|WELCOME TO THE
Hydrogen is quickly being realized as the preeminent energy source of the new millennium. The primary technology that is "fueling" (how handy!) this momentum is the emergence of Fuel Cell technology. Common sense, advancements in technology, and environmental concerns have all contributed to this exciting new solution to our global energy needs.
A Note on Safety
In a word association game of people over 30 years old, 95% of the players will say "Hindenburg" after hearing "Hydrogen". The cause of the Hindenburg conflagration was studied extensively in 1997 and the findings were published in a Ford Motor Company report on Hydrogen Vehicle Safety. A retired NASA safety expert, Addison Bain, assisted scientists in a study of fragments of the dirigible to determine what caused the accident. Their investigation determined that the ship's gas bags were made of cellulose acetate or cellulose nitrate, both flammable. In addition, aluminum flakes were laminated to the bags as a reflective agent to keep the gas bags cool. The combination of cellulose nitrate and metal chips are the core ingredients of rocket fuel, possibly not commonly known at the time. The team of scientists determined that the initial combustion was more likely caused by the ignition (lightning?) of the flammable fabric as opposed to the properly vented hydrogen gas bags. Obviously once the fabric ignited the hydrogen added to the intense and rapid demise of the Hindenburg. As further evidence however, Bain noted a photograph of another dirigible engulfed in flames around the same time period. The critical difference between these two airships was that while the Hindenburg was filled with Hydrogen, the second zeppelin was filled with inert helium, a non-flammable lighter-than-air gas. By the way, the Ford Motor Report concluded that a Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV) would be safer than traditional Internal Combustion Engines (ICE).