Can Hydrogen be a Safe Fuel for Driving?

Can Hydrogen be a Safe Fuel for Driving?

Hydrogen is the lightest element in the universe and when it’s used in vehicles, it produces nothing more than water vapor.

This element has been studied to be a fuel source that could be a viable alternative to the gasoline we use now. Vehicles that are powered by hydrogen have a similar range to that of gasoline models and they take just as little time to refuel, which makes hydrogen a more attractive alternative fuel than electricity which can take several hours to recharge and doesn’t have the ability to offer a similar range.

Remembering the Beginning

Nearly every discovering or use of a new item has been met with some form of catastrophe. The Titanic was supposed to be unsinkable and one of the first blimps ever flown was the Hindenburg which was a Nazi Germany airship that fell to the ground in a ball of flames in 1936. This tragic event showed us how flammable hydrogen was and how quickly a vehicle would go up in flames when this fuel is used and a spark ignites the fuel that’s held within. Thankfully, 1936 was a long time ago, especially in terms of the industry and technology we have now.

A New Hydrogen Vehicle form Hyundai

The most recent addition to the hydrogen market comes from Hyundai in the form of the Nexo. This small SUV is one that offers us a large set of storage tanks and has been tested and heavily reinforced to ensure the vehicle won’t be met with a flaming demise if it happens to be in a crash on the road. Hyundai has stated the tank area can withstand over 12,000 PSI which gives it a large margin for safety.

More Testing Makes a Difference

If you’re afraid that driving a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle on the road is like driving a ticking time bomb, you needn’t worry. While the Hindenburg is the example that’s used most often, many automakers have tested and proved the robustness of their tanks by firing armor-piercing bullets at them without incident. When you think about it, every vehicle you drive could actually burst into flames at some point. We’ve seen examples of Tesla EV models that have been on fire and plenty of gasoline-powered models have burned due to a spark or uncontrolled explosion in the vehicle.

Hydrogen can be Safer

An advantage that hydrogen has over gasoline is the fact that it dissipates almost immediately. Gasoline, when spilled on the ground, is a hazard, but hydrogen quickly becomes absorbed by the atmosphere because of the need for this gas in nature. This fuel could be the right choice as an alternative to gasoline, but it seems that electricity is becoming the second most popular fuel source used for the vehicles that we drive. Hydrogen might eventually win out if the infrastructure is built to support these vehicles, but that seems to be a ways off right now.

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