When we think about fuels, most of us just picture fossil fuels. Most fossil fuels, when used, produce carbon emissions. Hydrogen fuel, however, has no harmful emissions. The only product of hydrogen fuel combustion is water. Combined with the several relatively cheap ways of producing hydrogen fuels, that gives it an edge over any other fuel.
Hydrogen fuels can be used in hydrogen fuel cells or internal combustion engines. Hydrogen fuels have been used to power cars. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles have been in use for several years now.
Hydrogen can also be used to make liquid propellants for rockets. Some internal combustion engines have also been converted to run on hydrogen fuels. This means that hydrogen fuels can be used in cars, buses, trains, boats, and airplanes.
Internal combustion engines’ conversion to hydrogen-fueled engines eliminates the anxiety that fuel will turn out during normal driving.
Advantages Of Hydrogen Fuel
- It is a clean fuel. It has no harmful emissions. This makes it a fuel that is kind to the environment. Continued and extensive use could counter or slow down the effects of global warming.
- It can easily be produced from a variety of sources. Hydrogen can easily be made from methane, gasoline, coal, water, and biomass.
- The production of hydrogen fuels can easily be sustained because they can be made from water, a readily available resource.
- Hydrogen cells can efficiently store energy. The energy that is stored as hydrogen in whatever form is preserved until it is used. This makes it great for use in emergency generators. Normal batteries lose their stored energy with time, but hydrogen cells do not.
- Hydrogen fuel cells are flexible to install and operate.
- Hydrogen is easily renewable. This means that a hydrogen fuel source is virtual without a limit.
Disadvantages Of Hydrogen Fuel
- It is costly. Hydrogen generation is expensive because of the process it takes to separate hydrogen from other elements. The process takes a lot of time.
- The storage and transport of hydrogen are complex. Other fuels, e.g., petroleum, can easily be transported by pipelines and trucks, but it has to be pressurized into a compressed gaseous form or a liquified form for hydrogen. This makes transporting hydrogen a costly endeavor.
- Most of the existing infrastructure is built to handle petroleum-based fuels. The infrastructure to support the distribution and use of hydrogen fuels is thinly spread. Replacing the current infrastructure would be costly, and that makes it harder to replace. Cars also need t to be re-engineered to use hydrogen fuels effectively.
- It is flammable. Hydrogen is a very powerful fuel. With this power comes a great risk of burning. In the past, there have been several disasters that remind us just how dangerous the use of hydrogen can be.
Uses Of Hydrogen
- Hydrogen fuel cells can be used as a backup power source for generators.
- Can be used to power any device that uses batteries.
- Can be used to power motor vehicles.
Because of its efficiency, hydrogen fuel’s popularity is growing. Maybe it will get to a point where it will completely replace fossil fuels, but that remains to be seen. Who knows? Maybe as we advance technologically, we will embrace it fully.
Article by Salah M. Al for Epistle News.