Hydrogen 101

Hydrogen is recognized as the clean energy of the future

What is Hydrogen?

Fun Facts

Hydrogen (H2) is the most abundant element in the Universe and is only found in compound form with other liquids, gases, or solids. When hydrogen combines with carbon atoms, hydrocarbons are formed – the building blocks of fuels like natural gas, coal, and petroleum.

Hydrogen is an energy carrier that must be produced from another substance. It can be produced (separated) from various sources, including water, fossil fuels, or biomass, and used as a source of energy or fuel.

Colors of hydrogen

Hydrogen Production

Reforming low-cost methane sources can provide hydrogen for many applications. Most of the hydrogen produced in the United States is made by natural gas reforming in large plants. Production methods include:

  • Steam Methane Reforming (SMR) – Methane reacts with steam in the presence of a catalyst to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide.
  • Electrolysis – the process of using electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Learn about electrolysis and the different types of electrolyzers on the Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s website  “Hydrogen Production: Electrolysis.”

Environmental Benefits

  • Clean Energy Source – Hydrogen can be used as an energy carrier in a usable form from one place to another. It can be produced or separated from a variety of sources, including water, fossil fuels, or biomass, and used as a source of energy fuel.
  • Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy – Hydrogen, A Clean, Flexible Energy Carrier
  • Zero EmissionsThe only byproduct when using hydrogen is water vapor, producing zero greenhouse gas emissions.

Fun Facts

Uses and Applications

  • Hydrogen in Industry
  • Transportation and Fuel Cells
  • Energy Storage
  • Clean Energy Carrier

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  1. Department of Energy – Hydrogen Program
  2. US Energy Information Administration – Hydrogen Explained
  3. Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy’s website – Hydrogen Production: Natural Gas Reforming

Project Highlight

Proton Exchange Membrane Stack Module

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Coffman designed a modular hydrogen production platform using PEM electrolyzers for high purity hydrogen generation, adapting to market shifts.

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