Hydrogen as an Alternate Source of Energy

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It is in this milieu that we are looking hydrogen and its potentials as a source of energy. Presently, hydrogen – found in abundance on earth – is already being used as primary feedstock in industrial sectors, including petroleum refining, petrochemical manufacturing, glass purification and in fertilizers. Hydrogen is also used in the semiconductor industry and for the hydrogenation of unsaturated fats in vegetable oil. About 90 per cent of the hydrogen produced per year worldwide is from fossil fuels, mainly by steam reforming of natural gas and petroleum derivatives.

Scientists are looking at hydrogen a fuel for the future as a replacement for gasoline, diesel, heating oil, natural gas and other fuels in different sectors. They are also working on method to produce hydrogen from non-fossil fuel sources like solar, hydropower, wind, nuclear.

Unicellular green algae is one of the most efficient method to produce hydrogen with water through photosynthesis. Biological hydrogen production has advantages, when compared to photo electrochemical or thermo chemical processes, that include low energy requirement and investment cost.

The advent of hydrogen will bring about technological developments in many areas of human activities including power generation, agriculture, the automotive industry and many others. It will give a much needed stimulus to the economy during worst ever economic recession and more than everything else, will have a positive impact on the environment.

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