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Pollution Kills 9 Million Per Year Costs $1 Trillion Annually : Hydrogen Clean Energy

Updated: Aug 29

Many argue with the transition to clean energy as a result of climate change, which some dub a hoax. But who could ever truly argue with the fact Earth is polluted with toxic waste and dirty air.

Today, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), pollution and toxic waste kills an estimated 9 million people worldwide every year. This makes pollution the world's largest environmental health risk. In America alone, pollution is linked to nearly $1 Trillion in added U.S. healthcare costs annually writes James Dean, Director SCS.

The main types of pollution that contribute to deaths and chronic illnesses are:

  • Air pollution: This is the leading cause of pollution-related deaths, accounting for an estimated 7 million deaths per year. Air pollution can cause a number of health problems, including respiratory infections, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

  • Plastics spread toxic BPA and Phthalates that leach out of plastic products into our clean water and food supplies causing serious healthcare problems such as Autism.

  • Water pollution: This is responsible for an estimated 1.4 million deaths per year. Water pollution can cause a number of health problems, including diarrhea, cholera, dysentery and typhoid fever.

  • Lead poisoning: This is responsible for an estimated 900,000 deaths per year. Lead poisoning can cause a number of health problems, including learning disabilities, behavioral problems, and neurological damage.

  • Exposure to ultraviolet radiation: This is responsible for an estimated 600,000 deaths per year. Ultraviolet radiation can cause skin cancer, cataracts, and immune system suppression.

  • Occupational hazards: This is responsible for an estimated 400,000 deaths per year. Occupational hazards can cause a number of health problems, including lung cancer, asbestosis, and silicosis.

The burden of pollution related deaths is not evenly distributed around the world. Low and middle income countries bear the brunt of the burden, with an estimated 80% of pollution-related deaths occurring in these countries, a result of developed economies consumption.

In our oceans today millions of tons of toxic plastics and chemicals float in like massive cities of garbage containing BPA and Phthalates that leach out of plastic products into our clean water supplies and into house dust that we breathe every day. Pollution on Earth is now an indisputable fact, a crisis that costs American tax payers nearly $1 Trillion annually in healthcare, as a result of dirty fossil fuels, air pollution, ground water pollution and toxic chemicals often used in daily hygiene products and retail manufactured consumer goods.

For example, the amount of toxic waste found in the ocean on Earth is estimated to be in the millions of tons. The most common types of toxic waste found in the ocean include:

  • Industrial waste: This includes chemicals, metals, and other pollutants that are released from factories and other industrial facilities.

  • Sewage sludge: This is the solid waste that is removed from wastewater treatment plants. It can contain high levels of bacteria, viruses, and other harmful microorganisms.

  • Agricultural waste: This includes fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemicals that are used in farming. These chemicals can run off into rivers and streams, eventually making their way into the ocean.

  • Radioactive waste: This is waste that contains radioactive materials. It can come from nuclear power plants, medical facilities, and other sources.

  • Plastic: Plastic is a major source of ocean pollution. It can break down into tiny pieces called microplastics, which can be ingested by marine animals and enter the food chain.

Toxic waste has a number of negative impacts on the ocean environment. It kills marine animals, contaminates the seafood we eat, and disrupts marine food eco-systems. Even the air our kids breathe everyday is loaded with toxic fine particles causing cancer and illness.

Therefore, its logical from a pollution reduction perspective that we use clean energy and less harmful materials in manufacturing consumer goods for a truly healthier quality of life. And removing pollution gets us to a cleaner environment and the clean energy transformation.

For example, clean energy such as hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth emits only clean water vapor as waste. And blue / green hydrogen is now derived very cost effectively from seawater using solar, wind and ocean wave power which is non-toxic to the environment.

Innovations like the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle offered by Toyota Motor Corporation Mirai refuels in less than 6-mins with a 350 mile range. The Toyota Mirai is a fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), which means it uses hydrogen to generate electricity to power the motor. As a result, it does not require oil changes or other traditional maintenance tasks and emits only water vapor.

The average cost of maintenance for the Mirai is about $350 per year. This includes the cost of labor and parts annually. For example, general auto maintenance such as brake fluid should be flushed every 2 years or 20,000 miles, and the air filter replaced every 3 years or 30,000 miles. The cost of these maintenance tasks will vary depending on the service.

But data shows overall, the cost of maintenance for the Toyota Mirai is relatively low. This is due to the fact that the Mirai does not require oil changes or other traditional maintenance tasks. And the hydrogen vehicle does not need frequent tire changes due to the friction problems that say an electric vehicle (EV) requires given its massive battery weight issues that create problems.

Here is a breakdown of the average cost of maintenance for the Toyota Mirai:

  • 5,000-mile service: $100

  • 2-year/20,000-mile brake fluid flush: $100

  • 3-year/30,000-mile air filter replacement: $50

Overall, the total average cost of maintenance for the Toyota Mirai is about $350 total per year. This is significantly lower than the cost of maintenance for a traditional gasoline-powered vehicle at $1,200 annually, and lower than electric vehicles which may cost $300 to $500 per new tire alone annually, due to significant weight friction loads on the road.

What about Toyota Mirai Safety?

Toyota Mirai is a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle that has been on the market since 2015. It has been crash-tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and has received top safety ratings from both organizations.

The Mirai's hydrogen fuel tanks are made of carbon fiber and are designed to withstand even the most severe crashes. The tanks are also equipped with multiple safety features, such as relief valves and pressure sensors, to help prevent leaks and explosions.

In addition to its physical safety features, the Mirai also has a number of electronic safety features, such as automatic emergency braking and lane departure warning. These features can help to prevent accidents and keep drivers safe on the road.

Overall, the Toyota Mirai is a very safe vehicle. It has been crash-tested and has received top safety ratings from both the NHTSA and the IIHS. The Mirai also has a number of electronic safety features that can help to prevent accidents.

Key clean energy vehicle facts with hydrogen versus electric vehicles ...

The average weight of a hydrogen fuel cell in a car is around 100 to 200 pounds. While the average weight of a lithium battery in a car is around 1,000-1,500 pounds. This means that hydrogen fuel cells are about 10 to 20 times lighter than lithium batteries.

The average range for a hydrogen fuel cell car is around 300 to 400 miles, while the average range for an electric car is around 200 to 250 miles.

Further, the hydrogen fuel cell automobile refuels in 6-minutes or less ... versus electric vehicle 35-minutes 80% charge with Level 3 recharger, but it depends on weather conditions.

And blue / green hydrogen derived from solar, wind or ocean wave clean energy can be delivered at a cost of $1.80 per kilogram at station pump, that's comparable to about the current U.S. average gas price $3.65 per gallon in August 2023 (reports AAA).

While a recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) estimated that the cost of blue hydrogen derived from seawater using solar, wind and ocean wave power will cost about $1.80 to $2.50 per kilogram in 2025, making it very cost competitive. And with further development hydrogen costs are expected to drop to just $1 per kilogram by 2028.

So, if you are considering purchasing a Toyota Mirai, the low cost of maintenance is a significant benefit. The Mirai is a reliable and efficient vehicle that can save you money on fuel and maintenance costs long-term as a quality clean energy transportation solution.

Alternatively, if you own an EV beware within seven years you must replace the electric vehicle battery at a cost of $5,000 to $25,000 on-average. While the lifespan of a hydrogen fuel cell in a vehicle is typically about 150,000 to 240,000 miles lasting about 14 years or so.

Although, some further development of the hydrogen vehicle solution is necessary, based on research data, the hydrogen vehicle remains a much smarter transportation solution long-term with rapid refueling and affordable costs ... versus EV electric vehicles that take 35-mins for 80% Level 3 recharge and significant repair expenses with very little electrical grid infrastructure.

Additionally, EVs require a $100 Billion tax payer funded investment to build 1 million Level 3 recharging stations in America, taking 10 years to complete the new infrastructure plan.

Looking at commercial vehicles, for example, we found the new Tesla Semi truck lithium battery alone weighs 28,000 lbs, extremely heavy ... plus another 54,000 lbs trailer payload capacity ... bringing total weight 82,000 lbs Tesla Semi Truck fully loaded. That's a huge friction load on tires and roadways in America, rapidly degrading the U.S. infrastructure and adding large budget concerns.

