I am talking about hydrogen because currently it is not widely used but has the potential to become a fuel replacement for our future. Hydrogen is simply the lightest colorless element that covers 75% of the universe and is the basis of many industrial uses, especially as a fuel source. Take a walk down memory lane into your science classroom where we learned that hydrogen combined with oxygen equals water (H2O). We consume hydrogen every day with the water and food we eat.
As crude oil continues to rise in price and alternative energy such as solar and wind is commonly understood, why is hydrogen not being discussed as a practical source? I believe this will change as more uses of hydrogen become popular before large hydrogen power plants are built in the U.S. Globally, the growth rate for hydrogen production is around 10% per year with China being the largest user of hydroelectricity, then Canada, then Brazil and finally the U.S. Fuel cells (hydrogen batteries) are mainly used now as a source of power for electric cars, industrial forklifts and as an emergency power source in hospitals. Honda and Toyota have hydrogen cars with hydrogen fuel stations located in California. This is a good start but we still have infrastructure obstacles with storage and transportation if we are to use hydrogen as a fuel replacement.
Hydrogen must be produced from another substance in order to produce energy. Hydrogen combined with oxygen converts to water which reforms to steam and carried out in the air evolving into energy is one method. Advantages of hydrogen energy are plentiful. It produces no emissions while being produced from renewable resources. However, hydrogen today is being processed by fossil fuels (around 48% of global production coming from natural gas) which negate the no emissions benefit. This needs to be changed.
The cost to accomplish a hydrogen economy is large but we know the renewable process works so I will continue to write about hydrogen and during my research hopefully others will assist with the demand to make hydrogen more efficient.