Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are energy efficient and only emit water vapor and heat, so they don't have a negative effect on air quality.
However, 96 percent of the nearly two million tons of hydrogen produced in Korea each year is acquired through fossil fuel sources, …which come with a heavy price tag and will eventually be depleted.
This is why Korean researchers have developed a technology that can produce hydrogen using marine microbes.
They used a marine microbe called NA1 as a catalyst to separate hydrogen from carbon monoxide and seawater.
The unique chemical reaction is the first successful case in the world.
"We investigated the principles for deriving hydrogen from carbon monoxide and formic acid, then published the results in the global scientific journal Nature."
Korea's oceans ministry announced its plan to invest nearly 11 million dollars over three years on the commercial production of bio-hydrogen.
A demonstration plant, set to be completed by 2019, will be able to produce 480 tons of bio-hydrogen a year, …which is enough to power 48-hundred hydrogen cars.
The bio-hydrogen will cost about three dollars and 50 cents per kilogram to produce, …around the midpoint of the cost range of hydrogen production from fossil fuel sources.
In the coming years, the government is looking to expand its capacity to five thousand tons.
Once the technology is improved and commercialized, production prices are expected to drop further.
Park Se-young, Arirang News.