Energy has been defined as the capability to produce an effect, it can be stored within a system and can be transferred from one system to another and use it in our everyday life. Generally, countries around the world benefited most their energy consumption from oil. Unfortunately, oil crisis affects every nation since producers and sellers monopolize its price as well as its production but apparent drawbacks are expected due to depletion of oil reserves and environmental pollution.
The United States merely consumes one-fifth of the world’s oil produced and 35% of it utilize for transportation hence oil importation ought to resolve through alternative energy utilization. It is good to hear that researches and new technologies of alternative energy production and usage have been recently prioritized by the government. There’s only one way to insulate the US from the corrosive power of oil, and that’s to develop an alternative energy resource that’s readily available domestically: hydrogen .
Hydrogen is the simplest, most abundant element and it is lighter than air and can be found in the atmosphere in an insoluble substance gas. It is only available on earth in a compound state like water (H2O), coal, petroleum and methane (CH4). It has the highest energy content of any common fuel by weight (about three times more than gasoline), but the lowest energy content by volume (about four times less than gasoline), an energy carrier and derivative of other chemicals that can be produced from a variety of resources (water, fossil fuels, biomass) .
Hydrogen can be extracted with no environmental pollution effects through “steam reforming in which natural gas reacts chemically with steam to produce hydrogen and CO2, electrolysis which splits water into hydrogen and oxygen and the latest discoveries from cultured microbes that emits hydrogen , all require expensive financial support from the government.
The fuel cell is an electrochemical devise that can continuously convert chemical energy into electrical energy of power as long as fuel and a reactant are supplied hence chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen in a fuel cell create electricity leaving only water as byproduct unlike internal combustion engines that also generate carbon monoxides hazardous to man and environment as well. Hydrogen often described as the perfect fuel for it does not explode, environment-friendly exploitation and exhaustible major reserve of water will never run out of hydrogen however, considerable amount of energy is needed for steady production of hydrogen.
The higher temperature fuel cells can reform natural gas for instance, gaseous hydrogen must be compressed and stored in tolerable high pressure tank to hold enough fuel for travel while liquid hydrogen demands more than -4000F for refrigeration both require high temperatures for fuel to recuperate. Adoption of hydrogen technology should settle first the hydrogen fuel-tank problem, mass production of fuel cell vehicles, alter fueling infrastructure to hydrogen, intensify hydrogen production and public campaign to sell the hydrogen economy .
Indeed, importation of fuels can be minimized plus pollution free environment consequently upsurge economic growth. BIBLIOGRAPHY Richard Sonntag & Claus Borgnakke. Fundamentals of Thermodynamics 6th ed. (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2004), p21 Joann Jovinelly. Oil : The Economics of Fuel. (New York : The Rosen Publishing Group, 2008). Peter Schwartz & Doug Randall. How Hydrogen Can Save America. Wired, April 11, 2009, http://www. wired. com/wired/archive/11. 04/hydrogen. html? pg=1&topic=&topic_set=
Edward Cummings ed. The Encyclopedia Americana, vol. 12. (Danbury, Connecticut: Grolier International, 2002). Energy Information Administration. Hydrogen. October 2008, http://www. eia. doe. gov Greg Bolt. From Microbes to Hydrogen Fuel. Physorg. com, March 24, 2009, http://www/physorg. com/news157140535. html Kurt C. Rolle. Thermodynamics and Heat Power 6th ed. (New Jersey: Pearson Education, 2005), p593 Bryan Woodbury. Hydrogen the Perfect Fuel. 1997, http://www. commutercars. com/h2/