Description: Symbol H. Gaseous
hydrogen is 14-times lighter than air,
colorless, odorless, tasteless and reactive gaseous element. The atomic number
of hydrogen is 1. The element is usually classed in group 1 (or Ia) of the
periodic table. In combination with oxygen, hydrogen is water, H2O, in combination with carbon you have hydrocarbons
Where it comes from / How itís made:
To make hydrogen available for use as a fuel, energy is required to
separate it from other elements. Solar energy is an ideal energy source for
separating hydrogen from other elements. Hydrogen
is prepared in the laboratory by the action of dilute acid on metals, like zinc,
and by the electrolysis of water. Large quantities of Hydrogen gas are produced
industrially from various fuel gases. Hydrogen is separated from water,
gasoline, natural gas, sewage and coal gas either by liquefaction of the other
components of the gas or by catalytic conversion.
Background /Common uses: Free hydrogen is found only in very small traces in
the atmosphere, but solar and stellar spectra show that it is abundant in the
sun and other stars, and is, in fact, the most common element in the universe.
Hydrogen is already used to produce countless products and to enhance many
industrial processes. The U.S. produces 100 billion cubic feet per year of
hydrogen for industry and for the space program. The largest user of hydrogen is
the petroleum industry for converting crude oil into gasoline and hundreds of
chemicals. Sometimes used in welding torches for welding or cutting metals.
Advantages - vs. - fossil fuels:
Hydrogen is non toxic. Engines using hydrogen will last much longer and start
faster in any weather. Hydrogen is the only fuel whose production and end use
can both contribute directly to eliminating many of our environmental, economic,
and health problems. If liquid hydrogen is spilled it will very rapidly
evaporate, leaving no pollution or toxic residue. Unlike LP gas,
Hydrogen rises to the top of an indoor environment instead of the settling at
the floor level. Clean engine exhaust is probably the best of all the
of production and cost of storage. Flammability hazard. Oxygen depletion.
Future use: Fuel
cells. Internal combustion engines. Using small portions of the global land
area, we can manufacture enough Solar-Hydrogen to supply the entire energy
requirement of the planet. Solar Hydrogen could make entire nations fuel-independent
and pollution free for as long as there is sunshine and water. High altitude
aircraft / space planes can be catapulted to supersonic speeds at the edge of
Earthís atmosphere by injecting hydrogen and oxygen into the jet exhaust.
Transportation / Vehicles: Almost all internal combustion engines in existing automobiles and
aircraft could be economically converted to burn hydrogen fuel and then emit
virtually no hydrocarbons, particulates, carbon dioxide, or carbon monoxide. The
only significant air pollutant emitted by a hydrogen-fueled vehicle is nitrogen
oxide. Because hydrogen vehicles emit little or no carbon dioxide, they are viewed as an
especially attractive option for reducing global warming trends.
Hydrogen powered vehicles
are still in the research stage and are not generally available. Hydrogen could
be cost competitive at 75 cents per gallon equivalent of gasoline. This estimate
is based upon large-scale extraction of hydrogen from biomass and other waste
materials and / or solar
thermal extraction techniques utilizing large parabolic solar concentrators
called Gensets. Solar Dish Gensets hold the world efficiency record for
converting solar energy to electricity.
Hydrogen fuel cells utilize
the energy of a reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, which is converted
directly and continuously into electrical energy, like a re-fuelable battery,
for electric vehicle propulsion. Hydrogen may be the best way to power future
Electric Vehicles and existing vehicles that have internal combustion engines.