Misunderstanding hydrogen

2006/12/12 at 12:46

I’ve noted for a while a lot of misunderstanding about hydrogen fuel cells as a possible solution to our dependence on fossil fuels. This article correctly points out that since we have to manufacture hydrogen, it is really an energy storage mechanism, not a fuel.
The manufacturing process uses electricity to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen. The resulting hydrogen is collected, and distributed. Then fuel cells combine the hydrogen with oxygen again, producing water and electricity. It takes more energy to create, collect, store and distribute the hydrogen than is regained when it is used to create electricity–which makes hydrogen a very inefficient energy storage mechanism.