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The Hype About Hydrogen

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #12 in Books


Pros: very informative

This is a really great book about the potential of hydrogen for both energy production and as a transportation fuel.  Romm does a great job explaining the roadblocks hydrogen faces before it becomes a viable fuel for cars.  Joseph Romm was acting assistant secretary of energy for energy efficiency and renewable energy during the Clinton Administration, so he's a very well-informed source of information on the subject.  It's a great book - one of my favorites.  If you want to learn about hydrogen technology, this book is a great start.

The Hype About Hydrogen

In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush seized the nation's attention with his advocacy of a "hydrogen economy," with fuel cells that produce energy and water taking the place of fossil fuels in cars that produce greenhouse gases. As Romm (Cool Companies), a former Department of Energy official in the Clinton administration, points out, however, hydrogen is an energy carrier, not an energy source (at least until we tame nuclear fusion). Hydrogen can be extracted from biomass or seawater, but the primary source today is natural gas—which produces greenhouse gases as a byproduct. Romm expresses extreme pessimism about the potential for hydrogen fuel cells in automobiles, even as car manufacturers jump on the fuel cell bandwagon. Romm maintains that it will take decades to solve the infrastructure demands presented by a hydrogen-powered car, such as hydrogen's propensity to embrittle metal. There are also safety issues: an electrical storm several miles away can ignite hydrogen, as can a slight charge from a cell phone. Romm believes that stationary fuel cell systems to provide power to companies and homes hold much more potential (and he works with companies promoting this technology). His central chapter lays out the case for global warming and the potential for catastrophic climate change in the next few decades. Readers looking to separate facts from hype about cars running on hydrogen and large-scale fuel cell systems will find a useful primer here.

Additional Features
TypeEnvironmental science and conservation
Release Date
Model Name/TypeMPNEAN/UPC
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