<>< Josh Rule : : 2008 MCPP Intern
ITM-Power, a UK-based enterprise dedicated to “provid[ing] all aspects of the technology necessary to make the “hydrogen economy” a commercial reality”, has recently announced a product that could place them one step closer to that goal. Today, they introduced a home refueling station that uses electrolysis to create hydrogen that could be used to power a car, heat a home, cook food, or even power a refridgerator. ITM-Power plans to have the device, which takes slightly less space than said refridgerator, on the market within two years for under £2000 (about $3947.44 on today’s exchange).
The development should be welcomed for a number of reasons, the most apparent of which is the beginnings of viable competition with an oil-based fuel economy. In the past, hydrogen has been relegated to the shadows largely because it was unaffordable. The materials, among which Platinum played an important role, were quite expensive, and the hydrogen itself was difficult to store. ITM-Power has worked to solve those problems by introducing this new product, which makes no use of Platinum, making hydrogen at roughly 1% of the cost of previous devices. Further, the station is relatively affordable, and runs off simply water and electricity, so ITM-Power is hoping businesses and individuals will create a decentralized network of fueling stations worldwide. Although, I suppose only time will tell. What do you think about hydrogen fuel cells and the call for ridding the world of fossil fuel dependence? Are they viable products and realistic claims, or the work of idealists and dreamers? Let us know in the comments below.