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Hydrogen, Fuel Cells, and the Prospects for a Cleaner Planet
by Peter Hoffmann
MIT Press, 2001, Paprback
Hydrogen, an invisible, tasteless gas, is the most abundant element in the universe. It is the fuel of stars and an essential raw material in many biological and chemical processes. In Tomorrow's Energy Peter Hoffmann presents the history of hydrogen energy and discusses using hydrogen fuel as an alternative to hydrocarbon fuels.
Hydrogen is not an energy source but a carrier that, like electricity, must be manufactured. Today hydrogen is manufactured by "decarbonizing" fossil fuels. Because it can be made by a variety of methods, Hoffmann argues, it can be easily adapted by different countries and economies. Hoffmann acknowledges the social, political, and economic difficulties in replacing current energy systems with an entirely new one. Although the process of converting to a hydrogen-based economy would be complex, he argues that the environmental and health benefits would far outweigh the costs.
Praise for Tomorrow's Energy
"This book has everything the reader needs to know about hydrogenó-its discovery, the numerous attempts to use it as a fuel, its (quite good) safety record, and the practical and economic difficulties that must be overcome if hydrogen is to realize its potential as a nonpolluting, non-carbon-emitting fuel." -- Richard N. Cooper, Foreign Affairs
Peter Hoffmann is editor and publisher of The Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Letter. He is a former Washington correspondent for McGraw-Hill World News and the author of The Forever Fuel: The Story of Hydrogen.