Základné informácie o vodíku​

Prečo práve vodík?

The basic precondition for the application of hydrogen in all sectors concerned is the transition to a low-emission or zero-emission economy. As for the constant efforts of states across all continents, new alternatives for the development of climate-neutral technologies are sought. The European Union itself has set the goal of achieving complete climate neutrality for the year 2050, i.e., capturing and storing the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as will be released into the atmosphere. The very fact of the development of renewable energy sources across the Member States then creates room for stabilizing their unpredictable electricity production. In this case, hydrogen will play the role of an energy carrier, which is especially suitable for seasonal accumulation and some mobility applications.

 

What is hydrogen?

Hydrogen is the lightest gaseous chemical element forming up two-thirds of the entire cosmic mass. It is estimated that it makes up more than 30% of the total mass of the Sun. It is the third most widespread element on Earth, yet it occurs almost never as a single molecule because it is highly reactive and forms compounds immediately. Hydrogen is ubiquitous, whether in the form of water, natural gas, or methanol. As the simplest and lightest element, it disperses into the air very quickly when escapes. When escaping, hydrogen does not pollute the environment in any way. It is an emission-free substance that is non-toxic and odourless. Hydrogen is a combustible element, but it does not support combustion, and burns with a pale blue flame.

 

What energy properties does hydrogen have?

Hydrogen is a very energy-rich fuel (33 kWh/kg) and is currently a direct competitor, especially with battery technologies. Read more

 

What is the history of hydrogen use?

Hydrogen is a long-known gas in the world, discovered in 1776 by the British scientist Henry Cavendish. Unfortunately, hydrogen was not widely used in industry at the time of its discovery, mainly due to the advent of cheaper fossil fuels in the 19th and 20th centuries. When pronouncing the word 'hydrogen', everyone will remember the Hindenburg airship disaster. Although "banging" hydrogen is still blamed, the catastrophe was caused by an electric shock that ignited the highly flammable material from which the hull was made. To this day, the terrifying video of the burning airship raises concerns and creates a stigma over the various applications of hydrogen. The expansion of hydrogen use was due to space research missions in the 1960s, such as the Apollo missions. Hydrogen was used at that time primarily as fuel for space rockets. In addition, during the Apollo spaceflight, hydrogen fuel cell technology was used on board to generate electricity, heat and water. In the Czech Republic, hydrogen was used as one of the main components of the well-known flue gas, which was later replaced by natural gas.

 

What is the use of hydrogen?

Hydrogen is a carrier (storage) of energy. It is widely used in transport, energetics and other industries. In the future, hydrogen is to serve as one of the energy carriers for the application of the so-called sector coupling, or the concept of sector integration. Read more

 

How is hydrogen produced?

96% of all hydrogen produced today comes from fossil fuels. Only 4% is produced by water electrolysis. However, this ratio should change in the next decade in favour of emission-free production by means of the above-mentioned electrolysis of water. Read more

 

Ako sa vodík vyrába v SR a aký je u nás potenciál výroby zeleného vodíka?

Slovenská republika má kvôli svojmu špecifickému postaveniu v srdci Európy relatívne malý potenciál na výrobu tzv. zeleného vodíka. Koeficient využitia (cca mierne nad 20 %) veterných elektrární je u nás nižší ako v susedných prímorských štátoch, kde na pobrežiach morí vanú silné a stabilné vetry (cca nad 30 %). V súčasnosti v ČR neexistuje žiadny veľký elektrolyzér, ktorý by bol určený na výrobu zeleného vodíka na komerčnej báze. Napriek tomu v ČR veľké elektrolyzéry existujú, používajú sa ale primárne na výrobu iných chemických látok a tzv. biely vodík tu vzniká iba ako vedľajší produkt. Za spomenutie stojí najväčší český elektrolyzér, ktorý prevádzkuje spoločnosť Fortischem na výrobu chlóru. Ako vedľajší produkt tam vzniká aj vodík, pri ktorom sa do budúcnosti uvažuje o využití pre mestské dopravné prostriedky v kooperácii s mestom Prievidza. Najviac vodíka v Slovenskej republike vyrába spoločnosť Duslo a.s., ktorá pomocou parnej reformácie zemného plynu vyrobí ročne 100 tisíc ton vodíka, ktorý ďalej spotrebováva najmä na výrobu čpavku.

What is water electrolysis?

Electrolysis is a process in which a direct electric current breaks a chemical bond between hydrogen and oxygen in an aqueous solution. 

2 H2O → 2 H2 + O2

Read more

 

What types of electrolysers do we have?

At present, there is talk of a total of three types of electrolyzers, which are advanced enough to saturate market demand. These are electrolysers using alkaline electrolysis, PEM electrolysis and high-temperature electrolysis taking place in solid oxide fuel cells. Read more

 

How much water is used in electrolysis?

To produce 1 kg of hydrogen and 8 kg of oxygen, 8.92 liters of demineralized water are needed, i.e., water free from all minerals present (even purer than distilled water). Read more

 

What water can be used for electrolysis?

The water needed to produce very pure hydrogen must be demineralized, i.e. free of all solutes and impurities. However, it can be obtained from virtually any water source. Read more

 

Hydrogen storage

How is it possible to store hydrogen?

At present, the compression of hydrogen in the gaseous state is mentioned as the most promising and also as the most commercially advanced technology for hydrogen storage. The hydrogen thus stored tends to escape due to the very small size of molecule. Modern storage tanks are already made of extremely strong and airtight materials, allowing safe storage with minimal losses of stored hydrogen. Compared to the competitive possibilities of hydrogen storage, the compression of hydrogen gas clearly has the least disadvantages. Read more

Hydrogen applications in mobility

What are fuel cells?

