Hydrogen : The Fuel Of The Future

The Coradia iLint can travel around 1.000 kilometers with just one tank of hydrogen that is charged in 15 minutes. For many people this transport innovation may mean a global initiative that changes our fuel systems.

Credit: “This is the world's first zero emission train fueled by hydrogen” https://www.duurzaambedrijfsleven.nl

The Coradia iLint doesn't produce toxic emissions and operate silently. The truly thrilling thing about the train iLint, is the new and incredible hydrogen applications that has been discovered. How does the hydrogen become a fantastic fuel?

Well, it consists in a redox chemical reaction between oxygen and hydrogen. Basically we have an anode that suffers an oxidation with the hydrogen (get electrons from H), and we have a cathode that allows the entering of oxygen atoms in it. Among the cathode and the anode there is an electrolyte solution that behaves like an electric conductor. This solution lets the hydrogen atoms move to the cathode charged with oxygen atoms. When the hydrogen and oxygen atoms find each other in the cathode, they produce both electricity and water instead of toxic emissions due to the electrons of the hydrogen that are separated by the said reduction. They moved through a circuit that did not allow the electrons to join atoms until they get into the cathode, creating the famous H2O chemical compound.

This kind of fuel is not just more effective than diesel or gas engines. According to Johnson Matthey©, a British multinational company specialized in chemicals and sustainable technologies, the hydrogen fuel reduce economic dependence on oil producing countries, creating greater energy security for the user nation.

You can easily imitate the redox reaction in your school chemistry laboratory, through the electrolysis of water; you just need two pencils, a glass of water, two alligator clips and a 9v battery.

Written by: Andres Filipe Pinzon Pulecio

Andres Filipe Pinzon is volunteering for Voyager Space Outreach to write Space/STEM oriented topics.

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