Hydrocarbons are the preferred starting materials for the industrial production of hydrogen. Most hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of light hydrocarbons. Partial oxidation of heavy oil and residue is used for the production of H/sub 2/ and synthesis gas in large plants. In both cases gas purification was improved. Hydrogen-rich gases like coke oven gas, refinery-offgas, and offgases from the chemical and petrochemical industry have high potential for becoming a major source of hydrogen. Processes for recovering H/sub 2/ (and by-products) are condensation and rectification at low temperatures and, most attractive and versatile for the production of very pure H/sub 2/, adsorption (PSA). The environmental impact of H/sub 2/ production lies mainly in the emission of CO/sub 2/ and heat. Other forms of pollution can be considerably reduced by conventional methods. The economy of H/sub 2/ production depends essentially on price and availability of the raw materials.