Clean Green Energy Blog

Can Hydrogen Be Used As Furnace Fuel?

Hydrogen is one of the naturally occurring elements on earth and therefore can be a great fuel alternative. However, it exists in the environment in combination with other types of elements. For it to be used as fuel it must be purely Hydrogen, without other elements, and this can be obtained from various sources. The other characteristic of hydrogen that makes it a great furnace fuel is the fact that it is low density and its chemical bond has a high amount of energy.

This property makes it fuel with the highest energy to weight ratio. This characteristic has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantage is that hydrogen can be stored more than twice the times the energy per unit mass of gas and the disadvantage is that it requires four times the volume for a specific amount of energy.

Industrial production

The other thing about hydrogen is that it is not extracted or mined like fossil fuel but produced industrially. Fortunately it can be produced from a number of products such as natural gas, coal, oil, water and biomass. Natural gas is the main source of this element because it has a higher efficiency and requires low production costs.

Production of hydrogen form biomass is still under research and in the early development phase. At the moment, there are no commercial processes for the production of hydrogen from biomass but the method recommended is to use a high temperature process in order to convert biomass to carbon dioxide and hydrogen. Extracting hydrogen from water requires electrolysis and this can be done by using any power source.

Hydrogen storage

When it comes to storage, hydrogen can be stored in various ways. Since it is a gas at room temperature, compressed gas cylinders can be used in storing it. In liquid form, it should be stored in special fuel tanks as it needs to be kept cold in order to reduce losses as it only becomes liquid at extremely low temperatures. Transportation can be carried out via truck, rail, ship or barge for liquid hydrogen but the low boiling point can result in loss due to boil off. Hydrogen gas can be transported via pipelines.

Hydrogen uses

The use of hydrogen as furnace fuel comes with a number of benefits. For starters it is efficient than other types of fuel meaning that the furnace will be heating faster and more reliably. Users will not have to worry about greenhouse gas emissions as the hydrogen fuel does not produce any. This means that there will be less air pollutants if the fuel is generated by pure hydrogen and less amount of these pollutants in case the hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels.

This makes it a great option for those who are environment conscious. While using the hydrogen furnace fuel, the dependence on oil is reduced because the element can be obtained from domestic sources. The best thing about hydrogen as furnace fuel is that it is renewable and this makes it a great value for money. For this reason, the homeowners can shop around to find the best furnaces that use hydrogen as fuel.