A number of researchers have demonstrated that the internal combustion engine will operate cleanly and efficiently on hydrogen, although considerable work must be done before a "hydrogen engine" is a practicality. The most severe problems facing the development of a "hydrogen automobile" however, relate to practical storage of hydrogen on board the vehicle. Recent research on several storage techniques which offer greater insight into the options is reviewed. The total vehicle weights and net fuel utilization efficiencies are compared. Although several researchers have suggested near-term implementation of hydrogen fuel, research efforts have been directed toward long-range programs. Near-term uses of hydrogen would probably use hydrogen made from coal or by electroysis using the electrical utility grid. However, these same energy sources would be used in an electric vehicle. For this reason, hydrogen and electric subcompact vehicles were compared on the basis of weight, range, and efficiency. It now appears that vehicles driven by hydrogen produced from coal or by hydrogen derived by on-board reforming of methanol can potentially compete with electrically charged battery-operated vehicles; also, several hydrogen storage techniques offer a greater range than electric vehicle using existing battery technology at a comparable vehicle weight. It is concluded that vehicles using some of these hydrogen storage techniques will compete with advanced battery vehicular systems. Although more analysis is needed to confirm these preliminary opinions, this rudimentary review puts near-term hydrogen possibilities in better perspective and illustrates the need for a more detailed assessment of hydrogen as a fuel for vehicles.

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 3-29

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00139628
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 16 1976 12:00AM