Hydrogen Cleaning Uncovered: A Comprehensive Guide

May 29, 2023
Hydrogen Cleaning Uncovered: A Comprehensive Guide

Welcome to the world of hydrogen cleaning, a realm where science, innovation, and environmental responsibility converge. As the demand for greener solutions escalates, hydrogen-based cleaning takes center stage, offering a promising route towards sustainable sanitization.

Hydrogen Cleaning: A Brief Overview

Hydrogen cleaning employs the power of hydrogen, a versatile and abundant element, to provide thorough and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions. Renewable hydrogen is often the key player in this space, contributing to a circular economy without compromising cleaning efficacy.

The Mechanism Behind Hydrogen Cleaning

At its core, hydrogen cleaning revolves around the chemical properties of hydrogen. Hydrogen's reactivity allows it to engage in various chemical reactions, effectively breaking down stubborn grime and contaminants. 

Fuel Cell Cleaning: A Spin-Off Application

Fuel cell cleaning utilizes hydrogen cleaning principles, extending the cleaning potential to the realm of fuel cell maintenance. Here, hydrogen's reactivity helps in preserving fuel cell efficiency by preventing or mitigating contamination.

Hydrogen-Powered Cleaning in Action: Applications

From industrial applications to household cleaning, hydrogen's versatility shines. Hydrogen-powered cleaning is used in a variety of sectors, including electronics, automotive, and healthcare, offering thorough cleaning without hazardous byproducts.

The Sustainability Quotient: Renewable Hydrogen

Employing renewable hydrogen in cleaning not only reduces environmental footprints but also supports the broader transition towards renewable energy. Using renewable hydrogen ensures a sustainable supply chain, augmenting the green credentials of hydrogen-based cleaning.

Benefits of Cleaning with Hydrogen

Beyond its environmental appeal, hydrogen cleaning also offers enhanced cleaning efficacy, versatility in applications, and reduced reliance on harmful chemicals. 

Challenges and Mitigation Strategies

Like any emerging technology, hydrogen cleaning faces challenges, including infrastructure requirements and safety considerations. Nevertheless, the industry is rapidly evolving, with solutions like better storage techniques and stringent safety protocols in place.

The Road Ahead: Future Prospects of Hydrogen Cleaning

As more industries recognize the benefits of hydrogen cleaning, the future looks promising. With continuous advancements in technology and the growing accessibility of renewable hydrogen, hydrogen cleaning might soon become a commonplace practice.

Green hydrogen production: from the creation of the molecule to its use
Green hydrogen production: from the creation of the molecule to its use

From the production of hydrogen by extraction to the use of the molecule… Lhyfe, producer of green hydrogen, explains everything about the life cycle of renewable hydrogen as it is manufactured by Lhyfe.

What are the stages of renewable hydrogen production?

Here are the three stages of Lhyfe renewable hydrogen production. Lhyfe’s production units produce without any CO2 emissions (as opposed to carbonated hydrogen):

Electrolysis of water

Hydrogen is produced from water from rivers, the ocean, rain, or leachate. Electrolysis is a process that splits the chemical bonds of H2O molecules. It is done using renewable energy. During this process, oxygen is released into the air. On the other hand, there is no carbon dioxide (CO2) emission.

Hydrogen (H2) compression

This process reduces the volume of hydrogen and increases the pressure.

Hydrogen purification

In this step, the remaining traces of oxygen (O2) and water (H2O) are removed.

How is renewable hydrogen transported? For what purposes?

Hydrogen can be stored in containers outside the plant. It is then transported by truck. The hydrogen produced can then be used for :

  • Transportation: The hydrogen that has been produced can power hydrogen vehicles. These vehicles, therefore, release zero CO2 emissions when driven.
  • Industry: delivered hydrogen can also be used to power factories (in small quantities)

When used for industry, in massive quantities, hydrogen can be transported directly through a pipe connection. This allows the factory to be supplied for the following uses:

  • lass
  • steel
  • food manufacturing
  • plastics

Lhyfe’s hydrogen production is made from renewable energy. That's why we call it green. This is an effective way to decarbonize your business!

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The emergence of zero-emissions generators
The emergence of zero-emissions generators

With CO2 emissions of 1.27 kg per kWh and a noise level that can be over 70 dB, diesel-powered generators don’t have a great image these days. The time has come to switch to clean alternative solutions to answer climate and public health challenges.

Where are generators used?

Generators or gensets are mainly used to supply electricity to sites or machines that cannot be connected to the grid (isolated sites, construction sites, festivals, port areas, etc.). Emergency generators can also be used to ensure the continuity of power in the event of a local network failure, in hospitals, industry, IT centres, etc.

