Archive for Saturday, February 15, 2003

Hydrogen future

February 15, 2003

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To the editor:

It is accepted that changing to a hydrogen-based economy will offer a much better future to humanity, but sadly hydrogen-powered cars would remain decades in the future under a new budget plan the Bush administration has recently proposed. And this long delay would be extremely unfortunate, because in the interim, we would be using the power of the American economy to boost global warming to catastrophic levels.

Many automakers see hydrogen as the technology that can be an eventual replacement for internal combustion engine. Cars that run on fuel cells would have water vapor as the sole tailpipe emission. But the administration plan to spur development of hydrogen cars does not envision mass production until about 2020. Fuel cells themselves do not produce energy but they can generate electricity through chemical reactions between hydrogen and oxygen. So the source and methods from which hydrogen is produced are key issues.

Green plant matter could be the source of hydrogen, and if we were growing it on farms we could be extracting CO2 out of the atmosphere and sequestering it in the soil now.

Kansas could become a front-runner in converting green plant matter into hydrogen, too, if we can only convince the Kansas Legislature that, with its support, Kansas and Kansans can contribute. A Kansan by the name of Eisenhower said it best when he said, "Planning is everything."

Les Blevins,

president, Advanced Alternative Energy Corp.,

Lawrence

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