Scam of the Month: The Hydrogen Economy

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Postby Dardedar » Tue Jun 03, 2008 12:08 am

Savonarola wrote:
Darrel wrote:I'm glad you've finally realized that the "source" and "carrier" labels are pointless. The wording of "primary source" I think is better.


DAR
No I don't think they are pointless. They just have to be given context. Saying electricity isn't an energy source doesn't make sense in less you are saying it to convey the idea that electricity (like hydrogen) is never going to be on any list of potential energy replacements for our fossil sources (solar is). Unfortunately, the earth doesn't have positive and negative connectors sticking out anywhere! "Primary source" is a good qualifier. Because of the way hydrogen is tied up around us, it can never be a "primary source" of energy for us.

I think that analogies are good, and I think that your bank account analogy is workable. The fossil fuel bank account is large but dwindling. The H2 bank account is empty.
But there is a difference: We have no way to deposit into the fossil fuel account because we can't make more. That account will continue to dwindle as long as we draw from it. On the other hand, we are capable of depositing hydrogen into the hydrogen account. What's even better is that the universe gives us a method for making hydrogen: the sunlight that hits the earth is energy that can potentially be made useful. That sunlight is virtually limitless, and so is our store of raw material to make the hydrogen.


DAR
Yes. As I posted a couple of weeks ago here:

"Solar energy’s potential is off the chart. The energy in sunlight striking the earth for 40 minutes is equivalent to global energy consumption for a year. The U.S. is lucky to be endowed with a vast resource; at least 250,000 square miles of land in the Southwest alone are suitable for constructing solar power plants, and that land receives more than 4,500 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) of solar radiation a year. Converting only 2.5 percent of that radiation into electricity would match the nation’s total energy consumption in 2006."

So I would modify and improve the bank account analogy this way to make use of the extremely important daily sunshine input:

***
Our benefactor, the sun, has been putting energy in our daily sunshine account for hundreds of millions of years. A small portion of that daily account has been saved and accrued in our special fossil fuel (FF) account. We only discovered this hidden account a couple hundred years ago and have been enjoying ourselves immensely on it's huge reserves. But it's a savings account, fed very slowly and it grows very slowly. The sunshine account, as always, continues receiving substantial daily deposits (but small in relation to the reserves of the special FF account). And the daily account is our living allowance which we experience realtime for a portion of each day but it is in a form that slips through our fingers and is hard to capture and store. Fortunately, the daily account does receive enough energy, that if we can figure out how to capture and store it (and use it wisely), it can serve our needs. For a while it will not serve our wants as easily as the finite FF account has. Not remotely.
***

I think it's estimated that the world had about 2.5 trillion barrels of crude and we are down to about half of that now.

Some interesting little bits I figured out:

1 kwh = 3,411 btu

1 barrel of crude = 5.8 million btu

Thus a barrel has 1,700 kwh of electricity. About as much electricity as my house uses in two months.

A $400, 100 watt solar panel can produce about .5 kwh per day in Arkansas, year round. In a year that's 622,507 btu (182.5 kwh = $14.92). That panel will have to work for 9.3 years to generate the same amount of energy contained in a single barrel of crude.

The barrel of crude at today's cost: about $125 (one barrel = 1,700 kwh)

That 1,700 kwh of electricity, at 2007 rates, cost $139.

Years to pay off that $400 solar panel at '07 rates, at $14.92 per year = 26.8 years.

If you count debt service on the $400, and you have to, it never pays off. At 4.5% interest, you go in the hole $3.08 per year.

D.

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Postby Savonarola » Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:39 am

Time to pick a couple of nits, which is really just asking for rewording.

Darrel wrote:Our benefactor, the sun, has been putting energy in our daily sunshine account for hundreds of millions of years.

I squirmed a bit when I read this because no, it hasn't. There is no such thing as a sunshine account (or we could say that a sunshine account is always empty). You could say that we have an influx of sunshine, but we can't just save it. (You touch on this later.)
Edited to add: Upon further reflection, maybe the "sunshine account" is more workable than I originally thought. We can't save sunshine, but we have a continuous source from which we can draw energy. Carry on.

Darrel wrote:A small portion of that daily account has been saved and accrued in our special fossil fuel (FF) account.

A small portion of that daily influx has been saved in the FF account...

