Hydrogen Cars Might Be The Solution For The Future

By: Aaron Vaughn

Gasoline comes from a natural resource that might be renewable, but not during our lifetimes. With this in mind and the ever increasing cost for oil added into the mix, the need for alternative fuel sources is quite evident to many.

There are other options out there, but not all are being as aggressively explored as they perhaps should be. The hydrogen car, however, is one possibility that's on the horizon that might serve as a viable alternative.

Unlike a hybrid car or an electric one, many hydrogen car prototypes operate on a similar principle to the gasoline combustion engine of today. Hydrogen stations would take over gas stations if this means of transportation developed.

The advantages to hydrogen are many, including its easier to obtain nature and its cleaner burning ability. However, since this is still in development, the costs can be high and fuel sources scarce.

Although it might sound like a science fiction solution to a real problem, the hydrogen car is a viable option that's being explored by a number of major carmakers. In fact, hydrogen cars have been under development by major automakers and even some experimental ones for a very long time.

Colorado-based Hypercar, for example, has a functional model and some of the big carmakers like Ford, Mazda, BMW and Chrysler are also working in this vein.

Hydrogen cars are different from their gas-guzzling cousins in a number of ways. Rather than rely on the burning of gasoline to power a car, hydrogen vehicles use hydrogen, which is a renewable resource, to power the engine.

There are two basic ways to derive power from this method - fuel cell and combustion.

Combustion works pretty much like a gasoline engine does. The hydrogen is "burned" to power the vehicle and make it work correctly.

The hydrogen provides a cleaner burn that gasoline and it's much easier to come by since it's a natural gas that can be extracted from water and even methane, which of course is produced during the decomposition process of organic compounds.

Fuel-cell operation involves the use of a battery. The hydrogen powers the battery when it is turned into electricity through the fuel cells. This method is also much cleaner for the environment, but would require a lot of rethinking of how cars are made.

In addition to the fact hydrogen is easy to produce - it can come from methane gas or water - it is also much cleaner. Both methods of powering a car only create water as a byproduct.

When the byproducts of gasoline combustion are considered, hydrogen is a much smarter route for not only the environment, but also for people. The emissions from cars have been linked to everything from smog to global warming and the rise of asthma.

Cleaner burning, more renewable and easier on the environment, hydrogen powered cars are becoming more of a reality as time goes by. For whatever reason their development has been slow and their adoption is probably a long way away, but these cars are certainly worth some serious exploration.

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