Hydrogen is the quintessential eco-fuel. This invisible, tasteless gas is the mostabundant element in the universe. It is the basic building block and fuel of stars and an essentialraw material in innumerable biological and chemical processes. As a completely nonpolluting fuel, itmay hold the answer to growing environmental concerns about atmospheric accumulation of carbondioxide and the resultant Greenhouse Effect. In this book Peter Hoffmann describes current researchtoward a hydrogen-based economy. He presents the history of hydrogen energy and discusses theenvironmental dangers of continued dependence on fossil fuels.Hydrogen is not an energy source but acarrier that, like electricity, must be manufactured. Today hydrogen is manufactured by"decarbonizing" fossil fuels. In the future it will be derived from water and solar energy andperhaps from "cleaner" versions of nuclear energy. Because it can be made by a variety of methods,Hoffmann argues, it can be easily adapted by different countries and economies. Hoffmannacknowledges the social, political, and economic difficulties in replacing current energy systemswith an entirely new one. Although the process of converting to a hydrogen-based economy would becomplex, he demonstrates that the environmental and health benefits would far outweigh thecosts.