr of renewable energy, while methanol can be reformed into 1 kg of hydrogen with 0.04 kwhr. (Representative image)
In what may push the agenda to promote the adoption of hydrogen as an alternative fuel and help the country meet the carbon emission targets under the latest COP26 agreement, experts have found a way to reduce the overall cost of hydrogen production and transportation by more than half.
Methanol, used as a clean fuel in various automotive, shipping and industrial applications, can be used as a liquid carrier of hydrogen in normal containers at ambient temperature, unlike hydrogen that requires specialised and costly cryogenic containers for transport. A methanol molecule has the highest hydrogen to carbon ratio compared to any liquid fuel, and its use as a hydrogen carrier not just does away with the cost of transporting hydrogen, but also reduces the conversion cost by more than 90%. Green hydrogen is presently produced by electrolysis of water using renewable power, which is a very costly process, unlike production of hydrogen from methanol. To put it into perspective, the production of one kg of hydrogen requires 55 kwhr of renewable energy, while methanol can be reformed into 1 kg of hydrogen with 0.04 kwhr.