Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet

Overview

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. An invisible, tasteless,colorless gas, it can be converted to nonpolluting, zero-emission, renewable energy. When burned in an internal combustion engine, hydrogen produces mostly harmless water vapor. It performs even better in fuel cells, which can be 2.5 times as efficient as internal-combustion engines.

Zero-emission hydrogen does not contribute to CO2-caused global warming. Abundant and renewable, it is unlikely to be ...

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Tomorrow's Energy: Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet, revised and expanded edition

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Overview

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. An invisible, tasteless,colorless gas, it can be converted to nonpolluting, zero-emission, renewable energy. When burned in an internal combustion engine, hydrogen produces mostly harmless water vapor. It performs even better in fuel cells, which can be 2.5 times as efficient as internal-combustion engines.

Zero-emission hydrogen does not contribute to CO2-caused global warming. Abundant and renewable, it is unlikely to be subject to geopolitical pressures or scarcity concerns. In this new edition of his pioneering book Tomorrow's Energy, Peter Hoffmann makes the case for hydrogen as the cornerstone of a new energy economy. Hoffmann covers the major aspects of hydrogen production,storage, transportation, fuel use, and safety. He explains that hydrogen is not an energy source but a carrier, like electricity, and introduces the concept of "hydricity," the essential interchangeability of electricity and hydrogen. He brings the hydrogen story up to date, reporting on the latest developments, including new hydrogen and fuel-cell cars from GM, Daimler, BMW, Honda,and Toyota. He describes recent political controversies, including Obama administration EnergySecretary (and Nobel laureate in Physics) Steven Chu's inexplicable dismissal of hydrogen—which puts him at odds with major automakers, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and others. Our current energy system is a complex infrastructure, and phasing in hydrogen will take effort and money. But if we consider the real costs of fossil fuels—pollution and its effects, international tensions over gas and oil supplies, and climate change—we would be wise to promote its development.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Indeed, Hoffmann has written a persuasively clear, technically accurate, and convincingly optimistic book on the future of hydrogen in this revised edition. A must-have reference for any instructor or student of energy or energy conversion and the environment, and for any government or industry energy analyst or policy maker."—S.R.Walk,Choice
Library Journal
Editor of The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter and author of The Forever Fuel: The Story of Hydrogen, Hoffmann chronicles the worldwide progression of hydrogen energy from a niche market to a viable commercial product. Arguing that fossil fuels will not be cheap to find in the future and that renewables are becoming less expensive, he advocates the use of hydrogen as a nonpolluting form of energy for fuel cells and as an energy storage medium. Hoffmann thoroughly details the history of hydrogen projects worldwide from experimental fuel cell vehicles produced by the major auto makers to research into the use of hydrogen as airplane fuel, the application of hydrogen in utilities in Germany and China, and a few experimental hydrogen-powered houses in the United States. Hoffmann frankly explains the pros and cons of the hydrogen debate, including safety issues, economics, and the difficulty in moving our national energy policy away from fossil fuels. Because there are so few books on this energy source, academic and public libraries that have a strong interest in alternative energy materials will want to purchase for informed readers. Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll., Clarkston Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262516952
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/29/2012
  • Edition description: revised and expanded edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,386,686
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

The late Peter Hoffmann was editor of The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter.

He was former Washington correspondent for McGraw-Hill World News and the author of TheForever Fuel: The Story of Hydrogen.

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Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Preface and Acknowledgments xi

1 Why Hydrogen? The Grand Picture 1

2 Hydrogen's Discovery: Phlogiston and Inflammable Air 19

3 A History of Hydrogen Energy: The Reverend Cecil, Jules Verne, and the Redoubtable Mr. Erren 27

4 Producing Hydrogen from Water, Natural Gas, and Green Plants 65

5 Primary Energy: Using Solar and Other Power to Make Hydrogen 89

6 Terra Transport: Hydrogen for Cars, Buses, Bikes, and Boats 117

7 Fuel Cells: Mr. Grove's Lovely Technology 171

8 Clean Contrails: The Orient Express, Phantom Eye, and LAPCAT 201

9 Hydrogen as Utility Gas: Hydricity, and the Invisible Flame 231

10 Nonenergy Uses of Hydrogen: Metallic H2, Biodegradable Plastics, and H2 Tofu 253

11 Safety: The Hindenburg Syndrome, or "Don't Paint Your Dirigible with Rocket Fuel" 279

12 The Next Fifty Years 291

Notes 311

Index 331

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