The Green Autos

Distant Future of Hydrogen

Posted on April 13, 2010 in Electric Vehicle


The presence of Hydrogen in this earth is very much important. This chemical element comprises 75 percent of the elemental mass of the Universe. As Hydrogen is highly available in the planet, scientists are now researching to make a Hydrogen powered vehicles. Well, as per the scientists, Hydrogen can be used in two ways – either by burning it through hydrogen internal combustion engine that is generally a customized gasoline engine or through its use in a fuel cell.

The plan of making a hydrogen-powered vehicle is a great idea, but this plan lacks behind because of many challenges that the scientists are still trying to overcome. By contrasting from the traditional engine, a fuel cell never burn fuel. In fact, it has some of the moving parts. A chemical reaction took place inside the fuel cell, which changes the fuel’s chemical energy into the electricity. Fuel cells are something that seems little like the batteries except one drawback, that we never charge them. Just to keep the battery functioning, all we do is the give a continuous contribution of fuel.

This fuel, when comes in automobiles, it is only the hydrogen. Working hard on making a way for hydrogen in the vehicles is because it is more proficient as compared to the combustion engines and the gas-electric hybrid powertrains. According to the report presented by the recent National Academies of Science, the fuel cell vehicles should receive 2.4 times the fuel competence of the conservative gasoline vehicles. By using this method, vehicle like Toyota Camry can achieve some 65 miles in single gallon with 39 mpg. Using hydrogen, the shortage of fuel can be stabilized.

To make this work, the new technology will be extremely costlier, and the major question arises is on the fuel cells’ reliability, performance, and durability under many different circumstances. Along with this, the storage of hydrogen inside the automobile makes the prime technical dispute. Within a small quantity of space, the liquid fuels such as the gasoline covers a big area. Whereas, Hydrogen is a gas and in order to store it, it will need large room in a vehicle. Whatever, be the challenges, only thing that arises is the incorporation of hydrogen to run the vehicles. For instance, to get the equal sum of energy, obtained by a gallon of gasoline, from hydrogen, you’d need large storage room like a small room. The big cars will have problem to have hydrogen as fuel.

There is one way to store hydrogen and i.e. by pressurizing hydrogen in a container but still pressurized hydrogen doesn’t give out enough energy to move a vehicle.

Hydrogen’s Distant Future

There is one more problem which needs to be rethought, that is fuel distribution infrastructure. According to DOE, there are very limited numbers of gas station around US. And in addition, the hydrogen based cars will have problem refueling it as its very difficult to store onboard or in other traditional distributor means like rail cars and tankers trucks.

One benefit of Hydrogen is it can be refueled at home by natural gas reformers or electrolyzers, so in future it will be easy for the consumers to refill anytime and anywhere. But until and unless, the distribution infrastructure is not set up, many people wont buy it. And in order to build infrastructure for hydrogen distribution, it will be expensive as well as time consuming. But the fact is which cannot be denied hydrogen powered cars no one will buy until proper distribution is set up.

Hydrogen as fuel in motors has great future. Though, in reality it doesn’t exit, at present we need to have it for green and clean future. It is a solution for future, and we shouldn’t focus completely on hydrogen on the cost of other solutions that can be executed at present.



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