Fuel Cells - The Future of Electricity Generation

By: rsbombard
However promising it might seem to us about Hydrogen replacing the present day fuels, there are lot of concerns about the safety of hydrogen as a fuel, the ability and competency of the equipments used in the production, storage and delivery of hydrogen. Hydrogen is a highly combustible element and low hydrogen to air ratio can make it highly inflammable. However, there have been many myths that it is an unsafe fuel to use which have been proven wrong and the myths have been duly busted. There has not been any unforeseen and fateful event to prove its fatality. The following finds might help to debunk the popular myth.

- Studies have shown that hydrogen has exhibited far lesser exposure to risk that the normal fuels we use everyday like the fossil fuels, ethanol.
- The high fiber composite tanks which are used to store hydrogen are resilient and can resist high impacts and possible puncture attempts up to 3 times that of the normal containers used for most other fuels including high collisions and other such damages.
- Hydrogen has a density of only 7% so it diffuses faster into the air than most other elements. That would mean lesser chances of catching or propagating fire than most other commercial fuels.
- A fuel cell powered vehicle is bound to have more sensors and other such electronic contraptions in place to avoid any potential accidents. Also, fuel cell powered cars carry 60 % less energy and are lighter owing to the higher efficiency of the same as against the heavier and more dangerous today's gasoline powered automobiles.

When handled properly, hydrogen has proven to be a far safer alternative than fossil fuels. About 70 gallons of Liquid hydrogen is transported everyday on the U.S roadways without a single incident involving a major mishap. The life cycle of hydrogen is proven to be safer than fossil fuels and moreover, the transportation of hydrogen poses less of a public hazard as compared to the oil tankers used for transportation of gasoline, diesel, ethanol and the like.

A hydrogen gas called as town gas is being used to light up some homes in America and has reports to prove that the safety rating obtained is just as good as the normal fuels would enjoy.

Hydrogen is indeed a safe gas and holds the promise to light up tomorrow's lamps. However, the question remains as to when it can be made inexpensive and accessible to this world as a source of energy.
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