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Hydrogen as fuel.doc

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Hydrogen (H2) is being aggressively explored as a fuel for passenger vehicles. It can be used in fuel cells to power electric motors or burned in internal combustion engines (ICEs). It is an environmentally friendly fuel that has the potential to dramatically reduce our dependence on imported oil, but several significant challenges must be overcome before it can be widely used. Benefits Produced Domestically. Hydrogen can be produced domestically from several sources, reducing our dependence on
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  Hydrogen (H 2 ) is being aggressively explored as a fuel for passenger vehicles. It can be used in fuel cells to power electric motors or burned in internal combustion engines (ICEs).It is an environmentally friendly fuel that has the potential to dramatically reduce our dependence on imported oil but several significant challenges must be overcome before it can be widely used. Benefts Produced Domestically.  Hydrogen can be produced domestically from several sources reducing our dependence on petroleum imports. Environmentally Friendly.  Hydrogen produces no air pollutants or greenhouse gases when used in fuel cells! it produces only nitrogen oxides ( #x) when burned in ICEs. Challenges Fuel Cost & Availability.  Hydrogen is currently expensive to produce and is only available at a handful of locations mostly in California. Vehicle Cost & Availability.  $uel cell vehicles are currently far too expensive for most consumers to afford and they are only available to a few demonstration fleets. Onboard Fuel Storage.  Hydrogen contains much less energy than gasoline or diesel on a  per%volume basis ma&ing it difficult for hydrogen vehicles to go as far as gasoline vehicles   between fillups'about  miles. *echnology is improving but the onboard hydrogen storage systems do not yet meet si+e weight and cost goals for commerciali+ation.,everal challenges technical and otherwise must  be overcome before fuel cell vehicles ($C-s) will  be a successful competitive alternative for consumers. Onboard Hydrogen Storage ,ome $C-s store enough hydrogen to travel as far as gasoline vehicles between fill%ups' about  miles'but the storage systems are still too large heavy and expensive.$C-s are more efficient than conventional cars and hydrogen contains three times more energy per weight   than gasoline does. However hydrogen gas contains only a third of the energy per volume  gasoline does ma&ing it difficult to store enough hydrogen to go as far as a gasoline vehicle on a full tan&'at least within si+e weight and cost constraints.Hydrogen can be stored in three basic ways ã As a gas in high-ressure tan!s.  Current $C- designs use high%pressure (/% to 0%psi) tan&s to store hydrogen. *hese systems are largeheavy and costly but they are the most cost%effective solution in the near term. ã As a li uid at sub-#ero temeratures $-%'(F).  ,ince hydrogen is densest as a li1uid this method allows more hydrogen storage than gaseous high%pressure storage  but costs  times more and suffers from safety and performance issues. i1uid storage isn3t li&ely to be commercially viable for more than a decade. ã *aterials-based storage.  Hydrogen can be stored inside solid materials through absorption adsorption and chemical reactions. 4aterials%based systems have the  potential to be small and lightweight and may prove to be the best solution in the longterm. However they are still in the early stages of development. Vehicle Cost  $C-s are currently too expensive to compete with hybrids and conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles. 4anufacturers must bring down production costs especially the costs of the fuel cell stac& and hydrogen storage.  $uel cell system costs have decreased significantly over the past several years but are still nearly twice as high as those for internal combustion engines.i&ewise onboard hydrogen storage costs are currently 50/65078&9h for high%pressure gaseous storage while the commerciali+ation target is 528&9h. *here is potential to reduce this cost using lower%cost carbon fiber tan&s or materials%based storage technologies such as metal hydrides. Getting Hydrogen to Consumers *he extensive system used to deliver gasoline from refineries to local filling stations cannot  be used for hydrogen. ew facilities and systems must be constructed for producing transporting and dispensing hydrogen to consumers. Competition with Other Technologies 4anufacturers are still improving the efficiency of gasoline% and diesel%powered engines hybrids are gaining popularity and advances in battery technology are ma&ing plug%in hybrids and electric vehicles more attractive. $C-s will have to offer consumers a viable alternative especially in terms of performance durability and cost to survive in this ultra%competitive mar&et. Saety  Hydrogen li&e any fuel has safety ris&s and must be handled with caution. 9e are familiar with gasoline but handling compressed hydrogen will be new to most of us. *herefore developers must optimi+e new fuel storage and delivery systems for safe everyday use and consumers must become familiar with hydrogen3s properties and ris&s. Public cceptance $inally fuel cell technology must be embraced by consumers before its benefits can be reali+ed. Consumers may have concerns about the dependability and safety of these vehicles  :ust as they did with hybrids.
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