Frequently Asked Questions
1) How do you create Hydrogen fuel?
Hydrogen fuel can be extracted from water. Through electrolysis, the hydrogen and oxygen molecules are separated, and the hydrogen molecules can be collected.
2) Are there more risks to take into consideration in a hydrogen driving accident?
Hydrogen gas does burn invisibly, however, it is no more flammable than gasoline is. It would be just as dangerous as a gasoline driving accident. If gasoline leaks, it will puddle on the ground, if a spark or flame is near the puddle, it can ignite and blow up. If hydrogen leaked, it would dissipate into the air because it is lighter than the air.
3) Is hydrogen a reliable energy source?
Yes, hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe. We can get it from water, which covers over 75% of the earth. If and when water runs out, we will have much larger problems to deal with.
4) Is hydrogen cheaper than petroleum?
Because we currently do not produce large amounts of hydrogen, the price of production is high. However, like any new prototype, once it is mass produced, the price will go down. Hydrogen can also run off of a unit called the home-unit. Stuart Energy has made a prototype that people can have in their homes. This will run on hydrogen and supply families with all of the energy they need to power both their homes and cars. This will get us off the grid and off the government and big business-controlled supplies.
5) What has been the biggest obstacle for Kids 4 Hydrogen?
It is hard to reach many of the students in the state. Because I do not have the funds to tour all of the schools in California, I will not be able to educate all of the students.
*Working with the government is a slow process. Because I have been working on this project for so many years I have been frustrated at the rate things get processed. In order for me to take action, I need government approval and support which can take months to gain. It took several months for me to gain my non-profit status.
6) What is the hardest part of running Kids 4 Hydrogen?
Getting funding for the activities that Kids 4 Hydrogen wants to participate in is the hardest part of Kids 4 Hydrogen. Grants take time to complete and apply for. I need money to travel, purchase hydrogen, and ship the car.
7) What is Kids 4 Hydrogenâs next step?
I am planning on going on a California tour, educating students about Kids 4 Hydrogen and the hydrogen economy. By presenting the Honda FCX, I will educate students about hydrogen fuel cell cars and how the students can contribute to their future now. This will ensure that kids donât expect ro rely on nuclear or coal for energy production.
8) Why canât we just use a solar panel to create electricity to power our cars?
Why do we need hydrogen and an HFC?
Solar panels and wind are not reliable. Cloudy and rainy days would prohibit energy production. Both hydrogen and wave (tidal) power are the only sources or power that are reliable and sustainable. As you have probably heard, nuclear and coal are renewable but they are not clean sources of energy. By ãcleanä, I mean that they have many toxic byproducts including radioactive waves that are harmful to the environment. Hydrogen is a clean fuel that only has water vapor as its byproduct.
9) What has been most rewarding?
Knowing that I am making a difference in the world is rewarding. I hope to inspire students to become engineers so we can solve this energy crisis with good clean solutions. It is also important that we make good decisions about our energy future. By ensuring that we choose hydrogen above any other fuel, I know that I am helping the economy transition to a clean and sustainable fuel that will power us through the rest of our lives and generations after. I believe that our society needs to either create onsite production of hydrogen at refueling stations or mass produce home electrolyzer units that can power both their home and their cars. We can even replace natural gas with hydrogen in the already existing pipelines. In fact, the NHA held a contest for college students on who could design the best hydrogen refueling station.
10) What is the running cost for a hydrogen fueled vehicle?
Right now the Honda FCX would cost one million dollars if it were for sale because they have only produced a handful of them. However, like all new models, the cost will go down significantly once they are mass produced. If the model T was to be put on the market today, if would probably be sold for a million dollars to.
11) Does it matter how we get the hydrogen?
Yes. It is important that the energy source we use to get the hydrogen does not produce harmful byproducts. If we used coal, petroleum, or nuclear to produce hydrogen, we would not be reducing emissions. This process is called ãblack hydrogen.ä In fact, President Bush has plans to build 1300 nuclear power plants to produce hydrogen. This would defeat the purpose of producing hydrogen; hydrogen is a viable energy source because it has zero emissions and no toxic byproducts. If we use nuclear power to produce hydrogen, we are still, in the long run, producing toxic byproducts. Thus, it is imperative that we stop this plan and demand that hydrogen be produced in a completely clean way. It is imperative that we produce hydrogen using clean methods such as, solar panels, thermal energy, etc·
12) How far would one gallon of hydrogen take me?
One source I have says that one gallon of hydrogen would be enough fuel to travel about 50 miles. This is about the same as gasoline.
13) How many members do you have?
I have about 200 members, 40% are high school students, the rest are adults interested in hydrogen.
14) How sustainable is hydrogen and how is it better than other fuels?
Hydrogen is sustainable, because we will never run out of it. It is the most abundant element in the universe. We are also not worried about water loss, and as long as we have water, we can have hydrogen. Its efficiency is also better than other renewable energy sources.
15) Can you get hydrogen out of salt water?
Yes, the process is called desalinization. Basically we have to extract the salt from the water first, and then we can separate the hydrogen from the oxygen.
16) Wouldnât it be easier to directly use the energy from the solar panels instead of having to incorporate hydrogen as well?
We use hydrogen because it is the easiest way to transport and store the energy.
17) How is the hydrogen stored?
We transport the hydrogen through metal hydrides and tanks. We can transport it in pipelines at refueling stations,
18) What are byproducts of electrolysis?
Clean and distilled water. You can drink it!