The Globe and Mail reports in its Monday edition that it took some chemical wizardry, but the Olympic cauldron in Japan leapt to life not with traditional fossil fuels: It burned hydrogen and its flame was intended as a marker not just of an Olympic spirit, but of national ambition. The Globe's Nathan VanderKlippe writes that the Tokyo Games "will leave a hydrogen society as its legacy," the city's governor promised in 2016. Plans called for the Olympic village to run on hydrogen, for hydrogen-powered buses to ferry the world's elite athletes to competitions and for the Games to show the world Japan's hydrogen savvy. However, promises of a hydrogen-powered future have proved easier to make than to fulfill as much of the car industry moves toward electric power. The fleets of buses used to transport athletes and the media inside an Olympics pandemic bubble burned a small ocean's worth of diesel rather than hydrogen. Japan's hydrogen ambitions nonetheless have meaning for Canada. Canada's natural-gas fields are geographically well suited to be a source of supply. In Alberta, companies such as Air Products and Chemicals, Suncor and Atco have already disclosed plans to build blue-hydrogen production facilities.
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