Properties of hydrogen as a fuel resource

Hydrogen gas is the only alternative clean fuel source that produces no greenhouse gases, with water as the only combustion by-product. Combustion of hydrogen in automobiles is 50% more efficient than gasoline, since hydrogen can be combusted very lean, and gasoline must rely on stoichio-metric mixtures and catalytic control of the exhaust gases for emission control (Swain et al., 1983; Mizuno et al., 2000). It may be possible to store compactly as a metallic hydride (Billings, 1991). It is the lightest fuel possible, with a molecular weight of only 2.02. Even as a liquid, hydrogen is only about one-tenth the weight of gasoline. The latent heat of vaporization of hydrogen is 28% higher than gasoline and 92% higher than diesel fuel (Bechtold, 1997).

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