I have tried to stay out of this discussion because I felt it was relatively speaking a waste of time & energy.<br><br>I decided a years ago that any sustainable solution that was going to deal with the problems of energy supplies and global warming could not rely on the current approaches (digging reduced carbon out of the ground, oxidizing it and disposing of it in the atmosphere). I also decided that hydrogen was not a good solution from the simple perspective that it is a gas that is very difficult to handle under normal conditions (NTP, STP, SATP) . Natural Gas (methane) is somewhat better but still suffers from the problem of being a gas under normal conditions. So the vaunted "Hydrogen Economy" solution is fundamentally flawed IMO.
<br><br>The better alternatives are those which we already use such as octane, propane, ethanol or methanol for the simple reason that they suffer less from transport and manipulation problems at NTP.<br><br>Brazil is a good example of a country that has essentially solved its "energy" supply problem in a sustainable fashion by embracing ethanol derived from sugar cane as its primary energy carrier.
<br><br>It looks like we finally have some people with throw weight pointing the way towards a better path.<br><br>See the forthcoming:<br>Beyond Oil and Gas: The Methanol Economy<br>G. A. Olah, A. Goeppert, G. K. Surya Prakash (May 2006)
<br><a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/3527312757/">http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/3527312757/</a><br><br>Various reviews that I have read seem to suggest that these authors are thinking along the same lines that I have.
<br><br>There are two possible arguments against this path. First, that burning a carbon based energy carrier in an internal combustion engine produces pollution. This problem does not exist if fuel cells are used and can be resolved in internal combustion engines through catalytic converter. A hybrid engine approach moves us much closer to intermediate solutions because they would allow you to optimize internal combustion engines for minimal pollution. Second, that corn or sugar cane as the "green" fuel sources are relatively inefficient. This is only true right now. Optimizing crops for biofuel production is an ongoing process which holds great potential for improvement. It took centuries to "tune" current crops for food production but our tools are now much better for rapidly producing enhanced fuel crops.