Ask any pragmatic member of the automotive community when we might see a hydrogen-powered vehicles (fuel cell or internal-combustion engine), and the answer will probably range from "several years" to "several decades". General Electric looks to be trying to push that towards the lower end of the range with a prototype electrolysis device that promises low-cost hydrogen.

GE has replaced certain expensive metal components in the electrolysis process with Noryl, an inexpensive thermoplastic (although not by the standards of the resin world!). We're guessing that this is Noryl GTX, which was developed for use in electrostatic paint processes and thus is electrically conductive by means of embedded carbon fibers. By doing so, the cost of hydrogen may potentially plummet from $8/kilogram to $3/kilogram, or what is said to be in the same realm as current gasoline prices (presumably, this still doesn't include the costs of storing the hydrogen in a practical "fuel tank").

As the saying goes - what should come quickly usually takes a lot longer than anyone thinks, and what looks to be way out on the horizon often appears much more quickly than anyone expects. The category that hydrogen happens to fall into remains to be seen.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]



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