The number of road vehicles in the world is set to double in the next twenty years. Such rapid growth threatens to destroy the clean air in regions where air pollution has not been a problem up to now, and to reverse the improvements in air quality that have resulted from the use of
catalytic converters to clean-up exhaust emissions in traffic congested areas. Thus, there is a compelling need to develop high efficiency passenger cars, free of emissions. One very promising option is the use of the fuel cell, which generates energy efficiently by converting hydrogen to
steam. However, there are major drawbacks to carrying and using hydrogen on vehicles, including the complexities of re-fuelling and the absence of a so-called hydrogen economy. Hydrogen fuelling of fuel-cell powered cars must be the ultimate goal and the most practical near-term solution is
to use an on-board fuel processor to generate hydrogen from a liquid fuel while driving, and such a processor, the Hotspot™, is described here.
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