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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Hydrogen Sources



Sources of Hydrogen
Hydrogen does not exist alone in nature. Natural gas contains hydrogen (about 95% of natural gas is methane, CH4), as does biomass (cellulose) and hydrocarbons, like coal.

An equally diverse array of primary energy sources, such as wind,solar, geothermal, nuclear and hydropower, can be used to extract hydrogen from water. It's this diversity of options that enables hydrogen
production almost anywhere in the world.


PRIMARY ENERGY SOURCES
Primary energy sources are found or stored in nature. They include biomass, coal, oil, natural gas, sunlight, wind, water, nuclear power, geothermal power and potential energy from the Earth's gravity.

ENERGY CARRIERS & FEEDSTOCKS
Energy carriers are not energy sources. We produce them from primary energy sources using technology. These include the electricity produced from coal or photovoltaics, and ethanol produced from corn. In the latter example, the resource (corn) from which the energy carrier (ethanol) is extracted, is called a feedstock. Hydrogen is an energy carrier that can be produced from a wide variety of feedstocks.

The future hydrogen economy will feature hydrogen as an energy carrier in a reliable and sustainable energy supply system. In today's system, electricity serves as an energy carrier. Electricity made by the conversion of primary energy sources is easily transported and delivered to end-users. Building an infrastructure that allows for easy and cost-effective transportation and delivery of hydrogen energy is a critical step toward a future hydrogen economy.

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