We usually think of hydrogen only when we think of the sun, but the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) explains that hydrogen is abundant in our environment. It’s stored in water (H2O), hydrocarbons (such as methane, CH4), and other organic matter. One of the challenges of using hydrogen as a fuel comes from being able to efficiently extract it from these compounds.
Currently, the process of “steam reforming,” which is combining high-temperature steam with natural gas to extract hydrogen, accounts for the majority of the hydrogen produced in the United States. Hydrogen can also be produced from water through electrolysis. This is more energy intensive, but can be done using renewable energy, such as wind or solar, and avoiding the harmful emissions associated with other kinds of energy production.
Although the market for hydrogen as a transportation fuel is in its infancy, government and industry are working toward clean, economical, and safe hydrogen production and distribution for widespread use.
During October’s National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day, the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy compiled a list of “10 Things You Might Not Know About Hydrogen and Fuel Cells” here to help those interested in hydrogen to brush up on their knowledge.
How is your H2IQ?
Find easy-to-understand information about hydrogen (H2) and fuel cell technologies here! Increase your H2IQ by checking out these DOE fact sheets and other introductory resources. Also visit the DOE’s hydrogen multimedia page to find infographics, videos, and animations about hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.
Increase Your H2IQ Training Resource
Share the knowledge and download our Increase Your H2IQ 101 Training Resource for a general audience.
Basic Fact Sheets
These fact sheets provide a basic introduction to hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for non-technical audiences.
- Fuel Cell Technologies Office Fact Sheet
- Fuel Cell Technologies Office Flyer
- Progress and Accomplishments in Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
- Highlights from U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Cell Recovery Act Projects
- Careers in Fuel Cell Technologies
- Hydrogen Production
- Hydrogen Delivery
- Hydrogen Storage
- Fuel Cells
- Manufacturing R&D
- Safety, Codes, and Standards
- Technology Validation
- Education and Outreach
- Market Transformation
- Fuel Cells for Stationary Power Applications
- Early Markets: Fuel Cells for Material Handling Equipment
- Early Markets: Fuel Cells for Backup Power
- Fuel Cells Powering Critical Infrastructure in Disasters
- World’s First Tri-Generation Energy Station—Fountain Valley
- Hydrogen-Powered Buses
- Comparison of Fuel Cell Technologies
Fuel Cell Technologies Office Energy Basics
Additional Basics Resources
- Fuel cell electric vehicles (Alternative Fuels Data Center)
- Hydrogen as a vehicle fuel (Alternative Fuels Data Center)
- Fuel cell vehicle basics (FuelEconomy.gov)
Need More In-Depth Information?
Visit our information resources pages, where you can access general, technical, and programmatic publications and presentations; link to the websites of other organizations working to advance hydrogen and fuel cells; and find definitions for words related to hydrogen and fuel cell technology.