Hydrogen Fuel
Hydrogen Fuel Advantages
Hydrogen Fuel Algae
Hydrogen Fuel Artificial Photosynthesis
Hydrogen Fuel Disadvantages
Hydrogen Fuel Electrolysis of Water
Hydrogen Fuel Natural Gas
Hydrogen Fuel Production
Hydrogen Fuel Renewable Energy
Hydrogen Fuel Sources


Hydrogen Fuel

The use of hydrogen as a fuel source is the basic principle behind the idea of a "hydrogen economy". The term itself was first used by John Bockris during a presentation at the General Motors Technical Center in 1970.

hydrogen fuel
Proponents of this system suggest that hydrogen can be used as a fuel source for land and water vehicles, as well as an energy source for buildings and portable electronic devices.

One of the more compelling benefits of using hydrogen as a fuel source is that it can replace the use of fossil fuel. It is now widely acknowledged that fossil fuel when used in internal combustion engines and turbines is largely responsible for channeling greenhouse gases and various other pollutants into the air. With the use of hydrogen as a fuel source for such engines, it is expected that these emissions would be greatly reduced.

Another advantage of hydrogen as a fuel source is that it can be used in fuel cells as well. Such cells produce energy more efficiently than internal combustion engines…at least in theory. In actual practice, fuel cells are more costly to manufacture than conventional engines, although the introduction of new technologies and production methods are making them less expensive to build.

The hydrogen economy is not without its own drawbacks to be sure, with its detractors pointing to the fact that it requires about 2.5 times as much energy to produce a hydrogen fuel cell as it produces in its lifespan.

Virtually all fuel cells can be adapted to use pure hydrogen, while some will work only with hydrocarbon fuels. In any case, it is expected that such cells can be used by large power plants when fuel cell production becomes more cost-effective.

Hydrogen gas as a fuel source can be classified into two categories: technical grade and commercial grade. Technical grade is virtually pure, and this makes it ideally suited for use in fuel cells, since the presence of impurities may cause a reduction in the lifespan of these cells. Commercial grade hydrogen on the other hand, contains carbon and sulfur, making them better suited to less-demanding applications.

The concept of the hydrogen economy was initially focused on the use of fuel cells as an energy source for electric cars. While hydrogen fuel cells provide less energy relative to their weight, they do provide considerably more energy than conventional batteries that use other fuel sources.

This makes fuel cells more efficient than internal combustion engines, and they have the further benefit of releasing virtually zero emissions into the air. With the inevitable rise in cost of hydrocarbon fuels-a trend that we are already seeing today-hydrogen-based fuel cells will become a much more economically viable alterative.

And with the various issues associated with the continued use of hydrocarbon fuels-their rapidly dwindling supply and atmospheric emissions being some of the more pressing ones-hydrogen-based fuel cells may just prove to be the most viable energy sources for the future.

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