I have never been a fan of hydrogen technology as a solution to the climate change problem. It would be great if we could power automobiles with hydrogen (generated, of course, with renewable energy), but how do you carry the hydrogen around in your car? Do you really want to be driving around on top of a tank full of compressed hydrogen? Can you say Hindenburg?
I just listened to a great segment on this week’s Science Friday. The guest, Jerry Woodall, a professor at Purdue, has an interesting idea for how to carry hydrogen in a way that seems extremely safe to me.
The idea is that you carry around a bunch of aluminum. You react the aluminum with water, and that produces hydrogen, which would then be immediately burned. In the end, you’re left with a tank full of aluminum oxide, which will be recycled back into aluminum (using, of course, renewable energy) at a recycling facility.