About green hydrogen

HyCC realizes and operates large-scale facilities to produce green hydrogen for industrial customers. This is done by splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen with electricity from renewable sources, in a process called water electrolysis. 

Our hydrogen can be used as a sustainable alternative for fossil fuels for aviation of shipping, and to reduce CO2 emissions from industries such as steel, chemicals, or fertilizer production. 

Frequently Asked Questions about green hydrogen

Hydrogen (H2) is the most common element in the universe and is found everywhere around us. At normal room temperature and pressure, it is a colorless and odorless gas. Hydrogen can be produced from natural gas, this is called ‘grey hydrogen’. Production of grey hydrogen results in CO2 emissions. Hydrogen can also be made from water, using renewable electricity. This is called ‘green’ or ‘renewable’ hydrogen, because this process does not result in any emissions of CO2 or other greenhouse gases. The only byproduct is oxygen.

Hydrogen will play a key role in reducing emissions. 

Current global demand for hydrogen is more than 90 million per year (iea.org). This is mainly in large oil refineries to desulphurize fuels (40%) and to make ammonia (30%), which is used to make fertilizer. In the future, green hydrogen will also be used to enable zero-emission transport, to produce sustainable fuels for aviation and to reduce CO2 emissions from heavy industry. For example, hydrogen can be used to produce steel without the use of coal and without CO2 and other harmful emissions.


As a rule of thumb, 1 kg of green hydrogen can help reduce about 10 kg of CO2 emissions. In practice, exact savings vary per application. When green hydrogen is used to replace the existing use of grey hydrogen from natural gas, this saves about 7 to 9 kg of CO2 per kg of hydrogen. When used to make steel, the same kilogram of hydrogen can help save up to 20 kg of CO2 emissions.

Renewable electricity production, including from solar and wind power, is growing quickly around the world. And green hydrogen factories can support this growth in two ways.

First, the availability of wind and solar varies greatly over time, causing ‘swings’ in supply which can disturb electricity grids. Green hydrogen factories can help balance this, by automatically producing more when there is a lot of wind and sun and producing less hydrogen when electricity is scarce.

Second, hydrogen can be used to store energy for long times. On days with a lot of sun or wind, the excess power can be used to produce hydrogen. This hydrogen can then be converted back to electricity if there is a shortage of power in winter.  

Electricity is great for cars, residential heating and many other applications. However, not everything can be electrified. For example, airplanes and deep-sea ships will still rely on fuel to make long trips, since batteries are too heavy and do not provide enough energy. Many industries also need hydrogen to reach high temperatures or produce raw materials such as fertilizer without any CO2 emissions.

Hydrogen is clean and safe to handle. Unlike natural gas, hydrogen quickly disperses into the air in case of a leak. At the same time, hydrogen does easily ignite; so as with any fuel, it is important to take adequate safety precautions. 

HyCC brings more than 100 years of experience in the chemical industry, which applies some of the most stringent safety requirements. All our factories are designed and operated according to our very high safety standards, which ensure that hydrogen and oxygen do not mix, limit any risks of leakage, and limit on-site storage of hydrogen. 

Green hydrogen still cost more to produce than grey hydrogen, but the price of green hydrogen is expected to fall as technology develops and factories are increasing in size, resulting in economies of scale (see also: “5 reasons why green hydrogen will cost less than fossil alternatives in the future”). More importantly, production of green hydrogen does not result in any CO2 emissions and does not depend on the import of fossil fuels.

Current production of green hydrogen has an energy efficiency of about 70%. The remaining 30% of the electricity is converted into heat. Part of this can be used for other purposes, for example to heat residential neighborhoods or greenhouses. 

But this is just part of the story, as a lot of hydrogen will be produced using excess electricity from wind and solar power, which would otherwise be wasted.