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Is hydrogen a viable successor to oil?

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posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 12:30 AM
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I have heard a lot of talk about the new hydrogen-powered automobiles. It seems very impracticle at the moment though.

What do you think? Is hydrogen technology a viable solution to the oil crisis?




posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 01:39 AM
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From what I have read, and by all means I am not an expert, hydrogen is not going to replace oil anytime soon. The wonderful thing about Hydrogen is that it exists in vast quantities in the water molecule. The bad thing is, that it takes more energy to split a water molecule into Hydrogen and Oxygen than the energy gained. This is entrophy. Oil is a form of stored energy from millions of years, where Hydrogen - although plentiful - requires energy to get it back to it's pure state.

This, in and of itself is the problem with Hydrogen replacing oil (or any other fuel for that matter); they are all energy carriers and are not sources of stored energy. They require more energy to refine them into something useable than you get out of them.

The benefit of H, is that when it is burned, it combines with O in the atmosphere and turns back into water - ZERO emissions and greenhouse gasses.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 10:20 AM
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the last thing u want to have in the car is hydrogen which is unstable, can u imagine a million cars blowing up per day.
. they have to make sure the technology is safe to use otherwise their be lawsuits, only to those who survived or has relatives that can do it for them.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 11:03 AM
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Originally posted by ben91069
From what I have read, and by all means I am not an expert, hydrogen is not going to replace oil anytime soon. The wonderful thing about Hydrogen is that it exists in vast quantities in the water molecule. The bad thing is, that it takes more energy to split a water molecule into Hydrogen and Oxygen than the energy gained.

The benefit of H, is that when it is burned, it combines with O in the atmosphere and turns back into water - ZERO emissions and greenhouse gasses.



The utilization of Hydrogen is far simpler than it seems. When people hear 'Hydrogen-powered Vehicle' they think (BECAUSE of the way it's always been with Gasoline) that the Hydrogen will be 'burned.' This is not the case.

The separation of Hydrogen from Oxygen in water molecules is as simple as running an electric current through the water. This process, applied in reverse, creates electricity. See www.geocities.com... for a simplified explanation of how the process works, as well as some drawbacks. At this point in time, the major drawback is cost, however with time and research and money invested into the idea, in the same manner that is currently invested into making gasoline automobiles more fuel efficient, the price of the technology would come down. Hydrogen is not an unstable molecule, however it is explosive in the presence of oxygen and heat. Well, so is gasoline. The technology is the most environmentally sound solution developed so far, and as more research is done, the cost of the process will come down, especially if the public demands it due to the rising price of fossil fuels.

Fossil fuels also require a great deal of refinement before it reaches the usable forms of diesel and gasoline. We see the effects of this refinement in the cost we pay at the pump. Hydrogen is free in not only water, but in the atmosphere, and could potentially be harvested from that source as well. I think it is a worth-while effort for research, and it's already being worked on... Check out the Governator!!
trucks.about.com...



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by SimonColynAdrian

The separation of Hydrogen from Oxygen in water molecules is as simple as running an electric current through the water. This process, applied in reverse, creates electricity. See www.geocities.com... for a simplified explanation of how the process works, as well as some drawbacks.


Well, I agree that the fuel cell is a nice idea and has many benefits, however, it still requires more energy to extract hydrogen from any source than you can get back out of it by burning or a fuel cell. This is the problem.

How do we really expect the entire world to meet future energy needs when it takes more energy than we will get out of it? This is why I say Hydrogen is just an energy carrier. Sure it will make a zero-emissions car or powerplant, but what form of energy are you going to use to extract the hydrogen in the first place??



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 10:37 PM
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Recently, I saw the documentary: "The End of Suburbia", I still debating to myself, if I believe this 100% (propably not), but I have to confess, that the way they presented the fact, was pretty convincing.

Bottom line, if soon, we have to switch from an Oil based economy (and Suburbia can only exist with cheap Oil) to something else, there are nothing that can replace the oil (in sufficient quantity and in time) without cutting back in several economic activities.



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 10:40 PM
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To extract hydrogen you only need electricity which is not the case with oil.

You can use solar cells or wind power or any clean source of electricity to separate the hydrogen. By doing it this way you have a completely clean source of energy.


[edit on 3-6-2005 by Chris McGee]



posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 03:37 AM
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I think it Natural Gas that what i took in My Petroleum Indst. Class

i think it in 2010 or 2020 where gas will take over oil



posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 08:11 AM
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Hydrogen fuel cells are definitely the wave of the future. There are cells commercially available now that can use a variety of inputs including methanol which can be made from renewable sources like agricultural biomass. These cells can power homes, cars and even laptops. This technology is real, it's economically viable, it's here now and it works. Like any social sea-change it will take awhile for widespread use. But it's definitely here.



posted on Jun, 4 2005 @ 12:41 PM
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The problem is that - the hydrogen is not the power source it's just a mean of energy storage. It has only few to do with oil crisis. BTW I think until the hydrogen becomes available(and cheap enough) for cars, there will be much better large rechargeable bateries.



posted on Jun, 5 2005 @ 01:36 PM
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Yea there probably will be much better, rechargable batteries but unless we can perfect free-energy [as in the brakes or rotation of the tires charges the battery or something] and make it 100% efficient, you are still going to have to pay high prices every night when you go home to charge your car. Unless we can find a better way to create energy [compared to coal or other powerplants] such as Nuclear power, then rechargable cars arent a viable option.

