Hydrogen

Already available, soon essential for clean transport

Hydrogen is one of the most promising clean fuels. Today hydrogen is already being used in various projects worldwide. They clearly demonstrate its great potential. At PitPoint we are also 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 – or water. Hydrogen rarely exists in pure form. It has to be produced. There are different ways of doing so. For example, hydrogen can be produced using electrolysis or steam methane reforming.

With electrolysis electricity is used to split water into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). When hydrogen is used water is produced as a by-product. The water can subsequently by reused, which means that hydrogen is an inexhaustible energy source. With steam methane reforming (SMR) natural gas (CH4) is ‘cracked’ using heat. Hydrogen (H2) is released in the process. Hydrogen can be produced on-site, for example, next to the refuelling station. It can also be produced centrally on a large scale. Afterwards it is transported by road in tube trailers or via a pipeline to its destination.

One major advantage of driving on hydrogen is that no harmful substances are released. The only thing emitted from the exhaust of a vehicle powered by hydrogen is water. That’s it.

The advantages of hydrogen

Driving on hydrogen is clean. No harmful substances are released in traffic. 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 benefits one by one.

Driving on H2: 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, that’s it.

One 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. Meticulous planning, currently necessary for battery-powered cars, is no longer required. Moreover, the car does not have to transport a heavy battery. 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.

Hydrogen: For heavy and long-distance transport also

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

Heavier transport, such as freight transport by truck and by rail, and bus transport is characterised by greater energy requirements. Driving on batteries powered by electricity is difficult due to the weight of the batteries and the space they require. Hydrogen also offers obvious benefits for passenger transport. Thanks to the wide 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.

Hydrogen: 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 a fuel as well as a storage medium, and a vital link in the energy transition for the future.

Subsidy-free in the future

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.

The advantages of driving on hydrogen

  • 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

Read more:

PitPoint acquires hydrogen refuelling station in Antwerp