I never thought a morning in a garage with a big red Ford truck could warm my heart quite as much as it did, as off kilter as that may sound. I spent last Tuesday morning, a beautiful one, in a garage at Carmel’s Street Department having the technicalities of a hydrogen powered engine explained to me.
I was expecting to be pushed to the back of the crowd to take whatever pictures I could manage. Instead, I was invited to take photos up close to the green engineered truck as the dynamics of the hydrogen transforming process were explained in detail to me. It was surprising to me, the experience as a whole, as well as the finer points of what goes into fueling a vehicle with hydrogen. It turns out, 90% of the hydrogen used in this engine is taken from common aluminum, the stuff soda cans are made of.
As I said, a sense of hopefulness came over me as the inventor of this particular engine, Kurt, told me the only emission from a hydrogen powered engine was water vapor. That’s it. So clean, so green that sounds. How nice a thought water vapor emission is when we live in a smoggy, gasoline emission riddled atmosphere, which we see the unfortunate consequences of everywhere.
There are some downsides to hydrogen, though. Mostly, as Kurt said, the issue was getting people acclimated to it. People are generally wary to use it. But, as Kurt also said, gasoline is not much safer, if at all. “All I know is when you turn your car on and shut the garage door, you die,” Kurt said.
Even better still, the alloys which fuel the engine are completely recyclable. This was just one of the amazing things I learned. The most amazing thing, however, was the pure tenacity of Kurt, his investors, and assistants, who have wiled away at this endeavor for almost 7 years. I believe it was 7 years very well spent, especially for those of us who are anticipating a greener Earth.