Ping (zestyping) wrote,

What is the matter with these hydrogen people?

Today Slashdot referred to an article at Physics Today about the "Hydrogen Economy". I just submitted the following letter using Physics Today's form for Letters to the Editor.

Dear Editor,

Hydrogen is an energy carrier, not an energy source.

In Physics Today 57(12), Crabtree, Dresselhaus, and Buchanan write, "Hydrogen, like electricity, is a carrier of energy, and like electricity, it must be produced from a natural resource." The authors point out that "it does not occur in nature as the fuel H2," yet contradict themselves by describing hydrogen as a "promising alternative to fossil fuels".

Until fusion becomes practical, hydrogen is not a naturally occurring energy source. It therefore cannot replace fossil fuels, which are a naturally occurring energy source.

Although hydrogen has promise as a compact energy storage medium, to call hydrogen a replacement for fossil fuels is inaccurate and irresponsible.

Ka-Ping Yee
University of California, Berkeley

If you feel the same way, i urge you to write and submit your own letters. Or please tell me what is wrong with my thinking. I just don't understand how three established scientists can publish something containing such blatant contradictions. Why do proponents of hydrogen keep presenting hydrogen as a new energy source?
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