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What is the News?
The Ministry of Coal has constituted a Task Force and Expert Committee to prepare a road map for Coal based Hydrogen Production.
About the Task Force for Coal based Hydrogen Production
The Task Force will be headed by an Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Coal.
Its terms of reference include identification of roles to be played by each stakeholder ministry and monitoring of activities towards achieving coal based Hydrogen production.
What is Coal Based Hydrogen Production?
Coal is one of the important sources of Hydrogen making(Brown Hydrogen). The other sources of Hydrogen making are Grey Hydrogen (produced from natural gas) and Green Hydrogen (produced through electrolysis of water using renewable energy).
Moreover, production of Hydrogen from coal can be cheaper and less sensitive to imports for India in comparison to Grey Hydrogen and Green Hydrogen.
|Read more: Green Hydrogen: Potential, Issues and Solutions – Explained, pointwise|
Challenges in Coal Based Hydrogen Production
Coal has not been encouraged for the production of Brown Hydrogen because of the fear that while extracting hydrogen via coal (from the moisture embedded in coal) there may be carbon emission. Hence, due to this, 100% of Hydrogen produced in India is through Natural Gas.
Moreover, production of hydrogen from coal has challenges in terms of Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage(CCUS).
Note: CCUS is a process that captures carbon dioxide emissions from sources like coal-fired power plants and either reuses or stores it, so it will not enter the atmosphere.
What is the solution then?
If the carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide formed during the coal to hydrogen process are trapped and stored in an environmentally sustainable manner (CCS and CCUS), then, Indian coal reserves could become a great source of producing brown hydrogen.
Source: This post is based on the article “Ministry of Coal Constitutes Task Force to Prepare Road Map for Coal based Hydrogen Production” published in PIB on 7th September 2021.