DAYTON, OH (WDTN) — An electrolyzer, which splits water and electricity into hydrogen and oxygen by breaking their bonds, was the inspiration for Chris McWhinney to start Millennium Reign Energy.
Taking that idea to a larger scale, the company builds hydrogen generators with this method to fuel cars. While they are similar to electric vehicles, they have a big advantage on getting back on the road fast.
David Cooke, Ohio State University Senior Associate Director at the Center for Automotive Research said, “If we figure out the fuel, you know, hydrogen will be everywhere.”
McWhinney, Millennium Reign Energy CEO and Founder said, “Big difference is that the hydrogen car can be refilled and depending on what station you’re in, 3 to 5 minutes or with our stations, 8, 15 minutes, and you’re going to go 350 miles.”
The downside to this process is the amount of energy from carbon emitting resources required to produce the hydrogen.
Dr. Bob Brecha, University of Dayton Director of Sustainability believes that hydrogen is the future, but not in personal vehicles.
He said, “All of these processes are really inefficient. Why not just use that renewable electricity in an EV?”
Experts say hydrogen is more efficient than gasoline, and thanks to the light weight, can be more effective than others for long distance transportation.
David Cooke, Ohio State University Senior Associate Director at the Center for Automotive Research said, “The battery you need to put in a class A semi-truck is a giant massive battery with a huge amount of expense. You need rapid chargers all along the route. And so thinking about classic delivery trucks is one where right away you say, ‘Hydrogen is a good solution. I can store an incredible amount of fuel in a very lightweight package and refueling is very fast.’”
McWhinney wants to expand the number of generators around the country and world to grow the industry, and lower emissions.