Hydrogen: The Fuel of Tomorrow Essay

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People today are always complaining about something, and one popular topic is gasoline prices. The older generations reminisce about a time when gasoline could be bought for a quarter a gallon; a big difference compared to the three to four dollars being paid today. It does not help matters that America depends so heavily on foreign countries for our gasoline supply.1 And with the conflict in the Middle East, gasoline prices are as uncertain as ever; the prices rise and fall at the drop of a hat now-a-days. Because of these reasons, along with global warming, scientists have been experimenting with replacement fuel to take the place of fossil fuel. Some of the characteristics that scientists are looking for are availability and low…show more content…
With some extra precautions, dangers can be avoided.4 Some of hydrogen’s properties that create safety hazards are its tendency to leak, its flammability and ignition, and its compatibility with certain materials.3 Because hydrogen has a low viscosity and a small molecular size, it has a greater tendency to leak.3 Because of these factors, hydrogen will leak nearly 2.8 times quicker than natural gas and 5.1 times quicker than propane based on volume.3 Hydrogen can only combust when an oxidizer and source of ignition are present.3 Although hydrogen has a greater range of flammability in air, that does not necessarily mean it is a greater risk than other fuels.3 In many situations the LFL (lower flammable limit) is more significant; hydrogen’s LFL is comparable to methane’s LFL.3 Some high strength metals when left exposed to hydrogen can cause them to weaken, ultimately leading to failure; the weakening of the metal is known as hydrogen embrittlement.3 While some people would view these factors as reasons to look elsewhere for an alternative fuel, others are trying to find ways to overcome these obstacles. There are several advantages and disadvantages to hydrogen for fuel. One advantage is that because of hydrogen’s size and density, it would store nearly 2.6

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