Overcoming Technological Barriers to the Hydrogen Economy
The "hydrogen economy" would use domestic sources of energy to create
hydrogen gas, which in turn could be used as a transportation fuel. Other
possibilities include using hydrogen-bearing fuels such as alcohol or natural
gas as potentially economical and long-lasting sources of electrical power for
portable electronics such as cell phones and laptop computers, or even for
powering buildings that are remote from power lines.
Many technical and economic hurdles remain before these technologies can be
made widely available. Reducing costs, improving efficiencies, and making the
technology reliable enough for everyday use will all be important. If these
technical goals are achieved, the broad use of hydrogen as a fuel may prove to
have environmental advantages as well. The Department of Energy is leading the
Presidentís Hydrogen Fuel Initiative to achieve these goals.
NIST research helps support this developing technology in many ways. Projects
currently under way at NIST are providing measurements, data, and technologies
needed to develop and test the performance of hydrogen-based power sources and
to improve the efficiency of hydrogen production methods.