Darrel wrote:But it's a savings account, fed very slowly and it grows very slowly.

To the extent of being effectively not growing at all, at least for the purposes of the foreseeable future.

Darrel wrote:The sunshine account, as always, continues receiving substantial daily deposits (but small in relation to the reserves of the special FF account). And the daily account is our living allowance which we experience realtime for a portion of each day but it is in a form that slips through our fingers and is hard to capture and store.

I really like this analogy except for the "sunshine account" thing. At the moment I can't come up with anything better. Maybe it's like pennies strewn all over the ground. If we make the effort to pick them up, we can put them in some account (electricity, hydrogen), but if we just let them be, they're gone. (Until the next day, which is great.)

Darrel wrote:Fortunately, the daily account does receive enough energy, that if we can figure out how to capture and store it (and use it wisely), it can serve our needs. For a while it will not serve our wants as easily as the finite FF account has. Not remotely.

And arguably not just for "a while" but for a long while. It's hard to beat the FF account a.k.a. dense primary source. But we may have no feasible alternative.

Darrel wrote:If you count debt service on the $400, and you have to, it never pays off. At 4.5% interest, you go in the hole $3.08 per year.

I think it's worth three bucks a year to be off the fossil fuel teat.

Of course, we still need infrastructure for some form of transportation fuel. And that'll cost a lot more. But it needs to be done, even if we have to "go in the hole."

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Postby Dardedar » Tue Jun 03, 2008 9:30 am

DAR
I understand all of your points and agree with them.

I heard on NPR this morning, "GM may close four truck plants" and... "the Hummer may be discontinued."

One of the biggest symbols of American stupidity and waste may be going away.

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Postby Savonarola » Tue Jun 03, 2008 3:47 pm

Darrel wrote: and... "the Hummer may be discontinued."

One of the biggest symbols of American stupidity and waste may be going away.

But only may. We're still idiots, apparently. :x

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Postby Doug » Tue Jun 03, 2008 8:22 pm

Darrel wrote:One of the biggest symbols of American stupidity and waste may be going away.


DOUG
I heard that GM is interested in selling the Hummer brand/rights.

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Postby Dardedar » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:41 pm

DAR
Bob Park hammers the energy scammers again:

***
WHAT’S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 6 Jun 08 Washington, DC

1. ENERGY: $4 GAS SEEMS TO BE THE TIPPING POINT.
The nation has suddenly become energy conscious, forcing GM to slash
production of SUVs and dump the Hummer. Why, you may wonder, did it take
so long? Meanwhile, old energy scams are blossoming again. This week, a
reader pointed out, a new web site that sells instructions ($49.95) for
converting your car to run on tap water www.runyourscarwithwater.com. It
uses the car battery to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. Are these
the same people who sold George W. Bush on the hydrogen car in 2003?
Predictably, the focus on energy has even brought cold fusion back, with
physicist Yoshiaki Arata at Osaka University claiming to have the
first "real" demonstration of the 1989 Pons and Fleischmann fizzle. Even
the hydrino is back.

2. HYDRINOS: HOW LONG CAN A REALLY DUMB IDEA SURVIVE?
BlackLight Power (BLP), founded 17 years ago as HydroCatalysis, announced
last week that the company had successfully tested a prototype power
system that would generate 50 KW of thermal power. BLP anticipates
delivery of the new power system in 12 to 18 months. The BLP process,
http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN91/wn042691.html , discovered by Randy
Mills, is said to coax hydrogen atoms into a "state below the ground
state," called the "hydrino." There is no independent scientific
confirmation of the hydrino, and BLP has a patent problem. So they have
nothing to sell but bull shit. The company is therefore dependent on
investors with deep pockets and shallow brains.

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Postby Savonarola » Fri Jun 06, 2008 7:48 pm

Bob Park wrote:The company is therefore dependent on investors with deep pockets and shallow brains.

Unfortunately for said company, Republicans are opposed to alternative energy.

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Postby JamesH » Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:09 pm

Here is an article that I ran across earlier this morning. It really got my skepticism acting up but I think it might be worth a look. When people start talking about conspiracies and people trying to cover up some new technology and people being poisoned my bull shit meter starts to peg out. I plan to do some more research on these people mentioned in this site and I am afraid I will find out it is all bull shit. But here goes:

http://www.waterpoweredcar.com/stanmeyer.html

Now I am going to wade in and give my two cents worth. All we are doing is trying to convert matter into energy. That is all. Now how much energy it takes to convert matter into energy and if you are willing to pay the price is the question.

