Hydrogen as an Alternative Fuel Essays

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Hydrogen as an Alternative Fuel What is Hydrogen? The simplest and lightest fuel is hydrogen gas (H2). Hydrogen is in a gaseous state at atmospheric pressure and ambient temperatures. Hydrogen is being explored for use in combustion engines and fuel cell electric vehicles. On a volumetric basis, the energy density of hydrogen is very low under ambient conditions. This presents greater transportation and storage hurdles than for liquid fuels. Storage systems being developed include compressed hydrogen, liquid hydrogen, and physical or chemical bonding between hydrogen and a storage material (for example, metal hydrides).The ability to create hydrogen from a variety of resources and its…show more content…
Hydrogen burns in air at concentrations in the range of 4 to 75 percent by volume (methane burns at 5.3 to 15 percent concentrations by volume). The highest burning temperature of hydrogen is 2,318 degrees Celsius and is reached at 29-percent concentration by volume in air. Hydrogen Benefits Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions Greenhouse gases are thought to be responsible for changes in global climate. They trap excess heat from the sun's infrared radiation that would otherwise escape into space, much like a greenhouse is used to trap heat. When we drive our cars, and light, heat, and cool our homes, we generate greenhouse gases. But if we used hydrogen in very high efficiency fuel cells for our transportation and to generate power, we could significantly reduce the GHG emissions - especially if the hydrogen is produced using renewable resources, nuclear power, or clean fossil technologies. Reduce Air Pollution The combustion of fossil fuels by electric power plants, vehicles, and other sources is responsible for most of the smog and harmful particulates in the air. Fuel cells powered by pure hydrogen emit no harmful pollutants. Fuel cells that use a reformer to convert fuels such as natural gas, methanol, or gasoline to hydrogen do emit small amounts of air

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