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Hydrogen

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chloe bedard

on 8 January 2015

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Transcript of Hydrogen

Hydrogen, being the most abundant substance in the Universe, is practically unavailable in its pure form on Earth. That is why we cannot use it as direct energy source, like oil, gas, or coal. However, hydrogen still occurs widely in multiple chemical structures, the most common of which are water and hydrocarbons. That is why, in order to use hydrogen as energy source, we should first get hydrogen.
What is Hydrogen?
Uses
1. Aerospace and Aircraft: Used as a power source, hydrogen gas fuels rockets and powers life-support systems and computers in space environments. It is also used for metal sintering and annealing.

2. Automotive & Transportation Equipment: As a heat treating furnace atmosphere, hydrogen reacts with oxygen to produce a bright finish on steel parts. It also makes an excellent industrial quench gas because of its high heat transfer properties. When used as an alternate fuel, hydrogen plays a key role in reducing undesirable emissions.

3. Energy: Our hydrogen is used to propel everything from land speed record-breaking vehicles, to fuel cell powered passenger cars, buses and forklift.

4. Refining: Hydrogen is essential in today’s refining industry for upgrading heavy crude oils into refined fuels, and helping to meet increasingly tight transportation fuel specification.

5. Welding & Metal Fabrication: Used to enhance plasma welding and cutting operations, hydrogen gas is commonly mixed with argon for welding stainless steel.
Advantages
1. Readily Available : Hydrogen is a great source of energy for a number of reasons, the biggest one being that it is so readily available. While it may take some work to access, there is no element in the universe as abundant as hydrogen.

2. No Harmful Emissions : Another advantage to using hydrogen energy is that when burned, its leaves almost no harmful byproducts. In fact, when used in NASA’s spaceships, the burned hydrogen gas leaves behind clean drinking water for the astronauts.

3. Environment Friendly : Hydrogen is also non-toxic, which makes it a rarity among fuel sources. Nuclear energy, coal, and gasoline are all either toxic or found in hazardous environments. This makes hydrogen ideal for use in a number of ways other fuel sources can’t compete against

4. Used as Fuel in Rockets : Hydrogen energy is also very powerful and very efficient. It’s powerful enough to propel spaceships and safer than using any other similar product to accomplish such an energy-intensive duty. In fact, hydrogen is three times as powerful as gasoline and similar fossil fuels, meaning it takes less of it to accomplish more.

5. Fuel Efficient : Hydrogen energy is a more efficient fuel source than traditional sources of energy and produces more energy per pound of fuel. This clearly means that a car loaded with hydrogen fuel will go much farther than the one using same amount of traditional source of energy.

6. Renewable : Unlike non-renewable sources of energy which can’t be produced again and again as they are limited; hydrogen energy can be produced on demand. Hydrogen is available in plenty. All we need is fossil fuels to break the water molecules to separate it from oxygen.
Disadvantages
1. Expensive : Hydrogen gas also requires a lot of work to free if from other elements. If it were simple and easy to isolate everyone would be using it. It’s already being used to power some hybrid cars, but at the moment it is not a viable source of fuel for everyone. That’s simply because it’s expensive and time-consuming to produce. That means until technology advances enough to simplify and ease the process; hydrogen energy will continue to be too expensive for most people.

2. Storage : Hydrogen is also hard to move around. Whereas oil can be sent through pipelines, and coal can be carried in the back of dump trucks, super-light hydrogen is hard to transport in a reasonable fashion. It is very expensive to move anything more than small amounts of it, making it impractical for most functions.

3. Not Easy to Replace Existing Infrastructure : As expensive as hydrogen is to produce and transport, it becomes even more expensive when you consider trying to use it to replace gasoline. There is no existing infrastructure in place to accommodate hydrogen as a fuel source for the average motorist. Gas stations and cars themselves would all have to be refitted at an astronomical cost to taxpayers and governments. It seems insane to even suggest that current fuel sources be replaced when what is already in place is working so well.

4. Highly Flammable : Hydrogen in itself is a very powerful source of fuel. We all know the effects of hydrogen bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan. It’s highly inflammable and always in news for the potential risks associated with it.

5. Dependency on Fossil Fuels : Though hydrogen energy is renewable and its environmental impacts are minimal, we still need other non-renewable sources like coal, oil and natural gas to separate it from oxygen. We may reduce our dependency on fossil fuels by using hydrogen but in turn we are actually using them to produce hydrogen fuel.
Hydrogen
Hydrogen is one of two natural elements that combine to make water. One proton and one electron is what consists in a hydrogen atom. Hydrogen takes a great amount of energy to extract it from water, which makes it an energy carrier, not an energy source. Many companies are working hard to develop technologies to spread the potential of hydrogen energy.
A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, with water and heat as its by-product. In its simplest form, a single fuel cell consists of two electrodes - an anode and a cathode - with an electrolyte between them.

http://americanhistory.si.edu/fuelcells/images/fc_ani.gif
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