I guess for many people the term Hydrogen Economy brings directly to mind the fuel cell which generates electricity through reverse electrolysis reaction of water. In fact this is so but not exactly.
The Hydrogen Economy may be based initially to the combustion of hydrogen gas within the existing internal combustion engines without any problem. It’s incredible but true.
All machines in the world right now which are using gasoline as fuel may also work equally well with hydrogen without requiring conversion.
All you need is to create a supply of hydrogen to the engine and nothing else.
Cars, motorcycles, chainsaws, generators and anything else that uses gasoline can work with hydrogen.
The only disadvantage of hydrogen gas is its large volume in relation to liquid fuels and thus its storage in tanks require more space.
Of course, technology today can solve many problems and so even this disadvantage of hydrogen can be solved by storing it chemically as a component of hydrides.
In this field, research is conducted with key carriers of hydrogen the lithium hydride, lithium aluminium hydride, sodium borohydride and ammonia borane.
On the other hand, hydrogen can be produced by electrolysis of water via electricity from renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal energy making it a free fuel.
That would certainly require massive simultaneous development of hydrogen production stations worldwide, a fact that in recent years gets increasingly important.
Anyway, we’re talking about a very revolutionary trend in the energy sector not only because the fuel could be free everywhere in the world through renewable energy sources, but because it may be applied also to any machine that has internal combustion engine.
Furthermore, it is a clear trend because the engine exhaust is water vapor in this case and some nitrogen oxides, but in very small quantities compared to the nitrogen oxides from gasoline exhaust.
It is not unlikely in the near future for people to produce as much hydrogen needed for their car to their backyard through photovoltaic arrays or a wind generator or a combination of these two systems.
As it seems, we face an energy revolution and it is a matter of time to see it comes in in our lives for good.
At present, hydrogen production for the needs of humanity is covered almost entirely by natural gas in which hydrogen is a byproduct and only very small quantities of hydrogen derived by water electrolysis.