San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Experts Call For Alternative Energies

Costa Rican-U.S. astronaut and physicist Franklin Chang last week called for Costa Rica to use electric cars and hydrogen-based energies to reduce the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.

“Hydrogen is the future of the country. We should throw out fossil fuels and transform into a hydrogen-based economy,” he said to an audience at the University of Costa Rica’s (UCR) ScientificCity auditorium, where alternative energies were the topic of discussion at the National Oil Refinery (RECOPE) Quality Fair.

Chang called for innovative forms of hydrogen-based energies like ones he is developing in his lab in the northwestern city of Liberia.

The two-day fair brought together regional energy experts ranging from Chang to Brazilian engineer and biofuel expert Luis Augusto Horta.

RECOPE is working on a pilot plan to sell fuel with an ethanol mix at Central Valley gas stations as of early next year, according to spokesman Carlos Cantillo.

Chang discussed long-term possibilities, such as using a soup of extremely hot particles and plasma to create fusion, an energy form that breaks from traditional fissionbased nuclear energy and may end up leaving behind less radioactive waste, he said.


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