The most abundant element, making up over 80% of our universe, hydrogen is truly the building block of our world. Hydrogen consists of one proton and one electron. Highly reactive, it's almost never found in a naturally free state but rather bonded to other elements. Hydrogen is part of water and, therefore, essential to life.
In its free gaseous form, hydrogen is much lighter than air, rising and quickly dissipating when released into the atmosphere. Its high energy-to-weight ratio makes it an ideal spacecraft fuel. Invisible, odourless, and non-toxic, hydrogen is also widely used in the food, metal, glass and chemical industries
The ratio of hydrogen to carbon in the fuels we use has increased over the years along with our increased use of natural gas (as opposed to oil or coal). That's good news for the environment and humankind.
When we burn fossil fuels such as natural gas, the two primary products are carbon dioxide and water. The higher the percentage of hydrogen in a fuel, the less carbon dioxide and more water produced.
As the hydrogen content of our fuels increases, they become cleaner. With supplies of many other fuels diminishing, our reliance on the most abundant element in the universe makes even more sense.
Most scientists and environmentalists agree that hydrogen will be an important energy carrier of tomorrow, along with electricity. Eventually, hydrogen and electricity will be the major energy carriers, used by a greater number of people for a greater number of applications than any fuel in use today.
In the early stages, hydrogen will be produced from natural gas and other fossil fuels. Eventually, it will be produced from a variety of energy sources, including renewable hydro, wind, solar and nuclear power. A pure hydrogen fuel is the natural next step.