Hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet. It’s all around us, locked up in water and all the life forms around, including us humans and in terms of climate change it’s as clean as it gets. It has the potential to lead us into an almost completely green future but there’s a problem. Whilst it’s all around us the key phrase is ‘locked-up’ because it’s combined in molecules but very scarce indeed as the free gas that can power most human needs from transport to power grids, through heating systems.
The big technological problem holding back the roll out of hydrogen-based systems is capturing it from the environment; currently relatively expensive. Solutions for other hydrogen problems, such as storing it safely and developing cheaper catalysts for the fuel cells needed to drive cars, trucks, ships, and aircraft too, are in the pipeline. Battery power has been hogging the headlines with Tesla firmly fixed as the brand synonymous with EV’s, rather like Hoover for vacuums, but the green credentials of batteries are questionable with a huge carbon footprint in their production before a wheel even turns. And the simple fact is that batteries don’t produce power, they use power.
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