It depends on where the hydrogen is obtained from. According to an article from a 2003 issue of Mother Jones by John Hersey (attached), hydrogen fuel cell cars were pushed by the Bush Administration as the “freedom car,” essentially saying that the car “frees” us of our dependency on foreign oil, and will make our air significantly cleaner. Bush claimed that it was “pollution free,” but because producing the hydrogen would rely on nuclear energy (to separate the hydrogen molecules from water), as well as oil, coal and natural gas (the power sources used to refine the hydrogen), the “dirty” methods used to make this type of car a reality far outweigh any of the potential environmentally-friendly benefits. As far as the exhaust itself goes, it would be cleaner than the petroleum we use to fuel cars – and it has more potential in being more cost-effective than biofuels such as algae and those that rely on crop production like corn or soy. However, the United States is not the only country that has produced hydrogen cars (they have yet to take off commerically) – a UK based company called Riversimple recently developed a hydrogen car called a RUC, or Riversimple Urban Car. Check out the links attached for more information.
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