Hydrogen and the race to net zero
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Hydrogen has long been touted as a potential wonder gas that could play a significant role in our race to net zero. Now, planning permission has been granted for the UK’s largest production hub of its kind, and one of the most advanced in the world. Located in Cheshire, it bills itself as a vital piece of Northwest England’s mission to help manufacturers in the region decarbonise their processes and support UK jobs. We speak to chemical engineer and the plant’s site manager, Richard Holden, and we also catch up with Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials and Society at University College London, about hydrogen and our future energy economy. Almost 25 years ago, Dr Marc Lammers stumbled across a mystery. The humpback whale singing he was recording via an underwater microphone near the shore was quieter during the day than at night. But he wasn’t able to answer why. Many years later, a PhD student, Anke Kuegler, joined his research team and took on the task of uncovering what was really going on. Using multiple ways of listening to and tracking the whales, she found out that the singing humpbacks were moving off-shore during the day, and closer to shore at night. Part of the mystery was solved, but it raised an even bigger question: what is driving this behaviour? Plus, a recent study has shown that terrestrial hermit crabs around the world are using non-organic materials, like plastic bottle caps, as their homes. Professor Marta Szulkin and her team at the University of Warsaw looked through social media photographs and videos (known as iEcology, or Internet Ecology) to find evidence for this new behaviour. Marta has theories about why the crabs are doing this, but it will take many years of research to uncover the long-term effects on hermit crab populations and their evolutionary trajectory. And, resident materials expert, Mark Miodownik, chats to Viv about what we can, and cannot, solve about the global plastic emergency. Presenter: Victoria Gill Producers: Florian Bohr, Louise Orchard Editor: Martin Smith Production Co-ordinator: Jana Bennett-Holesworth  BBC Inside Science is produced in collaboration with the Open University.
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