On the Catalyst with Shayle Kann podcast this week:
Before hydrogen makes it big, we have to overcome a massive, ocean-sized challenge: the best way to transport the fuel between continents.
The places that will be best suited to produce hydrogen via renewables-powered electrolysis, such as Australia and Egypt, will have to ship that hydrogen to demand centers in Japan, Europe and elsewhere.
And it turns out that shipping hydrogen is way harder than shipping oil or natural gas. Hydrogen has a very low volumetric energy density. Compared to one barrel of oil, the equivalent amount of gaseous hydrogen takes up way more space to transport.
Fortunately, there’s a range of available technologies that may be able to solve this problem. Will one emerge as the dominant means of transporting hydrogen across the oceans?
In this episode, Shayle talks to Anne-Sophie Corbeau, a senior research scholar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs’ Center on Global Energy Policy. Anne-Sophie recently wrote about hydrogen transport for Cipher.
They cover the five leading contenders for transoceanic transport:
E-methane (also known as synthetic methane or carbon-neutral gas)
Liquid organic hydrogen carriers
They also discuss topics including:
Why good old-fashioned pipelines might be a viable option for transport, even between continents.
The challenges of converting fossil-gas infrastructure into hydrogen infrastructure.
Why hydrogen exporters might be better off producing products made with hydrogen, such as steel, rather than the hydrogen itself.
Cipher: Global hydrogen trade may be just a pipe dream
IRENA: Global hydrogen trade to meet the 1.5°C climate goal: Technology review of hydrogen carriers
IEA: Global hydrogen review 2022
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