Assessment of Costs Associated with Hydrogen as an Alternative Fuel

Focus Area



Air Quality




Under $99k



Research Idea Scope

Hydrogen has been proposed as a feasible alternative fuel for vehicles. However, the ramifications of such an approach to transportation have not been fully assessed. These include: the emissions due to energy required to produce and distribute hydrogen; the cost of infrastructure for fuel (pipelines, fueling stations) and for fuel-cells (sales, service); and the safety issues associated with hydrogen containment and handling.
A comprehensive assessment of all costs (net GHG, economic, safety) associated with use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel for surface transportation is required. These costs should be compared to the alternative investment in a new surface transportation system that can serve local, mid-range, and long-range needs.
Related Work
(None identified)
Urgency/PriorityAssignment of priority to this research should be based on the amount currently being spent on hydrogen fuel system R&D. The sooner such an analysis is conducted, the more money can be saved if indeed the presumed conclusion is true.

Urgency and Payoff

The finding of the proposed research would feed into current proposals to further study and develop hydrogen and fuel-cell systems for transportation.
Societal benefits of the research would be savings in R&D money currently being spent on hydrogen transportation, and a comprehensive assessment of the true costs and safety issues associated with hydrogen.

Suggested By

RNS. Sponsoring Committee: A0020T, Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy Source Info: Special Task Force on Climate Change and Energy January 2010 Workshop