Hydrogen

Already available, soon essential for clean transport. Hydrogen is one of the most promising clean fuels. Hydrogen is being used in various projects worldwide today. These projects clearly demonstrate its great potential. At PitPoint we are convinced that hydrogen is essential in the transition to zero-emission mobility. This is why PitPoint is investing in the development of a network of hydrogen refuelling stations.

What is hydrogen?

Hydrogen (H2) is all around us. It is an invisible, odourless and non-toxic gas that is lighter than air and readily forms compounds. The most well-known compound is with oxygen: H20, which is water. Hydrogen rarely exists in pure form. It generally needs to be produced and there are different ways of doing so. Using electrolysis or steam methane reforming, for example.

With electrolysis electricity is used to split water into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). When hydrogen is used as a fuel, water (vapour) is the only residual product. That water can then be reused. As such hydrogen is a renewable and abundant source of energy. With steam methane reforming (SMR) natural gas (CH4) is ‘cracked’ using heat. Hydrogen (H2) is released in the process. Hydrogen can be produced centrally on a large scale, to be transported by road in tube trailers or via a pipeline to its destination. It can also be produced on-site, for example, next to the refuelling station.

The advantages of hydrogen

Driving on hydrogen is clean. No harmful substances such as pollutants and greenhouse gases are released.  It is also a renewable energy source: it is virtually inexhaustible. But it offers many more advantages, in everyday use too. It is precisely because of this combination of sustainability benefits and practical advantages that PitPoint believes so strongly in the potential of hydrogen. Let’s examine the main benefits one by one.

SUSTAINABLE AND FLEXIBLE

A hydrogen-powered car is an electric car that uses a hydrogen tank for energy storage instead of a battery. The electricity is generated by combining hydrogen in a fuel cell with oxygen extracted from the air. The by-product: water vapour, that’s it.

Another major advantage of driving on hydrogen is the flexibility it offers. A hydrogen-powered car has a wide range and can be fully refuelled in a couple of minutes. As a result, driving on hydrogen offers the convenience and flexibility of driving on diesel or petrol, plus all the benefits of an electric car: it produces no harmful emissions, is versatile and silent.

ALSO FOR HEAVY AND LONG-DISTANCE TRANSPORT

Hydrogen creates the possibility of emission-free mobility for all transport sectors. Hydrogen offers a suitable solution, particularly for segments in which the use of renewable energy and zero-emissions is still fraught with all kinds of technical and practical obstacles.

With heavy transport, such as freight transport by truck and by rail, and bus transport the energy needs are greater. Driving on batteries powered by electricity is difficult due to the weight of the batteries and the space they require. Hydrogen offers obvious benefits here, as well as for passenger transport. Thanks to the extensive range, refuelling speed and limited space needed, hydrogen is an excellent option for vehicles that travel long distances. PitPoint is convinced that in the short term hydrogen will be a suitable solution for both light and heavy transport: trucks, trains and buses.

VITAL LINK IN THE ENERGY TRANSITION

Major progress is being made in the application of renewable energy sources. In terms of cost, solar and wind energy can also effectively compete with fossil fuels. The challenge is not so much in generating renewable energy, but in storing and distributing the energy. This is where hydrogen offers significant advantages. As experts in clean energy, we are convinced that hydrogen is a vital link in the energy transition.

Electricity generated by the sun and wind (electrons) can be converted into hydrogen (molecules) using electrolysis. This means hydrogen can be used as a medium for storing and transporting renewable electricity cost-effectively and relatively easily. Hydrogen could also be used in this way to balance the grid load, as a clean energy source for industry and to heat homes. As such, hydrogen is not only an application for clean mobility. It offers the potential of a much broader function in the energy transition.

The future of hydrogen

PitPoint believes in the future of hydrogen. We are convinced that investments in hydrogen and its applications must keep pace with investments in renewable energy. This is why PitPoint is investing in the development and construction of a network of hydrogen refuelling stations.

Subsidy-free

The cost of driving on hydrogen cannot yet compete with driving on CNG, LNG or traditional fuels. Current developments in the field of hydrogen are, without exception, made possible with subsidies. Examples include the HIGH V.LO City project and the Interreg project Hydrogen region 2.0. However, we believe that ultimately, as a result of scaling up and innovation, subsidies will no longer be required.

 

Advantages of driving on hydrogen, a recap

  • Inexhaustible: hydrogen is renewable
  • Clean: no emissions of harmful substances
  • Flexible: wide range, very fast refuelling
  • Versatile: the comfortable driving experience offered by an electric car
  • Light: no need to transport a heavy battery
  • Practical: ideal solution for heavy transport and passenger transport

 

PitPoint's hydrogen projects