UPDATED 1 Sept: The EI library in London is temporarily closed to the public, as a precautionary measure in light of the ongoing COVID-19 situation. The Knowledge Service will still be answering email queries via email , or via live chats during working hours (09:15-17:00 GMT). Our e-library is always open for members here: eLibrary , for full-text access to over 200 e-books and millions of articles. Thank you for your patience.
New Energy World magazine logo
New Energy World magazine logo
ISSN 2753-7757 (Online)

Bright sparks: Plasma potential for green hydrogen production


6 min read

Close up of two plasma torches producing bright white 'flame' against dark backdrop Photo: Tetronics
Spark of inspiration: Researchers at Tetronics use twin plasma torches to assess the potential of this novel application for green hydrogen production

Photo: Tetronics

Research is underway to create an efficient, competitive way to produce green hydrogen with low environmental impact. Peter Keeley-Lopez, Senior Process Applications Engineer at Tetronics, suggests that plasma technology offers an exciting solution with great potential.

There’s a greater sense of urgency than ever to find more sustainable, secure, cost effective and ethical ways to source and store energy. As we look to replace fossil fuels, renewable sources like solar, wind, hydro, tidal and hydrogen have taken centre stage.  


For some time, hydrogen has been seen as a key part of the solution. After all, it is the most abundant chemical element and accounts for around 75% of the mass of the universe. While hydrogen atoms are found in water, plants, animals and natural gas, it rarely exists on its own as a gas. It needs some form of extraction process to produce sufficient quantities to fuel industry, vehicles or homes.


Most processes used to manufacture hydrogen involve some level of carbon – in terms of both input and output. This has given rise to the idea of the ‘hydrogen rainbow’ which uses a colour code to differentiate the different manufacturing methods by their carbon intensity. At the current count there are at least 10 shades in an increasingly crowded rainbow, but the three that most people will be familiar with are a more muted palette of grey, blue and green.


This content is for EI members only.
or join us as an EI Member to read all our Feature articles and receive exclusive EI perks from as little as £6 a month.