Why Change?

If we are unable substantially reduce CO2 emissions soon, as far-fetched as it may sound, civilization as we know it will end. While 350 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide is considered to be safe or acceptable, we are currently fluctuating at around a staggering amount, 400 ppm. This carbon contributes to the greenhouse effect, which is the process by which trapped gasses in the atmosphere impede the natural release of heat out of our atmosphere. This makes our atmosphere similar to a sauna, where all of the heat is trapped. Our earth has already heated up by one degree Celsius, which is a huge problem, and we are on our way to reaching two degrees of warming. At two degrees, many positive feedback loops—vicious cycles that self-propagate and accelerate global warming—will begin to act. And with all of these acting in conjunction, our problem will spiral out of control rapidly. Furthermore, many of these processes cannot be undone, which means that once they have started, it will be too late to repair our climate.

To prevent us from surpassing this point, we must take action, and quickly. The time for a slow switch has long passed. We need to make a change, and we need to do it now. We at Kids4Hydrogen are actively researching solutions that will enable individuals to take action against climate change by converting their cars. 

Gaseous Hydrogen Cars
ICE cars can actually run on gaseous hydrogen without switching out too many parts, just the gas tank and intake lines. Here are some photos of the conversion process! It only requires that the amount of fuel and air intake are returned to work with the hydrogen. However, gaseous hydrogen presents a storage problem. To get the same amount of mileage and power as gasoline, hydrogen requires a larger tank than that which is in regular cars. People have been working on using metal hydrides as a sort of “sponge” for hydrogen to make storage more efficient. Beyond just the tank issue, most cars are not well suited to run on hydrogen. The metal in engines is not ideal for the larger pressure that hydrogen creates. This can cause the engine to take damage over time.
Hydrogen Fuel Cells
Hydrogen fuel cells operate differently from gaseous hydrogen engines, but they both reqiure a source of hydrogen (like a fuel tank). Instead of being combusted as a normal fuel, hydrogen fuel cells use an electrochemical process to synthesize hydrogen and oxygen back into water. In the process, electrons are emitted, and these create an electrical current. Fuel cells cars are far more efficient than standard ICE cars. Gasoline-fueled internal combustion engines average around 20% efficiency, whereas fuel cells average a whopping 90% efficiency. That means that a fuel cell loses 70% less energy as heat. This is a vast improvement, but fuel cells still have their problems. The process of synthesizing water from hydrogen requires the use of precious metals, and these are finite resources and are therefore expensive. However, as the years have passed they have found ways to use less of these precious metals in each fuel cell.
In regards to converting a car, there are many parts that must be replaced which makes the conversion more pricey. When converting a mechanical car (like an ICE car) to run on a fuel cell, all of the mechanical parts must be replaced with electric parts, and to be honest, that’s a majority of the car! In addition, the fuel tank still needs to be replaced so that the vehicle can hold more fuel.
Metrol

One of the solutions that we promote is Metrol. It is a hydrogen fuel that is net-negative for carbon emissions that can function in regular internal combustion engine (ICE) cars with a minor conversion that takes as much time as a regular tune-up. It also can be stored in the same tanks and pipelines as regular gasoline. This means that there is no need to uproot and change our current infrastructure, which will allow Metrol implementation to be rapid enough to help curb our emissions before we reach the aforementioned irreversible point. Learn more about the benefits of Metrol by looking at this video. We believe that the conversion to Metrol is a strong solution because it has net-negative emissions and it can be implemented in five to ten years.

Why Metrol?
Metrol is an ideal solution to our climate problem for a multitude of reasons. Metrol is a net-negative fuel, which means that in its production more carbon is taken from the air than is emitted. This means that Metrol production can help remove excess carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. Not only is it a green fuel, but it is a clean fuel, in the sense that it helps clean our atmosphere. It is also produced from anything that rots or burns. This can help clean and use wastes, such as farm waste, that are generally just sent to the dump. This means that we can help clean the surface of our planet, while we clean the air. This helps eliminate two of the most heinous types of pollution.
Economically speaking, Metrol is a viable solution. During the production of Metrol, carbon is captured and stored in solid form. This carbon can be sold to make carbon fiber, a valuable and economically viable product of most next-gen tech. This carbon can be sold to subsidize the cost of the fuel, making it similar to the price of regular gasoline. This means that there will be no exorbitant rise in fuel price with the adoption of Metrol. Furthermore, there is no need to repurchase a car compatible to run on Metrol, as a standard Internal Combustion Engine car can be converted to run on it. The conversion would take around the time of a standard tune-up, and not be nearly as costly as purchasing a green car. Converted cars can also take gasoline, so there is no travel limitation based on Metrol station proximity. Metrol can also be stored in the same tankers and tanks as standard gasoline, so there is no need to rebuild a completely new infrastructure to house the fuel. It could be dispensed from standard gas stations, making it more convenient for the consumer.
You may ask, “Well, what’s wrong with electric cars?” There may not be anything “wrong” with electric cars, but they do have definite drawbacks and do not encompass a complete environmental solution. Electric car adoption has been rather slow, comprising only 0.1% of the 1 billion cars on the road. It is hard to become a part of the electric car-owning community, as it necessitates purchasing an entirely new car, a price wall that many people cannot surpass. They are also generally not as clean as they may seem. Even though they have zero emissions at the tailpipe, they are often running on electricity that has been produced by the burning of fossil fuels. With that in consideration, they are not a true zero-emission car, though they still contribute fewer emissions than a standard ICE car. Furthermore, the lithium-ion batteries in the cars will eventually get old, and disposing of them is sure to pose a large problem.
  • Upcoming Events

    The team will continue to build better public awareness for our project to convert cars!

    December:

    • Kids4Hydrogen Meeting!
    • Whiteboard Video

    January:

    • TED Talk Videos
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