My own little theory is that it takes a minimum amount of energy to move an object. We have all done the experiment where you take a 1kg weight and drag it 1 meter across the floor with a spring-scale and determine the amount of force required to move the weight 5 feet. Then you place the 1kg weight on rollers and move it 1 meter and determine the force required to move the weight 1 meter. It is more effiecent on the rollers and it requires less force. Or is it?

If you think about it lets say that it takes 10 calories of energy to drag the above weight across the floor 1 meter. Then when we put the rollers under the weight it only takes 5 calories to move the same weight the same distance. So the initial observation would be that it is more efficent with the weight on the rollers. How many calories did it take to get the rollers? They did not fall from heaven and the energy cost of the rollers must be factored in for a true cost to move the weight. Some energy had to be expended making the rollers and placing them under the weight. So, have we really saved any energy? Are we really more efficent? No we have only distributed the work load. It took a certain amount of energy to produce the rollers and it did make it easier for the person pulling the weight across the floor but there is a sum total of all the calories expended to move the given weight a given distance weither it is be dragged across the floor or rolled across the floor. Which way truely expended less total energy?

I have done this little thought exercise several times and you can do it with about anything you want. Lets take the Pyramids in Egypt for example. It took 1000's of workers 30 years to build one of the Pyramids. But if we where building a pyramid today would we truely expend less energy doing the same job? Cranes to move the stone are made of steel that is mined from the ground and the steel is forged in furnaces that are electricly fired from electricity from a dam that was built across a river and the people that made the parts for the crane and assembled those parts. This all takes energy that has to be factored into the work to be done. Yes we have one man in a crane moving a 10 ton stone with ease but how many calories where expended total to still do nothing more than move a 10 ton stone? 1000 slave workers vs the crane!

Fossil fuel vs Hydrogen

Coal, oil or hydrogen it does not matter which all we are doing is converting matter into energy. I believe the movie we watched last year about Peak Oil made this point which I agreed with. Fossil fuel was once plant matter that soaked up energy from the Sun then was covered over and with time and pressure produced coal and/or oil. I know this over simplfies things but bare with me. It took millions of years to make the chemical bonds that we now are able to harvest this matter, add some heat and convert it into force. That force moves our cars and runs our lights and builds our houses and makes all of those products possible that we use every single day.

175 years ago someone figured out that you can convert hydrogen matter into energy in other words you can burn hydrogen and make heat. Hydrogen has to be made. At least on this planet Hydrogen just does not exist by its self so we have to expend energy to make hydrogen. But then again we have to expend energy to get oil and coal out of the ground and refine it. Is it worth expending he enery to make hydrogen? At this point in history maybe not. Should we give up on it? I don't think so. You just never know what someone might discover around the next turn.

I have to agree with Darrel that at this time I do not think that hydrogen is a viable alternative to our energy needs in the near future. I also agree with Savonrala that hydrogen does have potential and we should not just slam the door on its possibilities.

I think the real race here maybe that we do not run out of food before we solve our other energy needs.
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Postby JamesH » Sat Jun 07, 2008 5:12 pm

Sorry.

I made a little mistake in my 3rd paragraph where I say "5 feet" it should be 1 meter.

This country should be on the metric system!
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Postby Savonarola » Sat Jun 07, 2008 6:06 pm

JamesH wrote:I plan to do some more research on these people mentioned in this site and I am afraid I will find out it is all bull shit.

Let me help you.

First law of thermodynamics: Mass-energy is conserved.

We're starting with water, which we'll say has x amount of energy.
We're ending with water, which we said has x amount of energy.
To find the maximum amount of energy we could possibly extract, we subtract the initial energy content from the final energy content. (This is true for any change: final minus initial gives you the amount and direction of change.) So we subtract x from x, and we see that the maximum amount of energy we can get from this process is zero.

Second law of thermodynamics: Any process is less than 100% efficient.

In other words, we'll lose energy when we do anything. So in the process of extracting a grand total of zero energy from water, we'll lose the energy we spent to perform those processes.


