Hydrogen is Not The Miracle Fuel of the Future
BoingBoing.net is reporting today on a tabletop "hydrogen power station" that produces hydrogen from water using a standard power outlet and costs around $200. While this may sound wonderful on the surface, it merely illustrates how the notion of a "hydrogen economy" is really a myth.
Let's get one thing perfectly clear: hydrogen is not a energy resource. Hydrogen does not exist naturally in any sufficient quantities to make it a viable energy source, at least on this planet. To get hydrogen in any useful quantities, it must be extracted from natural gas, water or biomass, and all of these result in a net loss of energy. It is more efficient to use these fuels in their original forms.
Hydrogen is more like a battery, an energy storage medium. Unfortunately, (for practical purposes) it is a very impractical battery, with an extremely low energy-to-volume ratio. According to Wikipedia, "The energy density per unit volume of both liquid hydrogen and compressed hydrogen gas at any practicable pressure is significantly less than that of traditional fuel sources, although the energy density per unit fuel mass is higher."
To be fair, fossil fuels are only energy storage mediums as well, but their energy was accumulated over millions of years, and is readily extracted now in a compact form. Neither hydrogen nor fossil fuels are energy sources, because the energy does not come from them, it came from the sun, the only real energy source we have.
Article continues: http://www.triplepundit.com/2010/02/hydrogen-is-not-the-fuel-of-the-future/