What is Hydrogen?

    Hydrogen is a versatile energy carrier that can help address various critical energy challenges. Currently, hydrogen is mainly used in the refining and chemical sectors and is produced using fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas, leading to significant annual CO2 emissions.

    Hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels can play a significant role in the decarbonization of sectors where emissions are challenging to reduce and alternative solutions are either unavailable or difficult to implement, such as heavy industry and long-distance transportation.

    What is electrolysis from

    which H2 is obtained?

    Electrolysis is a chemical process through which water molecules (H2O) are broken down into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2) using electricity. This process involves the insertion of two electrodes into the water and the application of an electric current. When the current flows through the water, the molecules of water are decomposed into their basic components, hydrogen, and oxygen. Hydrogen is collected at the negative electrode (cathode), while oxygen is collected at the positive electrode (anode).

    This method of obtaining hydrogen from water is known as “water electrolysis” and is a sustainable way to produce green hydrogen, as it does not involve the emission of greenhouse gasses or the use of fossil fuels. It is one of the key technologies for clean hydrogen production and is used in renewable energy projects to generate hydrogen from electricity generated by sources such as solar or wind energy.

    Ammonia as energy carrier.
    Uses and applications

    Ammonia (NH3) has been considered an energy carrier that can play an important role in the transition to a more sustainable, low-carbon economy.

    Some of its uses are:

    Energy storage and transport:

    Ammonia can be used to store energy in the form of hydrogen. Hydrogen combines with nitrogen to form ammonia, which is easier to transport and store compared to hydrogen gas. The ammonia can then be broken down again to release hydrogen when energy is needed.

    Chemical industry:

    Ammonia is a chemical product widely used in industry for the manufacture of fertilizers, cleaning products and pharmaceutical products, among others. Additionally, ammonia can be used as a raw material in the production of other chemicals.


    Ammonia can be used as fuel in internal combustion engines, gas turbines and fuel cells. The combustion of ammonia releases energy in the form of heat and can be used to generate electricity or propel vehicles.

    Energy production in solar thermal plants:

    In some solar thermal plants, ammonia is used as a heat transfer fluid instead of thermal oil. This allows for greater efficiency in generating electricity from concentrated solar energy.

    Renewable energy storage:

    Ammonia has been proposed as a means to store energy generated from renewable sources, such as solar or wind energy. Electricity is used to produce ammonia from nitrogen and water, and then the ammonia is stored until energy is needed, at which point it breaks down to release hydrogen and generate electricity.

    Hydrogen Transport:

    Ammonia can be used as a vehicle to transport hydrogen from places where it is produced in excess to places where it is needed. This is especially useful in overcoming the transportation and storage challenges of gaseous hydrogen.

    Refrigeration systems:

    Ammonia is used as a refrigerant in industrial and commercial refrigeration systems as it is effective and does not contribute to ozone depletion or global warming.

    The use of ammonia as an energy carrier can play a fundamental role in the transition towards a more sustainable economy and the reduction of carbon emissions in various sectors. However, it is important to address the challenges related to production, storage and safety in its handling, as well as ensuring its production from renewable energy sources to maximize its environmental benefits.