The smallest element in the universe has big potential for clean, sustainable energy. In fact, we’ve been using it as a fuel for vehicles here on Earth and NASA vehicles out exploring the solar system for many decades. So why aren’t we living in a hydrogen utopia already, and how can we get there? In this episode, we discuss the past, present, and future of hydrogen energy, including the dirty side of hydrogen production and the current push for zero-emissions hydrogen to power our daily lives and decarbonize big-ticket industries like steel manufacturing.
Adam Weber, a chemical engineer who studies fuel cells, electrolyzers, batteries, and solar fuel generators. Adam is the lead of Berkeley Lab's Energy Conversion Group and Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies, and co-director of the Department of Energy Million Mile Fuel Cell Truck Research Consortium. He is a senior chemist/engineer in Berkeley Lab’s Energy Technologies Area.
Hanna Breunig, an environmental engineer who performs modeling and systems analysis to study the social, economic and environmental impacts of emerging energy technologies. Hanna is a research scientist in the Energy Technologies Area and deputy head of Berkeley Lab's Sustainable Energy and Environmental Systems Department. She also holds a position in Berkeley Lab’s Earth Systems and Society Domain in the Climate and Ecosystem Science Division.
More info on electrolyzers, the devices that use electricity to produce hydrogen gas by splitting water molecules.
More info on fuel cells, which are the opposite of electrolyzers. These cells share many features with a battery, and use hydrogen gas to generate electricity. Water is made in the process.