In a world increasingly plagued by pollution, where limited availability of fossil fuels creates international tensions, and where global disaster from proliferating technology lurks on the horizon, the search for alternative synthetic fuels is no longer an idle scientist's dreamit is necessity. Hydrogenwith its vast and ready availability from water, its nearly universal utility, and its inherently benign characteristicsis one of several attractive synthetic fuels being considered for a "post-fossil-fuel" world, and it may well be the miracle fuel of the future. It is of special interest because, technically at least, it is so easily produced and because it produces simple water vapor in the combustion process rather than loading an already burdened environment with more hydrocarbons, carbon dioxide and monoxide, sulfur, particulate matter, and even more exotic pollutants. Journalist Peter Hoffmann describes worldwide scientific work toward a future hydrogen economy, looking at the auspicious prospects of this potential fuel, at its applicability to powering everything from automobiles to airplanes, and at the principles and technologies involved in making hydrogen a viable energy alternative. He examines howand how soonnature's simplest element may become available as an energy carrier, as well as the economic conditions that will accompany its introduction and the social impact of "clean" hydrogen energy. The picture he paints of the fuel future is a welcome alternative to the now-common prognostications of impending doom.