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Why the Hydrogen Economy Doesn't Matter

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posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 02:29 AM
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www.physorg.com...



In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. The large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use — an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen.


I couldn't have put it better or said it better myself.




“There is a lot of money in the field now,” he continues. “I think that it was a mistake to start with a ‘Presidential Initiative’ rather with a thorough analysis like this one. Huge sums of money were committed too soon, and now even good scientists prostitute themselves to obtain research money for their students or laboratories—otherwise, they risk being fired. But the laws of physics are eternal and cannot be changed with additional research, venture capital or majority votes.”


[edit on 12-12-2006 by sardion2000]




posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 04:38 AM
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"The laws of physics are eternal and cannot be changed with additional research, venture capital or majority votes."


Just wanted to note that if you get all your energy from Solar and Wind at home to power your EV, then the usable watts per 100 kWh goes up even further.

Renewable AC electricity = 100 kWh initial power
AC-DC conversion and battery charging. 85 % of 100 kWh = 85 kWh
Electric vehicle with regen. braking. 90 % of 85 kWh = 76.5 kWh

So that's 76.5 kWh's for a purely electric vehicle versus a Fuel Cell vehicle with Compressed H2 which gets 23 kWhs of usable electricity per 100 kWh and a Liquified H2 solution gets 19 kWh of usable electricity per 100 kWh.

So that's:

Electricity Alone: 76.5 kWh Usable per 100 kWh generated.
Compressed H2: 23 kWh Usable per 100 kWh generated.
Liquefied H2: 19 kWh Usable per 100 kWh generated.

[edit on 12-12-2006 by sardion2000]

[edit on 12-12-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 06:42 AM
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“The two key issues of a secure and sustainable energy future are harvesting energy from renewable sources and finding the highest energy efficiency from source to service,” he says. “Among these possibilities, biomethane [which is already being used to fuel cars in some areas] is an important, but only limited part of the energy equation. Electricity from renewable sources will play the dominant role.”


This is from the article and I thought it was a really good quote so for those who are to lazy to RTFA, here it is.



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 08:21 AM
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I've always thought focusing on hydrogen now is a bad idea. Go for diesels. Easier to implement, cheaper too.



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 08:46 AM
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If by Diesel you mean Biodiesel, then I'd argue against an economy solely dependant on that alone. Frankly I believe the best way to go forward is the EV rout.



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 08:51 AM
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Great research sardion.


Can you explain what EV is and why you recommend going that route, please?



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 08:55 AM
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EV is just short for Electric Vehicles. Hybrid Biodiesles is just a stepping stone to an Electric Vehicle dominated market. Hydrogen will have it's place, it just won't form the backbone of our society like Oil has.

The reason why is simply because of the chart below:



Frankly, I don't think we will have a 21st Century equivalent of Oil. Our economy will be a patchwork hodgepodge collection of technologies and energy sources that are good enough for our needs for the first half of this Century. The Second half may be dominated by Fusion but who knows about that eh?


[edit on 12-12-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 09:14 AM
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By diesels I mean the whole family, with biodiesels making up the bulk of it. It's the cheaper way in terms of infrastructure as well as cost. Infrastructure because you don't really need any new facilities or engines -- the current ones can work as is without modifications. Cheap on the whole because modern diesel engines are much more fuel efficient that regular petrol engines. Plus they could also run on a mixture of 15% diesel and 85% ethanol.

Electric vehicles will probably become very common within cities, for commutes to work, sending kids to school and such. But I think for long trips across state lines, diesel engines will do most of the work. Purely electric vehicles wouldn't have the stamina.

However I do agree with you on the future not having a single "backbone" fuel source. But looking at it practically I'd say diesels will dominate, even if it isn't the backbone. Liquid fuel in the form of diesels are just that much easier to handle than a heavy fuel cell that needs to be recharged overnight.

A hybrid biodiesel-electric vehicle would be the best.



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 09:24 AM
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Originally posted by Beachcoma
By diesels I mean the whole family, with biodiesels making up the bulk of it. It's the cheaper way in terms of infrastructure as well as cost. Infrastructure because you don't really need any new facilities or engines -- the current ones can work as is without modifications. Cheap on the whole because modern diesel engines are much more fuel efficient that regular petrol engines. Plus they could also run on a mixture of 15% diesel and 85% ethanol.


Your logic is spot on there.



Electric vehicles will probably become very common within cities, for commutes to work, sending kids to school and such. But I think for long trips across state lines, diesel engines will do most of the work. Purely electric vehicles wouldn't have the stamina.


I've been talking to some Engineers who are working on Battery technology and apparently they think that we are in for at least a 3 fold increase in capacity in the near future. Some of the solutions they seemed most keen on was Nano-Lithium particles and Silver Zinc Ion batterys. The Tesla Roadster for instance uses several thousand laptop sized batteries and gets a range of 250 miles. If they can manage to triple this in the next twenty years then I don't see Diesel as anything more then a stepping stone really.

www.teslamotors.com...


A hybrid biodiesel-electric vehicle would be the best.


An electric drive hybrid that can be plugged in!
The power plant(as opposed to motor as it will be generating kilowatts rather then Torque) has to be Flexi-Fuel(possibly Rotary).

