Although they’ve lost ground in front of electric-powered vehicles, which are considered more environmentally friendly and efficient in using renewable energy sources, hydrogen-powered cars are not completely abandoned.
Obtained by methods such as water electrolysis, steam treatment at ultra-high temperatures, and natural gas processing, hydrogen poses many problems that limit its usefulness. Difficult to store and transport, hydrogen has lost ground in front of Li-ion batteries, especially because of the way in which it is made – with high energy waste.
Unexpectedly, the salvage solution could come from the oil industry, in the form of a new technological process that allows the extraction of hydrogen directly from the sand shales and oil fields, leaving carbon dioxide and methane gas buried underground. Remarkably, the technology to obtain hydrogen is more economical than the methods mentioned above, at costs between $0.1 and $0.5 per kilogram, compared to approx. $2 per kilogram in case of traditional methods.
According to statements made by Proton Technologies, the company that developed this extraction method, the low-cost hydrogen obtained from existing oil basins could be the perfect solution for clean energy and the key to reducing long-term pollution.
Using as the source of extraction the oil-rich sandy sediments on Canada’s territory, the technology has the potential to cover the energy needs of this region for the next 330 years.