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Hydrogen Energy. Challenges and Prospects. By D.A.J. Rand and R.M. Dell

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and clinical aspects of proteasome inhibitors.
Athanassios Giannis
Institut fr Organische Chemie
Universitt Leipzig (Germany)
Hydrogen Energy
Challenges and
Prospects. By
D. A. J. Rand and
R. M. Dell. Royal
Society of Chemistry, Cambridge
2007. 300 pp.,
£ 45.00.—ISBN
The total world energy consumption
increased drastically from 253 EJ/a in
1973 to 463 EJ/a in 2004 (1 EJ = 1018 J),
a rise of 83 % in 31 years, and it is
projected by the International Energy
Agency (IEA) to reach 691 EJ/a by
2030. In the light of these figures,
together with the need to reduce CO2
emissions and their effects on climate
change, and the mid-term decline of
fossil fuel reserves of coal, oil, and
natural gas, the future security of
energy supplies has become a major
issue that is being discussed throughout
the world. Much of the content in this
book is centered around the analysis of
the current situation and the possible
solutions. One option is an energy
system with hydrogen as a secondary
energy carrier (the “hydrogen economy”). How does hydrogen fit into the
evolving energy scene of emerging technologies that include renewables like
wind, solar energy, and hydro-power?
The book sets out to explain the
concept of hydrogen as an energy
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 5880 – 5881
vector, to identify the barriers to its
implementation, and to explore prospects for success. The vision of a hydrogen economy is evaluated critically by
the authors, who are both senior
research chemists and have spent their
entire professional careers in the energy
field. Emphasis has been placed on
technical matters rather than addressing
sociological, political, legal, or fiscal
Chapter 1 deals with general aspects
of the security of energy supply, climate
change, atmospheric pollution, electricity generation, and hydrogen as a fuel,
and takes a critical view of the complexity of a future hydrogen economy.
Chapter 2 considers the different
routes for generating hydrogen from
fossil fuels and biomass, and looks in
detail at reforming and process technologies for natural gas, including gas
separation processes, steam reforming
of methane, solar-thermal reforming,
partial oxidation of hydrocarbons, and
other processes such as autothermal,
sorbent-enhanced, and plasma reforming. Gas separation using membrane
reactors, gasification technology, and
combined-cycle processes such as
CCGT and IGCC are also discussed.
Biomass, dry or wet, as a carbon-based
solid fuel that is a renewable form of
energy, is also included in this chapter.
Chapter 3 deals with questions of
scale in carbon sequestration, capture of
carbon dioxide by post-combustion,
oxy-fuel, chemical looping, and precombustion technology. Geological
aspects, mineral carbonation, ocean
storage options, and re-use of carbon
dioxide are discussed. Chapter 4 looks at
technologies for generating hydrogen
from water, including electrolysis,
decomposition of water using solar
energy, solar-thermal processes, photoelectrochemical and photo-biochemical
cells, and thermochemical routes based
on sulfur–iodine, sulfur–ammonia, and
metal oxide cycles. In Chapter 5, the
authors discuss strategies for the distribution and storage of gaseous and liquid
hydrogen, including metal hydrides and
other hydrogen-bearing chemicals, as
well as complex and nano-structured
Chapter 6 is devoted to fuel cells as a
key technology for a future hydrogen
economy, particularly for electricity
generation and electric vehicle propulsion. After a short historical review, the
fundamentals of fuel cell operation and
the different types of cells are explained.
Thermodynamic aspects and differences
between the efficiencies of large- and
small-scale fuel cell power generation
units are briefly discussed. Chapter 7
gives an overview of recent developments in hydrogen-fueled transportation, hybrid electric cars, aircraft, submarine, and other fuel-cell-driven vehicles. “Hydrogen Highways” that are
projected in the USA, Canada, and
Europe are described, with a neat calculation of efficiencies and fuel consumption. The final chapter draws
together the main conclusions reached,
with an attempt to predict the prospects
for hydrogen in the world energy scene
over the next 40–50 years.
The book is a valuable source of upto-date information, with a wealth of
data thoroughly collected and referenced at the end of each chapter. It
contains a list of abbreviations, symbols,
and units, a glossary of terms, and
conversion factors for units and useful
quantities. It is well illustrated with
photos, schematic drawings, and presentations of data in graphs or tables.
Complex mathematical formulas are
avoided, which makes the book easy to
read and suitable for a wide readership
with the common background of natural
Gerhard Kreysa, Klaus Jttner
Frankfurt am Main (Germany)
DOI: 10.1002/anie.200885597
= 2008 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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hydrogen, challenge, prospects, rand, energy, dell
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