Water is life. We can live weeks and longer without food, but just three days without water. Our bodies are made up of 70% water. We use it to cook and clean, and to grow our crops, water our lawns, flush our toilets, and for recreation. Water is essential for heavy industry from power production to steel manufacturing, cement, medicine - in short water is everything. And yet, we treat this valuable resource like it is an unlimited ATM machine that we never need to repay. We are constantly making withdrawals for the needs of 8 billion people, often without a care in the world - usually with short-sighted profit in mind. This free-for-all mentality is all coming to an abrupt end.
Researches have been sounding the alarm for years about better water management and the warming planet. According the CDC, Close to 2 billion people do not have access to basic sanitation, more than a quarter of the world's population. Three billion people lack adequate facilities to safely wash their hands in their home. Despite the growing statistics, our attitude has been more-or-less full-steam-ahead. As long as the economy is "good," there's no problem.
Reality, however, can be a harsh teacher, and now that power plants all across the country are closing, rolling blackouts becoming more common, farmers going out of business, and prices for food and commodities rising, we might want to face a few unpleasant facts before it really is too late. Pointing fingers and assigning blame will do nothing to solve this most urgent and pressing crises of our time. Unity, not division, is what is required to implement massive change as quickly and efficiently as we can. This change is at our doorstep, and as nature has taught us, it's not the strong that survives, but it's the adaptable.
Why hydrogen? Why now?
Hydrogen cannot be destroyed. It's the only 100% regenerative power source currently available on this planet. "Burning" hydrogen is really an exothermic process. Hydrogen in - Water out. Hydrogen is endlessly recyclable. Even though the laws of thermodynamic are in play with hydrogen creation, use for power or fuel and the efficiencies of each electrical, mechanical and electro-chemical process has energy losses along the way - once a hydrogen molecule is extracted - put into the equation of power generation - either a fuel cell or combustion - each hydrogen molecule remains intact as a gas molecule, water molecule of chemical structure to be extracted and used once again - endlessly.
While manufacturing hydrogen requires water, we get the same water back when we use it. If a power plant uses hydrogen in its operation and consumes 30,000 gallons of water a day to produce the hydrogen, we get the same 30,000 gallons in water vapor out on the back-end. This water can be reclaimed and reused in an endless cycle to produce power with 0 carbon emissions.
With hydrogen as a feed stock for power generation, we do not "use" water so much as "borrow" water. Imagine a zero-emissions power plant that "manufactures" organic and healthy food, clean drinking water, building and manufacturing materials, Hy-fuels, hydrogen, and traditional electrical power. This nexus-of-ideas, building on the cooperation of many partners to find the best solutions to the world's most pressing problems, is the future Element One Technologies works toward every day. We can no longer hold on to the luxury of thinking that we can somehow solve our problems with the same type of thinking that produced the problems in the first place. Business as usual will not work, is not working, and is a recipe for global failure. For us, the hydrogen economy means freedom. It means localized production without being reliant on foreign powers or long supply chains. It means sustainability. It means a healthier, zero-pollution future. And it means opportunity for everyone. Or in other words, the hydrogen economy is essential.
Clean. Sustainable. Efficient. Hydrogen is a future that works for all life, including our furry and scaly companions and the natural habitat they live in. There is no us vs them on this small blue marble we all share as it hurtles around the sun in the voracious vacuum of space. It's just us living here, co-existing in the only home we have ever known - a home that needs some critical attention at the moment. The truth is we will all rise together or we will sink together. Considering that hydrogen rises naturally as the universes' lightest element, let hydrogen inspire us all to rise to the massive challenges facing us. As we begin this global journey together, exploring our world with fresh eyes and new ideas, let us be committed to each other, and like hydrogen, let us rise to new heights undreamed of.
A world of change found in the universe's smallest atom...