Molecular hydrogen has the long-range capability of being a fuel and an efficient "energy carrier" (a medium for transporting chemical and/or electrical energy); however, hydrogen is not a primary energy source since it is dependent upon other energy sources for its actual production. In general these dependent energy sources are thermal energy, electrical energy, and radiant energy. Because of hydrogen's specific chemical and physical properties, its more immediate applications are for aviation fuels, industrial chemical production, industrial and domestic heating, off-peak energy storage, electrical and thermal energy transmission, reduction of metal ores, and synthetic food production. Automotive applications employing hydrogen as a fuel are hindered by its poor volumetric energy storage density. The high cost of hydrogen (about $2.14/GJ (1977 dollars US)) will prevent its use as standard fuel in the near future. Other synthetic fuels derived from advanced coal-gasification processes or fermentation of organic matter for the production of synthetic natural gas (SNG) or alcohols (Methanol and ethanol) presently appear more practical, and are receiving greater foreign and domestic funding. The greatest impact of hydrogen will be on the future international energy policy of the United States. By reducing a country's dependency on imported energy, hydrogen can greatly affect its military capability and socioeconomic stability. The pendulum is presently swinging towards hydrogen acceptance in industrialized countries dependent upon imported energy resources such as Japan, France, West Germany, and Italy. Significant hydrogen research programs presently exist in these Western countries.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Defense Intelligence Agency

    Washington, DC  United States  20301
  • Authors:
    • Busi, J D
  • Publication Date: 1978-6

Media Info

  • Pagination: 103 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00181455
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Report/Paper Numbers: DST-1850S-522-78 Monograph
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 31 1979 12:00AM