Experts: Green hydrogen

Published: 8 April 2024

AtkinsRéalis, formerly known as SNC-Lavalin, says it has been awarded the engineering contract for the Projet Mauricie green hydrogen hub in Quebec. The development is the latest milestone for the $4-billion Mauricie project, which is being developed by TESCanada H2 Inc. The company is proposing to build a "green hydrogen" production plant in the Mauricie region of Quebec, between Montreal and Quebec City, that will be powered exclusively by renewable electricity. (Canadian Press)

Here are some experts from McGill University who can comment on this issue:

Sarah Jordaan, Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering and Trottier Institute of Sustainability in Engineering and Design

"Hydrogen is produced mostly using fossil fuels.  The potential of hydrogen to contribute to the energy transition and to decarbonization is in hard-to-abate sectors, where reducing emissions will be either extremely costly or the technology to do so is currently lacking. To optimize this contribution, current hydrogen production needs to be decarbonized, renewable based hydrogen production should be prioritized where feasible, and potential infrastructure leaks will need to be managed as hydrogen is recognized to have secondary global warming impacts."

Sarah Jordaan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering and the Trottier Institute of Sustainability in Engineering and Design. Her research quantifies the environmental and economic trade-offs related to energy decisions and determines solutions for decarbonizing the electric and transportation sectors while supporting other sustainable development goals.

sarah.jordaan [at] (English, French)

Sarah Jordaan will be taking part in an upcoming panel discussion to explore the role and potential of green hydrogen in Canada's decarbonization strategy.

Green Hydrogen: avoiding pitfalls to unlock its potential for Canadian industries

Date: April 10, 2024 | Time: 3:00 PM | Location: The McGill Faculty Club: 3450 McTavish Street | Free Event hosted by the Trottier Family Foundation and TISED

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. 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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