Scientists have come up with a solution to one of the three major barriers that prevent the hydrogen economy from taking off right now. The three barriers are:
- hydrogen production (is still expensive and mostly produced with fossil fuels, needs to become cheap and renewable)
- hydrogen usage (this is what fuel cells do, and fuel cells are expected to become cost competative with internal combustion engines in the coming years)
- hydrogen storage (hydrogen is a real bitch to store and transfer, and there needs to be an efficient way to do this)
The one barrier which now comes crumbling down because of this solution, is the last one.
Hydrogen is a dangerous material. In gasform, it occupies too much volume, and it is also highly flammable (Hindenburg, anyone?). Therefore, many a scientist has spent many an hour thinking of a solution around this.
These researchers have now managed to develop a hydrogen ‘tablet’, which basically stores hydrogen in a solid form.
From the article:
The hydrogen tablet is safe and inexpensive. In this respect it is different from most other hydrogen storage technologies. You can literally carry the material in your pocket without any kind of safety precaution.
“We have a new solution to one of the major obstacles to the use of hydrogen as a fuel. And we need new energy technologies – oil and gas will not last, and without energy, there is no modern society”, says Jens Nørskov.
Thanks to technological strides like these, a few years from now, we will be able to have a good laugh at the peak oil doomsday crowd, which seems to actually want peak oil to cause the collapse of civilization as we know it.
For more information on why the peak oil doomsday scenario is absolute, total, utter nonsense, see these links:
There are many more links to debunk peak oil. There are plenty of links to follow from the above links.
I just spotted this right after posting this post:
It’s a Dutch article, so you’ll have to run it through a page-translator if you want to actually read it.
At the moment, an oil well is dubbed ’empty’ once 30% has been pumped from it. With better technology, it will become feasible to drill deeper.
Fuel might not become cheaper, so it is entirely possible that other fuel sources will become competative through normal market mechanisms.
This is exactly what Marshall Brain predicts in his peak-oil-non-event post (see link above).