EXPLORE HYDROGEN The Universe's Simplest, Most Abundant Element

Hydrogen has the simplest structure of any element: it comprises of one proton and one electron. Because of hydrogen’s unique chemical makeup, it is a high-capacity energy carrier that can be run through a fuel-cell to create an electrical current with zero harmful emissions. In terms of mass, hydrogen accounts for 75% of all matter in the universe, which means we have an abundant amount of hydrogen that can be used and renewed in a fuel cell to sustainably power our vehicles, homes and communities.

LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD FOR RENEWABLE ENERGY

Hydrogen is an energy carrier that we can depend on indefinitely. Why? Because it can be safely and sustainably obtained from some of the world’s most abundant molecules: hydrocarbons and water. Processes such as natural gas steam reformation and biomass gasification separate hydrogen from natural gas and landfill byproducts, effectively storing energy that otherwise would have gone to waste. One of the fastest growing and sustainable ways hydrogen is being manufactured is through electrolysis, a process that uses electricity generated from wind and solar power to separate hydrogen from water to use whenever, wherever. When hydrogen is used in a fuel cell, it's only byproduct is water.

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Hydrogen Production Pathways:
  • Biomass gasification
  • Electrolysis (wind + solar)
  • Natural Gas Reformation

HYDROGEN PATHWAYS: BIOGAS | ELECTROLYSIS | STEAM

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    Biogas: From Waste to Fuel

    Americans produce an average of 220 million tons of waste each year. Approximately 2/3rds of this waste is organic, so when it decomposes, it produces natural gasses that can be extracted in a process called biogasification. Biomass materials are converted at a high temperature with a controlled amount of oxygen...[ READ MORE ]

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    Electrolysis: Using Hydrogen to Harness Wind and Solar Power

    Electrolysis is when an electric current is used to separate hydrogen from water. If the electrical current used in this process comes from renewable energy sources such as windmills and solar panels, the resulting hydrogen is considered a renewable energy carrier And because hydrogen is both abundant and turns back...[ READ MORE ]

  • 3

    Steam-methane reforming: Getting the Hydrogen Infrastructure off the Ground

    The majority of hydrogen produced in the past 50 years and today comes from steam-methane reforming, a process in which high temperature steam from a plant is used to produce hydrogen from a methane source, usually natural gas. Steam methane reforming currently offers a low-cost way to produce the amount...[ READ MORE ]

THE HYDROGEN INFRASTRUCTURE

SAFETY FEATURES HFCEV AND HYDROGEN STATIONS

Like all vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are subjected to extensive safety testing prior to releasing them on public roads. The type of testing includes both destructive (crash testing) and non-destructive evaluations (simulations and modeling) at the component, system and vehicle level. In addition, HFCEVs are integrated with specific safety systems that include hydrogen sensors, temperature activated pressure relief devices and ground-fault systems that isolate the fuel and the electricity when necessary.

A hydrogen station has multiple safety systems in check that work together:

  • An emergency shutoff switch ensures that the dispenser stops dispensing once the vehicle is full and can be used at any time during the fill.
  • An independent secondary control system serves as a backup to stop filling in case of a hose break or fluctuations in the pressure of the tank.
  • Enclosed and shrouded breakaway connectors prevent hydrogen from escaping if the vehicle pulls away during filling.
  • Idle hose leak detection and protective jackets prevent issues resulting from faulty hoses before they become a problem.

KNOW THE FACTS ABOUT HYDROGEN

Truth:

For over 40 years, hydrogen has been used in vast quantities for industrial applications, such as powering forklifts and space shuttles. During that time, an infrastructure had been developed to safely produce, store, transport and utilize hydrogen.

Truth:

Like most industrial gases, hydrogen is a gas that must be managed and handled safely.
Hydrogen is everywhere and can be seen in industries such as refining, aerospace, food and beverage. In the food industry, hydrogen is used in the hydrogenation of amines and fatty acids and when combined with Sorbitol it creates Mannitol, a food sweetener found in chocolate, candies and chewing gum.

In the case of transportation, hydrogen has an extremely low-density and dissipates almost instantaneously. In the unlikely case that hydrogen were to leak from a vehicle and catch fire, it would burn up into the air in seconds unlike gasoline, which pools on the ground and is extremely difficult to extinguish.

Truth

Hydrogen can be produced and transported in a number of ways including on-site electrolysis, tube-trailer delivery, and pipeline transport. Hydrogen generation is not dependant on a limited resource, which makes a hydrogen infrastructure a practical long-term solution. Since hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth, we are able to shift our energy security to a post-carbon era that relies on renewable energy to fuel our cities.

Truth:

Energy created from windmills and solar panels must be stored to consistently provide energy that can be used at the user’s convenience. Using the electricity that windmills and solar panels produce to create hydrogen that can be used whenever, wherever makes wind and solar power efficient and viable as a solution to power our vehicles, homes, and communities.

Truth:

Hydrogen has been used for a multitude of purposes in various industrial settings for over 50 years. In the 1960’s, NASA was already using hydrogen in a fuel cell that supplies electricity to the Apollo series of rockets, which ultimately reached the moon. The US Navy has used hydrogen fuel cells to power submarines since the 1980s. As far as vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are already on the road. Toyota  released its HFCEV, the Mirai, in 2015. Honda’s HFCEV model, the Clarity, has been available for lease since 2008 and will be on the market this year for buyers.

Truth:

California has paved the way and invested $200 million dollars to build a hydrogen highway that would consist of 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2020. Hydrogen infrastructures can easily be established across the nation with the proper investment of time and resources.

But alternative vehicle manufacturers and energy companies can’t do it alone – it takes the support of local and state regulations and funding to help continue to build the infrastructure needed.

 

GAUGING YOUR OPTIONS FOR FUELING YOUR RIDE

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WHY HYDROGEN IS THE FUEL OF OUR GENERATION

Hydrogen Electric Gasoline
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STORAGE VOLUME: Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles contain 5 kilograms of fuel.

STORAGE VOLUME: Electric vehicles have 245V batteries. They charge to fuel.

STORAGE VOLUME: The standard gasoline tank holds 15 gallons. This number may vary substantially.

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MILE RANGE: A hydrogen vehicle can travel 300 miles on one complete fueling.

MILE RANGE: An electric car fully charged travels 265 miles.

MILE RANGE: Most gas vehicles require a full tank to travel 300 miles. Miles may vary greatly.

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FUEL TIME: Hydrogen vehicles fuel in 3 to 5 minutes.

FUEL TIME: Fast charging at public stations can take up to 30 minutes, with residential charges taking hours.

FUEL TIME: It takes 3 minutes to fill the standard gas tank.

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EMISSIONS: Hydrogen vehicles are zero emissions.

EMISSIONS: Electric vehicles are zero emissions.

EMISSIONS: Gas vehicles create CO² emissions, damaging the air and hurting our environment.

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FUEL STORAGE: Hydrogen is stored in a tank.

FUEL STORAGE: Electric power is stored in lithium-ion batteries.

FUEL STORAGE: Gasoline is stored in gas tanks.