Cool Facts about Hydrogen
- Hydrogen gas = 61,493 BTU per pound versus 20,900 BTU’s per pound of gasoline about four times more than gasoline.
- Hydrogen and electricity are complimentary and one can be easily converted into the other.
- Hydrogen can be stored as a gas, liquid, or part of a metal polymer called a liquid hydride.
- One third of capital costs of conventional fossil fuel power plants are because of pollution control systems.
Hydrogen is an energy carrier, not an energy source. Energy is required to separate it from other compounds. Once produced, hydrogen stores energy until it is delivered in a usable form, such as hydrogen gas delivered into a fuel cell.
Hydrogen can be produced from diverse, domestic resources including fossil fuels, nuclear energy, biomass, and other renewable energy technologies. The environmental impact and energy efficiency of hydrogen depends greatly on how it is produced.
Hydrogen as an Alternative Fuel
The interest in hydrogen as an alternative transportation fuel stems from its clean-burning qualities, its potential for domestic production, and the fuel cell vehicle’s potential for high efficiency (two to three times more efficient than gasoline vehicles).
The energy in 2.2 lb (1 kg) of hydrogen gas is about the same as the energy in 1 gallon of gasoline.
Is hydrogen safe?
- Hydrogen is as safe if not safer than conventional fuels on the market today.
- Hydrogen has been in mass production and transportation for over fifty years in the United States. Experience has shown that hydrogen can be safely produced and transported.
- Ford examined the issue under contract to DOE, and concluded: “Overall, we judge the safety of a hydrogen FCV system to be potentially better than the demonstrated safety record of gasoline or propane, and equal to or better than that of natural gas.” (Ford 1997)
- A Norwegian study in 2002 reached a similar conclusion: “There are no technical or safety barriers that prevent the use of hydrogen for fuel in the transportation sector or as a medium for the storage and transportation of energy. It is possible to manufacture and utilize hydrogen just as safely as with today’s gasoline systems.” (Bellona, p. 15)
- The U.S. used hydrogen as a residential fuel in the last century and it still is used in half a million homes in Japan today.