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Credit: UK-HyRes




hydrogen colours

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Credit: Catch UK




Exploring the Different Types of Hydrogen: A Dive into Industry Standards

In contemporary conversations focussed on renewable energy, hydrogen emerges as a beacon of hope given its vast potential in driving a sustainable future. All is not at streaight-forward as it may at first seem, however.  There are various types of hydrogen, each categorized based on their production methods. Therefore, understanding these distinctions is pivotal for industries, governments, and environmental advocates alike.

According to Statista, the demand for hydrogen globally has soared:

Following the Paris Agreement, and more recently, the COP26, the world is seeking innovative technologies to replace fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Hydrogen has proven to be one such alternative, especially for the transportation sector. Global hydrogen demand totaled 71 million metric tons in 2019, with the refining sector being the major consumer. The IEA forecast that by 2070, total demand could reach over 500 million metric tons, with the transportation sector expected to be the greatest hydrogen consumer.

In light of this, understanding the project-needs for deriving each different type of hydrogen is fundamental to bolstering a strong infrastructure for hydrogen production. When it comes to products, we understand that the availability of pipes, valves and fittings that align with a greener, more sustainable future is absolutely vital.  Hence, IPS now stands at the forefront of stocking and distributing AGRU Kunststofftechnik GmbH hydrogen-ready products that meet industry standards. The hallmark of our operations is an unwavering commitment to quality, a principle we proudly uphold in every facet of our business.

The Spectrum of Hydrogen Production

Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, offers a clean alternative to fossil fuels. However, its environmental footprint is significantly influenced by the production techniques employed – the hydrogen derived is characterised via a specific colour, each of which denotes varying sustainable characteristics. As noted by the National Subsea Centre

While colours are used to distinguish the different types of hydrogen, these terms are also applied to describe the process used to produce hydrogen and the environmental impact associated with its production.

So, let's take a closer look at each.

Grey Hydrogen

Grey hydrogen is the most common form, produced through the process of steam methane reforming (SMR). This method involves reacting natural gas with steam under high temperatures to produce hydrogen, carbon monoxide, and a subsequent water-gas shift reaction that yields more hydrogen and carbon dioxide. National Grid explains that "grey hydrogen is created from natural gas, or methane, using steam methane reformation but without capturing the greenhouse gases made in the process." Thus, the environmental drawback of grey hydrogen lies in the significant emissions of CO2, making it less desirable from a sustainability standpoint.

Blue Hydrogen

Blue hydrogen is produced in a manner similar to grey hydrogen, but with a critical difference: the carbon emissions are captured and stored or reused through carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. As explained by the World Economic Forum,

Hydrogen is labelled blue whenever the carbon generated from steam reforming is captured and stored underground through industrial carbon capture and storage (CSS).

This process significantly reduces the carbon footprint of hydrogen production, positioning blue hydrogen as a transitional solution towards greener alternatives.

Green Hydrogen

Green hydrogen represents the zenith of eco-friendly hydrogen production. It is generated via electrolysis, a process that splits water (H2O) into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity derived from renewable sources such as wind, solar, or hydro. This method emits no greenhouse gases, making green hydrogen a cornerstone in the quest for a sustainable energy future. As bp explains in their article outlining the process of designing hydrogen plants,

The electrolyzers that are used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, can, if powered by renewable energy, produce hydrogen without any greenhouse gas emissions.

UK-HyRES: Hub for Research Challenges in Hydrogen and Alternative Liquid Fuels

Other Colours of the Hydrogen Spectrum

Beyond these primary categories, other types of hydrogen include:

Yellow Hydrogen: Produced through electrolysis like green hydrogen, but specifically using solar power as the electricity source.

Pink (or Red) Hydrogen: Generated by electrolysis powered by nuclear energy, offering a low-carbon alternative, albeit with considerations around nuclear waste.

Turquoise Hydrogen: Created via methane pyrolysis, splitting methane into hydrogen and solid carbon. This innovative method holds potential for a lower environmental impact if the energy used is renewable.


IPS Flow Systems: Championing Quality in Hydrogen Infrastructure

At IPS Flow Systems, our mission transcends mere distribution; we aim to be catalysts in the transition to a hydrogen economy. Recognizing the diverse production methods and their implications, we focus on providing hydrogen-ready products that adhere to the highest industry standards.

Hydrogen-Ready Products: A Mark of Excellence

Our portfolio includes a wide array of products designed to safely handle hydrogen, regardless of its production source. From piping systems engineered for high-pressure applications to valves and fittings crafted for utmost reliability, every product in our range meets stringent quality criteria. This commitment ensures our clients receive solutions that are not only efficient and durable but also aligned with global standards for hydrogen use.

A Focus on Safety and Efficiency

Understanding the unique properties of hydrogen, including its low density and high flammability, underscores the importance of quality and safety in our product offerings. Our team rigorously evaluates each product for compatibility with hydrogen's characteristics, ensuring they can withstand the demands of transport, storage, and utilization in various applications.

Empowering the Green Transition

By aligning our product range with the needs of a burgeoning hydrogen economy, IPS Flow Systems plays a pivotal role in facilitating the energy transition. Our expertise in providing high-quality, hydrogen-ready products empowers industries to adopt cleaner energy practices, paving the way for a more sustainable future. We aim to be the go-to partner for all hydrogen-related projects in the UK and Ireland because, as RPS explains

the role of hydrogen has been reassessed and positioned at the forefront of net zero solutions. An abundant element and clean fuel source, it can provide greener, flexible energy across power, heat, and transport. And, when produced using renewable energy sources, it’s a zero-emission fuel that can be utilised across various sectors, representing a paradigm shift in current energy usage.

We want to change our collective future for the better - for our clients, our colleagues, and for one another.

The Path Forward with Hydrogen

The journey towards a sustainable energy future is multifaceted, with hydrogen playing a central role in this transition. Understanding the different types of hydrogen—grey, blue, green, and beyond—is crucial in recognizing their respective places in our energy landscape. For Linde, "hydrogen is proving to be a key enabler of the transition to low and zero-carbon energy - clean energy, to help meet climate change targets." We agree.


As we navigate this transition, IPS Flow Systems remains dedicated to excellence, offering industry-standard, hydrogen-ready products that epitomize quality from conception through to production. Our commitment not only reflects our dedication to advancing renewable energy solutions, but also underscores the importance of reliability and safety in fostering a sustainable world because, as the North Sea Transition Authority notes,

Hydrogen can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly from industrial sectors which are difficult to decarbonise, and has the potential to provide flexible energy for power, heat and transport.

In essence, the diversity of hydrogen production methods presents both challenges and opportunities. As we strive to reduce our carbon footprint, embracing green hydrogen and innovative technologies becomes imperative. Through quality-driven practices and a focus on sustainable solutions, IPS Flow Systems aims to contribute significantly to this global endeavor, ensuring a cleaner, greener future for generations to come.

We invite you to contact us for any queries related to our hydrogen-ready products, their integration with your existing project, or advice on how to begin integrating them if needs be. We’re here to help and we look forward to hearing from you.












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