Essay by ghettochickHigh School, 10th gradeA-, April 2006

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Hydrogen fuel cells were invented by Sir William Robert Grove. However, they were not put to use until the 1960s when General Electric established workable proton-exchange membrane cells used as power supplies in the Apollo and Gemini space missions. Now, many years later, there is concern within the U.S. government over the availability of oil in the Middle East. The escalating violence between Israel and the Palestinians, the war in Iraq, and the possibility of more terrorist attacks has become a large threat. The intensify tensions between Islam and the West are likely to further threaten our access to cheap and affordable oil. Any more terrorists' attacks could desolate the nation's gas and oil pipelines, transmission lines and power stations with devastating effects on our economy. The growth of oil is less than 1.5 percent per year, however, the wind and photovoltaic markets are doubling in size ever three years.

Hydrogen is the most basic and widespread element in our universe, also referred as the "forever fuel". It produces no harmful CO emissions when burned, plus, the only byproducts are pure water and heat. Hydrogen could propel airplanes, trains, ships and cars, run plants, heat our homes, offices, hospitals, and our schools. Moreover, since hydrogen is a gas, it can move energy over long distances in pipelines, and as cheap and perhaps more efficient then electricity. Also hydrogen can be used in a wider range of energy applications than electricity.

Hydrogen is found everywhere on Earth, but not free floating in nature. It is found water, fossil fuels, and all living things. Hydrogen has to be extracted from water and almost half of hydrogen produced in the world comes from natural gas. However, renewable resources, such as wind, can be used to produce electricity. In turn, in a...