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For many years, scientists have known that the energy sources that

humans have been using for the past few centuries have been depleted.
Soon, humans will have no main energy sources that they can rely on due to
Earth not containing any of its precious resources that it had before. These
fuels, which can only be renewed over millions of years, are known as nonrenewable energies. Most non-renewable energies are fossil fuels, which are
hydrocarbons. Not only will current non-renewable energy sources be rare in
the next century, they also cause health-related problems. Intake of too
many hydrocarbons has been directly linked to lung problems, such as
infections in the lungs, and chronic lung diseases. Scientists have now
started to research the immense consequences of using fossil fuels, and
have now started to create new energy sources.
One of the main things that fossil fuels currently power is cars.
Scientists have shown that electric cars use less power than regular cars.
Many think that electric cars are entirely environmentally-friendly, but truly,
most of the electricity powering those cars was made using fossil fuels.
Scientists think that the best way out of this predicament is to create a new
energy source which produces electricity. Solar power, wind power, and
hydroelectric power have all been proposed. All of them have their
downsides, but in the end, hydroelectric power comes to be the most
efficient of these energy sources. Unfortunately, hydroelectric energy can
only be used in very certain situations, limiting its use.
Due to the inconvenience of these energy sources, some scientists
have set out to develop a new one. Some of these energy sources include
oxygen generated fuel, hydrogen generated fuel, and helium generated fuel.
Hydrogen generated fuel is the most developed of the three. In truth,
hydrogen is not an energy source, but an energy carrier, as it carries the
energy which is produced when it is used. One of the main difficulties of
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hydrogen fuel is the production of hydrogen. Some of the easiest methods,


such as natural gas reforming, emits emissions, destroying the environment.
One of the methods which does not release emissions is electrolysis. This
procedure has been known to scientists for a long time, but is very costly.
Electrolysis takes place when an electrical current is run through water.
Water molecules are broken into hydrogen molecules and oxygen atoms,
which will bond with another oxygen atom to produce an oxygen molecule.
Once electrolysis has occurred, the two different molecules will be separated
by using two electrodes, a cathode and an anode. All of the oxygen will
collect near the anode, while the hydrogen will be collected near the
cathode. This way, it is easy to capture only the hydrogen. Then, this
hydrogen will be stored in a high pressure or cryogenic tank, and will be
transported using pipeline or trucks.
This hydrogen, then, can be fed into a hydrogen fuel cell. A hydrogen
fuel cell is a device that produces continuous electric current using
hydrogen and oxygen. A fuel cell has two electrodes (an anode and cathode)
and an electrolyte (a substance that directs charged ions from one electrode
to the other). Hydrogen enters into an anode of a fuel cell, and is then
forced to move toward the electrolyte using pressure. On the border of the
electrolyte, there lies a catalyst, which splits the hydrogen molecule into
protons and electrons. The protons then are allowed into the electrolyte,
while the electrons are rejected. The electrons, therefore, use an external
path, charging a battery, while the protons continue to move through the
electrolyte. The protons then exit the electrolyte, and the electrons return
from their external path in the cathode, where they join, and also bond with
oxygen taken from the air. Therefore, the only byproduct of the fuel cell is
heat and water, making water vapor. Due to a fuel cell making only about
0.7-0.8 volts, fuel cells are stacked on top of one another to make a larger
amount of electricity.
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There are some downsides to using this technology. Hydrogen could


escape the container holding it, causing others to choke due to inhalation of
hydrogen. Also, if the hydrogen comes into contact with an oxidizer, then it
could catch fire. Before this technology will be released to the public, it must
be tested for long periods of time, as it is completely new to the scientific
community.
Scientists have many ideas on how to input this technology into
society. Some say that hydroelectric plants could be used as base stations
for electrolysis plants. Others say that the same hydrogen in a hydrogen fuel
cell can be used over and over again, as electrolysis could occur in the car
internally.
Hydrogen fuel cells could have the potential to change the world.
Scientists are constantly working to improve this energy source/carrier, and
some say that it may be ready to be inputted into society by 2030. The
energy will not hurt the environment, and will not damage our health.
Hydrogen fuel could provide humans with an energy source that they can
rely on for many centuries to come.