Why use renewable hydrogen for generator sets?

For several years now, renewable hydrogen has been providing a solution for manufacturers and generator users wishing to take part in the energy transition. New green gensets integrating hydrogen fuel cells are emerging and have the following advantages:

• Zero emissions: A generator set powered by renewable hydrogen generates only electricity and water and therefore produces no greenhouse gas emissions.
• Silence is golden: As well as eliminating diesel odours, hydrogen generators are quiet and thus contribute to the well-being of local residents and workers.

Where can green generators play a role?

The advantages in terms of CO2 emissions and noise make green generators ideal for port areas, the construction industry or events in search of carbon-free and silent solutions to protect the planet and the health of employees.

Hydrogen generators also have a card to play in places where using a diesel generator is not possible, such as in confined environments, areas with a high risk or near flammable materials.

Companies developing hydrogen generators

Several companies have already knuckled down to bringing the benefits of renewable hydrogen to generator technology. One of these is PowiDian, a French SME which launched MobHyl Power, a mobile electric generator using a hydrogen fuel cell, in 2018. Providing 30 kW of power, it is perfectly suited to the construction industry and has already won over Vinci.

H2SYS also made its entrance on the zero-emission generator scene, with BOXHY, a hydrogen generator targeting lower power needs for the events sector especially.

EODev, set up in 2019, is developing hydrogen gensets initially designed for ships. As a result of their success, many building and events players are now interested in the system. In early 2022, the company planned to manufacture up to 160 land-based generators and 30 on-board hydrogen gensets.

View all hydrogen products on Lhyfe Heroes

Caterpillar - G3516h

EODev - Geh2

H2SYS - Thytan 90

H2SYS - Thytan 150

H2SYS - Boxhy

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Hydrogen stations: What’s to know?
Hydrogen stations: What’s to know?

To fill the tanks of clean, zero-emission vehicles, such as cars, forklifts, tractors, buses, trucks, refuse collection trucks, boats, trains, etc., filling stations must be supplied with hydrogen that is processed, compressed and delivered to them from a production site.  

Filling up with hydrogen, as simple and quick as filling up with petrol

Let’s start by highlighting what doesn’t change! Filling up a new Mirai car in a hydrogen station is just as straightforward as refuelling a conventional combustion engine car. Only the filling unit is really different – hydrogen comes in kilograms rather than litres, but everything else is similar. You still have your pump, nozzle, terminal keypad and information screen, and above all the charging time is no different – in less than five minutes the tank is full, and the Mirai can set off again for around 650 kilometres.

Behind the scenes at a hydrogen station

Before being able to distribute fuel, a hydrogen station must first complete several processes:

  • First, the hydrogen must be stored in cylinder racks, tanks or tube trailers,
  • It needs to be compressed (to 500 bar for vehicles that run on 350-bar hydrogen and to 900 bar for vehicles that run on700-bar hydrogen, which depends on the vehicle type),
  • Then it must be stored again in tanks known as buffers.
  • Before being distributed, the hydrogen must be cooled using an exchanger and a cold unit (for 700-bar stations only).
  • Only then can the hydrogen be used to fill a tank via the hose and nozzle of the dispenser.

Hydrogen station infrastructure is built above ground and is simple to install, repair and upgrade.

Who installs hydrogen stations?

In addition to developers and operators of service stations – who are diversifying their offer and promoting clean mobility with hydrogen – local authorities, companies, manufacturers or operators of vehicle/bus fleets can also install their own hydrogen stations for refuelling their fleet. Some such private operators also open their stations to the public.  

In some areas, ecosystems have been set up to co-develop stations that meet the needs of all local users.  

What do the current hydrogen stations offer?

A hydrogen station’s offering can be defined based on a few main criteria:

  • Compression: 350 bar and/or 700 bar ( or 35 and/or 70 MPa). Some hydrogen stations only deliver 350 bar, some only 700 bar, and others deliver both.
  • Storage capacity: This ranges from a few kilos – for supplying a small light vehicle fleet – to several tonnes of hydrogen a day for refuelling trucks, boats, planes, trains, etc.
  • Flow rate: Fuelling time will vary depending on the station’s flow rate, the vehicle and the vehicle’s fuelling protocol.

One sign that the sector is already mature is that there is a standard for hydrogen stations – the SAE J2601 standard establishes the protocol and process limits for supplying hydrogen to light fuel cell electric vehicles.

Where are the first hydrogen stations?  

See the collaborative map of stations

France – which plans in its Hydrogen Plan to install more than 100 hydrogen stations in 2023 – must accelerate its network to allow individuals and professionals to fuel their vehicles within a timeframe that matches the plans of vehicle manufacturers and fuel distributors.

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