Running on a tankful of water? Don't bet on it anytime soon
There are plenty of issues with using hydrogen as an energy storage medium for propelling vehicles, not least of which is establishing a distribution infrastructure. With the current petroleum economy there are refineries, tanker trucks, pipelines, and thousands of filling stations. There are currently only a few dozen hydrogen stations in the United States, most of which store hydrogen that has been produced off site and trucked in. However, water and natural gas pipelines already exist in abundance and both can be used as a source of hydrogen.
The holy grail here would be to feed your car with water, and have the hydrogen generated on demand as needed so that you don't need to deal with hydrogen storage and distribution. Of course, there has yet to be that chemical breakthrough that allows that process to be done without adding a bunch of heat to assist it. That hasn't stopped Tareq Abu-Hamed from the University of Minnesota from trying to do something similar to what the team at Engineuity in Israel are doing. They want to react water on board with boron to produce boron-oxide and hydrogen. There is just a minor problem of having supply the water in vapor form at several hundred degrees to start the reaction. Aside from that, the rest of the process actually looks pretty cool. All the details on this alchemy project are in the article at NewScientistTech at the Read link.
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