Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Hydrogen is an energy carrier in the same manner as
electricity. It can be produced from renewables as well as
from fossil sources by a number of production methods.
Hydrogen can be stored and reconverted to electricity for
stationary use or utilised as fuel in the transport sector.
One third of the greenhouse gases which affect the global
climate are caused by motor traffic. Using hydrogen as
fuel in the transport sector can greatly reduce these
emissions and help meet the Kyoto commitments.

Myths (and Realities!) About Hydrogen Fuel

Mankind has known of and studied hydrogen
for over 300 years, and applied it to vehicles for
over 200--first in balloons and dirigibles, then
as high-performance rocket fuel, by military,
civil, and commercial organizations. More
recently, multiple navies have tested and
deployed hydrogen-containing submarines.
This is in addition to chemical and nuclear
applications, and most likely consumer
electronics in the near future. With fuel cost
and availability worsening, and concerns that
greenhouse gases produced by fossil fuel use
are driving climate change, hydrogen has been
promoted by some in government and industry
as the ultimate widely-available and pollution-
free fuel for private automobiles as well. Using
fuel-cell technologies, such automobiles are
claimed to exhaust nothing but water;
hydrogen can also fuel conventional but
modified piston engines.But the devil is in the details. Many of the
technical hurdles and shortcomings are usually
left out of the conversation. The very claim
that hydrogen is abundant and pollution-free is
a matter of interpretation. Issues of sourcing
and manufacture, as well as practical
distribution and handling, haven't been as
visible in the debate, while fears of
Hindenburg-style disasters have gotten more
traction than the evidence would suggest. In
addition, fuel cells can use many other fuels
besides hydrogen, including gasoline; the
future of cars, with electric and hybrid cars also
in contention, is far more complicated than the
average driver has been led to believe.

Hydrogen Analysis Resource Center

The Hydrogen Analysis Resource Center provides well-documented, reliable data to be used for hydrogen-related analytical activities. These data can serve as the basis for calculations, modeling, and other analytical activities. Data can be accessed from databases housed in the site itself as well as through links to important websites such as those maintained by the Energy Information Administration (EIA), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Programs, other U.S. Government Agencies, and non-government websites. The search feature of the site allows the user to seamlessly search available data, independent of whether the data are from internal or external sources. The website also provides guidelines and a set of assumptions for use in Hydrogen Program analysis projects (these assumptions will be updated annually). In addition, the website contains several calculator tools that do useful conversions and other simple calculations relevant to hydrogen and fuel cells and links to websites housing more sophisticated analysis tools such as the H2A website, the GREET website, and others.