Hydrogen production increases by an average of 6 % every year(Lovins, 2005). Hydrogen can be used as a fuel cell or energy carrier to powerautomobiles, utilities and to produce electricity when it is isolated andcompressed.
Major means of producing hydrogen fuel includes electrochemistry orby combustion engines. “In the hydrogen energy system, electricity or fossilfuels are used to produce hydrogen, which can then be stored and distributed toa fuel cell, which converts it back into electricity. Hydrogen is considered anenergy carrier rather than a fuel, because like electricity, it takes energyfrom one source and deliveres to to another. The renewable energy industrywould benefit from hydrogen because it can serve as a means to storeelectricity, and the clean emissions of water and air make it anenvironmentally friendly way to transmit energy” (Haman & Emily, 2006).
As a secondary energy source, hydrogen is derived from primarysources of energy. These sources are divided into renewable energy such asbiomass, solar and wind, and non-renewable energy such as fossil fuels, oil andcoal. The production of pure hydrogen includes extensive processes, whichrequire large amounts of energy. Electricity is then produced by converting thederived pure hydrogen by processing it through a “fuel cell or an internalcombustion engine/generator set” (Haman & Emily, 2006).
Lovins and Berry etal explain that hydrogen represents 66.7% of the atoms present in fossil fuelsduring combustion, however the chemical bonds within hydrogen atoms aresignificantly weaker thus representing a smaller percentage of the total energyreleased when compared to the energy contained within the chemical bonds ofother elements and carbon.