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Sensing hydrogen transitions in homes through social practices: cooking, heating, and the decomposition of demand

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Matthew Scott, Dr Gareth Powells



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Hydrogen is increasingly being positioned as an essential part of low-carbon transitions. While the role of hydrogen in decarbonising industrial processes and transportation has received growing attention in recent years, very little research has focused on hydrogen as a fuel for homes. This paper uses theories of social practice to illustrate how the physical and chemical properties of hydrogen may disrupt domestic practices of cooking and heating. It focuses on one specific characteristic of hydrogen, that it burns with a near-invisible flame, and reports on a research project that investigated how one hundred people in the North East of England believed this would change their sensorially mediated social practices of heating and cooking. Participants imagined their practices of cooking would be severely disrupted while their practices of heating would be largely unaffected. The paper concludes by summarising the implications of the research for policy, industry, and researchers interested in hydrogen transitions; that these two key home domestic practices have potentially different transition pathways.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Scott M, Powells G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Hydrogen Energy

Year: 2020

Volume: 45

Issue: 7

Pages: 3870-3882

Print publication date: 07/02/2020

Online publication date: 06/01/2020

Acceptance date: 04/12/2019

Date deposited: 04/12/2019

ISSN (print): 0360-3199

ISSN (electronic): 1879-3487

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijhydene.2019.12.025


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