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South Carolina Pushes Hydrogen Economy

September 11, 2006View for printing

Years ago, engineers for the federal government here studied hydrogen for its bomb-boosting capabilities. Now, scientists are working toward developing an economy that runs on the element.

"Our people did indeed help win the Cold War," said Fred Humes, director of the Economic Development Partnership in Aiken and Edgefield counties. "And with the capability we have ... we can help the country gain energy independence."

Using hydrogen as a fuel means cars will emit water rather than exhaust fumes, making it a clean, widely available alternative to fossil fuels. Hydrogen-run vehicles have been tested, but public availability is probably at least a decade away, said Todd Wright, director of the Savannah River National Laboratory.

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