Routes to hydrogen production

Brown, grey, blue and green hydrogen production

The source of feedstock for hydrogen determines its ‘colour’ in popular discussion.

  • Brown and grey hydrogen production processes both use fossil fuel feedstocks (coal gasification for brown, natural gas reforming for grey) and therefore generate and release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
  • Blue hydrogen is also produced from natural gas, but incorporates carbon capture to avoid the carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis of water, where the energy must come from renewable sources. This requires significant amounts of energy but does not emit carbon dioxide.

It's clear that brown and grey hydrogen won't be sustainable solutions for the longer term. Most hydrogen produced globally today is grey hydrogen, using steam methane reforming.

For hydrogen to play a role in the energy transition, its production must produce very little or zero greenhouse gas emissions. JM already provides the leading catalysts for the manufacture of grey hydrogen and is the technology provider for the largest steam methane reforming plants in the world, which today are required for the production of methanol and ammonia. Our world-leading expertise in syngas and derivatives, with technology proven at scale, mean we can help customers to produce blue hydrogen. We understand the technical and operational challenges associated with this enterprise, and have the experience and depth of technical expertise to support our customers from project development and delivery through to start-up, and throughout a plant’s operational life.

Read about a project that leading the way in low carbon hydrogen production

The HyNet project

Our hydrogen offer

A leader in hydrogen activities for decades, our experience cuts across numerous parts of the hydrogen value chain, including market leading hydrogen production catalysts and processes, components for hydrogen fuel cells and new technologies for low carbon hydrogen production.