Hydrogen, As a Fuel for the Automotive Industry:.
Hydrogen being the most abundant element in the universe has been around since the beginning of time, yet scientists and engineers are only recently discovering its potential as a fuel for automobiles. "Hydrogen is the latest in a long line of alternative fuels considered by automakers: Electricity, methanol, and natural gas among them." (Legon 2) Gasoline has been the predominant choice of fuel for powering automobiles since Henry Ford's first production vehicle, the Model T, rolled off the assembly line. The production and distribution of petroleum has turned into a major industrial market, but the consequences of using gasoline are starting to be recognized with the depletion of the ozone layer in our atmosphere. Hydrogen is a better choice of fuel than gasoline to power automobiles because hydrogen burns cleanly to produce water vapor, has 2.8 times the power of gasoline per unit of volume, and is an everlasting substance.
The most important issue concerning the world's environment is preservation. Even religious leaders are being concerned with this growing issue of pollution. "A group of religious leaders came to the Motor City with a proposition for the U.S. automakers: Start producing vehicles that are kinder to gods creation and we will urge the faithful to buy them." (Porretto 3D) pollution produced from internal combustion engines powered by petroleum-based fuels. These engines "emit significant amounts of air pollutants, air toxins, and carbon dioxide. The health effects of these pollutants range from headaches to serious respiratory damage such as lung cancer" (Kushnir 12). Luckily, gasoline is not our only choice of fuel. Research of hydrogen has been occurring ever since the beginning of the 15th century when "Paracelsus noted that when iron reacts with sulfuric acid, "an air arises which bursts forth like the wind"" (McAlister 165).