Different Colour Codes of Hydrogen

One of the key advantages of hydrogen over fossil fuels is its identicality regardless of the process used to produce it, allowing better liquidity in the market. Whether in gas or liquid form, it is difficult to differentiate which hydrogen is generated from electrolysis or steam reforming. Every type of production method produces highly combustible, odourless, tasteless, and colourless hydrogen. Despite being invisible, hydrogen is often described by colourful descriptions from green to gold hydrogen. In which each colour attribute indicates the method used to produce hydrogen. Although currently, there has not been a universally agreed hydrogen colour coding, which could vary in different geographical and industrial contexts. The shades of hydrogen defined by the production method are as follows:

  1. Brown Hydrogen is produced by the gasification of coal, which is among the most established ways of hydrogen conversion. However, the method also produces carbon emission released into the air.
  2. Grey Hydrogen is produced from natural gas by steam reforming, where the associated emissions are released into the air.
  3. Blue Hydrogen is produced from natural gas, where the emissions are captured using carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology.
  4. White Hydrogen is not exactly defined by its production method. It is, instead, the natural form of hydrogen that could be extracted from where it is typically found underground.
  5. Pink Hydrogen is produced through electrolysis from nuclear energy.
  6. Turquoise Hydrogen is produced through methane pyrolysis, which converts methane into hydrogen and solid carbon.
  7. Green hydrogen is produced from electrolysis powered by renewable electricity.
  8. Gold Hydrogen is produced by putting oil-eating microbes into exhausted oil reservoirs.

Looking at the rainbow of hydrogen, it is apparent that different types of production method imply how clean a hydrogen type is. Bearing in mind that hydrogen is visibly colourless and identical, it is highly crucial to standardise both the definition and the verification method of different colours of hydrogen to support the growth of hydrogen trades.

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