Hydrogen: No Super Fuel of the Future

Optimistic studies on the use of hydrogen as a fuel usually fail, for example, to take into account the storage costs associated with a highly compressed gaseous fuel.

Published: 06-Jun-2005

In an era of growing concern over the security of our energy supplies, federal and provincial governments are funding development of alternative sources of energy.
This seems to be taking place without sufficient regard for the underlying scientific and economic constraints that govern likely success.

A case in point is the so-called "hydrogen economy." This seductive concept idealizes clean power, a virtuous cycle of hydrogen from water, energy from hydrogen, and clean water as the only byproduct. Unfortunately, hydrogen is too expensive to become a useful fuel in our modern world.

Of the two main methods for producing hydrogen, steam reformation of methane/natural gas and electrolysis of water, steam reformation is easily the cheapest. Reforming natural gas requires the natural gas feedstock, but also uses additional natural gas as fuel to create the steam that is integral to the process.


LA couple lease Honda FCX fuel cell car in a grandiose experiment to demonstrate feasibility of the technology, except the local fire department won't let them use the hydrogen home refueling station Honda installed.

The eP-Ice Bear ice resurfacer is ideal for indoor use due to its zero-emissions powertrain that produces only water as a byproduct.

Controlled Hydrogen Fleet and Infrastructure Demonstration and Validation Project will include two other field test sites in California.


blog comments powered by Disqus