As the world shifts towards clean energy, it’s highly likely that hydrogen will play an important role. Naturally occurring ‘Gold’ hydrogen could sidestep the need for industrial processes currently required for manufacturing that hydrogen.
Hydrogen is generated naturally in the Earth’s deep crust. Hydrogen gas fields can be formed by a range of internal Earth processes that bring the gas to shallower sedimentary rocks such as limestone and sandstone where there is also a ‘cap’. If these reservoirs can be traced and the gold hydrogen extracted in a clean and safe way then it will be a highly sustainable and acceptable form of green energy.
A joint research initiative between Helios Aragon, a Spanish company, and Professor’s. Chris Ballentine (University of Oxford) and Jon Gluyas (Durham University), is investigating hydrogen generation, migration and how it accumulates so that it can be extracted and used for commercial purposes. Natural hydrogen occurrences in Brazil have also been investigated by the Oxford team, in collaboration with Barbara Sherwood Lollar (University of Toronto) and funded by the Total Oil and Gas Company.
Read The Times coverage here ‘British scientists lead the way in hydrogen ‘gold rush’
And read about the Brazil research here: Origin of H<sub>2</sub> and CH<sub>4</sub> gases in the Eastern São Francisco Basin, Brazil (goldschmidt.info)