Palivové články v elektromobiloch sú v zásade malé generátory elektriny, ktoré získavajú energiu z priamej elektrochemickej reakcie medzi kyslíkom a vodíkom. Vodík sa uchováva v nádrži, z ktorej sa privádza do palivového článku. Tam reaguje s kyslíkom a vyrába tak elektrinu. Produktom tejto elektrochemickej reakcie je iba destilovaná voda. Read more

How do fuel cells work in electric cars?

Palivový článok je podobný svojou stavbou batériám. V palivovom článku nájdeme anódu, katódu a membránu s katalyzátorom. Vodík vstúpi do systému na strane anódy a kyslík na strane katódy. Vodík sa na anóde rozloží na elektrón a vodíkový protón, ktorý sa transportuje membránou ku katóde, tam reaguje s prítomným kyslíkom. Produktom je iba destilovaná voda a elektrická energia, navyše z palivového článku odchádza aj nevyužitý kyslík.

How is a battery electric car different from a fuel cell one?

A fuel cell vehicle (FCEV) is also an electric vehicle. The car includes a battery, electric motor and fuel cell along with a hydrogen tank. Read more

How is a hydrogen electric car refueled?

Refueling takes place at filling stations. The whole process is very similar to refueling traditional fossil fuels. After connecting the filling gun to the tank valve, you press the lever and the whole system will take care of the rest of the work. Filling the tanks takes 5 minutes and gives the car full capacity. Read more

How many filling stations do we have in the Czech Republic?

V súčasnej chvíli nie je otvorená žiadna verejne prístupná plniaca stanica v ČR. Jedna plniaca stanica, ktorá sa ale využíva najmä na výskumné účely, stojí v Neratoviciach. V príprave sú však na rok 2021 celkomtri, ktoré bude spravovať spoločnosť Unipetrol – v Litvínove, Prahe a Brne. Read more

How does a hydrogen electric car work in cold weather?

The advantage is the reliability of the whole system in cold weather. Compared to battery packs, fuel cells are not subject to degradation during cold weather. Read more

Can't the wastewater in the hydrogen electric car system freeze?

Fuel cell systems and water drainage are currently designed so that water cannot freeze throughout the car system. Read more

Is battery electromobility a better transport solution than fuel cells?

It depends on who you ask and what type of transport we are talking about. However, hydrogen and batteries should be two complementary technologies that will complement each other. Why? Read more

How heavy are hydrogen storage tanks in cars?

Pri hypotetickom uchovaní 4,2 kg stlačeného vodíka pri tlaku 700 barov potrebujeme v automobiloch nádrž, ktorá váži okolo 135 kg. Nádrže sa v súčasnosti vyrábajú z vystužených uhlíkových vlákien.V porovnaní s vozidlom spaľujúcim benzín má vodíková nádrž 4 – 5× vyšší objem a 10× vyššiu hmotnosť.

Couldn't hydrogen be liquefied and then refueled like standard petrol?

This solution is extremely energy inefficient. Liquid hydrogen needs to be maintained at -253 °C and if such conditions are not met, hydrogen will evaporate. Read more

Is hydrogen safe?

All fuels contain a high concentration of energy and can therefore be dangerous under certain conditions. However, hydrogen can be considered as similarly safe or even safer than any other fuel. In addition to standard crash tests, hydrogen tanks are also tested to withstand firing from a sniper rifle. The tanks can withstand twice the pressure that will be achieved under standard conditions. Filling stations, which have a number of systems focusing on safety when working with high pressure, are similarly safe.

Výhodou v bezpečnosti použitia vodíka je aj jeho veľmi nízka hustota, kedy pri prerazení nádrže dôjdek jeho rýchlemu stúpaniu, preto sa neakumuluje v blízkosti nehody. Pri požiari tak dôjde k tvorbe plameňa,ktorý bude stúpať kolmo hore a nedôjde tak k požiaru vozidla ako je to pri kvapalných fosílnych palivách. Read more

Hydrogen economy

How much does it cost to produce 1 kg of hydrogen?

The price depends mainly on the method of production. In addition, for the production of green hydrogen, it is necessary to take into account the different price in different parts of the world, depending on how much it costs to produce electricity from renewable energy sources. According to the International Energy Agency, the price of hydrogen production is as follows:

Steam reforming of natural gas $ 1–3.5/kg

Coal gasification $ 1.2–2.2/kg

Water electrolysis $ 3–7.5/kg

How much does 1 kg of hydrogen cost at filling stations?

For the end user, the price of hydrogen per kg is currently set at 9.5 euros in Germany (where most filling stations are located). Converted to kilometers and with an average consumption of 1 kg per 100 km, 1 km in a hydrogen electric car will cost you ~ 0,094 EUR. Read more

How will the price reduction be achieved in the next 10 years?

Vodíková ekonomika nebude dostatočne rozvinutá bez pomoci štátnych subvencií. Aby došlo k zníženiu ceny, je potrebné investovať do výroby. V nasledujúcich rokoch bude v Európe prevažovať podpora nízkoemisného a bezemisného (zeleného vodíka), cieľom je do roku 2030 postaviť 40 GW elektrolyzérovvnútri EÚ a podporiť výstavbu ďalších 40 GW elektrolyzérov za hranicami pre zvýšenie importu. Okremzvýšenia kapacít výroby dôjde k zníženiu ceny zeleného vodíka tiež technologickým pokrokom a zvyšovaním účinnosti samotných elektrolyzérov.

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