I went to a potluck with a couple of fellow teachers this week. We ended up talking about alternative energy. One teacher's wife mentioned the water car. I interrupted her mid-paragraph. "Hoax," I said.
She seemed perturbed. "How can you know?" she asked.
"Because I understand science," I said. "If you start with water and end with water, you can't get out any energy."

She and I had already had a discussion about evolution. She didn't question me further.

We teach the first law of thermodynamics (worded a little differently) in fifth grade. Our high school curriculum coach sent a water fuel pitch to all of the junior high and high school science teachers this year. After it went back and forth, I stepped in:

Before we get all antsy about cheap “alternative” fuel…

It is important to note that using water as a source that ultimately produces water as waste cannot result in a net production of energy (first (and second) law of thermodynamics). In fact, the conversion process must lose energy (also second law of thermodynamics). While this may be a neat alternative way to store and use energy, that energy had to come from the electrolysis process, which most likely was dependent upon coal-burning powerplants. In other words, this process just takes the energy from coal, puts it through a couple of conversions – thereby losing some energy – and gives us a different way to use the leftover energy.

Electrolysis of water is a notoriously and disappointingly inefficient process, so it’s a safe bet to say that we’re not just losing a bit of energy in the conversion, we’re losing a lot.

(After this, she tracked me down, complimented me on being a nuclear physicist, and then encouraged me to have a debate between my kids in class. She apparently missed the point that there is no debate.)

James, at least your BS meter is tuned well enough to respond to this. As you can see, this isn't the first time this issue has been raised. Our curriculum coach is... well, our curriculum coach, and the teacher's wife home-schools their kids. It's no wonder people throw away their money for this quackery.


JamesH wrote:This country should be on the metric system!

That's my line, you thief.

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Postby Dardedar » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:52 pm

Savonarola wrote:I went to a potluck with a couple of fellow teachers this week. We ended up talking about alternative energy. One teacher's wife mentioned the water car. I interrupted her mid-paragraph. "Hoax," I said.


DAR
After our freethinker meeting we went for dinner. A lady our table (new visitor) was giving this same line about how you can get energy from water if you perhaps add some mysterious chemical. She didn't know what it was but she new someone had done it and that an oil company bought and covered up this secret technology. She had seen a picture. Uh huh. She also was not open to being challenged on this and thought it terribly closed minded to dismiss it outright. Oh well. She also believed in dowsing. She even said she spoke at conferences about it. She became rather angry when I mentioned James Randi's name. So I said I'd give her $10,000 if she could dowse and find anything under proper test conditions. She said it won't work in the presence of a skeptic. Uh huh. Every time she brought it up I raised the reward another $10,000. She finally shut up when I got to $50,000. She had no concept whatsoever of how science works but I am sure she thought she did. I think it might be time to give a presentation on dowsing.

James, the Stan Myers water car is perhaps one of the most famous and common bullshit water car stories.

There are things we don't know, things we aren't sure about and things we know with a very high degree of certainty.

Two things we know: Dowsing and cars powered by water go on the horse shit pile.

D.

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Postby JamesH » Sat Jun 07, 2008 8:46 pm

I spent a good part of today reading through this thread and Jesus Christ guys you almost melted my poor little brain reading through all of this. Like I said Sherry and I did some more research and sure enough we found this guy with the water car was all bull shit and the conspiracy theories run amuck. He was not poisoned but died of a brain aneurysm.

What prompted all of this is there was some little blurp on Yahoo News earlier in the week about a water powered car. I did not read the article because I was to busy (for some reason my company thinks I should be doing work for them instead or reading the Yahoo News) and I never went back and looked for this article until this morning.

I remember from that movie Peak Oil that at the end they said there was no magic bullet that was going to replace oil as a fuel source but the best we could do is work on conservation and innovation.

I need to bring one of my new electric powered airplanes with a lithium polymer batteries. 10 years ago an electric model airplane was considered--well--heavy, slow, low performer, short flight times etc and did not say much about the person flying it. They were considered toys! Now they have gone head-to-head with the gas powered airplanes as far as performance and are actually winning the race if you look at it that way. A couple of years ago a man won the "Tournament of Champions" (invitation only radio controlled event) with an electric power 1/4 scale airplane! This is just an example of innovation has made this possible.

I am starting to move more to electric airplanes for an econmic reason. I am having a hard time to justify spending $20 just for the round trip to my flying field. I can build and fly smaller electric planes in a park only a few blocks away.

