In 2009, geologists discovered a new, previously unknown natural phenomenon: some places on the Earth’s crust were seeping hydrogen gas. Hydrogen is odorless, invisible, tasteless, non-toxic, and, the most important, a very diffusive gas. This may explain why hydrogen in such places was not recognized earlier.
This gas seeps out over very wide areas, which collectively equates to a large amount of gas. Dating of these vents indicated they could have been active over hundreds of thousands of years. In fact, natural flames associated with hydrogen vents are known to have existed for longer than recorded time, one of which is claimed to be the origin of the first Olympic fire.
The obvious question is, “Is it possible to use this source of hydrogen for the energy needs of mankind?”
In 2013, an international team of geologists, chemists and engineers, all having extensive experience in hydrogen research, formed Natural Hydrogen Energy Ltd (NH2E) with the goal of finding an answer to the question. NH2E then began a search for hydrogen vents which encompassed many countries and thousands of soil gas tests, led by the company’s geologist Nikolay Larin. In 2015, NH2E discovered substantial hydrogen flows in many parts of the USA. Dr. Viacheslav Zgonnik, manager of the project, estimated the hydrogen flows to be as much as several metric tons per day, depending on the location.
The market for hydrogen gas is increasing daily, not only for fuel cell vehicles, but also for fertilizer, with anhydrous ammonia made from hydrogen and nitrogen, recently totaling some 160 million metric tons per year. Currently, the most common process used for hydrogen generation requires the decomposition of natural gas (resulting in the release of CO2). This accounts for 5% of US natural gas consumption. There is a real need for cheap, clean and sustainable hydrogen.
Natural (geological) hydrogen is not related to carbon or other emissions. It is also non-fossil. This means that it is a sustainable resource. It can reduce the footprint of the transportation and chemical industry.
Instead of drilling for fossil fuels (and transforming them to H2), NH2E proposes to drill directly for clean hydrogen. It should be noted that there are several examples of hydrogen-producing wells in the world.
Currently, NH2E is seeking like-minded individuals or companies with an interest in joining in a discovery drilling program that may create a new industry with high profits. NH2E has numerous potentially profitable mineral leases in several states and approved drilling permits.
Charles Odendhal, Administrator for NH2E, wrote recently, “There must be millions of active hydrogen vents worldwide and the recovery of such abundant hydrogen should easily replace our dependence on fossil fuels.” He noted that this would also be an industry which would last forever, if the eternal flames from existing hydrogen vents are an indication.
Viacheslav “Slava” Zgonnik
+1 970 317 73 90
+33 650 47 95 92 (Paris time zone)
General Manager, PhD
Natural Hydrogen Energy Ltd.