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‘Jacuzzi Bubbling With Almost Pure Hydrogen’ Discovered Researchers – A Lucrative Source Of Clean Energy

Source: F-V. Donzé / Laurent Truche

Scientists have stumbled upon a gigantic ‘jacuzzi’ filled not with water, but nearly pure hydrogen gas – the stuff that powers rockets. It’s like finding a secret stash of clean energy bubbling up from deep within the Earth, offering a whole new way to fuel our world without harming the environment.

Get ready to dive into the exciting world of renewable energy, where amazing discoveries like this one are turning science fiction into everyday reality.

Unlocking Nature’s Hydrogen

The idea of Hydrogen as a source of energy is not entirely new. But until recently, scientists thought mass amounts could only be generated in a lab and natural sources do not exist.

Source: Adobe Stock/Sved Oliver

“If you had asked me four years ago what I thought about natural hydrogen, I would have told you, ‘Oh, it doesn’t exist,'” said Geoffrey Ellis, a geochemist with the US Geological Survey.

Shades Of Hydrogen

But as it turns out, Ellis wasn’t correct.  White hydrogen is naturally occurring hydrogen. Its “color” indicates where it comes from: the Earth’s crust.

Source: X/@EMR_Automation

Other “forms or shades” of hydrogen are produced in a lab. They include green hydrogen-which is made from electrolysis. This involves splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen. The other is gray hydrogen, which is made from methane gas.

A Cleaner, Cheaper Energy Alternative

Because it is natural and eco-friendly, climate experts believe that white hydrogen could be our saving grace. It’s also cheaper: white hydrogen costs about $1 per kilogram to produce, while green hydrogen costs around $6 per kilogram.

Source: Flickr/Jeffrey Lau

Hydrogen is fast becoming preferable when compared to fossil fuels. This is because while fossil fuels release carbon into the environment when burnt-causing global warming-hydrogen releases water when burnt.

Albania Mine Could Be An Energy Game-Changer

However, the limitations to hydrogen use lie in its generation. Hydrogen generation requires a lot of energy and the process releases a lot of greenhouse gases, causing the same problem that it should solve-global warming.

Source: Shutterstock/fotokaleinar

But recently, a team of researchers unearthed a massive, natural hydrogen reservoir buried in a mine in Albania that could provide clean, hydrogen energy.

Largest Flowrate To Date

The reservoir is located in the Bulqizë chromite mine which is 25 miles east of Albania’s capital, Tirana. According to the report published last month in the journal Science by the researchers, the mine produces at least 200 tons of H2 gas every year. The report also mentions that this is one of the largest recorded flow rates of H2 to date.

Source: X/@eastwardenergy

“What we have observed deep in the mine is another dimension,” the study’s lead author, Laurent Truche, told Live Science. The reservoir “turns a draining pool inside a mine gallery into a breathtaking 30-square-meter [323 square feet] jacuzzi bubbling with almost pure hydrogen.”

Mine’s Hydrogen Threats Offset Energy Potential

On the downside, the high concentrations of the gas in the mine have caused three explosions because of how highly flammable hydrogen is. These explosions have reportedly killed four miners and injured several others since 2011, according to Live Science.

Source: X/@energy_invictus

But if the hydrogen in the mine can be safely extracted and harnessed, the researchers believe it could become a key source of energy. While natural hydrogen reservoirs like this one are rare, it is possible that places with similar geology could be good targets for finding more sources.

Biden’s $7 Billion Hydrogen Initiative

This big find comes shortly after President Joe Biden announced an initiative to invest $7 billion in seven hydrogen hubs in places like the Gulf Coast, Pacific Northwest, and Appalachia.

Source: X/@fuelcellsworks

One of the initiative’s goals is for the hubs to produce “more than three million metric tons of clean hydrogen per year,” about one-third of the 2030 US clean hydrogen production goal.

Tax Credit Plan Aims To Boost Hydrogen Industry

Last December, the Biden administration revealed its highly anticipated proposal to give lots of money in tax credits to hydrogen-producing companies. The hope is that this massive investment will help grow an industry that could be a cleaner option than using fossil fuels for power and help solve the problem of global warming.

Source: X/@GE_MENAT

According to Jesse Jenkins, a professor at Princeton University who studies US climate laws, the US is offering the most generous credits in the world for making hydrogen.

Hydrogen Credit Allocation System

The plan, which is part of the Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act passed last year, sets up a system to decide which hydrogen producers get the most credits. Projects that use cleaner energy will get the most credits, while those still using fossil fuels will get smaller credits, but they’ll still be important.

Source: X/@EPAMichaelRegan

Officials believe that these credits will bring in $140 billion in money and create 700,000 jobs by 2030. They also believe it will help the US make 50 million tons of hydrogen by 2050.

Big Credits To Come

As part of the proposal, companies producing cleaner hydrogen and following certain wage and apprenticeship rules could earn a big bonus of $3 for every kilogram of hydrogen they produce. But companies that make hydrogen from fossil fuels will get a smaller bonus.

Source: CNN/Natural Hydrogen Energy LLC

The bonus can be anywhere from $.60 to $3 per kilogram, based on how much pollution the whole process creates.

A Win For Mother Nature

Rachel Fakhry, policy director for emerging technologies at the Natural Resources Defense Council reportedly labeled the proposal “a win for the climate, US consumers, and the budding US hydrogen industry.”

Source: The New York Times/Gianni Cipriano

Marty Durbin, who works at the US Chamber of Commerce, feels the new rules will hurt a really important industry right when it’s just getting started. He said his organization will speak up during the public comment period to ask for more flexibility.

Call For Easier Investment To Fuel Growth

They want to make it easier for companies to invest, create jobs, help the economy grow, and still reach our goals for reducing carbon emissions. Durbin also criticized the White House for not listening to experts from the Department of Energy.

Source: X/@ICISOfficial

The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association, which has over 100 members involved in different parts of the hydrogen industry, wants companies to have enough time to meet the requirements for getting the top credit.

Industry Needs Time To Grow

Frank Wolak, the association’s president, stressed the importance of giving the industry time to meet any provisions that are required for the top tier of the credit.

Source: X/@TriplePundit

“What we can’t have is an industry that is stalled because we have imposed requirements that the marketplace is not ready to fulfill,” Wolak said, particularly with the time it takes to bring new renewable resources online.

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Mary Scrantin

Written by Mary Scrantin

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