Working to solve the hydrogen storage dilemna with metal hydrides

Carnegie Mellon has some interesting research going on these days. Those who oppose hydrogen as a fuel source (electricity) have quite a few problems to hang their hats on. For one, where to get the hydrogen from? Yes, it is abundant, but it is tied up with other stuff... making things such as water. Much of the hydrogen currently in use is captured from natural gas, which is expensive and has dubious environmental benefits. Another problem is hydrogen storage. What do you do with the hydrogen once it has been captured? Lastly, fuel cells are very expensive and take a lot of research and development time. Carnegie Mellon is working on that last one right now. Check here for their press release
I know that I'll take lots of flak for this, but at the risk of losing credibility with certain readers (you know who you are!), let me say I don't mind this research into hydrogen. I still strongly believe that electric cars have the brightest future, and hydrogen fuel cells may work as a good range extender. Yes, I agree that plugging in your electric car is the best solution, and for most people, a range extender will almost never be necessary. But, when it is necessary, hydrogen fuel cells are a possible source for that extra electricity. How far will you need to travel? OK... put that much extra hydrogen in the tank. You'll probably almost never need it!

What I am saying is this: Don't be too quick to write off hydrogen. Remember, when batteries were in their infancy, they would never have worked for electric cars either. Imagine a car full of acid filled glass jars!

[Source: Carnegie Mellon]

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