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Why Not Water?

Investing in Fuel Cell Technology


By Mr. Hodgson

Nuclear disaster in Japan. A massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


The impact of global warming on animals and habitats. Rising gas and oil
prices. Recent newspaper headlines indicate a growing concern with issues Comment: I am using these recent
events to capture the attention of the
around energy sources and the environment as the world’s governments and reader. I am purposely being very
dramatic.
people attempt to figure out how to address these problems. While some
alternative energy ideas are gaining ground – such as solar panels for homes, Comment: Here, I am acknowledging
that there are other alternatives. But I
hybrid-electric engines for cars and even wind farms for electricity – there want to make sure the reader knows my
topic is the “best” alternative.
has not been enough progress to make significant change. One idea that is
gaining interest among researchers and scientists is the process of using
water as a way to create energy. Hydrogen fuel cell technology has great
potential for changing the way we power the planet while also cutting down
on our impact on climate change. Comment: This is my topic sentence or
thesis statement for my essay. Notice how
it comes at the end of my introductory
paragraph. This allows me to then lead
Hydrogen fuel cell technology, which taps into the molecular structure the reader into the body of my essay.
of water to create power, is not a new concept. In fact, the idea of the fuel
cell concept was first introduced to the world in the 1800s by a British
scientist named Sir William Grove. Although Grove was able to show that Comment: I give a little historical
background to my topic
energy could be produced by splitting apart the atoms of water, the concept
did not gain any ground because the combustible engine had taken over the
world. Fuel cell technology works in a variety of ways, but the most basic
element is that it acts somwhat like a traditional battery, but it is more
efficient and more powerful. The fuel cell device constantly creates power,
as opposed to batteries, which store energy for later use. Essentially, the
most popular kind of fuel cell uses the hydrogen taken from water (which is
two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen, or H2O) and “ionizes” the
hydrogen, which gives is an electrical charge. The fuel cell then taps into
that charge to generate a small amount of power. The best part about the fuel Comment: I simplified the process here
for our audience. The process is actually
cell idea is that there is no pollution given off from the conversion process more complicated than this.

and if water can be used as the main supply of power, there is potentially an
unlimited amount of resources.

When it comes to concerns over the fragile state of our planet and
solving our world’s growing energy needs, the use of fuel cells may be one Comment: Here, I try to use “loaded
words” to generate support. I want the
of the answers. Imagine if we could completely move away from fossil fuels reader to feel like our planet is in big
trouble.
such as gas and oil? We would not longer have to be digging deep into
planet, running the risk of accidents. We would not longer need to worry
about the cost of gasoline to run our cars and trucks. And the reduction of
carbon dioxide from the conversion of fossil fuels would ease the pressure
on Global Warming, too. There are those opponents of fuel cell technology Comment: I acknowledge that some
people oppose my idea.
who say that the cost to develop the technology on a scale large enough to
make change is too high. Other people raise concerns about durability of fuel
cells over a long period of time, and also, they worry about how to store the
conversion units, which can be quite large. They are short-sighted in their
opposition, however. These are all problems that can be addressed over time, Comment: I dismiss the oppoonents

thanks to scientific exploration and invention.

In order for that change to happen, however, the fuel cell industry will
continue to need the support of governments around the world. While former Comment: Here, I begin to lay out
ways that my idea can happen. This is
United States President George Bush enacted the Hydrogen Fuel Cell part of the “action” idea

Initiative in 2003 in order to support more research, the technology has been
slow to grow. For the most part, it will be the continued financial investment
by governments into research around alternative energies that will change
the world for the better. Universities and research facilities need the support
of the people and the elected officials if they are to lead the way into the
future. It may take some time and it will surely take some patience, but fuel
cells, along with solar and wind and other alternative energy resources,
require the support of all of us. We also need to keep putting pressure on car
companies to implement more efficient vehicles on the road, and fuel cells
might be one way to do that. And schools need to do a better job of
educating young people in the fields of science and technology so that a new
generation of smart, innovative pioneers can lead the way forward for all of
us.

It’s hard to say what the world will look like in 20 or 30 years. The
pace of change is fast, and it seems to be accelerating. But we know that we
need to solving our energy issues or else we risk an uncertain future in the
world. And the energy problems we face are directly related to our Comment: As I summarize, I want to
stress that the problems of energy and the
environmental problems around climate change. If we can find a way to environment are growing. I want to instill
some “fear” in the reader.
solve both problems, we should do it. I believe that fuel cell technology,
with its efficiency and clean output of energy, deserves substantial
investment for ongoing and future research. The technology of fuel cells has Comment: I revisit my thesis statement
from the opening paragraph as I wrap up
the potential to completely change the way we view our use of energy. If we the essay.

lose this chance to invest in the future in a meaningful way, we are not only
letting down ourselves and the next generations of children. We are letting
down the entire planet. Let’s give fuel cell technology a chance. Comment: You want to leave the
reader with a final thought.