2011, Volume 14, Issue 2
Hydrogen – The Future Energy Source and ITS Environmental Impact
National Institute for Research and Development for Cryogenics and Isotopic Technologies - ICIT Rm. Valcea, Uzinei Street no. 4, P.O. Box Raureni 7, 240050, Ramnicu Valcea, Romania
Today the world is facing three critical problems: (1) high fuel prices, (2) climatic changes, and (3) air pollution. Petroleum based fuels are well-established products that have served industry and consumers for more than one hundred years. For the foreseeable future automotive fuels will still be largely based on liquid biorenewables and gaseous biohydrogen. As the amount of available petroleum decreases, the need increases for alternate technologies to produce liquid biorenewables and gaseous biohydrogen fuels that could potentially help prolong the liquid fuels culture and mitigate the forthcoming effects of the shortage of transportation fuels. Environmental concerns have been raised in recent years dealing with greenhouse gases produced from the transportation industry. A contributing cause of these emissions is the combustion of fossil fuels such as diesel, gasoline and oil. Hydrogen is an important, though little studied, trace component of the atmosphere. It exists at the mixing ratio of about 510 ppb. Hydrogen is an indirect greenhouse gas with a global warming potential of 5.8 over a 100-year time horizon. Hydrogen offers the prospect of plentiful supplies of clean transportation energy. Our study focuses on hydrogen production and distribution, on-board storage technology, refuelling, the environmental impact of hydrogen use, and life-cycle costs. The environmental impact analysis focuses on NO, emissions from vehicles, the environmental impact of making hydrogen from coal, and the contribution to the Greenhouse effect of CO2 emissions from the use of coal-based hydrogen.
Energy, environment, hydrogen.
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