The idea of using hydrogen as a fuel is ideal in that the byproducts are very minimal concerning the reaction that produces energy. Combusting hydrogen and oxygen (2H2 + O2 –> 2H2O) will yield energy with a side product of water. The other alternative energy vehicles require some sort of electricty that can possibly be from a fossil fuel source (hybrids, electric cars).
There are many critics of hydrogen fuel cell technology. One reason why is that there is no cost effective way to produce hydrogen. There is no naturally occuring hydrogen, but one popular way to create it is through electrolysis of water and that is a resource we have in abundance and will be replaced when the hydrogen is combusted. Electrolysis is a relatively expensive process and alternative energy such as wind turbines or solar can help to offset the costs of creating hydrogen.
There are also an abudance of chemists working to figure out small molecule activation (water, methane, etc). Small molecule activation can help us figure out how to chemical break bonds in a molecule such as water and produce hydrogen gas and oxygen. If we can make this activation catalytic then production of hydrogen can potentially be very lucrative.
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