Using Hydrogen as a Fuel Alternative

As gas prices keep going ever higher many people have started looking for alternative ways to save money on fuel.  Driving less, electric cars, commuting and many other even more unconventional methods are being used. There are a lot of new fuels that are being developed and a few of them have even hit the market although they’re still rather scarce. One of the most interesting, and slightly controversial, is the use of Hydrogen. Yes, that hydrogen

Now we know what a lot of you, especially our more mature readers who may have heard about it in their history class, are probably thinking ‘Hey, isn’t that the same stuff that made that big airship crash and burn a few years back?’  Well, yes, hydrogen was the cause of the Hindenburg disaster but in reality it’s actually very safe and is used to fuel 2 different types of cars that are making their way onto the streets.

One is a specific type of fuel-cell vehicle and the other is an internal combustion engine, similar to the one in your car right now, that’s been made to use hydrogen instead of gasoline. Both are amazing, technology-wise, and will probably be used more and more as time goes by and gas prices go up. Both are in testing phases as we speak.

The fuel cell version uses hydrogen to generate electricity that is in turn used to power the car’s electric motors. This has the benefit of using not only the hydrogen but the electricity it produces to make the car run, and even better the only by-product is water vapor.  The combustion engine type uses hydrogen instead of gas just like a regular engine but, just like the fuel cell car, again the only by-product is water vapor and not harmful CO2.

Many of the world’s top car manufacturers are now testing hydrogen powered vehicles. Honda’s FCX Clarity is actually on the road and being leased in southern California while the more famous BMW Hydrogen 7 has been leased to a few people in Germany and the US. One of the interesting findings from testing these 2 vehicles is that they have been shown to actually clean the air around them when their engines are running!

The infrastructure for using hydrogen vehicles on a large scale is not in place yet but, as gas runs low and prices keep going ever higher, you can bet that the market for this abundant and clean energy source will be continue to grow.

 

 

Comments

  1. Bit slow on this one obviously but I’d not heard about this until stumbling across your site and this post! Sounds like a brilliant new clean technology. Have you got any further reading sources you’d care to share? In particular I was wondering if there has been any research done into the question of “what if all cars burnt hydrogen”. I’m sure they have (or maybe even there is a simple answer) but I can’t help thinking it sounds too good to be true. Surely there would be some environmental effects of burning so much hydrogen?

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