‘Supergreen’ hydrogen creation could capture carbon from the air and de-acidify the oceans

May 28, 2013 7:05 PM

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‘Supergreen’ hydrogen creation could capture carbon from the air and de-acidify the oceans

Back when George W. Bush announced a $1.2 billion plan to advance hydrogen fuel cells, the idea seemed rather implausible. Though it’s the most abundant element in the universe by far, in our environment hydrogen hides so effectively that our methods of drawing it out as a so-called “zero-emissions” fuel have tended to be either ineffective or extremely dirty. Producing hydrogen through the electrolysis of water was something of a holy grail to the hydrogen crowd, but suffered from the same drawbacks as traditional hydrogen sources: we needed to burn coal to make power to make hydrogen to make power. Often, hydrogen power simply traded the emission of airborne carbon at the consumer end for precisely the same emissions at the production end — hardly a great leap forward.

Still, research has gone on. There’s simply too much potential in a fuel source that can already make a rally-level supercar with zero emissions, even if the “zero emissions” part is a bit of a mirage. Nuclear power has always presented itself as a nice supplement, offering emissions-free electricit...

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