Natural gas wont last long with the consumption rate we have nowadays so i think that nuclear power for the extraction of hydrogen is the best way to go about replacing oil currently.



posted on Jun, 5 2005 @ 02:15 PM
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Originally posted by Chris McGee
To extract hydrogen you only need electricity which is not the case with oil.

You can use solar cells or wind power or any clean source of electricity to separate the hydrogen. By doing it this way you have a completely clean source of energy.


[edit on 3-6-2005 by Chris McGee]


I do like the sound of this. It does require a lot of energy to crack the molecule, but at least after the initial cost of developing clean electric I think it would probably work well. It is unfortunate that energy companies prioritize current profits instead of fast-tracking the technology to get new energy systems up and running. Instead, they want to squeeze every last nickel and dime out of everyone they can.

What comes aroung goes around - I hope.



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 06:08 AM
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Originally posted by alawler
Yea there probably will be much better, rechargable batteries but unless we can perfect free-energy [as in the brakes or rotation of the tires charges the battery or something] and make it 100% efficient, you are still going to have to pay high prices every night when you go home to charge your car. Unless we can find a better way to create energy [compared to coal or other powerplants] such as Nuclear power, then rechargable cars arent a viable option.

Natural gas wont last long with the consumption rate we have nowadays so i think that nuclear power for the extraction of hydrogen is the best way to go about replacing oil currently.


there is nothing in life as free enery on of the laws of energy is that enegry cannot be created or destroyed . and its impossible to get 100 percent effiectce that mean the if you put 100% electricity it must come out 100% kentic and that quit imposiible because some energy is gone from heat.

As for Hydrogen it still more expensive than oil because storage of hydrogen , building the hydrgeon device and breaking and bonding the hydrogen molecule requries a lot of energy



posted on Jun, 6 2005 @ 11:08 AM
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Hydrogen may be quite the viable option in the very near future. See this link for more details... www.pureenergysystems.com...

The technology is out there, and it is only the oil company propaganda that prevents these alternative sources from becoming more mainstream. Even the current Hybrids (like half of the Toyota pruduction line) STILL use gasoline, because it is what is readily available, not because there isn't an alternative. This article www.ari.vt.edu... discusses, from an anthropological standpoint, the direction the world is going.

And for those of you who talk about the "Costs" associated with obtaining enough Hydrogen, I suggest this site www.spiritofmaat.com...

The advantages of Hydrogen power are numerous. The disadvantages are quite small. Daimler Chrysler expects to release Hydrogen-Fuel-Cell production cars on a large scale basis by 2012 (just google chrysler and hydrogen, there's plenty news sites). In fact, the only major setback to the Hydrogen fuel movement is indeed the pull of the Petrol companies in the United States. The American dependence on oil is hightened by the negative propaganda coming from the cynics and the oil companies themselves... The batteries will be too big and heavy... We'll never be able to harvest enough Hydrogen... The cars won't be able to go very far... They won't be able to go very fast... Cynicism and doubting are the enemies of innovation. There are those out there who are working on this, and as these articles point out there is no real cost issue. Once the research progresses, this country will be using water in our fuel tanks.



posted on Jun, 7 2005 @ 01:32 AM
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Those are some pretty good links. the one with the australia research team especially.If they could make this marketable then australia would take a pretty significant leap to the front of the hopeful Hydrogen movement.

Originally posted by SimonColynAdrian
Cynicism and doubting are the enemies of innovation.

Well put
There are alot of people researching Hydrogen technology,and alot of money being invested with the potential of alot of money in return.The combination of the three should produce significant results.It is all definatley a step in the right direction, as we all know Fossil Fuels are not the future for earth.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 04:04 PM
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I believe Iceland already has enough hydrogen fuel stations to service their entire island. Their transition to hydrogen will be very smooth.



posted on Jun, 8 2005 @ 05:08 PM
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Originally posted by Chimaera
I believe Iceland already has enough hydrogen fuel stations to service their entire island. Their transition to hydrogen will be very smooth.

Not quite yet, but soon. They are still working on it. It looks very promising. In the future they might even be able to export hydrogen to Europe.


Hydro: Iceland Project

Iceland intends to become the world's first hydrogen-based society, becoming fossil fuel free between 2030 and 2050.



Iceland has an abundant supply of geothermal energy, used for power production and heating, plus considerable hydroelectric resources. In addition, there are excellent opportunities for exploiting wind energy.

