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What are the disadvantages of using hydrogen as a fuel?

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Quick Answer

The disadvantages of using hydrogen as a fuel are that some of its production relies on non-renewable resources, and it is highly flammable. There also needs to be a larger quantity of hydrogen used to fuel a vehicle when compared to gasoline or diesel.

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Hydrogen is the lightest chemical element on the periodic table, with atomic number 1. It is an odorless and colorless gas. Hydrogen cells can fuel motor vehicles, which offers environmental benefits because they do not produce greenhouse gases or pollute the air.

There are various technologies used to produce hydrogen, some of which include renewable sources, such as wind and solar power, according to the United States Department of Energy. However, there is also production of hydrogen using nonrenewable sources such as fossil fuels. While hydrogen is an alternative fuel, a disadvantage is that it still has a dependency on coal, oil, and natural gas.

Another disadvantage of using hydrogen as a fuel is that it poses a risk because it is highly flammable. Hydrogen does not provide the same amount of energy by volume in comparison to diesel and gasoline. This creates a storage problem, as hydrogen-powered vehicles require a great deal of fuel in order for them to travel the same distance as diesel or gasoline-fueled vehicles.

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