Hydrogen Fuel Gains Momentum

By: Lauren Woods

The auto industry has been forced to take drastic steps to combat the recent spikes in the price of petroleum products. Different frontiers in the alternative fuel field have been put under scrutiny hoping that these fuels will one day eliminate the world's dependence on petroleum products. Biodiesel and electricity are some of the ways viewed as clean substitutes for gasoline and diesel as fuel and power sources.

Another alternative fuel under development is hydrogen. The use of hydrogen is seen as the future of zero emission vehicles since this element when used as fuel produces only water instead of the harmful gas that are emitted by burned petroleum products.

Recently, the use of hydrogen as fuel gained momentum as Linde Gas announced that they will be the sole provider of hydrogen fuel for the National Hydrogen Association's (NHA) conference being held in San Antonio, Texas. The company is part of the Linde Group and is the only company with the technology to provide hydrogen fuel to any hydrogen fueled vehicle.

The company has the technology to produce and provide hydrogen in liquid or gaseous form for fuel-cell vehicles. Among the auto makers that Linde Gas will be supplying include BMW, DaimlerChrysler, Honda, General Motors, Toyota, and Volkswagen. These automakers are known for their current research and developmental studies in the use of hydrogen as fuel for their future vehicles.

Joachim Wolf, the Executive Director for Hydrogen Solutions of the Linde Group, has this to say about their technology: "Fueling and driving hydrogen-powered vehicles just got easier and more energy efficient, thanks to technology developed by Linde. As the theme of this year's NHA conference is 'Hydrogen: Here and Now,' it is only appropriate for Linde to demonstrate our unique capability of fuelling all vehicles at this important event."

As of today, the company has already equipped more than sixty hydrogen refueling stations all over the world according to Wolf. He also maintained that the company is expected to meet the future demands for hydrogen as fuel.

The efficiency of hydrogen as fuel has already been tested on the BMW Hydrogen 7 Series. The said concept vehicle have been tested to travel significantly more miles before refueling compared to other prototypes using hydrogen as fuel. At the conference, spokespersons from the Linde Group will talk about the safety of hydrogen when used as fuel which is one of the main concerns of the public given the fact that hydrogen is highly flammable in nature.

Another issue to be addressed at the conference is the material that will be used in storing the fuel. With more and more car makers putting in effort to produce a hydrogen-powered zero emission vehicles like General Motors, it will only be a matter of time before fuel efficient vehicles equipped with to increase fuel efficiency are replaced by zero emission vehicles burning hydrogen as fuel.

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