HYDROGEN - THE POWER SURCE OF THE FUTURE.
Since the beginning of the scientific revolution in the early nineties the mankind looks for an energy source that is clean and renewable; solution of this problem would be probably the most common thing in our life - WATER. .
Water consists of two chemical elements, hydrogen and oxygen. Each molecule of water consists of two hydrogen (H2) atoms and one oxygen (O) atom. Chemical binding between these three atoms is very stable and strong. Therefore, the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen is under normal circumstances very intense and generates a lot of energy. .
2H2 + O2 ® 2H2O + energy.
Both, hydrogen and oxygen are gases at normal temperatures and pressures and the product of this reaction is pure water, usually in its gaseous form - steam. .
Now it may look like hydrogen is the ideal power source that mankind is ever since looking for. More than 70 % of the Earth surface is covered by water, therefore hydrogen is renewable and unlimited. Reaction of hydrogen with oxygen generates a lot of energy and it does not have any negative output, only water. But, the respectable power hidden in water is known for more than 200 hundred years and as long scientists are trying to find a way to extract this energy, rather how to split the water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen can be used to power cars, rail engines, airplanes, to produce electricity and heat. But, although the technical breakthrough in 19th and 20th century brought hydrogen into experimental use in many applications, there are still many problems to deal with. .
There sure is a lot of misinformation about hydrogen gone to public, so here are the basic facts about hydrogen as a power source according to the Nuts & Volts Magazine (May 1999, WWW). .
Hydrogen on earth is not a fuel. It is only an energy carrier. Following the definition of the word fuel, fuel is a substance that is capable of delivering new energy when burning or other chemical reaction occurs.