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4.2.

1 Global and Local Outlook


At current situation, petrochemical energy is at its peak of usage, but the turnover of alternative
energy resources are also moving in at about the same phase. Hydrogen energy was a luxury
source when the aerospace industry started to build up. For the future energy market, hydrogen
will be a globally accepted as main generator of renewable energy.
i. Global Outlook
In United States itself, the production of Hydrogen is 500 billion m
3
/year, equivalent to 3.3
million barrels of oil per day on the average. This is also equivalent to 10% of the energy
currently used in domestic transportation business (courtesy: www.thewhitehouse.gov). The U.S
federal government is investing $1.2 billion over the next five years to its Hydrogen Research
Initiative with the goal of advancing hydrogen and fuel cell technology. The Hydrogen Research
Initiative was kicked off in April 2003 with $350 million in initial funding for projects that
involve over 30 lead companies and 100 partner companies. It is expected that this initiative will
open a better market in Japan and Europe. The United States Department of Energy, which
oversees the program, has set the goal to make a decision by 2015 as to whether fuel cell
technology is viable, although gasoline-powered vehicles will most likely remain in use for many
years.
The European Union has committed about $2 billion over five years to conduct research and
development (R&D) of renewable and hydrogen energy technologies, complemented by a
hydrogen fuel cell bus demonstration program in nine cities. A number of countries, including
Australia, Canada, Iceland, Italy, the United Kingdom, Japan, China and India have programs
focused on hydrogen energy technology.
With regards of market prospects, Shell and BP have formed dedicated hydrogen divisions,
focusing on new business opportunities with fuel cells. Electric power companies such as
General Electric (USA) are investing in, and have formed numerous partnerships with, fuel cell
manufacturers. Major automotive firms like Daimler- Chrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, and Toyota
are racing to put the first fuel cell vehicles on the market by 2003 or 2004.
The U.S. hydrogen industry currently produces 9 million tons of hydrogen per year (enough to
power 20-30 million cars or 5-8 million homes) for use in:
- Chemicals production
- Petroleum refining
- Metals treating
- Electrical applications.
- Steam methane reforming accounts for 95% of the hydrogen produced in the U.S.


ii. Local Outlook
Hydrogen has the capacity to power internal combustion engine. But a fuel cell caressentially
an electric car that uses the cells as a catalyst to convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity
emits only heat and water vapor. For the environmentally conscious and those anxious over
energy security, such benign byproducts could either be a red herring, or a real breakthrough.
The Automobile industry likely will demand for the growth of hydrogen energy generation on a
par to fuel cell technology.
Nowadays, hydrogen are used in many areas such as:
Reduction of oxide ores
Petroleum refinery
Production of hydrocarbons from coal
Hot air balloons and airships (Replaced Helium gas)
Ammonia Synthesis
Vegetable oil Synthesis ( Saturated Fatty Acid)