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The generation of hydrogen fuel (H2) represents a new path in renewable energy production for the 21st century. Hydrogen fuel is extremely desirable because the combustion of H2 with O2 produces only water (H2O). This is in stark contrast to the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels like natural gas (CH4) or gasoline (long-chain hydrocarbons), which generate the carbon dioxide (CO2) that is thought to be responsible for global warming and climate change.

Presently, 99% of H2 is in fact produced from coal, which is not a renewable resource. An alternate and renewable means of H2 production is by the chemical electrolysis of water. If the required electricity is provided by solar panels, the process is completely renewable. Overall, the reaction proceeds by a “water-splitting” mechanism.

Many researchers believe that hydrogen gas (H2) is the fuel of the future, because it can be generated using two simple components: water (H2O) and electricity.  While there is still much debate among scientists and economists about whether H2 can be made a viable, long-term and sustainable fuel, there is no doubt that the simplicity of the components and chemical reactions presents a great opportunity for teaching students about topics such as:
- renewable energy, sustainability        
- stoichiometry, ideal gas law, chemical reactions          
- solar energy, energy conversion

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