As our hunt for the nirvana of natural hydrogen gains momentum, more is being learned about this important phenomenon.
Most of it is very encouraging to our exploration play in South Australia, and some of the latest discussions should be a huge reassurance to investors and those most concerned about climate change and moving to a low-carbon emissions world.
More research is required for leading scientists to fully understand how natural hydrogen is created, but there are increasing signs that the gas in the ground regenerates naturally, thus is renewable, and that process is quite quick. It would be another massive advantage over fossil fuels.
The CSIRO was engaged by Gold Hydrogen on conception of our project, to help us further develop our understanding of natural hydrogen, and their recent discussions with the quarterly science magazine Cosmos show how positive things look.
“We are starting to find quite a few clues showing that this hydrogen is renewable. Some of the hydrogen we are sampling at the surface can have formed just a few days or even a couple of hours before,” Dr Ema Frery told Cosmos.
The theories on how gold hydrogen is produced include water and ferrous rocks combining to form it as a byproduct, or the radioactive decay of underground uranium and thorium which naturally occur in certain mineral deposits.
Abandoned mining site in New Caledonia. Image courtesy of Energy Observer Productions.
“This is really different from the known hydrocarbon systems,” Dr Frery told Cosmos. “If you have the right source rocks (and we have plenty in Australia) and some water, you may keep forming hydrogen.”
Those views, specifically from our target areas in the southern Yorke and Eyre Peninsulas, are matched by international findings.
The Energy Observer project, a French floating energy test laboratory, is one of the most definitive.
“Unlike fossil fuel stocks that require millions of years to form, natural hydrogen is created continuously, with a timeframe for renewal that is about the length of a human life,” its website said after a visit to New Caledonia, where natural hydrogen has been found.
“Natural hydrogen, with its continuous production and short retention period, should thus be considered as a flux rather than a stock. A very dynamic system that could expand our use of hydrogen today, where this precious gas could be seen as a source of energy and not only as a vector of energy.”
All in all, it gives the team at Gold Hydrogen even more belief that our drill testing program for South Australia, due to start later this year, is on the right track.