So it appears that Utah “leadership” may be getting serious about air pollution. Here’s a plan that could start here and be a model for the rest of the country.
Edwin Black’s 2008 book The Plan briefly discusses ammonia as an alternate fuel. Ammonia has been used in internal combustion engines since the late 1800s; standard auto engines can be retrofitted for ammonia combustion. Liquid ammonia contains 50 percent more hydrogen than an equal volume of cryogenic liquid hydrogen, making it ideal for vehicle fuel cells and home electricity use.
It can be made anywhere where there is air, water and electricity. Wind and solar could make it a backyard fuel source and a viable local industry, with all money generated staying within the local economy. Since Utah is already a leader in the conversion of cars to natural gas, this should be easy.
Iowa has more than 800 ammonia stations for farm equipment, while China has more ammonia stations than gasoline stations. Both should be studied and could serve as a model to build upon.
Will it happen? The entrenched interests would do everything to squelch it. If we had a rational, responsible and—above all—responsive political system, a Manhattan Project-style program could create thousands of new jobs in every state, while ending air pollution and the need for military domination of oil-rich areas abroad.
Think about this the next time you’re coughing up black flecks on another red-air day.
Clee P. Ames