The solution to our energy problems?

As part of a current project, the European and African Unions are investigating the extent to which naturally occurring hydrogen can be used. The so-called white Hydrogen could make a significant contribution to the energy transition.

The energy transition is in full swing. Even if the expansion in this country is still faltering, we are increasingly saying goodbye to dirty sources such as gas and coal. An energy carrier that is regarded as a beacon of hope is hydrogen. Because after combustion, it only releases water into the environment.

Nevertheless, it is unclear how we can even cover our needs. Depending on whether we use fossil fuels or sustainable energy sources, this can result in gray or green hydrogen. But that takes a lot of energy. Our planet could now provide a possible solution: white hydrogen.

White Hydrogen: A Supplement to Our Energy Needs?

However, one thing is already clear: while white hydrogen occurs naturally in the depths of the earth, it is not sufficient to meet our needs. Apparently, the substance is always a supplement or alternative. It seems surprising that only people in the African country of Mali take advantage of this opportunity.

Because 60 kilometers away from the Malian capital Bamako a small generator meets the electricity needs of the village of Bourakébougou. This is powered by white hydrogen, which people extract from the ground. But how is the substance actually made? Iron and water found in the earth react with each other under high pressure and temperatures, leaving hydrogen among other things.

International project examines the potential of hydrogen

The African and European Union’s Hyafrica project is now investigating the potential of the energy source for the continent. Because if countries skip the step of fossil fuels, many millions of tons of greenhouse gases can be saved. The white hydrogen from the earth has another advantage.

In the long run, it is almost infinitely available, since the reaction between iron and water is continuous. So maybe one day the global power supply will also be based on white hydrogen. In the long term, however, it is up to the operators whether funding and incineration is also financially worthwhile.

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