Unintended Consequences: Hydrogen Produced with Coal


The excerpt below is from a WSJ summary of an article in the April issue of MIT’s Technology Review.  If the article is correct, then hydrogen may provide one more example of why the government should stop trying to determine which technologies are best.


Hydrogen fuel is widely seen as a potentially environmentally clean alternative to fossil fuels for use in cars, but technology writer David Talbot says the perception is wrong — powering automobiles with hydrogen could actually be more polluting than gasoline.

. . .

With . . .  scarce renewable energy resources, hydrogen power might wind up being produced with coal, which generates more carbon dioxide than any other energy source. That would defeat the environmental inspiration behind vehicles like the Hydrogen 7, Mr. Talbot concludes in a review of "Hell and High Water," a book by Joseph Romm, an MIT-trained physicist. A more efficient route for car makers would be to focus on high-mileage gasoline-powered vehicles. They are simpler and less sexy than hydrogen cars, Mr. Talbot says, but for now they stack up as the cleaner option.


For the full summary, see: 

"Informed Reader; ENERGY; Hydrogen May Not Be Greenest Route for Cars."  The Wall Street Journal  (Tues., April 24, 2007):  B7.

(Note:  ellipses added.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *