Well, first off I have to thank Viacheslav Zgonnik for sending me the link to this article. I also have to thank Google Translate since the article is in French.
The gist of the article is that in some parts of the world hydrogen gas occurs naturally (which is a paradox since it is often said that hydrogen doesn’t occur by itself in nature) and this is a potential source of fuel for cars, stationary fuel cells and other devices.
According to IFP Energies Nouvelles, translated into English, “After exploratory work which showed that natural emissions of continuous H2 meet frequently on earth IFPEN launching a new research program that focuses on their potential for industrial exploitation …
“… Natural emissions of hydrogen were first discovered on the seabed along the mid-ocean ridges (“black smokers and white smokers”). In this environment, the existence of a volcanic hydrothermal circulation system induced by contact, high temperature, sea water and very small rocks from the Earth’s mantle peridotites. These rocks are oxidized on contact with sea water which produces hydrogen reduction. These “smoking” have the disadvantage of being located in very deep and very far from shore. Their operation is not economical. IFPEN has therefore focused its work on the H2 easier access, which were observed in two types of geological context terrestrial sources: large land mass of peridotite, where a particular tectonic setting exposes rocks of mantle origin, alteration by meteoric waters. Areas located in the heart of the continent, intraplate areas, especially in the older parts of the Precambrian cratons, located in the center of continents emerged.”
As you can see the translation isn’t perfect, but it is understandable. One question that needs to be asked about harvesting hydrogen from geological formations is regarding how sustainable this process would be? Drilling for hydrogen could be a limited resource just like drilling for oil, unless somehow the hydrogen is regenerated by Mother Earth.
It seems like worthy research in order to find out the answer to this one question alone. If hydrogen is somehow renewed and regenerated then this may be another long-term source for fuel. And if not, then perhaps it would help in the shorter term.