New Perspectives in the Industrial Exploration for Native Hydrogen

Hydrogen gas (H2), when combusted, produces heat and water. There is no pollution, just water vapor. When hydrogen combines with oxygen, there is no generation of carbon dioxide, no production of cyclic hydrocarbons, no sulfur oxides (SOx), no nitrogen oxides (NOx), no ozone cogeneration. It seems that hydrogen, along with efficient energy production, solves many of our pollution problems, from urban air pollution to global warming. In the so-called Hydrogen Age of the future (Holland and Provenzano 2007), H2 will be mainly produced by the electrolysis of water using electricity that itself is derived from renewable energy sources or nuclear power plants. Steam methane reforming (a catalyzed reaction at high temperature where CH4 is combined with water to produce CO2 and H2) will only be acceptable as a source of H2 if it is associated with low-cost CO2 storage. But, in this future energy landscape, what is the role of naturally occurring hydrogen, sometimes referred to as native hydrogen?

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