Paul Lachine

Große Hoffnung Wasserstoff

Rhinecliff, New York: In seinem 1874 erschienen Roman Die geheimnisvolle Insel lässt Jules Verne seinen Helden Cyrus Harding, einen Ingenieur, erklären, dass man „eines Tages Wasser als Brennstoff verwenden wird, dass der Wasserstoff und der Sauerstoff, aus denen es besteht, allein oder gemeinsam eine unerschöpfliche Quelle von Wärme und Licht bieten werden.“ Wasser, so Harding, würde „zweifellos durch elektrischen Strom“ in Wasserstoff und Sauerstoff aufgespalten werden.

Viele von Vernes Träumereien bleiben Fantasien, doch was den Wasserstoff angeht, so ist seine Zeit gekommen. Es sind inzwischen bereits hunderte wasserstoffbetriebene Prototypen von Autos, Bussen, Lieferwagen und Minivans, einem oder zwei Motorrädern, ein paar Motorrollern, Nutzfahrzeugen (u.a. einer Menge Gabelstapler) und sogar ein paar Traktoren in Betrieb. Vor zwei Jahren hat das Europäische Parlament in Straßburg mit überwältigender Mehrheit eine Erklärung verabschiedet, die auf eine grüne Wasserstoffwirtschaft drängt.

Wasserstoffprojekte werden in Nordamerika, Europa, Japan, Korea, Australien, Südamerika und, im Embryonialstadium, in China und Indien vorangetrieben. Die meisten der Wasserstofffahrzeuge werden mit Brennstoffzellen betrieben, doch BMW und Mazda haben auch Benzinmotoren auf Wasserstoff umgestellt (schicke V12er bei BMW, Wankelmotoren bei Mazda).

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