Balkan countries eye hydrogen in rush to lower emissions

A shepherd tends to his sheep in Bulqiza, a city with one of the largest chromium reserves in Albania where a large amount of Hydrogen was recently discovered, in Bulqiza, Albania, on March 31. [Reuters]

It never occurred to Baki Bajraktari that the presence of hydrogen in the Bulqize chrome mine where he works in northeastern Albania could be considered good news: a colleague died in an explosion in 2011 when a team hit a gas pocket.

But Bajraktari changed his mind after a study published in the peer-reviewed journal Science in January revealed a reservoir containing between 5,000 and 50,000 tons of hydrogen locked beneath the mine that could eventually help provide an answer to reducing emissions from the region.

"If they manage to get that hydrogen in pipelines that is a big investment and profit for Bulqize and for Albania," Bajraktari said.

As western Balkan countries rush to meet EU emissions targets, they are joining the ranks of nations worldwide looking to exploit the volatile gas.

Hydrogen is produced by electrolyzing water and is considered...

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