Today, hydrogen is mainly produced by reforming of hydrocarbons with water vapor, and via water electrolysis. Although hydrogen production via reforming is the three times cheaper than water electrolysis, the main disadvantage of such a process is the harmful carbon dioxide (CO2) emision.
Hydrogen can be distributed through pipelines already existing in hundreds of miles across the Europe and the United States (US). Furthermore, it can be compressed into above ground and underground pressurized storage tanks. It can also be liquefied and stored in cryogenic storage tanks.
Hydrogen can be used as a fuel in internal combustion engines and gas turbines, or can be mixed with natural gas and burn on the steam generator burners. It is also possible to utilize it in the chemical industry and households. But the most attractive technique is hydrogen utilization in fuel cells.
Considering the awareness of global warming and the importance of environmental protection, today’s market trends are such that hydrogen is a constituent part of almost all energy strategies and directives. Scientific researches on hydrogen fuel cells in conjunction with renewable energy sources (RES), demonstration projects, and their application are present in all EU framework programs as one of the seven key technologies of the 21st century. In the developed world technology is developing exponentially and it is in political focus because it is a condition of survival and retention of the existing global positions of the state economy.