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Basic Ideas

By Sandhya. M & Bhagyalekshmi. S;  Govt. GHSS Cotton Hill, Thiruvananthapram.

Hydrogen is usually found in the combined state. Therefore it is extremely necessary to produce hydrogen in a cheap and in an eco-friendly manner so that the fuel becomes a viable option. The proposal of steam reforming of gaseous hydrocarbons to provide fuel for fuel cells which could mitigate the distribution problems of hydrogen was discarded as an impractical idea by market players because of its high expenses involved. The proposal of electrolysis of water to produce hydrogen by using solar energy doesn’t seem to be viable either. Metal hydrides, with varying degrees of efficiency, can be used as a storage medium for hydrogen but their energy density is very low. Cryogenic hydrogen is also a very good option but a lot of energy is required to liquefy Hydrogen. Compressed hydrogen’s biggest disadvantage is its poor energy density by volume. High pressure hydrogen tanks made from carbon fiber may be a solution to our problems regarding transportation of compressed hydrogen. The use of copper electric motors in Hydrogen fuelled vehicles is a handicap because the supply of copper is too limited. General Motors and Honda have been doing researches on Hydrogen fuelled vehicles and a prototype is going to be launched this year.  But the level of enthusiasm is low because a nation’s infrastructure has to be completely changed in order to make Hydrogen vehicles viable.

These are just some of the challenges that we are facing, but I do believe that hydrogen fuel holds the key to our future.

By Dev Madhav. S. D & Sadiya Nassim; Govt. HSS Kulathoor, Thiruvananthapuram
The first and foremost challenge faced by a hydrogen society is investment, simply put money. A major factor in bringing about a change, the required money for such a large scale change still stands as a huge wall between us and a hydrogen based society. Fuel cell vehicles have a high potential to reduce both energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. However, due to low density, hydrogen gas limits the amount of hydrogenstored on board. This restriction also prevents wide penetration of fuel cells. Other challenges include low energy content per unit volume, high tankage weights, high storage vessel pressures, transportation and filling of gaseous or liquid hydrogen in vehicles, and the low efficiency of production processes. But still not all is lost. In due course of time implementing more of our still developing technologies, a hydrogen based society is not just a dream; it has evolved into a possibility.

By Gokul. A.M & Visakh.V. Nair; Govt HSS Thonnakkal, Thiruvananthapuram

The major problem we are about to face is energy crisis. The amount of fossil fuels is decreasing day by day. But our wants keep increasing. In such a situation it’s important for us to search some alternatives. One of the most exciting scientific investigations has been an attempt to know the basis of matter and its useful conversion into energy. The primary need of any individual is energy available from a less expensive source. The answer to this in the present scenario is finding various renewable/reusable sources of energy.

Among the various sources available, hydrogen can be considered as the best less expensive but precious source for energy. It is the most abundant element on the known universe and the third most in our Earth. Also hydrogen got the best calorific value than other fuels. When hydrogen ignites, only water is produced, which means that it causes no pollution. Thus it can be called the best clean energy source.

To use hydrogen energy, our scientific knowledge regarding its usage has to be improved. We have to figure out a way handle this energy. Due to its high calorific value, hydrogen may explode anytime if not handled accordingly. Also it is difficult to transport it and change our present infrastructure which mainly depends on fossil fuels. Since hydrogen is not readily available, it has to be separated from its companion, which takes lots of effort. Since no suitable method has been yet invented, now it’s costly to produce energy using hydrogen. If we manage to overcome the difficulties in the production of hydrogen energy, it’s the best method to solve our upcoming energy crisis.

Reshma Biji & Aleena Francis; Jyothinilayam HSS, Thiruvananthaapuram

The production and transportation of hydrogen in a cost effective, environmentally friendly manner is one of the major challenges to the development of the hydrogen economy. The production of hydrogen is an energy intensive process. The energy needed to produce hydrogen can be obtained from traditional fossil fuels, nuclear energy and renewable energy sources. Hydrogen may be produced at large-scale central locations and then transported to multiple end use destinations. Alternatively, it can be produced on-site at small-scale decentralized locations closer to the point of use. Hydrogen has the highest energy content per unit of weight of any known element. It is also the lightest element. As a result, it is characterized by low volume energy density, meaning that a given volume of hydrogen contains a small amount of energy. This presents significant challenges to transporting, delivering and storing the large quantities of hydrogen that will be necessary in the hydrogen energy economy.

Due to its unique properties – high energy content per unit of weight coupled with low volumetric energy density – the production, transportation and storage of hydrogen presents unique challenges. Two fundamental questions are how much energy is required to extract hydrogen from naturally occurring, stable hydrogen-rich compounds and whether hydrogen should be produced at large-scale central locations that will require the development of a dedicated infrastructure to store and transport it to end use destinations. Both of these questions demand close evaluation of the related social, economic, and environmental costs and benefits associated with developing a hydrogen production and transportation infrastructure. In addition, breakthroughs are necessary in material science to reduce the cost of transporting hydrogen over long distances. Another option is to produce hydrogen at decentralized locations closer to end user applications. This approach requires the examination of other technical and social questions related to the production and storage of hydrogen.

It is likely that hydrogen production, transportation, and storage will use both decentralized and centralized approaches. Developing the infrastructure necessary to produce, store and deliver the large quantities of hydrogen necessary for the future hydrogen economy is one of the major challenges.

By Rishad.M. Shiraz; Jyothinilayam senior secondary school, Thiruvananthapuram

Hydrogen is well known to children as the gas filled in balloons seen in the festivals and fares. Even though an important element in the drinking water we use daily, its importance is quite neglected.

The major issue in the production of hydrogen is that it uses a lot of energy and is quite expensive as the process involves burning of fossil fuels. When stored, hydrogen must be stored in extremely low temperature and high pressure, and hence requires containers which are able to satisfy these demands in storage as well as transference. Furthermore the gas is extremely reactive, combustible and inflammable causing a morbid fear in using it as a fuel in vehicles. Moreover, due to decreased consumer demand as well as increased expenditure in converting all gasoline filling stations and vehicle production lines is a bigger barricade.

By  Amal J. S & Abhijith P. S; Govt. model boys HSS Attingal

Hydrogen is considered as an important alternative energy vector and a bridge to a sustainable energy future in many countries. It is not primary energy existing freely in nature. Hydrogen is a secondary form of energy that has to be manufactured like electricity.It is an energy carrier. It can be produced from a wide variety of primary energy sources and different production technologies. About half of all the hydrogen as currently produced is obtained from thermocatalytic and gasification process using natural gas as a starting material. Heavy oils and naptha make up the next largest source followed by coal. Currently biomass is being considered as the best option and has the largest potential.

Advantages of hydrogen energy
1. Ready availability
2. No harmful emission
3. Environment friendly
4. Can be used as fuel in rockets
5. Renewable

1. Expensive
2. Not easy to replace existing infrastructure
3. Highly inflammable

The efficiency of Hydrogen energy should be put to thorough research as we must overcome the energy crisis for our future generations.

Upcoming Events

  • HEAM Parliamentarian 2021

    A national level debate competition for school students to create awareness about Hydrogen Energy.
    Date: 28th December 2021
    Venue: Online Platform
    Download Brochure

  • HEAM Scholar 2021

    A National Meet for Young Scholars of Hydrogen Energy and Advanced Materials
    Place and Date will be confirmed soon.