You learn something every day. Yesterday I mentioned that a tech designer had called the Internet "cloud" a "dirigible filled with hydrogen." Although I didn't use words like "explode" or "blow up," I couldn't resist adding a little snapshot of the unfortunate demise of the hydrogen-filled Hindenburg in 1937.
It turns out that hydrogen-associated industries are sensitive about references to the Hindenburg! Today I received a note from Rob Stuart of Philadelphia, who represents a hydrogen-powered water purification system, to set the record straight. Crucial passage: "Our biggest hurdle seems to be the misunderstanding of what really happened with the Hindenburg and the myth that hydrogen is explosive. While it is true that hydrogen mixed with oxygen will ignite, hydrogen by itself is less explosive than propane."
Herewith, for the record, his dispatch:
I read with interest your blog posting about the "Cloud" being "filled with hydrogen" and got the obvious meaning that it had the potential to "blow up". While I understand the popular conception that the Hindenburg's hydrogen exploded, the truth is that it did not. Here is a link to a NASA scientists' paper debunking that myth.
Please know that Hydrogen produced from water by solar or wind power "green hydrogen" could play a critical role in ending our reliance on fossil fuels. If hydrogen technology has powered much our space program successfully for 50 years why don't be begin to really use it here on earth.
I feel compelled to write you because of my work with The Essential Element to promote the Hydra - the world's first solar hydrogen water purification and community energy station. Here is a short video I shot and produced explaining the machine. .
Late last month we brought the Hydra to Philadelphia and had it purify Schuylkill River water next to the historic Waterworks. As you'll see in this clip, it worked perfectly.
Anyone who sees the Hydra in action finds it is very exciting, but our biggest hurdle seems to be the misunderstanding of what really happened with the Hindenburg and the myth that hydrogen is explosive. While it is true that hydrogen mixed with oxygen will ignite, hydrogen by itself is less explosive than propane.
I hope you will take the opportunity to review the links here and hopefully will join the effort to educate the American public about the potential of green hydrogen. On that note, the Hydra will be returning to Philadelphia this weekend for a special demonstration at the Academy of Natural Sciences and the Franklin Institute.
I have looked into this only enough to recognize that it is a contested issue. Don't plan to go through further rounds in this space. Check here, here, and here for relevant links. Thanks to Mr. Stuart; and if I were in Philly this weekend, I would go to the Franklin Institute to check out the Hydra.