Conservation + Innovation = secure future.

AND THE METRIC SYSTEM!
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Postby Dardedar » Wed Jun 11, 2008 9:31 pm

DAR
There was one little thing I was still curious about regarding energy in hydrogen. Hydrogen gas, uncompressed, has some energy in it but how much? I still don't have a clear idea. Bill Harter told me that the Hindenburg didn't really have much energy in it. So I thought I would check it out. As best I can read this chart hydrogen gas at 32°F & @1 atm weighs:

.005611 (pounds per cubic foot)

It also contains 3.425 Btu per pound.

The Hindenburg had 7 million cubic feet of the stuff. This means it contained 39,277 pounds of hydrogen gas.

39,277 x 3.425 = 134,523 total Btu in Hindenburg

So, considering how big that bird was (804 feet long, 135 feet diameter, longer than three 747's end to end):

Image

It's amazing how little energy all of that hydrogen gas actually held.

Remember, a single barrel of crude oil holds an amazing 5.8 million Btu.

So a single barrel of oil contains 43 times as much energy, measured in Btu's, as the entire Hindenburg! A barrel contains 42 gallons. So put another way, the Hindenburg contained the Btu content of one gallon of crude oil. Doctor Bill was right.

D.

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Postby Savonarola » Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:08 pm

Darrel wrote:So a single barrel of oil contains 43 times as much energy, measured in Btu's, as the entire Hindenburg! A barrel contains 42 gallons. So put another way, the Hindenburg contained the Btu content of one gallon of crude oil. Doctor Bill was right.

So uncompressed hydrogen gas has a much lower energy content per unit volume (and also a much lower energy content per unit weight) than gasoline. That is, energy in gasoline is contained within a smaller volume (and also a lower weight) compared to an equivalent amount of energy from uncompressed hydrogen gas. Because gasoline's energy is mathematically "packed more densely" within the substance, we say that its energy density is higher.

Of course, in terms of the hydrogen economy, a more fair comparison is compressed hydrogen gas, since this is the form most likely to be used in vehicles. Unfortunately, even compressed hydrogen comes up comparatively short.

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Postby Dardedar » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:08 pm

Savonarola wrote: So uncompressed hydrogen gas has a much lower energy content per unit volume (and also a much lower energy content per unit weight) than gasoline.


DAR
Well I was using crude oil. Only about 51% of crude is made into gasoline. Other parts are fuel oil, jet fuel and other stuff all the way down to oil only useful for roads. This breaks it down. I could have said 1/2 a gallon of gas but that wouldn't have accounted for the energy in the other half so I stayed with crude.

That is, energy in gasoline is contained within a smaller volume (and also a lower weight) compared to an equivalent amount of energy from uncompressed hydrogen gas.


DAR
I think I read that gasoline is about 3,000 times more dense. This fellow also reminds me that gasoline has contains more hydrogen than liquid hydrogen! So he says gasoline makes a better hydrogen carrier than liquid hydrogen:

"Reality: a gallon of Gasoline has more hydrogen than a gallon of liquid hydrogen - in other words gasoline is a great way to store hydrogen fuel. The only economic source of hydrogen at this time is oil anyway. You could write your congressman to change the laws of physics. Often, reality doesn't fit our emotional wants and desires, but reality can be a stubborn thing to deal with - it doesn't go away when you quit believing in it.

At the bottom of his page he has this little rant where he tries to make the distinction:

"Energy carriers vs fuels

An energy carrier is not a fuel. A fuel might be burned to activate an energy carrier. An example might help - petroleum is a fuel - it occurs as a source that is burned to create energy. Hydrogen is an energy carrier - it only occurs naturally as a burned ash - called water - or as part of hydrocarbon fuels."

Of course, in terms of the hydrogen economy, a more fair comparison is compressed hydrogen gas, since this is the form most likely to be used in vehicles. Unfortunately, even compressed hydrogen comes up comparatively short.


DAR
Yes, but since extracting the energy out of hydrogen (and electric motors) are so efficient compared with internal combustion engines, we get some of that back on the other end. Until they quite working.

D.

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Postby Savonarola » Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:34 pm

Darrel wrote:Well I was using crude oil.

