THE ON GOING YEARLY COUNT OF THE HIGHLY POLLUTING NON-BIODEGRADABLE
PLASTIC BAGS USE, THIS YEAR ALONE, As Of January 01, - U.S. ONLY




The staggering on going count of NON-BIODEGRADABLE plastic bags at the above is the up to date indicator of the plastic bags given to the U.S. shoppers, beginning January 01, of this year across the United States. - Each year a shocking quantity of 916,981,973,789 plastic bags are trashed, in U.S. alone, polluting and poisoning Land-fields, the Air and our Waters.

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Fuel Cells Running on Hydrogen

Fuel cells run on hydrogen, the simplest element and most plentiful gas in the universe. Hydrogen is colorless, odorless and tasteless. Each hydrogen molecule has two atoms of hydrogen, which accounts for the H 2 we often see. Hydrogen is the lightest element, with a density of 0.08988 grams per liter at standard pressure, yet it has the highest energy content per unit weight of all the fuels – 52,000 Btu/lb, or three times the energy of a pound of gasoline.

Hydrogen is never found alone on earth — it is always combined with other elements such as oxygen and carbon. Hydrogen can be extracted from virtually any hydrogen compound and is the ultimate clean energy carrier. It is safe to manufacture. And hydrogen's chemical energy can be harnessed in pollution-free ways.

Hydrogen generated from diverse domestic resources can reduce demand for oil by more than 11 million barrels per day by the year 2040.

A good source of information on hydrogen is the U.S. Department of Energy's H2IQ web page, as well as the overview book, Hydrogen & Our Energy Future, which expands on DOE's series of one-page fact sheets to provide an in-depth look at hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. This overview book provides additional information on the science behind the technology — how it works, benefits over conventional technology, its status, and challenges — and explains how hydrogen and fuel cells fit into our energy portfolio.

Together with partners, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed a National Hydrogen Energy Road Map to provide a framework to make the hydrogen economy a reality.  This Road Map outlines the challenges ahead to developing a hydrogen economy - including the necessary elements of a hydrogen infrastructure for not only on transportation uses but also distributed generation, since development of a hydrogen infrastructure would benefit both applications.

The National Hydrogen Energy Road Map and other pertinent documents are available on the DOE's Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, & Infrastructure Technologies Program website.

Safety

Hydrogen is the perfect companion to electrons in the clean energy systems of the future. But hydrogen is not perfect – no fuel is.

  • Because of its high energy content, hydrogen must be handled properly, just as gasoline and natural gas today require careful handling. Hydrogen is no more dangerous than other fuels, just different.
  • Hydrogen-based fuels like "town gas" were used in many communities in the U.S. and are still used around the world.
  • Hydrogen is made, shipped and used safely today in many industries worldwide. Hydrogen producers and users have generated an impeccable safety record over the last half-century.
  • Liquid hydrogen trucks have carried on the nation's roadways an average 70 million gallons of liquid hydrogen per year without major incident.

    Hydrogen has been handled and sent through hundreds of miles of pipelines with relative safety for the oil, chemical, and iron industries.

  • Hydrogen and the Law: Safety and Liability - a presentation with lots of statistics and information on hydrogen safety.

Hydrogen Safety for First Responders - DOE's Introduction to Hydrogen Safety for First Responders is a Web-based course that provides an "awareness level" overview of hydrogen for fire, law enforcement, and emergency medical personnel, but also contains a lot of useful information for everyone. This multimedia tutorial introduces hydrogen, its basic properties, and how it compares to other familiar fuels; hydrogen use in fuel cells for transportation and stationary power; potential hazards; initial protective actions should a responder witness an incident; and supplemental resources including videos, supporting documents, and links relevant to hydrogen safety. To receive print or CD versions of the course, contact DOE's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Information Center or call 1-877-337-3463.

Fuel Flexibility means Energy Security. Hydrogen can be produced from a variety of sources:

  • Traditional: natural gas, gasoline, diesel, propane
  • Renewable/alternative fuels: methanol, ethanol, landfill gas, bio-gas, methane
  • Water: using electrolysis, solar or wind power
  • Innovative: sodium borohydride, algae, peanut shells

Storage

Because hydrogen is such a light gas, it is difficult to store a large amount in a small space. That is a challenge for auto engineers who want to match today's 300-mile vehicle range, but some recent vehicles have done it. Researchers are examining an impressive array of storage options, with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) support. Today's prototype FCVs use compressed hydrogen tanks or liquid hydrogen tanks. New technologies such as metal hydrides and chemical hydrides may become viable in the future. Another option would be to store hydrogen compounds – methanol, gasoline, or other compounds – on board, and extract the hydrogen when the vehicle is operating.

Delivery

Since fuel cells convert hydrogen into electricity, the main question on everybody's mind is "Where and how am I going to get the hydrogen to fuel up my fuel cell car?" If auto engineers choose to store hydrogen compounds on board the vehicle, tomorrow's fuel infrastructure would look a lot like today's. Many other options are being explored to deliver hydrogen to fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

  • Centralized production and delivery. Hydrogen production and delivery services – including a limited pipeline system – already serve the needs of today's industrial demand.
  • On-Site Production. The energy station of the future might produce hydrogen on demand from natural gas, other compounds or even water.
  • Innovative Approaches. Fuel cell products that generate electrical power sometimes come with hydrogen generators called Reformers. An energy station might purchase one of these units, use the electricity for operations and tap into the reformer to produce hydrogen for vehicles.
  • Power from the sun. The ultimate solution might be solar powered hydrogen filling stations, where electricity generated by the sun (or by a windmill) is used to extract hydrogen from water. This is not as far out as it sounds. Two such stations already are operating in Southern California.

For a complete listing of the hydrogen fueling stations worldwide, check out our chart.

How much will Hydrogen fuel cost?

The U.S. Department of Energy's Hydrogen, Fuel Cells & Infrastructure Technologies Program is working to achieve the following goals:

By 2005, the technology will be available to produce hydrogen at the pump for $3.00 per gallon gasoline equivalent, and DOE wants to validate this technology by 2008.  By 2010, the price goal is $1.50 per gallon of gasoline equivalent (untaxed) at the station.

Even $3 a gallon would save most of us money, since FCVs will be two to three times more efficient than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles.  If all the goals are met, FCVs offer the promise of energy at $1 a gallon - or less! 

For more information on hydrogen, check out NHA's collection of fact sheets.

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