Building a hydrogen bridge to a clean-energy future

Los Alamos collaborates on energy transition issues with the state of New Mexico and beyond

June 22, 2023

2023 06 22

In a June 19 column in the Albuquerque Journal, Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Duncan McBranch breaks down the components of a future where fuel-cell electric trucks and a clean electric grid could transform New Mexico.

What’s the bridge? Hydrogen from natural gas. McBranch explains:

"New Mexico has abundant natural gas, plus the perfect geological formations to sequester carbon near the source of production. By storing carbon underground, often using existing wells, hydrogen producers can leverage generous federal tax credits for carbon capture, boosting cost effectiveness. Producers can also sell CO2 for industrial use, such as making concrete or supplying farms that produce net-zero biofuels. Producing hydrogen near sources of demand minimizes the need for transport, the biggest cost barrier to widespread adoption today. This will also minimize methane leakage, a key priority for New Mexico."

McBranch is program director for Mission Innovation at the Lab. Los Alamos collaborates on energy transition issues with the Department of Energy fuel-cell consortia, the state of New Mexico, states in the Intermountain West, local municipalities and the Western Interstate Hydrogen Hub. The Lab also leads the six-state I-WEST collaborative to partner with communities in mapping a path to a zero-carbon future with regional prosperity and energy jobs.

Read the full column