Sorry, that was an oversight on my part. I apologize for any resulting confusion caused to readers. Not that it really changes my points.

Darrel wrote:I think I read that gasoline is about 3,000 times more dense. ...

"Reality: a gallon of Gasoline has more hydrogen than a gallon of liquid hydrogen - "

Ick. What the hell? Yes, there are more hydrogen atoms (H) density-wise in gasoline. There is no hydrogen gas (H2) in gasoline, and hydrogen gas (H2) is what matters in the hydrogen economy. This statement is feeding the confusion between "hydrogen" (H) and "hydrogen" (H2).

Darrel wrote:"... in other words gasoline is a great way to store hydrogen fuel."

Well, okay, if we want to convert gasoline to hydrogen gas, this might be true. Of course, this requires making low-energy H-H bonds from the energy stored in high-energy C-C and C-H bonds, so that all the energy that doesn't go toward making H-H bonds (and there'd be a lot of it) is lost; translation: that's just plain stupid.

This guy is (apparently) trying to show that gasoline contains a lot more energy than an comparable volume or weight of hydrogen. Fine, we get it, we got it a long time ago. This paragraph stupidly -- really stupidly -- equivocates between H and H2 and makes a patently incorrect statement to make his point. Why? Why?! The stupid hurts! STOP WITH THE STUPID ALREADY!

Darrel wrote:Often, reality doesn't fit our emotional wants and desires, but reality can be a stubborn thing to deal with - it doesn't go away when you quit believing in it.

And the reality is that we can't use gasoline forever, regardless of what obstacles the universe has put between us and a hydrogen economy.

Darrel wrote:"Energy carriers vs fuels..."

I'm not going to be lectured about this again, and certainly not by some nut arguing that gasoline is a good way to store hydrogen fuel. Darrel and I have already had the discussion of "carrier" vs. "fuel" and have agreed instead to use "primary source" as a clearer and more accurate representation of the pesky reality this author seems to like only selectively.

Darrel wrote:Yes, but since extracting the energy out of hydrogen (and electric motors) are so efficient compared with internal combustion engines, we get some of that back on the other end. Until they quite working.

This is a valid point. It's almost as if Darrel is largely saying that overall efficiency and (in his earlier post) energy density are very important for figuring out what is reasonable and what is not.

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Postby Dardedar » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:02 am

Savonarola wrote:
Darrel wrote:"... in other words gasoline is a great way to store hydrogen fuel."

Well, okay, if we want to convert gasoline to hydrogen gas, this might be true. Of course, this requires making low-energy H-H bonds from the energy stored in high-energy C-C and C-H bonds, so that all the energy that doesn't go toward making H-H bonds (and there'd be a lot of it) is lost; translation: that's just plain stupid.


DAR
Hey, check out this

"May 11, 2004
Improved Gasoline To Hydrogen Converter For Cars

One problem holding back the use of hydrogen to supply fuel to fuel cells in cars is that there is no good way to store hydrogen in cars and conversion to hydrogen distribution would be very expensive. Yet at the same time hydrogen can burn very efficiently. Looking to find a way around the limitations of hydrogen as a storage medium while still achieving some of the environmental and efficiency gains for hydrogen as a fuel to burn researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have found a way to improve extraction of the hydrogen in gasoline into pure hydrogen."

And here:


Shortcut for Hydrogen Cars: Gasoline
Researchers Offer Shortcut for Hydrogen Cars: Gasoline


Excerpt (page 2):

"That problem is going to take a long time to solve, but there's a way to get around it, at least for awhile. Gasoline can be converted to hydrogen, thus paving the way for a gradual transition. Three different ways of producing hydrogen from gasoline are being studied, and a significant milestone has been reached.

Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have managed to strip hydrogen atoms from water and hydrocarbon molecules (both gasoline and diesel fuel) to produce hydrogen gas. And they can do it quickly, thus leaping a hurdle that could make hydrogen power far more appealing.

"We've shown the feasibility of this approach," says Larry Pederson, project leader at the lab." ABC

DAR
So I am not sure the guy is equivocating so bad between H and H2 when he says we can use gasoline as a storage carrier for hydrogen to drive a vehicle. It may be possible.

But that's still using gasoline, and the clock is ticking on that product.