[edit on 12-12-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 12 2006 @ 06:26 PM
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Great post ! Glad i'm here. Diesel will allways be around for trains and big rigs it's the $ per pound mile thing that makes sense there. Ethanol and diesel is a grand plan but no infrastructure at this point. Bio diesel in the warmer climates.


mikell



posted on Dec, 13 2006 @ 11:27 PM
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I agree.

The biggest (and maybe the only) thing keeping EV's from reaching the masses is are rather poor battery tech...There are some electric cars on the road today...like Tesla, which uses li-ion, which is the batteries that are now famous for exploding...thanks to sony.

I've read about big battery break-throughs...but nothing has hit the mainstream yet...when something does...people will choose an all electric ride...I wouldn't mind...except i really like the engine noise...electric would be whisper quiet...which is good in some cases, but its just not the same when you line up at the stop light.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 01:27 AM
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The way I see it is :
So long as it's not gasoline, I'm happy.

As for the fact that converting hydrogen is wasteful, we already have answers to that. The data you have seems to be out of date.

But meh, I don't care if we use EV, Hydrogen, or Bio-Diesel, as I stated, so long as it's not gasoline.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 05:36 AM
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As for the fact that converting hydrogen is wasteful, we already have answers to that. The data you have seems to be out of date.


Care to enlighten me then? If you provide me with the numbers I shouldn't be too hard to check their veracity and plug them in to the equation. Though one thing I have to insist on is: If it's "still in development" then it doesn't exist yet. I'll only accept products and solutions that are available in the marketplace right now for the efficiency equation.

[edit on 14-12-2006 by sardion2000]



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:38 AM
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hydrogen might only be usuable for airplane engines.



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:19 PM
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johnsky - Whats your gasoline hatin all about?



posted on Dec, 14 2006 @ 07:35 PM
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I can think of many reasons to hate it, some more personal then others...[pauses to take a puff of Asthma meds]...okay now where were we? Oh yeah, reasons.

- Oil is a Finite resource. The curve worldwide will peak someday soon. It's more then just an environmental problem now, it's an Economic and Geopolitical one.

- It emits these toxic and climate effecting gases and particulates into our environment: Unburnt Hydrocarbons, Nitrogen Oxides, Carbon Monoxide, and Carbon Dioxide. These are the big ones but some gasoline sources still have traces of Sulfur compounds as well as Lead.

That is unfortunately just the tip of the iceberg and cars are just a fraction of the entire picture.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 12:06 AM
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I just dont understand why all these companies are pushing ethanol, Bio, Hydrogen, etc. There doing all this R&D on something that seems to be a waste of time and money.

And the UN recently came out with a article stating that cows cause more damage to the earths environment then our cars. Which probably means that Gore will start eating soy burgers and make a movie on it and sell it to the public that we should all eat veggies.

Theres not really ANY proof that we are making the planet warm faster then it would without us being here. Hurricane Katrina is what brought it home for most people...but the only reason that was as big of a deal as it was, was because the levee failed and caused a lot of damage. and all these environmentalist nut jobs were all saying were doomed and what not, and that hurricanes wil continue to get more and more powerful...yada yada yada. The truth is that the 06 hurricane season was the weakest hurricane season in a decade.....I bet thats something you wont here Gore talk about.

No ones really sure of exactly how much oil we have left...but its still many decades worth, so I think we should just stick with it while we put all the ethanol & bio-fuels & hydrogen money into battery R&D.
I'm no tree hugger, but green is good. I think everyone would like to be self sustainable...meaning you power your car by having it charge at your house, using your solar panels and wind turbine...that future is still over a decade away...but its what we should be aiming for. People complain that "big oil" has control over gas prices, and they can set them to whatever they feel like....so ummmm, instead that want a future "big hydrogen"...which they will also think controls the hydrogen prices.



...thats my 2 cents.



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 12:18 AM
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the reason is they can replace all the infrastructure with the same pump system we currently have and can put a same kind of price tag as we currently do.

instead of us just plugging in our cars at home we are dependent on those other companies i bet the oil cartel will move into this field once they start loosing customers.

wait and see...



posted on Dec, 15 2006 @ 02:10 AM
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I'm actually interested in these renewable energy source because of that -- they are renewable and they are alternatives. I hate cartels as much as I hate monopolies and oligopolies. I want choice.



posted on Dec, 16 2006 @ 02:45 AM
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But just to note I do think Bio and Hydrogen do have a place, for the consumer market, that just ain't it.

Ethanol could be a good cost cutter for farmers and help them get more self sufficient thus reducing the need for government help.

Hydrogen can be used for Ocean, Air and Space craft as well as in some other niche area's.

Context is everything.

Gore is alright. I only noticed a few minor errors in his movie, though I found it horribly boring as most of these types of "Scare you into action" movies are to me.

Preaching to the choir is all that was really.

I do give him credit for buying wind credits to offset the travel as well as make the production of many parts of the movies Carbon neutral(I even think it may be completely neutral, though I'm not sure).

I really hope movie studios start practicing what their stars preach, the savings and PR combined make it worth it.
Hollywood needs to be pressured into doing this by their producers/directors/stars/fan/etc as they are still run by a bunch of Grey hairs, "liberal" or not... money is numba one prioity alwys. Hope they get off the H2 bandwagon though...

[edit on 16-12-2006 by sardion2000]




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