The Hydrogen Fuel Technology Gap

By Andrew D. Ravani – 22 Jun 2021

Why we explore hydrogen fuel and the intrinsic value in closing the technology gap 

The promise of hydrogen fuel for transportation energy to change our world is hard to overstate – if we can make it work as a scaled and feasible technology that fits into our world as the power behind the prime movers of people and products over land, sea, and air. The environmentalist’s promise that it can be a major component in reducing our carbon emissions to the point where we can start to mitigate some of the risks associated with global warming is an enticing value proposition, but so is the reduction in reliance on foreign oil supply and domestic extraction. But beyond the environmental, economic, and energy security, there are other benefits. 

One such benefit of shifting to a hydrogen-fueled transportation energy economy is the expansion of technology through a deeper exploration of hydrogen electrochemistry. Hydrogen has nuanced behavioral characteristics at various temperature and pressure states that we still don’t fully understand or use to our advantage. These gaps in our knowledge are virtual bonanzas waiting to be explored and exploited.  

Take for example the desire to make hydrogen fuel from deionized water at low temperature and near standard atmospheric pressure. Previously, we only saw the energetically expensive path as all of the energy came from electricity and wasn’t assisted by chemistry. Further exploration of electrolysis has lead us to discoveries that prove that this can be done with relatively low electric input and readily available chemical components (graphene oxide), and without the need for rare earth metals. This transformative discovery paralleled an examination of the production of graphene oxide, which (with amorphous carbon via ammonia-assisted thermal reaction) can greatly increase the accessibility of the necessary chemical precursors for low-temperature & low-power electrolysis at a significantly reduced cost to production.

Two years ago, this was not much more than an idea. Today, it is a readily repeatable reality that one can learn to replicate on Youtube. An enterprising manufacturer would take this pathway and explore incorporating it in a small personal vehicle in a high-demand urban market (like Beijing, Taipei, Sao Paolo, Houston, etc.) and grow from there.

Fun links: 

Recommended YouTube searches: 

(Robert Murray-Smith)

Super Efficient Graphite Dry Cell Hydrogen Generator 

DIY Safe Hydrogen Storage

Cheap And Easy Hydrogen (Brown’s Gas) Generator,double%20layer%20(EDL)%20capacitors

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