Monday, February 15, 2010

Hydrogen as Fuel

Hydrogen is a gas that is industrially produced from a number of sources but the most common is methane or other fossil fuels. Hydrogen is made up of atoms that include one proton in each of them. Stars are made primarily of hydrogen. The sun is the giant ball that includes hydrogen and helium gases. In the sun’s core the hydrogen atoms combine and thereby form helium atoms that give off radiant energy. This process is known as fusion. This energy is what sustains the life on the earth as well as giving us light and keeps our planet alive. Hydrogen is able to rise in the air since it is lighter than air and that is the main reason why it can not be found on earth and can only be found in compound form with other various elements.

Hydrogen can be combined with oxygen to give water and when combined with carbon it will give out compounds such as coal, methane, as well as petroleum. Hydrogen can be used to power a number of things including vehicles. Hydrogen vehicles use hydrogen as their on board fuel for motive power. The power plants of these vehicles convert the chemical energy of hydrogen to mechanical energy either by combustion or electrochemical conversion in a fuel cell. It is estimated that there are about five hundred vehicles that are hydrogen fuelled with up to sixty hydrogen refueling stations in the United States mostly in California.

Hydrogen can also be an energy carrier where it moves energy in a usable form from one place to another just like electricity works. Hydrogen is not mostly used as an energy carrier at the moment but it has a great potential in the future of doing so. Hydrogen is mostly a by product of other chemical processes. A good difference between hydrogen and electricity is that large quantities of hydrogen can be stored to be used in the future. Hydrogen can also be used in places where electricity can not be used.

Hydrogen is mostly used by industries in refining, processing foods, as well as treating metals. In the United States about nine million metric tons of hydrogen is produces mostly in just three states namely California, Texas and Louisiana. This power is enough to be used in close to eight million homes or power up to thirty million cars. NASA is known as the primary user of hydrogen as an energy fuel and it uses it in the space program. Hydrogen fuel batteries are also able to make electricity which makes them very efficient although expensive to build.

The small fuel batteries are able to power electric vehicles. The large fuel batteries are able to provide electricity in places where there are no power lines. Some places known to have fuel batteries as a source of emergency power especially in hospitals and locations that are in the wilderness. There are also portable fuel cells that are currently being sold in some places to provide longer power to cell phones batteries, laptop computer battery as well as military applications.

(ArticlesBase SC #1301567)

Seismic Energy Dissipation Devices

Seismic Energy Dissipation Devices