Starting with this blog, I will be highlighting what I find on the Internet about the uses, production, prices, and news for several elements, including hydrogen, nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and others. These blogs are a follow-on to the recent series of blogs “Chemical Elements’ Revenues – Part 1, 2, and 3” that I wrote. I start with hydrogen.
Uses. More than 80% of hydrogen is used in industrial applications such as ammonia and methanol production, petroleum refining, and metal and food processing. The next largest use is as a fuel. It is this second use where the greatest growth for hydrogen use is occurring. One reason for this is the emergence of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs). Estimates are that in 2018 over 2,000 FCEVs were in use globally and that by 2030 an estimated two million will be in use.
Production. Estimated hydrogen global production in 2018 is in the 60 million metric ton range. In the United States, most hydrogen production is from methane (natural gas) using what is known as steam reforming. Water electrolysis accounts for most of the rest of the hydrogen produced in the United States. In the rest of the world, electrolysis accounts for a higher percentage of hydrogen produced than in the United States.
Prices. 2018 hydrogen prices in the United States are in the $3.50 per kilogram, and higher, range for small and medium size orders and less than $3.50 for large orders. Based on a global 2018 production of approximately 60 million metric tons and using $2.50 per kilogram as a price, hydrogen produced in 2018 had a $150 billion value (would generate $150 billion of revenues).
News. What follows are brief summaries of news alerts about hydrogen uses in 2018:
v Alerts were issued on several countries’ (including Japan, Australia, South Korea, France, and the United Kingdom, as well as the state of California in the United States) new and ongoing efforts to use hydrogen as an energy source. Some of the details are:
· Japan is targeting the import of significant amounts of hydrogen;
· South Korea plans to have around 300 hydrogen filling stations to service the expected number of FCEVs planned in South Korea;
· California is building more hydrogen filling stations;
· Australia is developing a hydrogen export industry, perhaps in response to Japan’s plans to import large amounts of hydrogen;
· The London Police are adding FCEVs to its inventory; and
· France is spending $100 million on a hydrogen development program and plans to have more than 5,000 FCEVs and 100 filling stations by 2023.
v At lease three automobile companies, Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda, announced plans to ramp up the production of FCEVs in the coming years. Hyundai is budgeting $6.7 billion to produce 500,000 FCEVs by 2030.
v The French railroad technology company Alstom has produced trains powered by hydrogen fuel cells that are in operation in a section of Germany.
v More than 100 FCEVs are being used in Paris by a taxi company.
v The Austrian voestalpine steel manufacturer has initiated a project, with Siemens and others, to test the generation of large quantities of hydrogen by electrolysis for use in its steel making, instead of using hydrogen produced by steam forming of methane.
v The companies Air Products and Air Liquide are building liquid hydrogen production facilities in California to supply the hydrogen filling stations that are being built there.