How Much Hydrogen Is Produced in the United States?

About 9 million metric tons of hydrogen are produced in the United States annually, enough to power 20-30 million cars or 5-8 million homes. Most of this hydrogen is produced in three states: California, Louisiana, and Texas.

Steam Reforming Is a Widely-Used Method of Hydrogen Production

Steam reforming is currently the least expensive method of producing hydrogen and accounts for about 95% of the hydrogen produced in the United States. This method is used in industries to separate hydrogen atoms from carbon atoms in methane (CH4). But the steam reforming process results in greenhouse gas emissions that are linked with global warming.

Most Hydrogen Is Used in Refining, Treating Metals, and Processing Foods

Nearly all of hydrogen consumed in the United States is used by industry for refining, treating metals, and processing foods.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the primary user of hydrogen as an energy fuel; it has used hydrogen for years in the space program. Liquid hydrogen fuel lifts NASA's space shuttles into orbit. Hydrogen batteries, called fuel cells, power the shuttle's electrical systems. The only by-product is pure water, which the crew uses as drinking water.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells Produce Electricity

Hydrogen fuel cells make electricity. They are very efficient, but expensive to build. Small fuel cells can power electric cars. Large fuel cells can provide electricity in remote places with no power lines.

Because of the high cost to build fuel cells, large hydrogen power plants won't be built for a while. However, fuel cells are being used in some places as a source of emergency power, from hospitals to wilderness locations.

Portable fuel cells are being sold to provide longer power for laptop computers, cell phones, and military applications.

Hydrogen Use in Vehicles

Today, there are more than 300 hydrogen-fueled vehicles in the United States. Most of these vehicles are buses and automobiles powered by electric motors. They store hydrogen gas or liquid on board and convert the hydrogen into electricity for the motor using a fuel cell. Only a few of these vehicles burn the hydrogen directly (producing almost no pollution).

The present cost of fuel cell vehicles greatly exceeds that of conventional vehicles in large part due to the expense of producing fuel cells.

Eco Global Fuels production of Hydrogen is cheaper and cleaner than the Steam Reformation process and cheaper than current forms of electrolysis