Read more reader reponses to DN Editor-in-Chief John
Energized about Energy" column in the August 11 issue as well as Design
News' exhaustive hydrogen
fuel cell vehicle and fueling infrastructure package.
Your discussion of hydrogen was interesting. I have long felt that this is where we will need to get eventually. However, you completely ignore the primary problem that needs to be overcome for the use of hydrogen as a fuel. You talk about how hydrogen was made by various companies and therefore we could make it on the large scales we would need it for fuel. You are not looking at the complete problem.
As you said, there are 2 sources of hydrogen. Far and away, the biggest source is from natural gas. This does not get us away from our dependence on hydrocarbon fuels, it just shifts where the combustion takes place. The other source you mentioned was using electricity to convert water to hydrogen. You don't answer the question of what fuel do we use to get the electricity. That is the key to this whole problem, how do you generate large amounts of electricity without oil or gas? Some day I hope to see solar but that is still a breakthrough or two away. Wind can help but there are hurdles before it can bethe large scale source that we need. Coal can be done cleanly and is probably the quickest path to the electricity we need but environmentalists don't like it.
This is the key point in the debate. How do we get enough electricity that does not require oil or gas? If we have that, the rest is easy.
If we don't the rest is impossible.
Kent E Mitchell