Car manufacturers have been involved in a detailed research for the best alternative fuel to petroleum. This is due to the fact that petroleum is becoming very expensive day by day. In addition to this, petroleum also poses as a great hazard and avenue of environmental degradation. This is seen in the view that combustion of petroleum in cars leads to the formation of carbon monoxide. This is a killer disease especially when released into the atmosphere. Carbon monoxide smoothers the oxygen present in the air thereby leading to respiratory related illnesses. Hydrogen has been one of the results of the researches conducted on alternative fuel for cars. Hydrogen is highly advantageous as a car fuel but even so it still has its own setbacks. The main setback of hydrogen as a fuel is that it’s quite bulky and as such requires large storage. In vehicles, there is a storage limitation due to designs used in manufacturing cars. What’s more is that the production of hydrogen is dependent of petroleum which is a non renewable fuel.
Advantages of hydrogen as a fuel
There are two main reasons that make hydrogen to edge out as the most preferred car fuel. These reasons are that hydrogen is found in abundant supply and also that hydrogen is a renewable fuel. Hydrogen makes up to 75% and over of the total composition of the environment. Petroleum on the hand is found in a low percent (20%) and it is not renewable. Analysts warn that by the year 2025 all petroleum deposits will all be exhausted. This expectation has necessitated most world governments such as UK and USA to put into place measures that will enable them to be fully dependent on hydrogen by then. In order for hydrogen to be used as a fuel, there is requirement that it must exist freely in the atmosphere.
Hydrogen’s chemical and physical characteristics increase the viability of hydrogen as a fuel. Combustion of hydrogen is highly exothermic thereby producing high amount of heat. This increases the ability of hydrogen to be used in fuel cells found in hydrogen run cars. Fuel cells are basically electrochemical engines that are tasked with converting chemical energy in hydrogen to electrical energy to be used in running cars. Hydrogen has stable chemical bonds that contain large amounts of energy. While the bonds are being broken, there is production of large amounts of energy. This energy is used in producing electrical energy to be used in cars that use hydrogen as their main fuel.
Benefits of using hydrogen over petroleum as a fuel in cars
The main advantage associated with the use of hydrogen over petroleum as a fuel in cars is that hydrogen contains higher energy than petroleum. Hydrogen has an energy storage capacity of more than 2.8 times than that of petroleum per unit mass. This means that a full tank of hydrogen gas can be used to fuel the car for a distance that is 3 times than the same full tank of petroleum can. Hydrogen as a fuel in cars is fairly cheap as compared to petroleum (gasoline).In addition to this; petroleum is fairly light as compared to petroleum.
In conclusion, it is quite evident that petroleum edges out as the best fuel to use for fuelling cars.