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Generation of Turquoise Hydrogen by Methane Pyrolysis

The energy transition poses many questions for engineers and investors.


One of the main questions: Which hydrogen is better - green or turquoise?

The first electrolysis hydrogen was obtained in 1800, but for two centuries it could not take a significant place in the energy sector. Who will guarantee us that electrolysis hydrogen will be out of competition in the 21st century? There are no such guarantees, which is a big risk for investors.

The old, proven methane pyrolysis technology that produces turquoise hydrogen poses less risk. Most importantly, this technology will provide a return on giant investments in exploration, production and transportation of natural gas. A by-product of the production of turquoise hydrogen is solid carbon black, a valuable raw material for the production of tires, plastics, paints and inks.

And the main advantage of turquoise hydrogen over green hydrogen is that it does not need purified fresh water at all. This makes it possible to obtain turquoise hydrogen directly in places of gas fields - in deserts and seas.

Generation of turquoise hydrogen by methane pyrolysis

Discussions

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Roger Arnold's picture
Roger Arnold on Sep 12, 2020

Gospodin Petriki may know of techniques of which I'm unaware. As far as I know, however, there is no commercially viable process for production of turquoise hydrogen. Cracking of methane using solid catalysts deposits carbon on the catalyst and inactivates it. Bubbling methane through molten tin works (sort of), but the production rate has been too low for commercial viability. Dissociation in a high temperature plasma works, and is in fact a primary method for production of carbon black. But as a means to produce hydrogen it's far too energy intensive. I've heard speculation about approaches using low temperature plasmas, but I don't know how that would work.

If an energy efficient and scalable process has been found, it would be a profoundly significant development.

Igor Petrikey's picture
Igor Petrikey on Sep 12, 2020

Mr. Arnold, 
You describe the methane cracking processes used to produce acetylene. For the production of "turquoise hydrogen" it is enough to use much simpler processes and cheaper equipment used to produce carbon black. All the necessary equipment has been produced for a very long period of time. Only a small readjustment is needed to optimize for hydrogen production.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Sep 12, 2020

Igor, acetylene is a subtype of carbon black, and total annual production for industry is ~8 MT. Given global carbon emissions are ~37,000 MT, replacing any significant share of natural gas with hydrogen from petrolysis would create millions of tons of a by-product without commercial value. It would be a liability.

Given no technology for producing hydrogen is more profitable than steam reformation, and given the impossibility of determining method of production after-the-fact, the vast bulk of commercial hydrogen will continue to be produced using that technology. Whether customers are told it's blue, or green, or pink - most of it will be black.

Fossil fuels? Leave 'em in the ground.

Igor Petrikey's picture
Igor Petrikey on Sep 14, 2020

Bob, the EU tax policy from next year will force many manufacturers to wonder whether they will continue to produce "gray hydrogen" with the carbon dioxide emissions. "Turquoise hydrogen" is a necessary intermediate stage in the energy transition: gray hydrogen - blue hydrogen - turquoise hydrogen - green hydrogen.

Leaving natural gas in the ground is a very good goal! But unfortunately, investors who have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the production and transportation of natural gas will not agree.

If we sharply reduce the production of natural gas at the operating wells, then we will get gigantic emissions of methane into the atmosphere. It is worth remembering that according to the latest data, methane as a greenhouse gas is 84 times stronger than carbon dioxide.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Sep 15, 2020

"'Turquoise hydrogen' is a necessary intermediate stage in the energy transition: gray hydrogen - blue hydrogen - turquoise hydrogen - green hydrogen."

Natural gas (aka methane) has been marketed as a "bridge fuel" for decades. It's a bridge with no end. 
 

"But unfortunately, investors who have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in the production and transportation of natural gas will not agree."

Maybe. But unfortunately, they're going to have to find another line of work.

"If we sharply reduce the production of natural gas at the operating wells, then we will get gigantic emissions of methane into the atmosphere."

Nothing a few tons of concrete can't bring under control.

Igor Petrikey's picture

Thank Igor for the Post!

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