Oxygen The Beneficial Byproduct

"With the large quantities of low-cost oxygen available on implementation of hydrogen power, it would be economically feasible to attempt to reverse some existent environmental damage."

Laurence O. Williams "Therapy for the Earth" Applied Energy, Vol. 47, No. 2-3 1994, ISSN 0306-2619

The preceding chapters show why the fusion energy source is the optimum replacement for our current energy sources and how hydrogen can be produced and used for the storage and transport medium. This chapter will show how the oxygen by-product can be used as a tool for the amelioration and potential elimination of other types of pollution. It will describe the use of oxygen for the reduction of solid waste. Oxygen use for process wastewater (sewage treatment) and its use for the regeneration of natural bodies of water will be described. These valuable environmental effects can be achieved with modest hardware additions to the Fusion-Hydrogen energy system.

Oxygen is a major chemical commodity. The oxygen by-product produced by the electrolysis of water in the Fusion-Hydrogen energy system can be used in all current applications such as the manufacture of steel.221 Its potential future low cost will be an economic advantage for these processes. However, the amount of oxygen produced by a fully implemented Fusion-Hydrogen energy system will vastly overwhelm the current uses of oxygen. Table 2.1 (Chapter 2) indicates that in 1999 the United States used 101.91 x 1018 Joules of energy. Supplying this magnitude of energy will require the production of 8.495 x 108 metric tons of hydrogen with 6.794 x 10 metric tons of oxygen by-product. This is about 500 times more oxygen than was produced in the United States during 1999. The excess oxygen can be used with great advantage to reduce pollution emanating from sources other than fossil fuel.

As discussed in Chapter 6, hydrogen treatment of solid waste for the recovery and recycling of valuable materials may be feasible. However, the enormous quantities of solid waste generated by the cities are becoming extremely difficult to handle. 222 The use of hydrogen to recycle trash may be inadequate for a total solution and other options must be examined. The oxygen by-product from the Fusion-Hydrogen energy system will be of value in processing municipal and industrial solid wastes. In addition to its use in reducing solid waste, oxygen will be valuable for sewage treatment and it will provide the basis for techniques useful to clean and purify lakes and rivers.

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