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Hydrogen as a Fuel Source

            "Hydrogen is America's clean energy choice. Hydrogen is flexible, affordable, safe, domestically produced, and is used in all sectors of the economy and in all regions of the country" (uscar.org). Hydrogen has a potential of becoming a fuel source of the future. There are three major resources that produce hydrogen gas: natural gas, water, and methanol. USCAR reports that hydrogen fueled cars are up to 70% more efficient than their gasoline counterparts. Not only is the transportation industry spending money on researching hydrogen as an alternate fuel because of its efficiency but also the inevitable depletion of oil. Furthermore, not only is hydrogen more efficient but it is safe for our environment. The product of hydrogen and oxygen is water which is not harmful like the fumes given off by gasoline. The hydrogen car is a Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV). Although NASA's space program uses hydrogen as fuel on their spacecrafts, it is not yet safe for vehicle use as of this moment because there are problems.
             There exist three major problems for hydrogen as a major fuel source for cars: cost of production, storage, and transport. The cost of highly purified hydrogen is an obstacle. Fuel cells require hydrogen that is "99.999 percent pure", which today costs about "$15 to $22 per kilogram" (uscar.org). The cost of production must be cut into half before attempting to market this to the public. Many companies are in the process of the development of advanced steam methane reforming technologies which will cut the production cost. Moreover, hydrogen is highly flammable and there is an explosion risk similar to that of gasoline. Hydrogen displaces air, which means explosiveness is a serious risk because of the concentration. Next, there is a problem with storage and transportation of hydrogen. Hydrogen must be kept in liquid form because the pressure of the gas would not give practical gas mileage.

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