Burning Natural gas for fuel contributes to around a third of all UK emissions driving global warming! This is obviously an alarming amount.
Researchers at Keele University have been experimenting with adding small amounts of hydrogen to natural gas. This is essentially to reduce the amount of CO2 produced when burning the fuel as burning hydrogen only produces water!
The gas distribution firm “Cadent”, which is leading the project, state that this 20% of added hydrogen would reduce CO2 emissions by six million tonnes. This is the same as taking 2.5 million cars off the road!
Whilst a great discovery and idea, there are certain drawbacks. For example the cost and availability of large quantities of hydrogen is currently an issue. Although hydrogen can be created via a process called electrolysis, the catalysts required for this use expensive elements such as platinum and iridium. This makes this process problematic in its current state.
How far could this go?
Some manufacturers such as Bosch want to convert a number of their current boilers to 100% hydrogen models. They state that it would likely incur about £50 more than a regular model, but completely cut out natural gas!
Whilst the initial switch would incur some cost on the wide scale, there’s no denying the possible benefits to the environment.