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April 16, 2006

Comments

eric blair

If your goal is to figure out if hydrogen is a good plan:

1) there is a $150 book with a title like the 200X guidelines for hydrogen storage. Each year it gets an update.

2) Have you read Don lancasters H2 pages?
http://www.tinaja.com/h2gas01.asp

Ender

From my research it is almost always easier just to use electicity as an energy carrier rather than hydrogen. For the applications that have to have liquid fuel then coal to liquids, ethanol, methanol or biodiesel are better options.

We could have alternative transport NOW. The hydrogen economy is just a stalling tactic.

Engineer-Poet

My conclusions, laid out here, appear to be the same as Ender's.

When it's so obvious that the case for hydrogen is bogus, it's amazing that it still gets so much mind-share.  It makes me wonder if one shouldn't have to demonstrate the ability to handle quantitative information in order to be allowed to vote.

Real-Engineer

There is no such thing as an engineer poet...you are kidding yourself with your mindless blather.

If you'd like to read some real in depth and peer reviewed analysis on hydrogen production you need not look any further than the DOE's H2A case studies.

You can download the case studies here:
http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/h2a_production.html

The H2A case study for hydrogen from coal puts the wholesale price at the central gate at $1.34 / kilogram.

Fake-Self-Replying-Agreeing-Engineer

That H2A stuff is awesome Real-Engineer. Incredible detail and the credentidals of the team that put together the study is absolutely astounding.

Excellent post.

When it's so obvious that the case for hydrogen is unstoppable, it's amazing that it still gets so little mind-share. It makes me wonder if one shouldn't have to demonstrate the ability to handle quantitative information in order to be allowed to vote.

Engineer-Poet

$1.34/kg doesn't make hydrogen any easier to store, or make fuel cells (the only technology which makes hydrogen even roughly equivalent to gasoline in fuel cost) any cheaper or longer-lived.

Neither does it deal with toxics leaching from billions of tons of ash in landfills, scars in the land from the mines, or depleting supplies.  And that ignores any issues with sequestration or GHG emissions!

Last, it's inefficient.  So you can produce hydrogen from coal at 60% efficiency; big fat hairy deal.  If you feed that to a combustion engine, you'll be very lucky to get 25% efficiency (and even less after the losses in compression).  Throughput is 15% at best.  If I take the same coal and run it through an IGCC powerplant (40%) and charge an electric car (~70%), I get about 28% throughput.

Why the hell would I build a trillion dollars of hydrogen infrastructure for the privilege of buying twice as much coal to run it as I would with electrics?

Samir Succar

the question in this case isn't whether the H2 economy is a viable vision. the real issue is that coal is a an abundant commodity with a low, stable price and we have to find ways like this to use this resource in a way that will not send carbon emissions through the roof. Today about 79GW of new coal capacity is planned for the U.S. and even more worrisome is that China has been adding new coal capacity at the rate of 40-50GW per year for the past two years. Current coal plants (supercritical steam) put about 280 grams of carbon in the atmosphere for every kilowatt hour of energy they produce. Coal IGCC with CCS (described above) could cut that number in five. Thats big. Whether we make synthetic fuels like dme ( http://jcwinnie.biz/wordpress/?p=1539 ), ftl, ethanol (assuming a catalyst can be developed), or electricity or H2, is beside the point. The real issue is how do we bring these technologies into the mainstream fast and steer ourselves off our current collision course with a 14-20 GtC/y future

JF McGehee

A couple of comments, first, the Futuregen project (Joint DOE/industry) for the zero emissions power plant by gasification of coal, CO2 recovery+sequestration and burning hydrogen in the IGCC turbines is pretty far along. My understanding is that they are developing the design package for the backbone technologies and probably going out for bids next year. It will be a 275 MWe demonstration.

Secondly, you should be aware that aside from discussions of the "hydrogen economy" and running cars on hydrogen,etc. there is a significant amount of hydrogen being now made through gasification. Several existing and new refinery projects will be generating almost all their hydrogen this way. This is increasing in importance since almost all transportation fuels except fuel oil for ships (and maybe not even that in the future) is headed toward being hydrotreated to near-zero sulfur

Best Regards

Jim

larry

This company seems to have the best Hydrogen storage solution I've heard of. Store it as sugar in your gas tank, and their device produces the needed supply--at under $4 per kg. No distribution headaches!

http://www.virent.com/

heating


If you have looked into solar energy as a method for heating your home, panels are usually the first things that come up.

There are, however, other unique methods.