Meanwhile the U.S. Dept. of Energy data shows global crude oil reserves are depleted by 2045 and just 88 million tons of viable Lithium reserves on Earth, only enough for just 2.5 Billion electric vehicle batteries ... that's not nearly enough to satisfy eight (8) Billion people on Earth. And given, the typical EV battery contains 18LBS to 140LBS of Lithium each unit, theres simple not enough.

Further, the rare Earth metals used extensively in electric vehicles 90% are produced by adversarial countries like China, Russia and parts of Africa, members of the BRICS alliance.

While a number of elements that have been investigated as possible replacements for platinum metal in hydrogen fuel cells. Some of the most promising candidates include:



Iron ... an element now undergoing development to replace platinum in hydrogen fuel cells

Carbon-based materials: Carbon-based materials

Metal-organic frameworks: Metal-organic frameworks are a type of porous material that can be used to hold metal catalysts. 

Why would America want to be reliant on hostile nations for its mode of transportation with electric cars? Its a real national security concern.

Today, significant developments are on-going now in the hydrogen energy sector including;

Imperial College London researchers have presented a hydrogen fuel cell that uses iron instead of platinum. The research team created a catalyst using only iron, carbon, and nitrogen – materials that are cheap and readily available – and showed that it can be used to operate a fuel cell at high power. Their findings are published in the paper “High loading of single atomic iron sites in Fe–NC oxygen reduction catalysts for proton exchange membrane fuel cells,” published in nature catalysis. The scientists stated that around 60% of the cost of a single fuel cell is the platinum for the catalyst. “In lab tests, the team showed that a single-atom iron catalyst has performance approaching that of platinum-based catalysts in a real fuel cell system.” The team used a synthetic method called transmetallation to avoid forming iron clusters during synthesis. The academics are also cooperating with UK fuel cell catalyst manufacturer Johnson Matthey to test the catalyst in appropriate systems and hope to scale up the new tech in commercial production. “Our cheaper catalyst design should make this a reality, and allow deployment of significantly more renewable energy systems that use hydrogen as fuel, ultimately reducing greenhouse gas emissions and putting the world on a path to net-zero emissions,” they affirmed.

Ontario-based Hydrofuel Canada, a company delivering green ammonia and hydrogen, has completed an exclusive license agreement with Georgia Institute of Technology for their patent-pending Micro Ammonia Production System (MAPS) system “which enables high-yield, sustainable ammonia synthesis from air and water with unprecedented efficiency using a gas-phase electrochemical process.” The technology uses hollow hybrid plasmonic nanocages to create an electrocatalyst for ammonia synthesis from nitrogen (N2) and water (H2O). The technology works under ambient temperatures and pressure in the gas- and liquid-phase system. Hydrofuel will combine MAPS with its Kontak Hydrogen from Ammonia Separation Modules. “Utilizing MAPS technology with renewable energy to produce cost effective green ammonia is a major development. Using that ammonia with Kontak's technology, which Hydrofuel has previously acquired, is a game changer,” wrote Hydrofuel Canada on Monday. Kontak's technology can release hydrogen from a dozen potential carrier molecules. Of the carriers, the highest storage capacity is anhydrous ammonia, with (17.3% hydrogen by weight) stored in liquid form like propane. “Kontak's patented reactor is the most effective method to date for releasing hydrogen.” The hydrogen is filtered and sent directly to a fuel cell or internal combustion engine. According to the company, these technologies produce “green NH3 using $.02/kWh electricity for as low as $220 a tonne, whereas fossil-fuel derived NH3 is currently selling at $1,500 to $2,000 a tonne.” The Canadian company adds that green hydrogen can be separated from this ammonia to sell at about $1.50 a kg.

A recent announcement that General Motors is working to build a hydrogen fuel production facility in Michigan, a business development effort supported by Governor, Gretchen Whitmer. Note press release below with details including cars, trucks, trains and aerospace using hydrogen energy technology.

