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What is green hydrogen?

Green hydrogen is a sustainable variant of hydrogen that is generated through the electrolysis of water using renewable energy sources, thus avoiding carbon emissions. This resource is presented as an environmentally friendly and promising solution to power a variety of applications, from vehicles to power generation, playing an important role in the transition to a cleaner and more sustainable future.

Advantages and disadvantages of using green hydrogen

  • Advantages

    Green hydrogen, produced through the electrolysis of water using renewable energy, is emerging as a sustainable and environmentally friendly solution. Its key advantages include the absence of CO2 emissions, making it an essential driver in the fight against climate change.

    Additionally, its ability to store energy efficiently makes it ideal for long-distance vehicles and fleet management. Rapid recharging of hydrogen vehicles also adds a crucial component of operational efficiency, overcoming the limitations of electric batteries. Green hydrogen represents a versatile and sustainable solution that is redefining mobility and energy management.

  • Disadvantages

    One of the most notable obstacles is the initial costs, since implementing the infrastructure necessary to produce, store and distribute green hydrogen can represent a significant investment. Additionally, energy efficiency must be considered, as the conversion of energy to hydrogen and its subsequent utilization may not be as efficient as some alternative technologies, raising questions about their long-term viability.

    Additionally, the availability of green hydrogen may be variable depending on geographic location, which may limit its adoption in some areas and require additional investments in infrastructure to ensure a constant supply.

How is green hydrogen obtained from a hydrogen generator?

  • Water electrolysis: Electricity is used to break down water (H2O) into its basic components: hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). This process is carried out in electrolyzers containing two electrodes immersed in water.
  • Renewable electricity source: For the hydrogen produced to be “green”, the electricity used must come from renewable sources, such as solar or wind power. This ensures that no greenhouse gases are emitted during hydrogen production.
  • Collection and storage: The hydrogen produced is collected and stored for later distribution. It can be stored in gaseous or liquid form, depending on the needs.
  • Distribution: Green hydrogen is transported from the hydrogen plant to points of use, such as refueling stations for hydrogen vehicles or industrial applications.

How does our Illescas hydrogen plant work?

FM Logistic is the first logistics company in Spain to use green hydrogen in an integrated project because in addition to having a hydrogen generator to supply its internal vehicles, it obtains the energy necessary to carry out the electrolysis through photovoltaic energy from the solar panels on the roofs of its Illescas warehouse. In this way, only oxygen is released into the environment.

The hydrogen plant is supplied with the same mains water that supplies its warehouse. The quantities of water used are not significant, and part of it is reused for irrigation and the rest is returned to the atmosphere in the form of steam, so that the water cycle is not altered at all. The hydrogen is compressed at 500 bar and dispensed at 350 bar. The nominal production of the hydrogen plant (i.e., production with 100% operation all year round) is 2,430 kg of H2, 99.999% pure. 

This production capacity is equivalent to the consumption of 18 pallet trucks or similar, operating 12 hours a day; or 130,000 km/year of travel by 3.5 ton MMA vans; or a combination of the above. The hydrogen plant has three hydrogen storage tanks. Each tank stores up to 11 kg of hydrogen at a nominal pressure of 500 bar. As the Illescas hydrogen plant has 3 equal tanks, its capacity is 33 kg at 500 bar.

H2Login, the name of the overall project, has received financial support from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI).

What are the benefits for the logistics sector?

Environmental sustainability becomes a key objective as we seek to reduce carbon emissions in the logistics industry. This plays a crucial role in achieving sustainability goals and reducing emissions as we adopt technologies such as green hydrogen to drive mobility.

In addition to its positive environmental impact, green hydrogen offers the advantage of providing greater range in long-haul vehicles, decreasing refueling-related downtime. This combination of sustainability and operational efficiency provides flexibility to fleet management as a versatile solution that can be used in a variety of applications, contributing to more sustainable and effective logistics.

How is green hydrogen used in the logistics sector?

In the logistics sector, we are witnessing a steady growth in the adoption of green hydrogen vehicles. Trucks, vans and commercial vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells are gaining popularity, providing a clean and efficient alternative for transporting goods. In addition, in warehouse and distribution center management, load handlers, such as forklifts and stackers, are transitioning to green hydrogen power instead of using conventional batteries.

Green hydrogen also excels in the field of energy storage. This versatile energy source is used to store surplus energy from renewable sources, such as solar or wind power, and becomes an effective solution for powering fleets of vehicles or backing up energy systems in warehouses and distribution centers, contributing to greater efficiency and sustainability throughout the logistics chain.

Do you know the advantages of hydrogen in forklift trucks in a logistics warehouse?

Discover them in our study carried out by the Environment and Sustainable Development department.

#Green Hydrogen

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