Published the 26/07/2023

Blue gold has never been so aptly named, as access to water resources has become increasingly precious over the years.

Drought has become one of the most striking features of global warming, and it is only getting worse every year, affecting every country in the world, causing devastating fires, reduced harvests and a depletion of the water tables that give us access to drinking water.

We need only look at the state of many rivers, 63% of which saw their flow diminish in 2022, to realize the extent of the situation.

According to the European Copernicus program, the summer of 2022 was the hottest ever recorded in Europe. Average temperatures were the highest for both August and the whole summer, exceeding those of 2021 by 0.4°C, which was already a record year.

As a producer of renewable hydrogen from water electrolysis, the issue of access to this resource has been fully integrated since the very founding of the company.

Today, to produce two tonnes of hydrogen per day, it is necessary to consume 30 m3 of water, i.e. around 10,000 m3 per year. A figure which may seem small compared with the 5.75 billion m3 withdrawn each year in France, but in relation to the world’s need for hydrogen, it represents a real challenge which we do not want and do not wish to neglect.

That’s why, taking into account the fact that water will be an essential element in supporting the decarbonization of our society through the production of green hydrogen, we are already designing solutions that will enable us to meet this important challenge.

Our first production site in Bouin has been designed to consume seawater directly, which we desalinate before using it to produce hydrogen.

For our production sites further inland, which have no access to seawater, we are working, for example, on the possibility of reusing wastewater to produce green hydrogen. As part of the Water Plan announced by the French President, the use of wastewater has been authorized in several cases. In concrete terms, for example, we are in discussions with players close to our future projects to recover water from their landfill sites. This water, once treated, will be used to supply our sites as a priority, enabling us to avoid using mains water.

Finally, Lhyfe’s vision doesn’t stop there, as we’re already designing the future of green hydrogen production, which will be at sea, where it will be possible to take advantage of more powerful wind turbines and, above all, abundant water resources. We have just commissioned the first floating platform for green hydrogen production off Le Croisic, directly connected to a floating wind turbine. This technological and human feat is the first step towards a second, larger project, this time off the coast of Belgium, with a 10 MW production unit due for commissioning in 2026.

Lhyfe’s thinking goes even further: since we produce not only hydrogen but also oxygen, our teams are already thinking about the possibility of reinjecting the oxygen produced directly into the oceans, thereby promoting their reoxygenation and combating the acidification caused by global warming. To find out more, click here!

Making the world a more breathable place for future generations is the mission that Lhyfe has set itself since its creation.

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