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Can you answer these questions on interesting hydrogen related facts?

Which is the most abundant element in the universe?


Hydrogen. It has the highest share among all elements and it represents app. 98% of known universe (especially suns and stars).


Where can we find hydrogen in nature and in what form?


In nature, hydrogen is usually in form of compound with other elements. Hydrogen is also a compound of water, minerals, acids and crucial part of hydrocarbons (e.g. oil) and all other organic compounds.


Justify the position of hydrogen in the periodic table.


Position of elements on the periodic table largely depends on their electronic configuration. Hydrogen is the first element in the table. It is the smallest element on the table, non-metal. It has atomic number one, which means it has only one electron orbiting it its shell. In fact, Hydrogen has only one shell. It is also the lightest element on the periodic table.


How does it smell and what is the colour of hydrogen?


Hydrogen has no smell and no colour (is colourless).


What are the key challenges of transportation sector?


High emissions and pollution (e.g. green-house gases, particulate matter, heavy metals…), high dependency on fossil fuels (imported from Middle East, Russia…), negative impact on human health (pollution causes diseases, sick leaves, asthma, cancer, noise pollution…), increasing price of oil…


What are the average CO2 emissions of new cars in Europe?


118 g CO2 that is more than a mass of a “chocolate bar” of CO2 every kilometre driven!


What are the emissions of an average new car for the trip from MB to LJ? What are the emissions of hydrogen fuel cell vehicle?


Approximately 15 kg of CO2 is emitted when driving with a new car driving from MB to LJ in each direction! Emission from HFCV is only clean water.


Which are the three car manufacturers producing commercial hydrogen FCV?

There are three main manufacturers of hydrogen vehicles, all from Asia. Toyota (Mirai), Hyundai (Nexo and ix35) and Honda (Clarity FC). European car manufacturers are not yet producing commercial FC vehicles however; this should change in the next years.


On which continent is sold the majority of HFCV?


Most of HFCV is sold in America (50%), followed by Asia (40%) and Europe (10%).



What are the current challenges of hydrogen storage?


Potential leaking of hydrogen because of very small size of H ions, potentially explosive, storage tanks must be under high pressure or cooled down (high energy use for storage).


Why is it wise to use hydrogen to store energy?

Because it can be produced out of water with electrolysis when there is excessive energy (e.g. when there is a lot of sun or wind and consequently electricity production in PV power plants and wind power plans is high; at night) and used when the energy is needed – in peak energy consumption.


How can we distribute/transport hydrogen from producer to charging station or final user?


With truck in liquefied form or as compressed gas or by pipelines.


What is a FC?


Fuel cell is a device that transforms hydrogen into electricity with a chemical reaction without transforming it to heat first.


How efficient is a FC compared to combustion engines or steam reactors?


FC is app. 70% efficient since it uses chemical reaction to transform fuel directly to electricity. Internal combustion engines or steam reactors first burn fuel to produce heat and than transform it into electricity or kinetic energy (movement), therefore FC are at least twice as efficient as ICE.


What is the difference between the terms hydrolysis and electrolysis?


Hydrolysis is reaction in which H+ and OH—ions of water react with a compound to form products. Electrolysis is a chemical reaction that divides water (H2O) on hydrogen and oxygen. For this to happen, energy must be added.


Which material is used in fuel cells that makes them so expensive? How can we improve this?


Platinum. It will be replaced by other cheaper materials with similar characteristics in the future, with development of nanotechnology. Nanotechnology also enables to use smaller quantities of platinum, so it also enables cheaper production of FC.



Where were the fuel cell (FC) used already more than 50 years ago?


FC were used in Apollo moon rockets, where they produced energy and astronauts drank water they produced as a side product.



What is a key benefit of hydrogen FC electric vehicle vs. battery electric vehicle?


Battery electric vehicles have heavy batteries in which they store electricity. For better range, bigger battery is required. HFCV on the other hand produces electricity in fuel cells directly from the hydrogen; therefore vehicle weight can be significantly reduced since heavy batteries are not needed. 



How many HFCV should be on our roads in 2050 and how can we reduce negative impacts of transport and mobility on the environment?


In 2050, all vehicles should be replaced by cleaner technologies such as battery electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles or biomethane powered vehicles, according to “green deal” promoted in the EU. We should also reduce the number of cars on the roads; use the concept of sustainable production and consumption and use environmentally friendly alternatives such as public transport, car-sharing, cycling and walking instead of driving with a car.

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