The world is in dire need of an affordable and abundant clean energy source to combat climate change. Hydrogen is generating quite a bit of buzz as a possible solution. The gas has long been hailed as an essential part of a future zero-carbon economy, thanks to its versatility and usefulness in a wide range of applications.

However, the production and distribution of hydrogen have been expensive compared to traditional fossil fuels. But new research has identified that running traditional natural gas turbines with hydrogen will play an increasingly important role in reducing CO2 emissions in power generation.

Hydrogen is becoming increasingly important as a fuel to displace natural gas and provide CO2-free combustion in gas turbines. The process of using hydrogen as a fuel in gas turbines involves blending hydrogen with natural gas at a ratio of 20% to 30%. The result is lower CO2 emissions without compromising on energy efficiency.

Hydrogen as a fuel for gas turbines is a very promising technology that can cut down greenhouse gas emissions significantly. The hydrogen fuel is considered to be highly efficient, with a maximum thermal efficiency of up to 60%, which is much higher than that of traditional fossil fuels.

Robert Von Russ, VP | Grid of the Future had a great take on LinkedIn:

Reducing CO2 emissions in power generation is crucial as we strive for a sustainable energy future. A great article on hydrogen in gas turbines was published on July 18, 2023, by Jason Neville, discussing how this fuel can revolutionize the energy landscape.

The use of hydrogen as a CO2-free fuel has emerged as a promising alternative to natural gas in gas turbines. When hydrogen is burned, it produces only water vapor, making it an emission-free fuel. Although the long-term goal is to replace natural gas with 100% green hydrogen, even blending hydrogen with natural gas can significantly reduce CO2 emissions in the short term.

There are, however, some unique challenges associated with using hydrogen as a gas turbine fuel. Due to hydrogen’s physical properties, it is more difficult to produce, store, and transport than natural gas. Hydrogen’s flammability also raises safety concerns.

Adaptability of gas turbines to hydrogen depends on the hydrogen percentage in the fuel blend. In the case of low-percentage blends, no significant design changes may be required, while in the case of higher blends, extensive modifications to the turbines and combustion system may be required. In order to support high-hydrogen blends, OEMs are actively developing new combustion systems.

In order for a turbine enclosure to be hydrogen-compatible, it must have safety measures and materials compatible with hydrogen. Differing combustion systems are capable of handling hydrogen in different ways, with diffusion and lean premixed systems having different capabilities.
Hydrogen offers significant opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions. A variety of technologies are being developed to make hydrogen a prominent player in the energy economy. Despite challenges, gas turbines will continue to be a vital part of our energy mix, complementing renewable resources and leveraging their existing infrastructure.

We are on the verge of a cleaner and more sustainable energy future as hydrogen is introduced into gas turbines, and collaboration between industry stakeholders can help us get there. Our future will be greener if we work together!

Hydrogen is an abundantly available chemical when compared to other alternative fuels like biofuels, ethanol and various other bio-mass systems. Besides being highly efficient, hydrogen gas turbines offer several other advantages such as low environmental impact, providing secure energy supplies, better efficiency, and long operational life. Hydrogen fuel is projected to play a critical role in reducing carbon emissions in the transportation and power generation sectors.

Moreover, running natural gas turbines with hydrogen has the potential to reduce the cost of green hydrogen production. As green hydrogen production rises with technological advancements, the price can drop to compete with fossil fuels. The blending of hydrogen with natural gas produces lower CO2 emissions, and it is a more economical means of producing hydrogen fuel on a large scale.

Running natural gas turbines with hydrogen is an innovative, cost-effective, and efficient way of reducing carbon emissions. It offers a safer and more eco-friendly combustion and a carbon-free fuel source. We have seen evidence that hydrogen gas turbines show significant promise for future energy systems, attracting critical attention from business, policy, and the scientific communities. However, there is a need for more research and development to determine the optimal hydrogen blend and combustion conditions. It is time for us to recognize the full potential of hydrogen as a gas turbine fuel and consider it as a significant player in the shift to a low-carbon energy future. Let us all work together to ensure that hydrogen becomes a significant contributor to the decarbonization of the energy industry.