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"And the stars are projectors, yeah, projecting our lives down to this planet Earth." - Modest Mouse


2.14.2004

Cheap Hydrogen For The Home 

Wired picked up this AP article about researchers in Minnesota who have developed a prototype hydrogen fuel cell powered by ethanol. It is small & efficient enough to power a small home.
The researchers say their reactor will produce hydrogen exclusively from ethanol and do it cheaply enough so people can buy hydrogen fuel cells for personal use. They also believe their technology could be used to convert ethanol to hydrogen at fuel stations when cars that run solely on hydrogen enter the mass market.
Imagine generating all of the electricity in your house off of a single hydrogen reactor the size of a small box. You would even be able to go off the grid and power your heating & cooking (not with this presidency...), or at least dramatically lower your power bill. Another great side-effect is that the American midwest is the largest ethanol producer on the planet thanks to the many corn farmers tending the plains. So not only do you get cheap, clean power, but also a large increase in the amount of corn grown to help replenish the biosphere.

Ultimately with oil reserves quickly drying up we won't have any choice but to adopt alternative technologies for generating power. It's unfortunate that so many entrenched corporate interests like PG&E, Exxon, Shell, Standar Oil, Bechtel, etc... have done so much to discourage such solutions in the past. I suspect that much of the current U.S. foreign policiy is symptomatic of the dying gasps of these giants struggling to use the mightiest military force on the planet to shore up the remaining reserves of their industry. But how much longer will this nation sacrifice its children for the sake of profit and greed?

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