National Hydrogen Mission

National Hydrogen Mission


National Hydrogen Mission found a place in Prime Minister speech during the Independence day

The need for Mission

  1. India’s significant reliance on coal and the need for hydrogen to replace fossil fuels
  2. Hydrogen would be more prevalent than oxygen since it is thought to have had a role in the genesis of the Earth.
  3. The fuel would be used and could be reused as pollution would be reduced.
  4. It is reported to be 2-3 times more efficient than gasoline.

Properties of Hydrogen:

  1. Hydrogen is a cleaner fuel. It produces only water when used in a fuel cell.
  2. Production: It can be produced from various domestic resources like natural gas, biomass, renewable sources such as solar and wind power.
  3. Uses: Hydrogen properties make it a suitable alternative fuel option in transportation and electricity generation.
  4. Hydrogen acts like an energy carrier that can be used to store, move and deliver energy from the source.
  5. Production process: The hydrogen can be produced by natural gas reforming, biological process, electrolysis


  1. Steam reforming, a high-temperature process in which steam combines with a hydrocarbon fuel to produce hydrogen, is a common thermal technique for hydrogen production. 
  2. Natural gas, diesel, renewable liquid fuels, gasified coal, and gasified biomass are just a few of the hydrocarbon fuels that can be reformed to produce hydrogen. 
  3. Today, natural gas steam reforming produces around 95 percent of all hydrogen.



  1. Electrolysis is a technique for separating water into oxygen and hydrogen. 
  2. Electrolytic activities: They are carried out in an electrolyzer. It  works similarly to a fuel cell but in reverse: instead of harnessing the energy of a hydrogen molecule, an electrolyzer generates hydrogen from water molecules.



  1. Light is used as a catalyst in solar-powered hydrogen synthesis. Photobiological, photoelectrochemical, and solar thermochemical processes are only a few of the solar-driven processes. 
  2. To make hydrogen, photobiological systems rely on bacteria and green algae’s natural photosynthetic activity. Photoelectrochemical techniques split water into hydrogen and oxygen using specific semiconductors. 
  3. Sun thermochemical hydrogen production uses concentrated solar energy to drive water splitting processes, which frequently include additional species like metal oxides.


  1. Microbes such as bacteria and microalgae are used in biological processes, which can produce hydrogen through biological reactions. 
  2. Microbes break down organic matter such as biomass or wastewater to produce hydrogen in microbial biomass conversion, whereas photobiological processes use sunlight as an energy source.

The energy stats

  1. 1 gallon (6.2 pounds, 2.8 kilograms) of gasoline has about the same amount of energy as 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of hydrogen gas. Because hydrogen has a low volumetric energy density, it is compressed and stored aboard a vehicle to attain the same driving range as conventional automobiles. 
  2. The majority of contemporary applications rely on high-pressure tanks that can store hydrogen at pressures of 5,000 to 10,000 
  3. pounds per square inch (psi). The FCEVs currently in production and available at dealerships, for example, have 10,000 psi tanks.

What is the mechanism of the hydrogen fuel cell?

  1. The heart of fuel cell electric vehicles is a device that uses a fuel source, such as hydrogen, and an oxidant to generate electricity via an electrochemical process (FCEV). 
  2. Simply said, a fuel cell generates an electric current by combining hydrogen and oxygen, with water as the only byproduct. Hydrogen fuel cells, like conventional batteries found in autos, turn chemical energy into electrical energy. 
  3. FCEVs are hailed as the vehicles of the future in terms of long-term viability, given that hydrogen is the most abundant resource in the universe.


What are the benefits and drawbacks of fuel cells?


  1. Fuel cells have significant advantages over traditional combustion-based technologies, which are currently utilized in many power plants and automobiles, in that they emit far fewer greenhouse gases and no harmful air pollutants. 
  2. Furthermore, when using pure hydrogen, fuel cells produce just heat and water as a byproduct. Traditional combustion processes are also significantly less energy efficient than these cells.
  3. Unlike battery-powered electric vehicles, fuel cell vehicles do not require charging, and most versions have a range of more than 300 kilometers on a single tank. They’re filled by a nozzle, just like a gasoline or diesel tank.


  1. While FCEVs do not emit greenhouse gases, the process of producing hydrogen does require energy, which is often derived from fossil fuels. This has prompted concerns about hydrogen’s environmental credentials.


  1. There are also concerns about safety, as hydrogen is more explosive than gasoline. The instance of the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg airship in 1937 is used by opponents of the technology.
  2.  However, players in the Japanese auto sector told The Indian Express that a comparison was inappropriate because the majority of the fire was caused by diesel fuel for the airship’s engines and a flammable lacquer covering on the outside.
  3. The hydrogen fuel tanks in FCEVs like the Mirai are built of extremely robust carbon fibre.


Source: The Indian Express

Syllabus: GS 3 (Environment, Infrastructure)

Download Yojna IAS Daily Current Affairs of 17th August 2021

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