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Hydrogen Facts - Ballard

Oct 19, 2022

Ballard Power Systems' "Hydrogen Facts" document highlights hydrogen as a clean, safe, and abundant energy carrier, primarily produced through steam methane reforming in North America. The document emphasizes hydrogen's diverse production methods, its safety comparable to other flammable fuels, and its straightforward fueling process, positioning Ballard as a leader in clean energy fuel cell products.

The document titled "Hydrogen Facts" by Ballard Power Systems provides insights into the nature, production, and applications of hydrogen. Here's a summary:

  • Nature of Hydrogen: Hydrogen is the simplest element on earth, consisting of one proton and one electron. It is colorless, 14 times lighter than air, and is the third most abundant element on the earth's surface. Hydrogen is an energy carrier, storing and delivering energy in a usable form. It is clean, safe, odorless, tasteless, carbon-free, non-toxic, non-corrosive, non-irritating, and non-radioactive.

  • Production: Hydrogen is one of the most abundant elements but is rarely found in its pure form. It's usually part of other substances like water, plants, methanol, kerosene, natural gas, or other hydrocarbons. The base substance dictates the hydrogen production process. Over 95% of hydrogen in North America is produced by large-scale steam methane reforming (SMR), the most cost-effective method. Hydrogen can be produced centrally or at distributed facilities near the point of use.

  • Major Production Processes: The document lists various hydrogen production methods, including thermal, electrochemical, and biological processes. Some of these methods include steam reformation, gasification, pyrolysis, electrolysis, and photoelectrochemical processes.

  • Cost and Delivery: The choice of hydrogen production strategy affects its cost and delivery method. Central production plants produce hydrogen at a lower cost due to economies of scale, but delivery costs can be significant. Distributed production facilities have lower delivery costs but might have higher production costs.

  • Safety: Hydrogen is neither more nor less dangerous than other flammable fuels. Its unique characteristics, such as being lighter than air, allow it to disperse rapidly in case of a leak, minimizing the possibility of accumulation and ignition. If ignited, hydrogen flames generate low radiant heat due to the absence of carbon, making it safer than conventional hydrocarbon fuels.

  • Fueling: Hydrogen fueling stations use industry-standard designs for both indoor and outdoor solutions. Fueling with hydrogen is straightforward and safe, not requiring specialized equipment or labor.

Ballard Power Systems is recognized as a world leader in the design, development, manufacture, and sale of clean energy fuel cell products. Their products offer significant business benefits compared to traditional power sources.

View the fact sheet here:

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