Hydrogen Powered Vehicles

Hydrogen fueled cars are highly regarded as a green alternative to conventional gasoline fueled cars. Environmental health is a primary concern for the modern world. The deteriorating quality of the environment and concerns with global warming have made mankind search for safe and renewable natural resources that can be used for the benefit of the future.

Hydrogen Powered Vehicles

Gasoline fueled vehicles are considered to be one of the largest contributors to air pollution. They do not just release harmful gases but emit dangerous heavy metal particles leading to increased levels of lung cancer and respiratory problems.

Unfortunately, global economies rely on the transportation of goods and people so preventing mankind from immediately ceasing to use vehicles that pollute the atmosphere.

What then is the solution to the problem?

We can certainly look for better energy alternatives and minimize the causes of air pollution. Scientists have spent years researching ways to find alternatives to gasoline fueled vehicles. Hydrogen fueled vehicles are high on the list of alternative fueled transportation.

What are the pros and cons of Hydrogen Powered Vehicles?

Fossil fuels are a finite resource and they are a major contributor to greenhouse gases and global warming. In the 20th and 21st Centuries, there has been an increasing dependency on fossil fuels until very recently. The following lists the benefits of hydrogen.

Alternative Fuel Usage

The Universe is made up of about 75% hydrogen. However, the availability of pure hydrogen on the surface of the earth is somewhat limited. Several methods can be used for the production of pure hydrogen.

You can produce Hydrogen through the following processes:

In 1970, the word hydrogen-economy was coined by John Bockris. The term refers to a future when all vehicles will be using hydrogen as a fuel. A significant step in the direction of realizing a hydrogen-economy is in the development of the hydrogen fuel cell that generates electricity using hydrogen as a fuel source.

Why should we push for hydrogen technology? Is it better than fossil fuel? What are the economics of a hydrogen-fuelled economy and is it sustainable?

Here’s a quick look at the future Hydrogen economy

Zero Pollution

Hydrogen fuel cells are non-polluting and burning hydrogen produces only water as a product of its combustion. Hydrogen fueled combustion engines produce two by-products:

  • Water

  • Heat

Conversion of all the vehicles on the road to hydrogen fuel or to electric hydrogen fuel cells will eliminate pollution from road vehicles and make a significant contribution to reducing global warming.

Conventional internal combustion engines fueled by gasoline or diesel produce many harmful by-products:

  • Water

  • CO2

  • NOx

  • SOx

  • Carbon

Particulate carbon contributes to lung cancer and asthma. Moreover, increasing levels of CO2 contribute to global warming that can cause severe climate change and damage to our planet.

Is a Hydrogen Economy Sustainable?

If the hydrogen economy is going to provide a future free from pollution and fossil fuel dependency, it has to be sustainable. That is, it must keep up with:

  • increased population growth

  • increased usage of energy-hungry technologies

  • geopolitics and changes in attitude towards the environment

  • the welfare needs of future generations

It is estimated that the world’s energy needs will double by 2050. It is quite unlikely that the diminishing supplies of fossil fuels can meet this demand. Thus, the provision for new sustainable energy resources is crucial.

Advantages of Hydrogen Fueled Cars

Let’s explore some of the advantages of hydrogen-fueled cars:

  • Hydrogen fueled cars are eco-friendly and do not pose a threat to the environment

  • No need to worry about hydrogen depletion

  • 90 - 95% of the energy generated by a hydrogen fuel cell gets transformed into electrical energy, thus increasing energy efficiency across the world

  • Can be readily used for the large and long haul vehicles

  • Limits air pollution to zero

Disadvantages of Hydrogen Fueled Cars

Let’s now explore some of the disadvantages of hydrogen-fueled cars:

  • Currently, the cost incurred in preparing hydrogen fuel cells is quite high but this is reducing as improvements in the technology are realized.

  • Damage to fuel cells is expensive to repair and replacement costs are high. This makes fuel cell maintenance quite expensive.

  • Storage is a problem as hydrogen is extremely flammable and potentially explosive.

  • Hydrogen fueled cars have reduced levels of acceleration and speed when compared with a conventionally fueled vehicle

Wrapping Up

The concept of hydrogen cars is comparatively new for most people. Research and development are in progress to eliminate the disadvantages and increase the advantages of hydrogen-fueled vehicles. Let’s look forward to this technology and contribute towards making this planet a healthier place to live in!

*This article is shared by Premier Plates, UK for information purposes only.