[Climate Change News} Image copyright PA Image caption Gas can be mixed with hydrogen for a greener mix A tiny stimulate in the UK’s hydrogen revolution has actually been lit– at a university campus near Stoke-on-Trent. Hydrogen fuel is a reasonably green alternative to alternatives that produce greenhouse gases.The natural gas supply at Keele University is being mixed with 20%hydrogen in a trial that’s of national significance.Adding the hydrogen will decrease the amount of CO2 that’s being produced through heating and cooking.Critics fear hydrogen will prove too pricey for mass use, but advocates of the innovation have high hopes. Using gas for heating produces about a 3rd of the UK emissions that are driving international warming.But the only item of burning hydrogen is water.How does it work?As a fuel, hydrogen functions in similar method as natural gas. Personnel in the university canteen state cooking on the 20%hydrogen blend has made no difference to their cooking regime.The task– known as HyDeploy – is the UK’s very first live trial of hydrogen in a modern gas network. Keele was selected due to the fact that it has a personal gas system.Its hydrogen is produced in an electrolyser – a device that divides water (H2O) into its constituents: hydrogen and oxygen. The maker is located in a glossy green shipping container in the corner of the university’s sports field.The gas distribution company Cadent, which is leading the job, says that if a 20%blend were to be rolled out across Britain, it would lower emissions of CO2 by 6 million tonnes – equivalent to taking 2.5 million cars and trucks off the roadway. The hydrogen might be produced pollution-free by using surplus wind power during the night to split water molecules using electrolysis.Why not add more than 20%hydrogen?The 20%proportion was chosen due to the fact that it’s an optimum mix that won’t affect gas pipes and appliances.Currently, the UK has only little supplies of hydrogen, but the firm says increasing production would provide a quick method of cutting emissions from heating.Consultant engineer Ed Syson informed BBC News: “The prize is a large one. If we were to roll this system out across the UK it would be on broadly the exact same scale as offshore wind is today. It’s a considerable technology.”What’s more, it makes those carbon cost savings without having consumers change their behaviour in any way.”The length of time prior to we see 100%hydrogen boilers?Some boiler manufacturers are already producing model boilers that use 100%hydrogen. Worcester Bosch, for instance, has a “hydrogen-ready” style. It can run on natural gas, but it’s capable of transforming to 100%hydrogen following a one-hour visit by an engineer. The firm wants the government to state that by 2025, all new boilers on sale should be hydrogen-ready. It states this would permit households to switch painlessly to clean boilers when existing boilers reach completion of their lives. The additional expense of the hydrogen-ready boiler would have to do with ₤50, it says. Image copyright Reuters Image caption Hydrogen could be produced using surplus energy from renewables How clean is hydrogen?Hydrogen can be produced from water through electrolysis, or from natural gas.Electrolysis from surplus renewable energy is unambiguously advantageous for the environment– but it’s not really efficient. For the foreseeable future it might be less expensive to produce hydrogen from gas. Nevertheless, CO2 is released in the industrial procedure used to create hydrogen.The resulting CO2 would need to be recorded and stored underground with carbon capture and storage (CCS) – an innovation not yet established at scale.Is the hydrogen revolution inevitable?About 85%of houses have gas central heating, and some experts think it will show more economical to switch boilers to hydrogen, rather than to install heatpump which would need the UK’s aging housing stock to be extremely insulated.A recent study for the government raised the possibility that homes might be warmed by a hybrid system utilizing electrical heat pumps, then topping up with hydrogen on cold days. Significant drawbacks to hydrogen are cost and availability. The expenses are much higher than for natural gas, although the differential will certainly diminish as carbon taxes raise the rate of burning gas to combat climate change over coming decades.The ecological think tank E3G said in a statement: “Going for hydrogen entails massive infrastructure expenditure. In a lot of cases the extra expenses make it look unattractive compared with options (like renewables). Richard Black from the Energy and Environment Intelligence System (ECIU) told BBC News: “We will and ought to have hydrogen in the mix of energy choices, but it’s not a wonder solution to whatever, which you often think from the rhetoric. There is hope– but too much hype.” In the corner of a sports field in Keele, the container of hope has just provided enough hydrogen to cook 20%of Christmas dinners.Follow Roger on Twitter.