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Hydrogen Market Sector

The Hydrogen market sector is evolving and the gas is often hailed as the ‘fuel of the future,’ offering industries a pathway to decarbonisation. As a clean fuel, Hydrogen usage contributes to reducing greenhouse gases, minimising carbon footprints. It also enables businesses to achieve net-zero and sustainability targets. Oxford Flow takes the lead in producing world-leading Hydrogen-ready technology for next-generation gas businesses and organisations preparing for the energy transition.

Oxford Flow Hydrogen Ready Products

Committed to sustainability, Oxford Flow offers world-leading products for emissions control. Our ES Stemless Valve, was awarded the Best Mechanical Engineering Achievement by ASME and was awarded a commendation by ADNOC Group at COP28 UAE. The valve eliminates emissions by design and recommended for transitioning energy systems, including hydrogen. Our IM-S gas regulator is also suitable for hydrogen applications. It has undergone independent testing and is verified for use with up to 100% hydrogen and hydrogen blends. As the UK’s largest gas networks explore hydrogen testing opportunities, Oxford Flow solutions are providing a reliable verification for gas network infrastructure.

In the evolving landscape of hydrogen applications, Oxford Flow’s commitment to innovation positions us as a key player. Our Hydrogen ready technology is driving sustainability and efficiency in the journey towards a hydrogen-powered future.

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Introduction to Hydrogen gas

Hydrogen, or H2, is an element with numerous beneficial properties. Boasting high energy density, this gas leaves no environmental impact and poses no aquatic hazard. As an energy carrier, Hydrogen holds enormous potential to address critical energy challenges and opens opportunities for the Hydrogen market sector. The gas can play a pivotal role in energy transition crucial for achieving net-zero goals. By 2050, the UK aims to achieve zero net greenhouse gas emissions and independence from fossil fuels.

While Hydrogen provides triple the energy content by weight compared to petrol, it requires other energy sources for extraction. Unlike fossil fuels, Hydrogen is a clean gas, producing steam during combustion rather than polluting emissions like CO2. For businesses seeking net-zero or near net-zero emissions, Hydrogen proves advantageous when produced from renewable sources or paired with carbon-capture technologies.

The Hydrogen Colour Spectrum

While there are no universal standards differentiating hydrogen types, the industry assigns colour names based on production methods:

  • Green hydrogen: Produced using clean electricity from surplus renewable energy sources like solar or wind power.
  • Blue hydrogen: Mainly produced from natural gas using steam reforming, with carbon dioxide as a by-product.
  • Grey hydrogen: Created from natural gas without capturing greenhouse gases, the most common form of hydrogen production.
  • Black & brown hydrogen: Utilises black coal or lignite in the hydrogen-making process.
  • Pink hydrogen: Generated through electrolysis powered by nuclear energy.
  • Turquoise hydrogen: Produced using a process called methane pyrolysis.
  • Yellow hydrogen: Made through electrolysis using solar power.
  • White hydrogen: Naturally occurring, found in underground deposits, and created through fracking.

Hydrogen Uses

The hydrogen market sector is expanding rapidly, finding diverse applications across industries. Common uses include:

  1. Ammonia Production: Hydrogen is a crucial element in the production of ammonia, a key component in fertilizers.
  2. Methanol Production: Hydrogen serves as a feedstock in the production of methanol, a versatile chemical used in various industrial processes.
  3. Metal Manufacturing: Industries utilise hydrogen in metal manufacturing processes, contributing to cleaner and more sustainable production methods.
  4. Concrete Production: Hydrogen can be employed in the production of concrete, offering environmentally friendly alternatives in construction.
  5. Oil Refining: Hydrogen plays a vital role in the refining of oil, aiding in the removal of impurities and enhancing fuel quality.
  6. Power Generation: Hydrogen can be blended with natural gas or used independently in power generation, providing a clean energy source for electricity production.
  7. Mass Transport: Hydrogen’s versatility extends to mass transportation, where fuel cells powered by hydrogen are used in vehicles, contributing to a cleaner and greener transportation sector.

Hydrogen Blending in Natural Gas

Governments across the globe are on a mission to decarbonise existing gas networks, recognising the imperative shift towards more sustainable energy sources. One significant strategy in achieving this goal is the promotion of hydrogen blending with natural gas. This innovative approach not only reduces carbon emissions but also sets the stage for a more eco-friendly and resilient energy infrastructure. The process involves introducing hydrogen into the existing natural gas network, creating a blend that combines the cleaner attributes of hydrogen with the established infrastructure of natural gas. This blending initiative is a critical step towards achieving low-carbon and ultimately zero-carbon gas networks. Gas utilities, including SGN in partnership with Oxford Flow, are verifying their gas networks to facilitate the future transition to hydrogen or blends with low- or zero-carbon fuels.

Hydrogen Embrittlement

Hydrogen embrittlement, the deterioration of material due to the presence of hydrogen, is a magnified concern in pressurised systems. Oxford Flow addresses this challenge with body-forged stainless steel in products like the IM-S gas regulator, reducing embrittlement, increasing life expectancy, and improving predictability of valve performance.