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Fill 'Er Up With Hydrogen?

Widespread use of hydrogen fuel to run auto engines has remained a dream in part because of the high production cost - four times that of gasoline. That could change with a new production process developed at Ohio University and licensed to American Hydrogen Corp., a subsidiary of American Security Resources (Houston, TX). The patent-pending "ammonia catalytic electrolyzer" converts ammonia into hydrogen at an estimated cost of $2.00 per kilogram, compared to $8.00 per kg for commercially produced H2 today.

"The beauty of this technology is that it can go so many places," said Gerardine Botte, the Ohio University professor who developed the process. "It could drive a car here, but it could even be in a shuttle on a mission to Mars."

Initially, it will fuel hydrogen generators that produce electricity for homes and offices. "We see the first sweet spot in the market being in stationary applications, followed by mobile applications, and any place where power is intermittent, problematic, and needs to be supported over an extended period of time," said Ben Schafer, president of American Hydrogen Corp.

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