“Life fuel” is a term that’s been thrown around a lot lately in terms of the potential for some kind of hydrogen-powered jet fuel.
It’s actually not new.
The term “life” is derived from the Latin “laborum” meaning “to work, labor” and, well, the basic principle behind hydrogen is to make fuel.
In the 1800s, scientists at a German nuclear power station invented a method for using hydrogen to produce oxygen and other molecules.
In 1935, a company called Life Fuel developed a process for using that same hydrogen to make a mixture of oxygen and hydrogen.
The company was bought out by General Motors in 1962, and then, just a few years later, it went public.
Life Fuel, which had been in operation since the mid-1980s, had a lot of success and was valued at $2 billion.
In 2011, however, the company filed for bankruptcy.
That’s when it faced a lot more questions than it had answers for.
In addition to the bankruptcy, the government has issued a moratorium on any new hydrogen fuel stations in the U.S. And in January, a federal judge granted the company a stay of his order prohibiting new fuel stations from opening.
Life was forced to shut down its operation at the beginning of January after a $15 million judgment by a federal district judge in Manhattan.
It was a very messy situation.
But in the end, it’s been all worth it, said Jim Gebhart, an energy economist at the conservative Heritage Foundation.
“This is life fuel,” Gebhardt told me.
“The fact that it’s an effective, safe, affordable alternative to the fuel that’s being sold by companies that are in business to get you to the pump, and the fact that there’s a moratorium now, and they’re actually putting some money in the pockets of the people that make it, it all makes this whole thing a little bit worth it.”
Gebarth, a longtime supporter of the Clean Power Plan, told me he had no doubts that Life Fuel was a great success.
But there are also some serious challenges ahead.
The big question: How will hydrogen actually work in the jet fuel gelateria?
It would need to be very clean, as it would have to be filtered through a very specific type of filter to remove any oxygen from the water and make hydrogen.
But what about other things?
The problem with hydrogen fuel is that, as Gebart said, “we don’t know how to do that.”
In his mind, the best way to solve this is to figure out how to make hydrogen from water.
The way that this is done is to boil water, and once it boils, the water turns into a liquid.
This liquid, Gebard said, has a very high density—and, he added, a very long half-life.
The key is to mix this liquid with oxygen, which is what makes hydrogen work.
And that’s what’s been going on for the last few decades.
The problem is that oxygen doesn’t make hydrogen, so you need a way to make it from water in order to make that hydrogen.
In other words, hydrogen needs to be made by heating water to very high temperatures.
Gebgart said that’s one of the biggest challenges for making hydrogen from oxygen, since it takes so long for oxygen to react with water.
“You have to heat water to temperatures above 250 degrees Fahrenheit and then make hydrogen,” he said.
“So you’ve got to be pretty clever.”
In addition, water doesn’t have the right kind of energy to do all the things hydrogen does.
It has a specific type and energy of hydrogen, which has to be fed into it.
That energy is called the “electrolyte,” which is like a battery.
It is the primary energy source for hydrogen production, but it also produces a lot in the form of carbon dioxide and other harmful greenhouse gases.
“Hydrogen is a very, very expensive energy source,” Gbart said.
And even though hydrogen is a cheaper energy source, “you’re not going to get much of it in the pipeline,” because it takes a long time for the water to boil and then it’s turned into a water-rich solution.
But that’s the big question, he said, and it’s the one that Life’s business model has to answer.
“What is life?
How do we make it?” he said with a chuckle.
“Life is basically oxygen that is combined with hydrogen.
You can’t make oxygen, and you can’t create hydrogen.
So you have to make the hydrogen.”
How can you make hydrogen in a process that’s not exactly the same as making it in a fuel cell?
That’s what Life Fuel has been trying to solve by using a process called electrolysis.
In electrolysis, water and oxygen are combined, and oxygen and water are added to a