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Can We Move From Natural Gas Essay

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Can We Move From Natural Gas to Power Cars?
In modern society, there is a great need for fuel and energy sources that are capable of sustaining current energy consumption trends. One of the priorities of current technological developments in the energy field involve the use of new and innovative methods of creating energy while being compatible with the infrastructure that is currently in place. The greatest challenge in this field is to create technologies that are capable of conveniently functioning in automobiles. Automobiles are the greatest consumers of gasoline, technology that can replace the use of gas powered engines without compromising on power, speed, performance, and longevity is highly sought after by researchers in this field. Fortunately, there are several technological developments that can potentially revolutionize this area, and wholly replace gas-powered automobiles. One of the most innovative and highly researched areas within the field involves the use of hydrogen. A hydrogen vehicle would be capable of completely replacing the use of gasoline without sacrificing any traits within the vehicle. Although hydrogen is an energy carrier rather than an energy source, it can still be used and produced in the same manner as gasoline. Furthermore the use of hydrogen would not have any of the negative effects seen of gasoline consumption. Hydrogen does not emit any greenhouse gases when used as fuel, and its byproducts are not pollutants. Also, modifications exist that can turn internal combustion engines that were originally intended to run on gasoline to run with hydrogen. However, there are certain disadvantages when using hydrogen as a fuel source. One of the major problems is the cost of production. Although fuel cells are highly efficient in converting hydrogen into energy, the fuel cells used for hydrogen are incredibly expensive to produce, and are fragile in a variety of situations. In the recently designed Honda Clarity vehicle, the costs of production averaged $300,000; this reflects the current costs of production for hydrogen vehicles. The main reasons for the costs of fuel cells lie in the fact that current designs require rare minerals and materials for them to function. Substances such as platinum are e...

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