Types of Hydrogen | Green Blue Grey Pink Yellow

Hydrogen is an important as well as the first element in the periodic table. In this post, we are going to learn what are the types of hydrogen and all types in detail and how they are different from each other.

The first question that comes into your mind after reading this is hydrogen is colorless, then why there are types of hydrogen based on color? In this post, we are going to learn why the hydrogen types are based on color?.

As we know the world in on the edge of running out of crude oil and natural gas due to an increase in the use of non-renewable energy. Now the world in concerned about the environment and emphasis is given to the direction of shifting from non-renewable to renewable sources of energy.

Types Of Hydrogen

Hydrogen is the lightest and most abundant element in the universe in the form of water and natural gas but we need to break the molecules of water or natural gas to produce pure hydrogen. It’s also an extremely versatile fuel. It is the source of fuel that is used to produce hydrogen molecules classify the type of hydrogen i.e. Green hydrogen, blue hydrogen, grey hydrogen, and many more.

How is hydrogen manufactured?

There are different methods that are being used to produce hydrogen. Here is the list of methods that help to produce hydrogen.

  1. Natural gas reforming (also called steam methane reforming or SMR)
  2. Biomass gasification
  3. Biomass-derived liquid reforming
  4. Solar thermochemical hydrogen (STCH).

These are the types of methods that are being used to produce pure hydrogen. Short information regarding the production method will help to understand better about the types of hydrogen.

Colors of Hydrogen

Hydrogen is colorless gas and hydrogen is classified in a different types of color. It is confusing the know the classification based on color. There is no visible difference between the different types of hydrogen, it is basically based on the method used to produce hydrogen and what are the source of energy used.

What are the types of Hydrogen?

Above we learned on what basis, the types of hydrogen are classified, let us learn and understand what are the types of hydrogen in detail.

  • Grey Hydrogen
  • Blue Hydrogen
  • Green Hydrogen
  • Black Hydrogen
  • Brown Hydrogen
  • Red Hydrogen
  • Pink Hydrogen
  • Yellow Hydrogen
  • Turquoise Hydrogen
  • White Hydrogen

These are the types of hydrogen, now let us learn each one in detail and know why they are classified on a color basis.

Grey Hydrogen

There are different types of fossil fuels that can be use in the production of hydrogen and the easiest and cheapest means of fossil fuels are coal or natural gas. Hydrogen is produced by the means of using fossil fuel using steam reforming method which produces carbon dioxide and is released it into the atmosphere. Hence this hydrogen is classified as grey hydrogen.

This is the most common type of hydrogen being produced and about 95% of the hydrogen produced is grey hydrogen. The reason this is grey hydrogen is along with hydrogen, it also produces greenhouse gases which are harmful to nature.

Blue hydrogen

Hydrogen is mainly produced using the steam reforming method in which Hydrogen is produced along with Co2 as a by-product. Blue hydrogen is also produced through methane steam reforming methods like grey hydrogen, but the only difference is that it uses carbon capture and storage technology. Carbon capture and storage (CCS), which captures and stores carbon dioxide emissions. CCS technology is important for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power generation and other industries.

Green hydrogen

Hydrogen is produced using an electrolysis method in which no carbon dioxide is generated and also called as CO2-neutral method, powered by a renewable source of energy such as electricity generated using wind energy or solar energy or hydro energy in called green hydrogen. In the electrolysis of water, oxygen and hydrogen is being produced and as there are no greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere and this is carbon-neutral hydrogen, hence green hydrogen is also called “clean hydrogen”.

Currently, only about 1% of the whole hydrogen produced is green hydrogen as the production process is expensive. Emphasis are being made to by the researchers to make technology cost-effective to generate electricity using renewable source of energy which can bring cost of hydrogen production cheaper.

Black Hydrogen

The hydrogen being produced using a process using the bituminous type of coal which is black in color, hence this is called black hydrogen. The coal gasification method is used in the process and it is harmful for the environment as along with hydrogen as a process,  CO2 and carbon monoxide are being produced as a by-product which is being released in the atmosphere.

Brown Hydrogen

The hydrogen is produced using a coal gasification process using lignite coal which is brown in color is known as brown hydrogen. Like black hydrogen, this is also being produced using a gasification process and is equally damaging and harmful to the environment.

Red Hydrogen

Hydrogen produced using a high-temperature catalytic process which split water with nuclear thermal power as an energy source is classified as Red Hydrogen.

Pink Hydrogen

Hydrogen is produced by the electrolysis process using the energy generated using nuclear power is considered as pink hydrogen Nuclear power generated a huge amount of heat which is also used in the generation of steam which is considered an environmentally friendly approach complete to the steam reforming method.

Yellow Hydrogen

This is another type of hydrogen that is generated using an electrolysis process powered by solar energy. This is not a widely used method as solar energy is not that advance and cost-effective.

Turquoise Hydrogen

Another method for hydrogen production is methane pyrolysis. In this method, methane molecules are broken down into hydrogen and solid carbon using a thermal process. In this method, the thermal energy is produced by the use of renewable energy, and the by-product carbon is stored permanently are being used.

White Hydrogen

White hydrogen is a type of hydrogen that is discovered in geological found under the earth’s crust. A very little amount of hydrogen is present in earth’s crust. As this type of hydrogen involves extraction, is is also known as Natural hydrogen.

FAQ (types of hydrogen)

1. Which hydrogen color is best?

Green hydrogen is the best type of hydrogen as this is a carbon-neutral method that doesn’t release any greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and causes no damage to the environment.

2. What is the cheapest way to produce hydrogen?

The gasification of natural gas or steam reforming method is the cheapest method to produce hydrogen.

3. What are the types of Hydrogen?

Here are the different types of hydrogen listed below.
Grey, Blue, Green, Black, Brown, Red, Pink, Yellow, Turquoise,
and White Hydrogen

Wrapping Up

This is the tutorial on what are the method to produce hydrogen and what are type of hydrogen. Hope this article had cleared your doubt on why hydrogen types are based on the color. If you have any doubt, feel free to use comment section. In case you have any suggestion, do share with us though our comment section.

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Me - Founder of Chemical Tweak - A Chemical Engineer by profession and a part-time self-trained technology blogger.

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