McGill Alert / Alerte de McGill

Updated: Thu, 07/18/2024 - 18:12

Gradual reopening continues on downtown campus. See Campus Public Safety website for details.

La réouverture graduelle du campus du centre-ville se poursuit. Complément d'information : Direction de la protection et de la prévention.


Expert: A new gold rush? The search for natural hydrogen in Canada 

Published: 26 February 2024

After helping to discover the world's first deposit of natural hydrogen in West Africa, which kick-started a search for the buried gas around the world, Denis Brière hopes his next breakthrough will be in Canada. Brière is a petrophysicist and vice-president of Calgary-based Chapman Hydrogen and Petroleum Engineering, which plans to begin testing and drilling in northern Ontario this summer in the hopes of finding enough hydrogen underground to produce and market the gas. (CBC

Here is an expert from McGill University who can provide comment on this topic: 

Sylvain Coulombe, Director, McGill Centre for Innovation in Storage and Conversion of Energy 

"In the 'clean' energy context, hydrogen is usually seen as an energy vector that allows for the storage and transportation of electricity in a different way. The good thing is that Canada has vast expertise in drilling and exploiting underground gas deposits. That said, there are many issues with hydrogen that will not go away, regardless of its colour—be it white, blue, green, or grey. It's very complicated and expensive to store and transport hydrogen. For this reason, most believe that hydrogen needs to be produced at the point of use. For instance, near a refinery, a steelmaking plant, or, futuristically, at a car fueling station. Unless the underground gas deposit is located near such a user, it may not be economically appealing." 

Sylvain Coulombe is a Full Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Director of the McGill Centre for Innovation in Storage and Conversion of Energy (McISCE). His research focuses on chemical process electrification via plasma technologies, including H2 production and the enhancement of circular fuels for improved storage and transportability.

sylvain.coulombe [at] (English, French) 

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