Making Hydrogen's Case
Burn a tank-full of gasoline and you're also polluting a ton of air, 400 pounds of it oxygen that gets turned into carbon dioxide. Soberingly, that air we so blithely take for granted when we fire up our cars, planes and power plants is, itself, a limited resource, as demonstrated in Dr. Scott Samuelsen's slide presentation.
Not only is petroleum a finite resource, so is water and the very air we breathe, and because they are, we need to be more responsible in our use of them, which is an important reason for continuing to move towards the greater use of fuel cells, argues Dr. Samuelsen. While fuel cells do use oxygen, they do so electrochemically; they don't pollute it or convert it into carbon dioxide.
That's the underlying message of this 40-minute, 4-part video, recorded during the 2010 Toyota Sustainable Mobility Seminar in La Jolla, California. Not only do hydrogen fuel cells operate without polluting, they also do so at significantly more efficient levels than conventional IC engines, which is why major carmakers like Toyota, along with GM and Honda, continue to fund the advancement of their research efforts. Toyota feels comfortable enough with their progress that they are forecasting offering hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for sale as early as 2015.
Challenges do remain, however, in reducing technology costs, extending their operational life, and finding practical, safe ways to store hydrogen that doesn't involve pressurizing it to 10,000 psi, which is what Toyota has to do now with the Highlander FCHV-adv prototype EV World drove during the Seminar.
More videos from the event are available here on the EV World.com web site.
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