Fuel face-off: Comparing hydrogen fuel to petrol

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10 Jan 2024

Green Choices: Hydrogen or Petrol?

Most cars across the globe have been mostly fuelled by either diesel or petrol, the commonest form of car fuel types. However, the increasing environmental consciousness has resorted the car-makers to resort to alternative fuels, to reduce the carbon footprint and maintain a healthy ecological balance. Such research has evolved several eco-friendly fuel options, including hydrogen fuel. Irrespective of the fuel variant that your car uses, you must ensure to maintain car insurance if you own a car. Car insurance from Kotak General Insurance can save your day in this regard.

Comparison between Hydrogen fuel vs petrol

Petrol

By this time, we are all aware of the fact that petrol is a non-renewable fossil fuel, prepared from crude petroleum. It is a finite resource. Petrol contains substances, by cracking those crude oil factions utilising hefty energy.

Hydrogen

You can manufacture hydrogen comparatively easily, utilising several methods, including:

  • Reaction of natural gas and methane with steam

  • Crude oil fraction cracking since hydrogen is obtained as a by-product of the procedure

  • Performing water electrolysis

Among these procedures, obtaining hydrogen from crude oil or natural gas does not offer any specific advantage over petrol, since methane is another non-renewable fossil fuel similar to petrol. It is also a finite energy source.

Combustion products

Petrol

Petrol-fuelled cars tend to combust incompletely producing particles of carbon in the form of soot and smoke, along with toxic carbon monoxide gas.

Petrol combustion leads to the production of toxic carbon dioxide gas. It is a poisonous greenhouse gas. Excessive production of carbon dioxide has been directly linked with global climate alterations and global warming.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen tends to provide the necessary fuel for hydrogen-oxygen fuel cells present in cars. However, this can even be utilised in certain other internal combustion engines that are usually available in petrol cars. However, you must note that hydrogen appears only as a combustion product.

It must be mentioned in this context that the procedure of water electrolysis has tremendous amounts of electrical energy. If the electricity gets generated from authentic renewable resources like wind and sunlight then the hydrogen formed becomes renewable. However, the majority of electricity produced worldwide is derived from either oil, coal, or natural gas. If hydrogen is produced like this, it will be a non-renewable form of gas.

Fuel comparison between Hydrogen and Petrol

This tabular comparative study among fuels will establish the differences better:

POINT OF HIGHLIGHT

HYDROGEN

PETROL

EASE OF IGNITION

Highly inflammable and gets easily ignited

Highly inflammable and easily gets ignited

RELEASE OF THE AMOUNT OF ENERGY PER KG OF THE FUEL USED

142

46

STATE AT NORMAL PRESSURE AND ROOM TEMPERATURE

Gas

Liquid

PRICE

Cheaper than petrol production

Comparatively expensive

Conclusion

This article effectively highlights the major differences between hydrogen and petrol as automobile fuel. Several vehicle manufacturers and other industrial service-providing companies are trying to implement the recent hydrogen fuel technique into several running truck models and other types of haulage vehicles.

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Team Kotak GIC

The content of this blog has been created and carefully reviewed by the esteemed team at Kotak General Insurance, with the sole purpose of providing valuable guidance and sharing insights on the importance of general insurance. Our objective is to assist users in making informed decisions when purchasing or renewing insurance policies for their cars, bikes, and health. Our expertly curated information aims to empower our readers with the knowledge they need to protect their valuable assets and financial interests.