Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet

Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet

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"President Bushs remarks in his State-of-the-Union message proposing a big jump in funding for hydrogen and fuel cell research and development are terrific news. Its imperative that Congress follows through now and makes available those funds.

Aside from the tangible benefits of spending more on an environmentally benign area of energy that for too long has been treated - often condescendingly - like a poor orphan, the political message is of supreme significance. For decades, supporters of hydrogen and other alternative energy fields have argued until they were blue in the face, that the key ingredient missing in moving forward is national political will.

President Bushs support provides a large measure of that political will."
--Peter Hoffmann, 31 January 2003

About the book:
Hydrogen is the quintessential eco-fuel. This invisible, tasteless gas is the most abundant element in the universe. It is the basic building block and fuel of starsand an essential raw material in innumerable biological and chemical processes. As a completely nonpolluting fuel, it may hold the answer to growing environmental concerns about atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide and the resultant Greenhouse Effect. In this book Peter Hoffmann describes current research toward a hydrogen-based economy. He presents the history of hydrogen energy and discusses the environmental dangers of continued dependence on fossil fuels.

Hydrogen is not an energy source but a carrier that, like electricity, must be manufactured. Today hydrogen is manufactured by "decarbonizing" fossil fuels. In the future it will be derived from water and solar energy and perhaps from "cleaner" versions of nuclear energy. Because it can be made by a variety of methods, Hoffmann argues, it can be easily adapted by different countries and economies. Hoffmann acknowledges the social, political, and economic difficulties in replacing current energy systems with an entirely new one. Although the process of converting to a hydrogen-based economy would be complex, he demonstrates that the environmental and health benefits would far outweigh the costs.