UPSC Prelims 2023 Question:
Consider the following heavy industries:
- Fertilizer plants
- Oil refineries
- Steel Plants
Green hydrogen is expected to play a significant role in decarbonizing how many of the above industries?
a) Only one
b) Only two
c) All three
Correct Answer: Option c)
Learn more about green hydrogen from the given explanation below.
The primary focus for adoption of green hydrogen is likely to be oil refineries, fertilisers and chemical industry. Oil refineries using grey hydrogen for desulphurisation, ammonia production for fertilisers and chemicals industry, and treatment of basic metals are the leading market opportunities for green hydrogen in the short-medium term. Oil refineries, fertiliser companies and steel producers are likely to be asked to meet a compulsory green hydrogen purchase obligation (GHPO) in a planned national move to green energy.
What are the Applications of Green Hydrogen?
Green Hydrogen as Replacement to Fossil Fuel in Agriculture:
- Green hydrogen has the potential to replace traditional fertilizers in agriculture through the production of ammonia using renewable energy sources.
- Ammonia is a key ingredient in the production of fertilizers, and the current production process relies on natural gas, which is a fossil fuel and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions.
- Green ammonia produced with help of green hydrogen is carbon-free, green ammonia has other benefits over traditional fertilizers, including improved efficiency and reduced soil acidity.
- However, the production of green ammonia at scale will require significant investment in infrastructure and the development of new technologies. Currently, the production of green ammonia is more expensive than traditional ammonia production, which may limit its adoption in the short term.
Green Hydrogen-Powered Farm Machinery:
- Farm machinery like tractors, harvesters, and irrigation systems require a lot of energy to operate. Green hydrogen-powered farm machinery can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while still delivering the power required to carry out essential farm tasks.
- Green Hydrogen for Water Management:
- Water is a precious resource, and managing it efficiently is critical for sustainable agriculture. Green hydrogen can be used to power desalination plants that convert saltwater into freshwater, reducing our reliance on scarce freshwater resources.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell:
- A hydrogen fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy of hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, water and heat.
- Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles produce zero emissions, making them an attractive alternative to gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles. They have a longer range than battery electric vehicles and can be refuelled in minutes, making them more convenient for long-distance travel.
- Green hydrogen production can be done using waste materials like municipal solid waste and agricultural waste. This can help to reduce waste and promote sustainable development.
Increase in Energy Efficiency:
- Green hydrogen can be used to power fuel cells, which are more energy-efficient than traditional combustion engines. This can help to reduce energy consumption.
So, all three of the above are expected to play a significant role in decarbonizing Green hydrogen.
Therefore, option (c) is the correct answer.
Subject: Science & Technology | Miscellaneous(s&t)
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