Hydrogen Energy

What is Hydrogen Energy?

Hydrogen, the first element in the periodic table, is the simplest and most abundant chemical element in our universe— and the lightest one known to exist. Aproximately 90 percent of the universe is composed of hydrogen. It is the power source that fuels the Sun and its oxide forms the oceans that cover three quarters of our planet. In its pure gaseous form, hydrogen is odorless, colorless, tasteless, highly flammable, but not poisonous.

Many experts believe that hydrogen could be used as a fuel source to provide energy to the world. In order for this to happen, the gas must be in its pure form. This is problematic because hydrogen bonds (connects or attaches) relatively easily to other elements. In fact, it does not occur as a gas in nature but rather is found in combination with other elements. For example, hydrogen combines with oxygen to form water. Because water is so common, most methods to produce hydrogen gas focus on extracting it from water.

The Hydrogen Economy

The term hydrogen economy has been coined to describe a system in which hydrogen is produced from renewable energy and used in place of hydrocarbon fuels. Electricity and hydrogen would be the two interchangeable energy currencies in an energy system based on renewable energy...

Processes for Producing Hydrogen

There are several methods by which hydrogen can be produced, including electrolysis and steam reforming. Both methods are explained here and pros and cons of each discussed.

Hydrogen production limitations

Hydrogen is bound up in chemical compounds with other elements, so it has to be produced from other hydrogen-containing sources using the input of primary energy such as electricity or heat. The the hydrogen economy is clearly unsustainable with current extraction methods.

Hydrogen Fuel Cells

Fuel cells produce electrical energy through electrochemical processes, without combusting fuel and generating pollution of the environment. Hydrogen fuel cells operate by mixing hydrogen and oxygen to produce water and electricity...

Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMs)

In a PEM fuel cell, hydrogen fuel is combined with oxygen from air to produce electrical energy. The conversion process is environmentally safe – only heat and water are emitted as by-products...

Transporting Hydrogen

The form of hydrogen transportation depends on the form of hydrogen being transported. There are different methods for transporting gaseous hydrogen and liquid hydrogen...

Storing Hydrogen

Because hydrogen is low in density, storing it is a challenge. This is true both for storage at hydrogen production sites as well as on vehicles that might use hydrogen as a fuel. Compressed and cryogenically stored liquid hydrogen are options.

Pros and Cons of Existing Hydrogen Technologies

Many believe the hydrogen fuel cell is likely to be the dominant hydrogen technology in the future, not only for electrical generation but also to power vehicles. Each use of hydrogen as fuel has specific benefits and drawbacks...

Why Top Companies are Purchasing Fuel Cells

A new report,"The Business Case for Fuel Cells: Why Top Companies are Purchasing Fuel Cells Today", highlights 38 nationally recognized companies that are installing fuel cells. Here are a few that are using fuel cells in their operations today.

Hydrogen Energy copyright 2011 Digtheheat.com