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Publication

The Hydrogen Economy...

by M Dresselhaus, Michelle V Buchanan, George Crabtree
Publication Type
Journal
Journal Name
Physics Today
Publication Date
Page Numbers
39 to 44
Volume
57
Issue
12

Since the industrial revolution began in the 18th century, fossil fuels in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas have powered the technology and transportation networks that drive society. But continuing to power the world from fossil fuels threatens our energy supply and puts enormous strains on the environment. The world's demand for energy is projected to double by 2050 in response to population growth and the industrialization of developing countries. The supply of fossil fuels is limited, with restrictive shortages of oil and gas projected to occur within our lifetimes (see the article by Paul Weisz in PHYSICS TODAY, July 2004, page 47). Global oil and gas reserves are concentrated in a few regions of the world, while demand is growing everywhere; as a result, a secure supply is increasingly difficult to assure. Moreover, the use of fossil fuels puts our own health at risk through the chemical and particulate pollution it creates. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with global warming threaten the stability of Earth's climate.