INE's goal is to promote opportunities for the environmentally friendly production and use of hydrogen and fuel cells for different purposes on Iceland, thus realizing the Icelandic hydrogen vision.

EURO Hyport
As hydrogen is stored energy, there has been a discussion on Iceland regarding the possibility of producing hydrogen renewably for the European market. EURO-Hyport is a project pre-study looking into opportunities for large-scale hydrogen production, based on electrolysis and renewable power production, and how this can become a new, green export to Europe.

Hydrogen fuel cells for fishing fleet
INE will also look into the possibility of Iceland's fishing fleet using hydrogen, as the fuel currently used by the fleet adds greatly to the country's CO2 emissions. However, the technology has not yet advanced sufficiently to allow this.


Hydro: Hydrogen - fuel of the future



Hydrogen has the best potential of becoming the fuel of the future. Hydrogen can be produced from sustainable, renewable sources and may contribute to meet the growth in world energy demand.

Hydrogen is a carbon-free energy carrier. When used in fuel cells, there are no harmful emissions.

Production of hydrogen is relatively simple compared to processes to make conventional fuels. As a consequence, nobody will be able to control the supply of hydrogen. Hydrogen may create a freedom in the use of energy for transportation, in a similar way that internet made mass communication available to anyone with a PC and a phone line.

Even modified algae can produce hydrogen.


Originally posted by deltaboy
the last thing u want to have in the car is hydrogen which is unstable, can u imagine a million cars blowing up per day.
. they have to make sure the technology is safe to use otherwise their be lawsuits, only to those who survived or has relatives that can do it for them.

Here´s the answer to that:

Hydro: CUTE - Clean Urban Transport in Europe



CUTE is the first significant effort to demonstrate pan-European hydrogen supply and use for transportation purposes. CUTE entails testing 27 hydrogen fuel cell busses in nine European cities from 2003 until 2006.

The project will have a large impact on hydrogen use in the European transport sector.


Also check out these links:
INE - Icelandic New Energy
Hydro: Hydrogen - fuel of the future on Iceland
Fuel Cell Bus Club The first fuel cell bus fleet



posted on Jun, 18 2005 @ 12:36 PM
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The production of hydrogen requires energy itself. Then there is also the fact that in order to store it, you need to cool it which requires a lot of energy as well.

The advantage of hydrogen would be that it would be produced centrally in powerplants from either hydrocarbons such as oil or methane, by electrolysis from nuclear plants or thermochemically in still to be designed, new nuclear powerplants. A central production scheme would mean that pollution can more easily be handled and controlled than burning oil in individual car engines.

The disadvantages of hydrogen are numerous. The biggest one is storage: hydrogen gas is very bulky and either needs to be cooled to very low temperatures - requiring cooling devices, isolation, etcetera in your car - or be converted into metal hydrides, but the metal used to bind the hydrogen would make the storage pretty heavy as well, meaning you have a large portion of dead weight in your car which also gets mileage down. The other disadvantages are that it is pretty explosive than gasoline and that it would require a massive amount of new infrastructure to allow people to tank it.

I only see major benefits from hydrogen if it goes coupled with the building of new nuclear powerplants, which unfortunately is still politically sensitive. I do wonder though if there is no other alternative chemical that could be used as energy carrier. Personally, I've been wondering about hydrazine (N2H4). It is liquid at room temperature, not particularly more explosive than gasoline and a relatively simple molecule, which means production might not be that complex. NASA already uses it as rocket fuel. The disadvantage is that it is somewhat toxic, but then again, the molecule is unstable and decomposes by itself over time and even gasoline isn't particularly drinkable.



posted on Aug, 27 2005 @ 08:51 AM
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If you are able to take a trip to Hamburg, Germany - 31 Aug - 1 Sept...


Fuel Cell Bus Club

During the H2Expo on 31 August and 1 September 2005 you will have the opportunity to take a ride on one of the CUTE buses and to visit the Hamburg hydrogen filling station as part of the Site Tours programme.

International Conference and Trade Fair on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies - Aug 31 - Sept 1, 2005 (daily 9 am - 5 pm) : H2Expo - Hamburg



posted on Aug, 30 2005 @ 08:31 PM
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Well it's not like they'd be burning gas to produce the hydrogen... if people would accept nuclear power, it could easily be used to produce plenty of hydrogen. It's a simple matter of indirectly converting a cheap source of energy into another form, so all we'd be paying is the relatively low cost of the tiny bit of Uranium, what is it, 235? that will be splitting the virtually free water molecules. And they can certainly use the oxygen produced as well. Set up a Nuclear-Powered Gas 'n' Scuba shop! The problem would be the extreme combustability, not the cost in dollars.

(sorry about that, I basically just restated what Simon said, thanks to not reading before posting)

[edit on 30-8-2005 by SmileyMan34]




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