Hydrogen is being championed as the fuel of the future. And the call for change is no longer just coming from industry which has been using it in vast quantities for more than 40 years. Governments are warming to it too, and realising that a net zero economy by 2050 will be impossible without it.
Hydrogen produces zero emissions when burned as a fuel, it can be more efficient than fossil fuels and is the most abundant element in the universe. It even powers the sun.
As a company, INEOS is in a unique position to fuel a hydrogen-powered economy.
Its business, INOVYN, has been producing hydrogen as a co-product for more than 100 years.
INEOS, though, is prepared to significantly invest in developing green hydrogen across Europe.
Switching to hydrogen would also help to tackle the biggest root cause of climate change: air pollution.
INEOS recently launched a new hydrogen-focused business which has just one aim: to cut CO2 emissions.
That business will be focussing on ramping up production of clean hydrogen across Europe, not only for its own sites, but critically for other industries seeking affordable, low-carbon energy.
In Norway, it is building a water electrolyser to help support the country’s drive to save more greenhouse gases than it generates by 2040.
Zero-carbon electricity will be used to produce clean hydrogen through the electrolysis of water at its chemical manufacturing site in Rafnes.
The investment will not only lead to a reduction in its own CO2 emissions, but it will also produce enough additional clean hydrogen each day to fuel up to 400 buses or 1,600 taxis.
And in Belgium, INEOS and ENGIE have carried out industrial-scale tests at INEOS Phenol site in Doel to see whether hydrogen can be used to replace high proportions of natural gas.
“We believe in hydrogen as a key link to a carbon-neutral economy, and will be counting on the expertise and support of INEOS, which we see as a key partner in the energy transition,” said Cedric Osterrieth, CEO ENGIE Generation Europe.
The two companies are also heavily involved in an ambitious project to use captured waste carbon dioxide with sustainably-generated hydrogen to produce methanol, a chemical widely used in everything from clothing to fuel.
Methanol is currently produced using fossil-based raw materials and, in the process, gives off CO2.
If the new process works well, each tonne of methanol produced would reduce CO2 emissions by at least one tonne, per tonne of methanol. But those are just two of many projects.
INEOS chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe wants INEOS to be at the forefront of change. “Hydrogen really is the fuel of the future,” he said.