The Hydrogen Age: Empowering a Clean-Energy Future

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Gibbs Smith, 2007 - Nature - 370 pages
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Each new age in humanity's existence has brought about remarkable advancements and vast improvements in the lives of many members of the human family. But we now find ourselves in a race against time. The Earth and its atmosphere are showing the effects of our massive overconsumption of the planet's finite natural resources. Oil is becoming an increasingly scarce resource. The supply is finite and and production is peaking. The price at the pump is spiraling relentlessly upward. Our dependence on dirty, fossil forms of energy is off the scale and no longer manageable. Beyond that, our bloated consumption of fossil energy is driving the ominous phenomenon known as global warming. It is polluting our skies, our waterways, and our oceans. The environmental, social, and economic impact of our oil addiction amounts to the greatest challenge ever faced by humankind.
We all have a stake in building a future that is both sustainable and equitable for all the world's people. Because energy is the lifeblood of civilization, the foundation for a prosperous, healthy, and secure future will be built on a new kind of energy currency.
"If we could write the script for our energy future, and could select the characteristics of our replacement for oil, what might we ask for? Would we want our choice to be clean with no polluting emissions? Would we wish for it to be nontoxic? Would we hope for it to be limitless in quantity so we would never run out? Would we ask that it be at least as safe as the fuels to which we are accustomed? Would we want it to be universally available so that all the world's people are empowered equally? Would we seek an alternative that is easily adaptable to a broad range of applications? Would we want a fuel that we could safely make in our own homes? How about a fuel that, when it is used, produces its own feedstock? It turns out that of the handful of energy choices being promoted as alternatives, there is one fuel that closely fits the script we would choose to write. That fuel is hydrogen."
Hydrogen linked with clean, renewable sources of energy provides the prescription for the ills of an ailing planet. Geoffrey B. Holland and James J. Provenzano's hallmark book The Hydrogen Age details just how this remarkable energy carrier has been vital to the workings of the universe since the beginning of time, and why it is now ready to play a central part in healing our Earth, our atmosphere, and the world's economies as a clean-energy commodity. Welcome to The Hydrogen Age!
Geoffrey B. Holland is the EMMY-award winning producer of Renewable Power: Earth's Clean Energy Destiny (1998). He has been writer, producer, and/or directed twelve documentaries and educational videos, half of which focus on renewable energy and hydrogen. Holland has traveled to many parts of the world, documenting civilizations' exploitation and overuse of Earth's resources. In 1995, with William Hoagland, Holland cofounded Hydrogen 2000, Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on drawing the media's attention to clean, renewable forms of energy. A graduate of Kansas State University, Holland went on to advanced studies in bio-medical sciences at the University of Washington. He currently lives with his wife, Jennifer, in Oregon.
James J. Provenzano is the president of Clean Air Now, one of the oldest air quality advocacy organizations in the country, and is a leading expert in the field of hydrogen and renewable energy. As manager of Xerox Corporation's environmental programs, he played a key role in developing and managing the early hydrogen-fuel infrastructure in California, contributing to the U.S. Department of Defense study on the technological feasibility of using renewable hydrogen to fuel vehicles. Provenzano graduated from Boston College and holds Master's and Candidate in Philosophy degrees in biology from UCLA. He is a resident of Los Angeles.
 

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Contents

The Way Forward
2
Where Weve Been Where We Are
18
Todays Fossil Energy Beast
30
The Back End of the Beast
48
The Emerging Picture
70
Natures Way
98
The Matter of Safety
110
Making Hydrogen
126
Flying Hydrogen
248
Riding the Rails
264
On the Waterways
276
The Internet of Energy
288
Misconceptions
298
Making It Happen
308
An Empowering Vision
326
SUGGESTED READING
344

Putting Hydrogen to Work
150
Hydrogen in Space
164
Hydrogen at Home at Work at Play
190
Driving on Hydrogen
204
Bypassing the Chicken and Egg
230
RECOMMENDED WEB SITES
346
BIBLIOGRAPHY
347
INDEX
362
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Geoffrey Holland has been making videos about renewable energy since 1995. He was awarded a television Emmy for informational Programming for his production, RENEWABLE POWER: EARTH'S CLEAN ENERGY DESTINY. He has written and directed many videos on hydrogen energy for general as well as specialized technical audiences. His most recent documentary, produced in association with The Worldwatch Institute, was THE HYDROGEN AGE. Bill Hoagland has more than 30 years experience in engineering and energy research. He joined the Solar Energy Research Institute, Golden, Colorado in 1978, which later became the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Over a period of 16 years, he managed research and development programs for the U.S. Department of Energy in solar thermal processes, solar materials, biomass energy, alcohol fuels, and biotechnology engineering development.

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