Hydrogen fundamentals

An odorless, colorless gas

The lightest chemical element
in the Universe, present in

Higher energy density (in mass) than fossil fuels

A fuel used for rockets because of its high energy content

"I believe that water will one day be used as fuel, that the hydrogen and oxygen it consists of, used alone or together, will provide an inexhaustible source of heat and light, of an intensity that coal is not capable of." Jules VERNE - 1875

Jules VERNE – 1875

A discovery ? No.

The first experiments with hydrogen date back to the 1800s.

In the 19th century, dirigible balloons were powered by hydrogen. 

Rockets are already fueled by hydrogen, which is much more efficient and powerful than kerosene.


Current and future use of hydrogen

At present, hydrogen is mainly used in refining and in the production of ammonia and nitrogen fertilizers.

Its uses are set to expand considerably over the coming decades.






Power networks



How to produce hydrogen ?

Grey hydrogen

Usine gris

Reforming from
fossil fuels

Blue hydrogen

usine bleu

Reforming from natural gas
with CO2 captation

Green hydrogen

Usine vert

Electrolysis from green electricity
and water

White hydrogen : the game changer

So far, hydrogen had to be produced; it was inconceivable to find it in its natural state. It was therefore considered as an “energy carrier” rather than a “resource”.

This certainty is being challenged by the recent discovery, in different parts of the world, of hydrogen in its molecular form. Just as our subsurface contains fossil energies such as coal, gas, and oil, it is now established that it also contains hydrogen in its natural state and potentially in substantial quantities.

While current methods of hydrogen production are polluting and costly methods, the exploitation of natural hydrogen constitutes a real energy revolution: it is not only an innovative mode of production but also clean and economically viable with a cost 6 times lower than for green hydrogen.

Various geological processes could be responsible for a natural production of hydrogen beneath the Earth’s surface (illustration from the article “Hidden Hydrogen” published in the magazine Science). 

Research and exploration work has started in various parts of the world, particularly in Australia, the United States, and France.

Illu Anglais

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