Transitioning to a Hydrogen Energy Economy with the Help of Natural Gas

10/2/2019; 27 minutes

Global prosperity over the last century has been powered by low-cost fossil fuels. Unfortunately, they are a finite resource and pose significant risks to our environment; therefore, they must be replaced. For the transition to a future energy economy making use of hydrogen as a fuel produced by nuclear power and renewables, Professor Eric McFarland predicts that methane will be the most important molecule for prosperity in the next century. McFarland's research has shown that the methane in abundant natural gas can be cost-effectively converted by pyrolysis in high-temperature molten metals and salts to solid carbon and hydrogen gas. The cheapest heat and electricity in the U.S. comes from burning natural gas; however, increasingly major markets (e.g. California and Germany) have imposed carbon taxes which make this CO2-free process competitive today. Recorded on 05/16/2019. (#35161)

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