DETROIT, USA and OSLO, NORWAY (May 2023) – Nel Hydrogen US, a subsidiary of Nel ASA (Nel, OSE: NEL), has entered into a joint development agreement with General Motors (NYSE: GM) to help accelerate the industrialization of Nel’s proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer platform. By combining GM's extensive fuel cell expertise and Nel's deep knowledge of electrolyzers, the two companies are looking to enable more cost competitive sources of renewable hydrogen.

“General Motors is one of the global leaders in hydrogen fuel cell propulsion with more than 50 years of experience. We believe this collaboration will give us a competitive advantage in industrializing the production of our PEM electrolyzers and further improving the efficiency of our technology,” said Nel’s CEO, Håkon Volldal.

“Adding Nel as a strategic collaborator is an important step to help us commercialize fuel cell technology. Electrolysis is key to creating consistent, clean sources of hydrogen to power fuel cells,” said Charles Freese, GM executive director, Global HYDROTEC. “Nel has some of the most promising electrolyzer technology to help develop clean hydrogen infrastructure, and we believe our HYDROTEC fuel cell IP can help them get closer to scale.”

Nel was the first company in the world with a fully automated alkaline electrolyzer production line. The next step will be to industrialize the production of its PEM electrolyzer equipment in a similar way which will enable considerable technology advancement.

GM is developing and commercializing both HYDROTEC hydrogen fuel cell and Ultium battery technologies that deliver where it matters most: performance and cost. This is opening new revenue potential for GM as industries – including freight trucking, aerospace, power generation and locomotive – turn to GM to improve performance and reduce emissions.

Norway's Aker Horizons, through its portfolio company Aker Clean Hydrogen, and Norwegian power company Statkraft have signed collaboration agreements to jointly explore green hydrogen and ammonia production opportunities in India and Brazil, targeting local steel and fertilizer industries. “With considerable renewable energy production and market activities in India and Brazil, Statkraft is well positioned to capture green hydrogen opportunities in these two huge and important energy markets. Developing such opportunities helps us grow our business and reduces greenhouse gas emissions in India and Brazil,” said Jürgen Tzschoppe, Statkraft's executive vice president for international power.

Researchers at the Clemson Nanomaterials Institute (CNI) and their collaborators from the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL) in India said they discovered a novel way to combine curcumin, a substance in turmeric, and gold nanoparticles instead of platinum to create an electrode that “requires 100 times less energy to efficiently convert ethanol into electricity.” According to CNI, the discovery brings one step closer the replacement of hydrogen as a fuel cell feedstock. The researchers focused on the fuel cell's anode, where the ethanol or other feed source is oxidized. “Curcumin is used to decorate the gold nanoparticles to stabilize them, forming a porous network around the nanoparticles.” Researchers deposited the curcumin gold nanoparticles on the surface of the electrode at 100 times lower electric current than in previous studies.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the European Union and India should increase cooperation in the solar and green hydrogen sectors. Speaking at the Raisina Dialogue, a multilateral conference taking place in New Delhi, Amitabh Kant, CEO of the government public policy think tank NITI Aayog, said: “India has the size and scale to become a leader in green technologies. The developed countries have not lived up to their promise of low-cost finance.” Raisina Dialogue attendees also discussed hydrogen. Norway is looking for hydrogen opportunities in the subcontinent. Vegard Frihammer, CEO of Greenstat Norway, told the Statesman on Sunday that the company wanted to explore options in the country's industry and maritime sector.

What about U.S. Infrastructure?

Currently, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) rates the United States infrastructure grade C- very poor in desperate need of clean energy upgrades with very serious pollution and toxic waste clean-up challenges writes James Dean, Director SCS.

And any U.S. infrastructure plans should take into account that ultimately, efficient clean fusion energy and plasma fusion engines are set for public commercial use by 2032. The combination of hydrogen, solar, ocean wave, wind and fusion clean energy are the smartest technologies that deliver a truly sustainable clean environment, free of pollution long-term and provide a cost effective energy solution towards a more healthy quality of life for our kids.

I hope this article was helpful in gaining new insight into the challenges we face in reducing pollution and building affordable, viable clean energy on Earth. Questions call 440-597-3964

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