The Potential for Hydrogen as an Energy Source

EMD-79-58: Published: Apr 20, 1979. Publicly Released: Apr 20, 1979.

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A survey of a portion of the literature on the status, progress, and problems surrounding the development and commercialization of hydrogen as an energy source was conducted. Hydrogen as a fuel is virtually inexhaustible, clean burning, convenient, versatile, and free from foreign control. However, several limitations are evident including the fact that it is practically nonexistent in its free state, and it must consume a primary energy source in its production. Hydrogen consumes more energy in its production than is released by its use, resulting in a net energy loss. Therefore, hydrogen's potential for replacing fossil fuels seems unlikely until a renewable primary energy source, such as fusion, solar, or geothermal, can be used to produce hydrogen economically. Federally funded hydrogen research and development is being carried out in various areas.

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