Hydrogen and its types

Hydrogen and its types

Hydrogen and its types

#GS-03 Science and Technology

For Prelims


  • Hydrogen is the first and lightest element on the periodic table and is rarely found in its pure form.
  • Hydrogen is a nontoxic, non-metallic, odourless, tasteless, colourless, and highly combustible gas at standard room temperature and pressure.
  • It can be used in fuel cells or internal combustion engines and is also used as a fuel for spacecraft propulsion.
  • Hydrogen is a completely non-polluting fuel since on burning it gives out water vapour as the sole by-product.

Green Hydrogen

  • Hydrogen gas can be created by using electrolytic division of water.
  • Electrolysers use an electric current to split water into its basic components of hydrogen and oxygen, which emits zero-carbon dioxide.
  • When the process energy for electrolysis is generated from renewable sources, the hydrogen generated is called green Hydrogen.
  • Green hydrogen currently makes up a small percentage of the overall hydrogen, due to high production costs.

Types of Hydrogen

Blue hydrogen
  • Blue hydrogen is produced using a process called steam reforming.
  • This process brings together natural gas and heated water in the form of steam.
  • Which results in the creation of Hydrogen and Carbon dioxide.
  • The resultant CO2 is captured using carbon capture and storage (CCS)
Grey hydrogen
  • This is the most common form of hydrogen production method currently in use.
  • Grey hydrogen is created from natural gas, or methane, using steam methane reformation however, the resultant CO2 is not captured.
Black and brown hydrogen
  • This hydrogen-making process uses black coal or lignite (brown coal).
  • Black and brown hydrogen are the antithesis to green hydrogen in the hydrogen spectrum and are the most environmentally damaging.
  • In common parlance, hydrogen made from any fossil fuels through the process of ‘gasification’ is often called black or brown hydrogen
Pink hydrogen
  • Pink hydrogen is also generated through electrolysis, however, the electricity will be generated through nuclear energy.
  • Nuclear-produced hydrogen is also sometimes referred to as purple hydrogen or red hydrogen.
Turquoise hydrogen
  • This is a new entry in the hydrogen colour spectrum and production has not yet been proven at scale.
  • Turquoise hydrogen is made through a process called methane pyrolysis which produces hydrogen and solid carbon.
Yellow hydrogen
  • Yellow hydrogen is a new phrase for hydrogen made through electrolysis when the power is derived from solar power.
White hydrogen
  • White hydrogen is a naturally-occurring hydrogen found in underground deposits and extracted through fracking.

Source “Centre clears ₹19,744 cr. Green Hydrogen Mission