Proton Technologies of Calgary has taken existing technologies and combined them into a method or ‘process patent’ that gives them exclusive rights to produce hydrogen in the ground. This means that all of the CO2 and other greenhouse gases remain locked in the ground where they have been for millions of years.
It also massively reduces the complexity and cost allowing Hydrogen to be produced 80% to 95% cheaper than the current process. At that rate, hydrogen will be several times less expensive than diesel or gasoline for cars and trucks.
However, replacing transport fuels will require and investment in infrastructure that will take time and resources. Today, it appears that electric charging infrastructure from companies like Tesla are more likely to win consumers over. Their new ‘version 3’ chargers, which started to be deployed in the last few weeks, ‘fill up’ new Telsa’s at a rate of 25 kilometers per minute. That is impressive.
If hydrogen is to catch on in transport, it would most likely be in the trucking. Long distance haulers have no competing electric options for sale today and hydrogen would be an ideal fuel for such tractor trailers.
The more immediate use for ultra-cheap and ultra-clean hydrogen will be in the fertilizer industry, then in upgrading existing liquid and gas fuels. A long term use case may be in fuel cell electricity generation to replace coal and natural gas fired plants.
Historians often relate electricity as the something that changed the world and while that is true, consumers saw the biggest change with electric lights. The light bulb was a globally transformitive product which came largely from known technologies of the day. Proton may not have invented modern electricity but they just may have invented a modern light bulb.
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