Global Market Insights on Merchant Hydrogen- Trends and Opportunities to 2025

Merchant Hydrogen Market

Merchant hydrogen form a key entity in the hydrogen production and distribution to end-use industries. In recent times that are characterized by mounting global greenhouse gas (GHC) emissions and its impacts on climate change, the merchant hydrogen market is expected to make rapid inroads in the energy sector. Hydrogen has emerged as an incredible avenue for all proponents who concertedly aim at fighting off climate change. The reason for this is that hydrogen merchants are likely to intensify their efforts to bridge the gap in renewables energy production and the need. Over the years, the drive for producing renewable power has become stronger in a bid to meet low-carbon energy demands. The climate change perspective will be a key factor propelling the strides in the merchant hydrogen market. New contours will develop in response to the demand for hydrogen in various industries.

Hydrogen production will be vital for players in the transport industry looking to adopt power that can has help them decarbonize the sector. However, unarguably, the share of the overall demand is low. In coming years, the merchant hydrogen market is expected to take it in a big way. Rise in demand for low-carbon fuels will be a key trend for economies in the developed as well as developing economies.

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Abundantly available, Hydrogen as fuel is a dream come true but requires separation from its compounds, it can also be produced in a lab, is odorless and colorless. Besides, when being used as a fuel, it emits very low levels of fumes. And, it can deliver power using heat and fuell cell technology.

Moreover, its use in a variety of industries will fuel its growth over the forecast period of 2017 to 2025. Thereby, charting a steady CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), global merchant hydrogen market will generate lucrative opportunities of growth for the market players. Some of the most prominent names in the global merchant hydrogen market landscape include Air Liquide SA, Linde AG, Praxair Inc., Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Airgas Inc., and Hydrogenics Corp, among many others.

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Some of the factors that will drive growth into the global merchant hydrogen market are spelled out below:

  • Rise in population will lead to increase in need for energy. As per a United Nations study, in next 30 years, world population will increase by 2 billion. And, by 2050, it will be to a 9.7 billion. This means demands for energy, agricultural fertilizer, pharmaceutical and power utilities. As demand for clean fuel generation risers, so would grow the market for merchant hydrogen fuel would increase considerably. This will also see a boost owing to hustle to move away from fossil fuels as the have an adverse effect on environment and the awareness regarding the same is increasing substantially.
  • Use in Pharmaceuticals will also add to demand in merchant hydrogen market. The players in the indurty of pharmaceuticals are looking at an increase in incidence of chronic diseases, CVD, diabetes and eye related disorders and this would make major demands on the industry, thereby, creating demands on merchant hydrogen market.

Hydrogen is found in abundance around the world and can be utilized as a fuel source after it is separated from different chemical compounds. Hydrogen is generally found in the gaseous form, and it is colorless and odorless in nature. It is insoluble in water and can be produced by a series of chemical processes in the laboratory. Hydrogen gas is generally produced by electrolysis of water. It can also be produced through a chemical reaction between diluted acids and iron or zinc. Commercial production of hydrogen gas includes a two-step process. In first step, hydrogen and carbon monoxide are produced by combustion of natural gas with steam. The second step involves the conversion of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide through water-gas reaction. The converted carbon dioxide is then removed through the selective washing process. Hydrogen gas has a number of potential applications due to its high energy-weight ratio and ultra-low emissions during the time of usage. Hydrogen gas for industrial and chemical operations is produced through a variety of chemical reactions and energy sources. The produced hydrogen gas can further utilized to deliver power in combined heat power and fuel cell technologies.

Hydrogen is an important chemical feedstock that has been used for several decades in many chemical and refining operations. And owing to its application in clean energy production, it is viewed as a potential fuel source for future energy production. Merchant hydrogen gas is the amount of hydrogen gas that is traded around the globe for different chemical and energy applications. Hydrogen gas can be segmented into captive hydrogen and merchant hydrogen. The selling price of merchant hydrogen gas is high as it requires additional energy for compression, purification, storage, and transportation to end-users. Hydrogen gas is commercially produced through steam methane reforming, partial oxidation of coal, electrolysis of water, and thermochemical reactions in fuel cells. Storage and transportation of the merchant hydrogen requires high capital expenditure. It is transported using high pressure cylinders. Some of the hydrogen gas is also transported through pipeline networks. Most refineries and petrochemical companies receive merchant hydrogen through pipelines directly from the hydrogen producers. Merchant hydrogen gas for the purpose of trading can be stored using different modes such as glass microspheres, cryoadsorption, encapsulation, metal hydrides, and chemically bound hydrogen.

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Petroleum refineries require most of the hydrogen gas for ammonia production, followed by petroleum refining, and desulfurization. The merchant hydrogen gas market is expected to be driven by emphasis on clean energy production, rise in energy demand, increase in cost of fossil fuels, higher demand from petroleum refineries, and a rise in use of hydrogen in the food and beverage industry. Major restraints that can hamper the merchant hydrogen market are high cost of storage and transportation and safety concerns. North America is one of the dominant regions for merchant hydrogen production followed by Europe and Asia-Pacific. Demand for merchant hydrogen in Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow in the near future owing to growing demand of hydrogen gas from the food and beverage, petrochemical, petroleum refining, metallurgy, and power utility industries in the region.

Leading players in the merchant hydrogen market include Air Liquide SA, Linde AG, Praxair Inc., Air Products & Chemicals Inc., Airgas Inc., and Hydrogenics Corp.

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