…Water Required to Produce Hydrogen…
Here is additional information about Hydrogen and Climate Change.
The special report explained that hydrogen is to be made using electrolysis, but didn’t establish how much water would be required each year for making all the hydrogen the United States would need to replace natural gas.
Polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) and alkaline electrolyzers were studied by NREL, which established the amount of water required to produce hydrogen using these processes.
On average, it required 2.6 gallons of water to produce 1 kg, i.e., 2.2 pounds, of hydrogen.
Using data from the Special Report, Hydrogen and Climate Change, 1,560,000 acre feet of water are required to generate enough hydrogen to replace all the natural gas consumed in the United States, excluding natural gas used as feedstocks for making plastics, etc.
To put this quantity of water in perspective, we can compare it to Phoenix, Arizona’s water use, which is 1,380,000 acre feet, not including farming.
We can also compare it with the 1,500,000 acre feet of water transported each year by the Central Arizona Project serving 80% of the state’s population.
The 1,500,000 acre feet of water required for producing hydrogen in the United States each year, overwhelms the availability of water in the Southwest.
Water requirements are a mis-match with solar generated electricity in America’s southwest.
The areas of the United States, where solar power is most economic for generating electricity, generally lack the necessary supplies of water.
Producing hydrogen using electrolysis would need to be done in areas where there is an abundance of fresh water. These areas, east of the Mississippi and in the Northwest, would seem to favor the use of wind turbines for generating the required green electricity, except where hydro was also available.
Sea water is not yet a viable alternative to fresh water, and desalinization of sea water is too expensive.
When the residents of a city the size of Phoenix, Arizona, use as much water as is required to produce the hydrogen needed to meet the administration’s zero carbon goal, we know there is a problem.
Large quantities of fresh water are required to produce all the green hydrogen needed to replace natural gas in the United States.
See the full updated report, Hydrogen and Climate Change.
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