(51d) “Sustainability Issues Related to the 'Hydrogen Economy'.”

Beaver, E. R. - Presenter, Practical Sustainability, LLC

The Sustainable Engineering Forum of AIChE's Institute for Sustainability uses a Virtual Meeting concept for vetting issues related to Sustainability. Two Virtual Meetings were held in 2005 on ?Sustainability issues related to the 'Hydrogen Economy'.? More than forty scientists and engineers reviewed current literature on the subject and discussed whether technology advances had obviated many concerns about sources of hydrogen and other issues regarding safety and economics. We also examined whether public and political pressures were shifting to favor hydrogen.

Major questions covered were: What is the driving force for the Hydrogen Economy?; What technologies will be needed to make the switch?; What are the unique issues of ?Hydrogen? and how do they differ by region?; How will a hydrogen economy affect national and global infrastructure?; Does the switch make sense?; How can we tell if the switch is the right thing to do?; What sustainability decision tools are needed to choose the correct steps for society as a whole?

This paper will present the salient points developed by this international group of engineers and scientists.