My name is Simon Pickup, President and Founder of Youth Hydrogen. Here's a little bit about Youth Hydrogen:
In grade four, the question-premise I chose for my science fair project was “How do we solve the fuel problem?” My answer was that hydrogen was the solution, and I built an electrolyser (a device which uses electricity to split water into hydrogen and oxygen) as part of a display that laid out how it could be done. Since then, I’ve been working to demonstrate how hydrogen can be produced without emitting any carbon dioxide or other climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases, in an economically attractive and socially beneficial way because I believe that hydrogen, as a truly sustainable energy system, is the answer to the global concerns of climate change, fossil fuel dependency and air pollution.
In 1999 I founded what would eventually become Youth Hydrogen, a youth-driven not for profit organization whose mission is to advance a global shift to hydrogen and renewable energy. The society raises funds and awareness, develops hydrogen demonstration projects and offers its members a chance to make a real difference in the fight against climate change. After extensive research and experimentation, Youth Hydrogen has discovered that British Columbia is one of the few places in the world where our goal of sustainable hydrogen is achievable today. Thanks to the province’s hydroelectric supply, the electricity necessary to derive hydrogen from water using an electrolyser is both affordable and clean. The result is hydrogen produced without emitting any carbon dioxide or other climate destabilizing gases, at a rate competitive with gasoline. Combining this method of production with high pressure carbon tanks for hydrogen storage and hydrogen internal combustion engines (not fuel cells) for vehicular use enables hydrogen now.
The vision of showcasing the world’s first example of a truly sustainable, gasoline competitive hydrogen system has driven Youth Hydrogen to design and build three demonstration electrolysers, establish an import agreement with an international hydrogen electrolyser manufacturer, and raise $4000, with over $100,000 pending. We have developed numerous education resources, including “Element H,” a guerilla style call to arms which discusses how to start building the hydrogen economy, presenting our work to community, academic and government organizations including the Hydrogen & Fuel Cells 2007: International Conference and Trade Show. In 2006, we successfully approached the City of North Vancouver to explore the development of a hydrogen refueling station based on our discoveries, our biggest accomplishment to date. Currently, Youth Hydrogen is engaged in three major projects. The first is continuing to work with the City of North Vancouver to finalize the development of the hydrogen refueling station. Our second priority is developing a fleet of hydrogen pickup trucks for use by Neptune Terminals, a local multi-purpose shipping terminal in partnership with Eco Fuel Technologies. We are also continually growing Youth Hydrogen’s organization capacity through ongoing fundraising, recruiting and outreach.