Even blind squirrels find acorns sometimes, according to an adage. A great example of this is the story of two French scientists who were looking for fossil fuels when they stumbled upon what might be the largest reserves of a potential clean energy source that the world has ever seen.
That energy source is hydrogen. Hydrogen has incredible potential as a fuel source for several important reasons.
First, the only waste product left behind by burning hydrogen for fuel is water. Second, and perhaps just as important, burning hydrogen produces enough energy to power large-scale industries such as global shipping and air transport. Until now, the only issue with hydrogen energy has been finding the right kind.
When it comes to burning hydrogen, the devil is in the details. Hydrogen is the single most common element on the planet. The problem is that much of the world’s hydrogen is already attached to other molecules, and it needs to be by itself to be converted to energy. Individual hydrogen gas can be produced but only through a process that burns massive amounts of fossil fuel.
“Green hydrogen” can be created through clean energy technology, but it’s expensive so it’s not feasible as a global energy source. But “white hydrogen,” which is hydrogen gas that naturally appears below the earth’s surface, can be burned. But it will take a lot of white hydrogen to power the world’s businesses.
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The profit potential in finding a large white hydrogen source is not unlike the profit potential in finding oil in the late 19th or early 20th century. There has been a huge uptick in startups that are involved in producing white hydrogen or finding large sources of it. That’s where Bill Gates comes into the picture.
The billionaire’s Breakthrough Energy Ventures investment firm has made contributions to Koloma, a Denver startup that is looking for white hydrogen in the United States.
Gates is known to be a financial backer of many technologies that could help solve the climate crisis, and white hydrogen-based clean energy could be the holy grail in that search. The potential implications for the world in white hydrogen are massive. By some estimates, the discovery in France could be as much as 250 million metric tons.
Now that people and companies are beginning to have a better idea of where to look, the scarcity issue with white hydrogen may have solved itself. The next stage of the battle is ramping up production and delivering white hydrogen to the market at an affordable price. If Gates has anything to say about it, that day could be here sooner than anyone can imagine.
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This article Bill Gates Is A Huge Believer In This Hydrogen-Based Clean Energy Technology, And Two French Scientists Just Found The World’s Largest Supply originally appeared on Benzinga.com
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