Hydrogen production, storage, utilisation and environmental impacts: a review

Ahmed I. Osman*, Neha Mehta, Ahmed M. Elgarahy, Mahmoud Hefny, Amer Al-Hinai, Ala’a H. Al-Muhtaseb, David W. Rooney

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

141 Citations (Scopus)


Dihydrogen (H2), commonly named ‘hydrogen’, is increasingly recognised as a clean and reliable energy vector for decarbonisation and defossilisation by various sectors. The global hydrogen demand is projected to increase from 70 million tonnes in 2019 to 120 million tonnes by 2024. Hydrogen development should also meet the seventh goal of ‘affordable and clean energy’ of the United Nations. Here we review hydrogen production and life cycle analysis, hydrogen geological storage and hydrogen utilisation. Hydrogen is produced by water electrolysis, steam methane reforming, methane pyrolysis and coal gasification. We compare the environmental impact of hydrogen production routes by life cycle analysis. Hydrogen is used in power systems, transportation, hydrocarbon and ammonia production, and metallugical industries. Overall, combining electrolysis-generated hydrogen with hydrogen storage in underground porous media such as geological reservoirs and salt caverns is well suited for shifting excess off-peak energy to meet dispatchable on-peak demand.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-188
Number of pages36
JournalEnvironmental Chemistry Letters
Issue number1
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Climate change
  • Hydrogen production
  • Hydrogen storage
  • Hydrogen utilisation
  • Life cycle assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry


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