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Crestone Eagle, January 2008:
Roy McAlister of the American Hydrogen Association speaks at the SEED Park meeting
by Nicholas Chambers
Roy McAlister is a gentle giant of the future.
His vision is clear, his purpose true, and his case strong.
The future of energy is the future of our global economy.
Since we exist because of the sun, and that which makes up
three quarters of all matter in the universe is hydrogen,
McAlister ardently suggests we better become a Solar Hydrogen
Civilization if we expect to stimulate prosperity. To Mr.
McAlister, burning one million years’ worth of fossil
accumulations as oil every year is downright embarrassing
to the many other positive outcomes of the industrial era.
He would rather see that 100 gallons of fossil petroleum be
turned into $3,500 of durable goods that can be long lasting
McAlister is an engineer, educator, inventor, and author.
His books are The Solar Hydrogen Civilization, a
children’s coloring booklet called The Star of Life,
and, autobiographically, The Philosopher Mechanic,
with a new one coming out on renewable energy engines. He
has been the President of the non-profit and volunteer-run
American Hydrogen Association since its inception in 1989
and holds degrees in Mechanical Engineering, Metallurgy, and
What McAlister calls for is not just a change of flavor of
the fuel that we run our cars on, but the global establishment
of a Renewable Resources Institute as well as numerous Renewable
Energy Parks. From this, humanity could launch the new ventures
that will enable the components, goods, and services to accomplish
the Solar Hydrogen Civilization. This all inclusive revolution
will use solar energy and its derivatives of falling water,
wind, wave, and biomass to generate electricity and hydrogen.
“I am a firm believer in nuclear fusion,” says
McAlister, “at 93 million miles away!”
His recipe for how we start this Revolution is the grass
roots conversion of internal combustion (IC) engines to run
on hydrogen that not only exhaust pure water as the only emission,
but also actually clean the air that enters the engine! Humanity
doesn’t need to wait for Toyota or BP to solve our energy
crisis. We already have 800 million internal combustion engines
on the earth and they can all be Renewable Energy Vehicles
with Minus Emissions (REV-ME). The impacts for places like
Mexico City and China could be enormous, not to mention Denver
and all the other smog-laden cities around the globe. In fact,
the American Hydrogen Association already has a branch in
Mexico City where they are training people to convert engines
that clean the air.
The effect of transforming huge portions of the IC engine
fleet is that it will start to create the market pull for
assembly-line production of hydrogen generation, storage,
and distribution systems and components. There are many arguments
against hydrogen (usually for storage challenges), but as
McAlister laments, “If we put the same amount of money
and development into solar hydrogen systems as we do into
500 billion dollar Iraq wars, things would change fast.”
The fossil era is already costing us more than we think because
“the price of gasoline today, with the hidden costs
factored in, is between $6 to $15 per gallon.” Mass
produced components together with the diffusion of efficient
solar hydrogen generation technologies are kept at bay by
vested interests from the fossil industries.
As hydrogen does not exist naturally in the universe, conventional
approaches to hydrogen usually use electricity to split water
to create hydrogen and oxygen gases. McAlister is looking
more toward creating hydrogen from low to negative-cost waste
products such as municipal solid waste, municipal wastewater,
and agricultural residues and manures. These materials can
be anaerobically digested to yield methane, CH4, which has
one of the highest concentrations of hydrogen.
Further solar disassociation can break this methane into
pure carbon and pure hydrogen. The carbon goes into manufacturing
processes to build components that are lighter than aluminum,
stronger than steel, and more conductive than copper. These
new, far-superior products further enable the Renewable Resources
Revolution as wind turbines, wave machines, and storage tanks.
“You pay your bills with the carbon,” says McAlister,
“and the hydrogen is leftover to be priced at whatever
McAlister gave a presentation the Friday before the SEED
(Sustainable Environmental and Economic Development) Park
meeting that both astounded hydrogen aficionados and confounded
skeptics. He also spoke briefly at the Saturday meeting where
his presence definitely helped put hydrogen fuel development
and retrofits on the final business list. Having Mr. Roy McAlister
here in the San Luis Valley was an indicator that we are developing
the resources and contacts for building a cutting-edge path
to sustainable prosperity.
To become a member of the American Hydrogen Association,
whose mission it is “to scientifically test and report
options for Civilization to overcome dependence on burning
over one million years’ of fossil accumulations each
year” and receive the excellent book The Solar Hydrogen
Civilization, you can contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Their web-site is www.clean-air.org. This author also has
books for sale and/or for membership contributions. Email
at email@example.com to get one.
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