Consider this, from wiki:

"United States proven oil reserves declined to a little less than 21 billion barrels (3.3×109 m3) as of 2006 according to the Energy Information Administration, a 46% decline from the 39 billion barrels (6.2×109 m3) it had in 1970 when the huge Alaska North Slope (ANS) reserves were booked. With production of around 5 million barrels per day (790×103 m3/d) as of 2006, this represents about an 11 year supply of oil reserves at current rates of production.

If the United States had to supply its entire demand of 21 million barrels per day (3.3×106 m3/d) without resorting to foreign imports, existing US reserves would last only three years at the current rate of consumption."

" Link

I sent my rightwing friend Bill a blurb about oil prices and Bush. He sent me a rightwing rant about how it's all because Democrats have been blocking Republican attempts to drill more in Alaska etc.

Yeah, like drilling and extracting that 3 year supply a little quicker, is really going to make a difference on the world market. Unbelievable.

D.

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Postby Savonarola » Thu Jun 12, 2008 12:40 am

Darrel wrote:Hey, check out this

"May 11, 2004
Improved Gasoline To Hydrogen Converter For Cars ..."

So now instead of being incredibly stupid, it's just really stupid?

Now, if the idea is to use gasoline as a ready source of energy from which to make hydrogen for the purpose of providing hydrogen for the transition to a gasoline-free economy, then... well, it's a bit better, but still wasteful. Plus it still uses gasoline and still produces pollution.

Darrel wrote:So I am not sure the guy is equivocating so bad between H and H2 when he says we can use gasoline as a storage carrier for hydrogen to drive a vehicle.

At the very least, he's furthering the problem of failing to make the proper distinction, which is what you and I both realized is one of the biggest problems from a public education standpoint. He says that it contains more "hydrogen" than "liquid hydrogen." The former "hydrogen" means H while the latter means compressed (liquefied) H2. And I thought we decided to stay the hell away from "fuel" vs. "carrier"?

Darrel wrote:It may be possible.

I don't think I said or even implied that it was impossible. I think I just said it was stupid and wasteful (from an efficiency standpoint).
If it's the case that H2 production from gasoline plus H2 use via vehicular conversion is more efficient than gasoline (or can be with further advancements), then yes, we have temporary assistance in making a transition. But these methods (according to the article) produce dirty hydrogen gas, which is the death knell to fuel cells. I'm intrigued, but I'm not that impressed, and I'm hardly hopeful.

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Postby Dardedar » Thu Jun 12, 2008 9:07 am

DAR
I'm not hopeful either. I really doubt that it can end up being more efficient than just burning the gasoline directly (in a Prius of course, all Hummers should be melted down into Prius's). Trouble is, because of billions spent in subsidies for this "hydrogen economy" we have many people invested in keeping the idea going. As it dies, I think they are getting desperate.

I contacted Professor Hobson about giving a potential hopeful side of using hydrogen for vehicles (with me giving the debunk presentation). He responded thus:

"Well, my "hopeful" side would not offer much hope. I think that for
the next couple of decades we should just forget hydrogen and forget
fuel cells for cars. We'll probably never need it for
transportation, because hybrids and plug-in hybrids will do
everything we need: nearly oil-free, nearly greenhouse gas-free,
transportation. So I basically agree with your story."

D.

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Re: Scam of the Month: The Hydrogen Economy

Postby tmiller51 » Sun Jul 27, 2008 10:29 am

Another good article on the hydrogen economy:

The Hydrogen Hoax

Excerpt:
The Real Science of Hydrogen

Hydrogen is only a source of energy if it can be taken in its pure form and reacted with another chemical, such as oxygen. But all the hydrogen on Earth, except that in hydrocarbons, has already been oxidized, so none of it is available as fuel. If you want to get plentiful unbound hydrogen, the closest place it can be found is on the surface of the Sun; mining this hydrogen supply would be quite a trick. After the Sun, the next closest source of free hydrogen would be the atmosphere of Jupiter. Jupiter is surrounded by radiation belts so intense that they are deadly to humans and electronics. It also has a massive gravity field that would severely impair hydrogen export operations. These would also be complicated by the 2.5-year Jupiter-to-Earth flight transit time (during which any liquid hydrogen launched would probably boil away), and the fact that upon re-entry at Earth, the imagined hydrogen shipping capsule would face heat loads about eight times higher than those withstood by a space shuttle returning from orbit.

Tim


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