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University professor objects to `Quantum` hydrogen-fueled climax

22-Dec-2008 • Quantum Of Solace

A professor from Salford University is squaring up to James Bond, reports the Manchester Evening News.

Professor Keith Ross from Salford University has been shaken into action over the climatic final scene of the latest Bond film where a hydrogen fuelled hotel is destroyed by an inferno after a vehicle crashes into it.

He fears that misconceptions about hydrogen - as shown in 'Quantum of Solace' starring Daniel Craig - could damage research into it being used as a low carbon free alternative to petrol and diesel.

Accusing the film-makers of 'irresponsible scaremongering', Prof Ross said: "I was perturbed to watch the James Bond film's climax. It was unrealistic and may perpetuate the fear that hydrogen should be avoided.

"Although potentially explosive in a confined space, the fuel can be handled quite safely. If released into the open air, hydrogen would only burn with a blue flame - a fact obviously of no interest to a film-maker.

"Like the famous photographs of the Hindenberg disaster, the scene's images could well stick in the public's consciousness."

Prof Ross said although the infamous German airship Hindenberg disaster in 1937 was widely believed to be caused by hydrogen, the fire has, in fact, been attributed to the flammable exterior paintwork.

He is leading a major research project into the viability of hydrogen as an economical, low carbon fuel, and a more environmentally friendly alternative to petrol and diesel-based engines.

He said: "The world needs a practical alternative to fossil fuels and I believe that hydrogen may be the way forward.

"The public needs to be reassured about its safety and scaremongering in the media will only set us back."

Two years ago he and his research team were awarded £500,000 from the European Commission to investigate ways of storing hydrogen in vehicles.

They designed a nine inch plastic model car model to show a possible way of how the gas could be kept.

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