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Hydrogen Cars Essay

1911 words - 8 pages

If you knew your house was going to collapse at a predetermined time if you did not change your habits, would you continue with what you were doing or change? This is the question we must ask ourselves. We call Earth home, yet we continue to help in its eminent destruction. We as humans must be conscious of our ways and change for the better of our planet.
Gasoline powered vehicles are on the decline. Hydrogen is on its way to remove gasoline as the world’s fuel. Hydrogen powered cars are rising in popularity for many reasons such as low emissions and efficiency, but there are major obstacles in the way. Hydrogen as a fuel is the change needed to save the world from global warming.
One of the leading contributors to the destruction of Earth is right in front of us. It’s the very vehicles we drive on a daily basis. In a recent article it was estimated that there are 250 million automobiles in the U.S. (Dumaine). The majority of these vehicles are tearing the Earth’s atmosphere apart piece by piece.
Dumaine said that there are over 170,000 gasoline filling stations across the United States. Each of these stations provides gasoline to fuel our busy lifestyles, but in a sense it is draining the life of our planet; however there is a solution. Hydrogen is the fuel of the future (Dumaine,).
Gasoline powered vehicles are responsible for one half the world’s air pollution (Bellel & Sahli). They produce greenhouse gases which trap heat inside the Earth’s atmosphere and ultimately cause global warming. However, hydrogen cars burn hydrogen, and the only emission coming out of their tailpipe is water vapor (Copeland).
According to Copeland there is debate on whether the process of obtaining hydrogen offsets the minimal carbon footprint left by hydrogen cars. As of now, hydrogen is obtained by four main processes.
Electrolysis is the process of converting water into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen gases. Electrolysis occurs when an electric current passes through water. The electric current goes to a cathode that is submerged in water into an anode that is also submerged. The current passes through the water and as it does, a chemical reaction takes place. Everyday water turns into its natural elements: hydrogen and oxygen.

The beauty of electrolysis is that any form of electricity can be used, including renewable energy like wind and solar. Through this process we can extract hydrogen gas from water only to be reunited with oxygen and form water once more. With the use of renewable energy and the process of electrolysis, we can have a virtually never-ending supply of fuel for the future.
The next big question is what will power electrolysis. Many scientists are leaning towards wind power. There are several ways in which the power can reach the electrolyzing plants. The first option would be to have the electrolyzing station at the base of the wind turbines. This would provide a sufficient amount of hydrogen, and the price would be...

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