One of the obstacles that carmakers face when looking to develop a hydrogen-powered vehicle is figuring out a way to store the volatile fuel in such a way as to pose as little a threat as possible of developing a hydrogen bomb under the hood. Well, it doesn’t get much safer than water.
A team of scientists from the University of Minnesota have teamed up with Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel to pioneer a technique that would result in a fuel cell-powered car that generates the hydrogen it needs for a tank of water. They may even take the internal combustion route with the hydrogen fuel.
The technique involves a chemical reaction between boron and water, resulting in the production of hydrogen fuel. This could be far more economical, inexpensive, and “green” (no emissions) than conventional hydrogen production or the burning of fossil fuels.
They still have a lot of work ahead of them, but the goal is to have a functional prototype ready by 2009.