by Charlton Stanley
This did not exactly come as a news story to me. I had this discussion with one of my best friends from high school years ago. Normally, a discussion with a former next door neighbor doesn’t amount to much in the total scheme of things. Especially when the neighbors are a couple of teenagers. However, every October I watch the Nobel awards announcements for my friend’s name. Not yet, but maybe one of these days. At any rate, he told me about some of the technology advances not generally known to the public, and that it would only be a matter of time.
I might add that he is of the opinion that none of the current alternatives to fossil fuels are completely environmentally friendly. However, the survival of our civilization makes it incumbent on us to keep looking. In one of our discussions, I mentioned that we had a lot of water on the surface of the globe, and that water comprises the perfect fuel. Hydrogen is pure fuel, and oxygen the purest oxidizer. The only fly in the ointment is that little thing called the First Law of Thermodynamics. The chemical bond between the two elements is one of the tightest possible, and it takes energy to break it. Recombining the two is relatively easy. A physicist once quipped that hydrogen is the perfect fuel, but if somebody wants to set up a pure hydrogen service station, he would prefer to watch the results from the next county.