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Why hydrogen engines are our future

The era of fuel cars is gradually coming to an end. Already today, many well-known manufacturers use hybrid and all-electric powertrains in their vehicles, which operate more efficiently and do not have a negative impact on the environment. Despite their current popularity, in just a few years they may turn into outsiders, losing leadership to hydrogen engines. Let’s figure out together how likely this development of events is and what to expect in the near future.

What is a hydrogen engine?

The hydrogen engine is a modern development that is gradually being introduced into various fields of activity, including the automotive industry. Based on this device, modern vehicles are created that receive many advantages over electric cars and models with fuel power plants.

The innovative engine operates by using compressed hydrogen, which is used to fill the car’s tank. This type of fuel is environmentally friendly and therefore does not harm the environment. The fuel cell of such an engine contains a special membrane, the presence of which makes it possible to create two separate chambers and thereby separate the cathode from the anode. The first of them receives oxygen, and the second – hydrogen. Next, a chemical reaction occurs, due to which oxygen releases protons with a positive charge, and hydrogen releases electrons with a negative charge. All these particles are attracted to the previously mentioned separation membrane, on which various chemical processes are activated. As a result, it is possible to obtain environmentally friendly steam and electricity, which becomes a source of energy for the operation of the car.

Why are hydrogen engines not yet very popular today?

Nowadays, hydrogen-powered cars are just beginning the process of conquering markets around the world. Their low popularity today is easily explained by the high cost of fuel, insufficiently developed refueling infrastructure and lack of safety guarantees. All these problems are not super complex, but solving them requires some time.

High cost of suitable fuel

One of the main problems of the hydrogen engine is the high cost of the fuel on which it runs. It is precisely this circumstance that does not yet allow this power plant to become the only option. The high price of fuel is explained by the complexity of the process of obtaining it, because simple hydrogen, which is very abundant on our planet, is not suitable for engine operation. To obtain usable raw materials, it is necessary to carry out the electrolysis process. In itself it is quite simple, but expensive.

To achieve the desired result and turn hydrogen fuel into an environmentally friendly raw material, it is necessary to make its production process environmentally friendly. To do this, we need to abandon traditional energy sources (most often they are a variety of fossil fuels) and replace them with renewable ones. This process requires completely new equipment, which is expensive and only affordable by some manufacturers. In this regard, the price of finished products, which is hydrogen fuel, increases. In the future the situation will definitely change for the better. Gradually, many companies will use more environmentally friendly production processes and within a few years the cost of fuel for hydrogen engines will become lower.

Poorly developed refueling infrastructure

An important problem of our time is the insufficiently developed network of gas stations where hydrogen reserves can be replenished. Because of this, today many car manufacturers and buyers are abandoning models with hydrogen engines and giving preference to electric cars or modern vehicles that run on some kind of fuel.

The lack of a developed refueling infrastructure is a temporary problem that can be quickly eliminated. Already, in many economically developed countries of the world there are plans to build such gas stations. It is expected that they will be present in all major cities in Europe, Asia and the United States by 2030. At the same time, another problem may arise. It lies in the fact that some countries have not yet built a single filling station where hydrogen can be replenished, and do not intend to do so in the near future (due to low profitability). This could lead to a situation where it will be impossible to travel in a hydrogen-powered car to certain countries, since there will simply be nowhere to refuel it. However, this problem can also be solved. Many people have already started using mobile hydrogen filling stations. They can be quickly moved from one territory to another and serve customers in places where there is no appropriate infrastructure.

Lack of security guarantees

If you drive a brand new Porsche Macan, Audi Q8, Jeep Avenger or use a wrecked GMC Yukon, then you are definitely you know that with careful and proper management you will be completely safe. However, if you get behind the wheel of any hydrogen-powered model, the situation will be the opposite. The fact is that today the safety aspects of using hydrogen engines are not 100% studied. Because of this, the likelihood of various problems becoming higher than with models with an electric or fuel power plant.

An important concern for drivers is the flammability of hydrogen. This gas can in any case cause a car fire with all the ensuing negative consequences. Today people have already learned to reduce risks, but they are still far from complete safety. However, there is no doubt that in just a few years it will be possible to say that hydrogen engines do not pose any danger to people and can be used in a variety of vehicles.

Reasons for the future success of hydrogen engines

Hydrogen engines have excellent prospects. They are constantly being modernized and every year they become more efficient, economical and quiet. In addition, they use hydrogen in their work, which does not harm the environment and makes vehicles environmentally friendly. All these factors guarantee a bright future for hydrogen engines, which will come very soon.

Environmental friendliness

Due to the poor environmental situation in the world now and in the future, special attention will be paid to environmental protection issues. Therefore, there is no doubt that hydrogen engines will become extremely popular and will be used in various fields of activity. The environmental friendliness of such power plants is achieved by eliminating emissions of carbon dioxide and other harmful substances into the atmosphere.

During chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen, it is possible to obtain the electricity and water vapor necessary for the operation of the car. The latter is safe for humans and nature, so the negative impact on the environment will be close to zero. The hydrogen engine will not produce any other waste.

High efficiency

Hydrogen engines available today operate as efficiently as possible. They have a high efficiency and, at the same time, consume fuel economically. This effect is achieved due to the characteristics of hydrogen itself. Already, with its help, people have learned to get 3 times more energy than from gasoline, and in the future the difference between them will only grow.

Hydrogen-powered cars have the potential to be even more efficient. For example, if in the future it is possible to reduce the number of chemical reactions carried out, then there is a high probability of increasing the efficiency to the maximum. Work in this and other directions is already underway, so we should expect serious positive changes very soon. If they happen, then hydrogen engines will break away even further from their competitors and could become the only option.

Quiet operation

The number of vehicles on the roads increases every year. This leads not only to a huge number of traffic jams, but also to a gradual increase in noise levels. In the largest cities, this indicator reaches dangerous levels, at which there is a likelihood of negative consequences for the human psyche. In addition, the high noise level makes it difficult to perceive the various sound signals that drivers give to each other. In this regard, the hydrogen engine becomes a real savior. It operates almost silently, but is not inferior in efficiency to fuel or electric counterparts.

Gradual modernization of the hydrogen engine will make it possible to further reduce the noise level. This will make the cars as quiet as possible and ideal for large populated areas. Working almost silently, the engine will not distract the driver with its hum and he will be able to fully concentrate on the control process. The consequence of this will be a reduction in the number of accidents on roads involving pedestrians and other vehicles.

Low fuel consumption

If we compare hydrogen engines with electric ones, they are much more economical. At one filling station, cars running on hydrogen can travel up to 500 km, and this figure is not the limit. There is no doubt that in the future the range will increase even more and people will be able to forget about the need to frequently visit gas stations. Despite the fact that hydrogen engines provide a large range, refueling a car with them takes approximately the same amount of time as a similar operation with models with an internal combustion engine (only about 5 minutes). If we compare this value with electric motors (on average they charge for 30-60 minutes), the difference will be significant.

The automotive industry is developing rapidly, which leads to global changes in the design of various vehicles. Until recently, all of them were equipped exclusively with fuel engines, but today electric or even hydrogen engines are increasingly found on models of various brands. The latter are not very popular yet, but there is no doubt that in the near future they will be able to become the only option for most cars.

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Thu. May 30th, 2024

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