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But, as anyone who has heard of the Hindenburg knows, storing hydrogen is impractical and potentially unsafe.
Quote But, as anyone who has heard of the Hindenburg knows, storing hydrogen is impractical and potentially unsafe.Not true! Town gas (50% hydrogen) was the major source of domestic and industrial heating and a great deal of industrial motive power, for over 150 years. It is a lot easier to store than liquefied petroleum ("natural") gas and the grid for its distribution still exists. Urban gasholders were hit by tracer bullets and incendiary bombs during WWII but according to past colleagues who were set to watch them, it was pretty easy to extinguish the flames (literally with a wet blanket) and patch over the holes.Town gas explosions were no more common or destructive than LPG (methane) explosions nowadays. The principal reasons for its disappearance were political (it required coalminers) and toxicological (it contained 10% carbon monoxide). Simply diluting grid methane with 50% hydrogen would double the world's natural gas reserve, halve the CO2 emission, and make unreliable energy sources economically useful at very little cost. The problem with the Hindenburg was the combustion of the aluminum spars, metallised fabric envelope, and doped-cotton gas bags, leading to structural failure and loss of buoyancy respectively, with the inevitable consequence of any aircraft falling apart a hundred feet off the ground. Hydrogen is classed as a "heavy chemical" as it is manufactured, stored and used in multi-tonne quantities and probably ranks with sulfuric acid and ammonia as the most significant bulk feedstock. You don't hear of many industrial incidents compared with, say, chlorine.