The Solar Heating Aspect You Have Never Heard of Before

The power of the sun is immense. The energy in one day of sunlight is more than the world needs. The problem, of course,

is how does one harness this power. Solar panels represent the obvious solution, but they have their downside. First,

they can be expensive depending upon your energy needs. Second, they do not exactly blend in with the rest of your home.

Passive solar heating represents a panel free method of harnessing the inherent energy found in the sun for heating

purposes. If you come out from a store and open the door of your car in the summer, you understand the concept of passive

solar heating. A wide variety of material absorbs sunlight and radiates the energy back into the air in the form of heat.

Passive solar heating for a home works the same way as the process which overheats your car in the parking lot.

sean costello

i think boron is actually a better fuel than hydrogen, there's enough of it out there and boria (boron oxide) is fairly easily processed back to boron, in this manner powdered aluminum for hydrogen production from water is also relevant, but carries a massive weight penalty as you have to carry both the aluminum and the water whereas with boron you carry just the boron initially and boron has more energy density than aluminum and/or hydrogen. furthermore, the state of mass-produced engine technology is sufficiently out-dated, turboelectric generators should have long surpassed piston-based engines

Bob Leet

Tens of millions of dollars are being spent by battery companies in order to discredit hydrogen because hydrogen works better than batteries. A large number of “pundits” who act as “writers”, “bloggers”, “authors” and “non-profit evangelist group founders” are actually supported by financial gain from battery companies who are terrified of hydrogen displacing their revenue streams. You will see a list of these people and their backers online soon. The following facts are cut and pasted from tens of thousands of validating scientific sources available online and in libraries, federal studies and university research papers.

Hydrogen can be made at home. Anybody who says it can’t is either a shill, an idiot or completely out of touch with reality and technology. You can make it for free, at home, all day long and all night long. Anybody who says it costs too much or that it has some evil chain reaction of “negative karma” or “sour grid source” or causes cancer because of something back in the energy chain is almost always a shill because the energy chain is constantly improving. Anybody who says the numbers say it is all wrong or bad or evil or inefficient are also usually a shill who are quoting numbers from six months or six years back (which is ancient history in hydrogen timeframes). It now costs less to make hydrogen from water than any known way to make gasoline and it continues to get cheaper every month. The “battery shill” spin has worn thin and has been supplanted by facts. Hydrogen is made from WATER via solar energy, wind energy, microbes, radio waves, sunlight and salt, and other FREE sources of energy. Hydrogen can also be made from any organic garbage, waste, plants or ANYTHING organic via lasers, plasma beams or dozens of other powered exotics which can be run off of EITHER the grid or the free hydrogen made from solar energy, wind energy, microbes, radio waves, sunlight and salt, and other FREE sources of energy OR the grid. There is no oil that needs to be involved anywhere in the production of hydrogen. These systems trickle charge hydrogen into storage containers, either tanks or solid state cassettes, 24/7.

Hydrogen processors now make hydrogen with 91% efficiency.

NO INFRASTRUCTURE IS NEEDED!!! This is the biggest lie of all. A large number of start-ups have solid state hydrogen solutions that entirely use existing infrastructure.

Battery Shills, backed by companies who are invested in batteries, are the usual suspects in anti-hydrogen reporting.

A “fuel cell car” and an “electric car” ARE THE SAME THING. The shills want you to think otherwise. The only difference is where the electricity is stored. You can pull the batteries out of every Zenn, Tesla, Zap, EV1, Venture Vehicle, etc. and pop a fuel cell/hydrogen pack in the same hole and go further, more efficiently in EVERY SINGLE CASE.

A modern fuel cell and hydrogen system beats batteries on every front including

FIRE- Batteries catch on fire constantly and have been the result of massively more fires and explosions than hydrogen.

Life Span- Hydrogen power systems run massively longer and provide massively greater range per charge than batteries.

Run Time – The run time of batteries constantly shortens while hydrogen does not.

Memory Effect- This effect is not present in hydrogen systems

Recharge Time- modern hydrogen systems are instant recharge.

Charge life- Modern hydrogen systems can recharge massively longer than batteries before end of life.

Nano powder batteries have cancer causing powder that falls into the pores of the Chinese factory workers skin and gives them potentially fatal diseases

Cost- The cost per 300 mile range for a hydrogen car system is massively lower than a battery system

Energy from “sour-grid”- A modern hydrogen system can be charged from a completely clean home energy system.

Can’t make energy at home- Hydrogen can be made at home. Batteries cannot.

Storage Density – Modern hydrogen technology has a massively higher storage density than batteries.

Bulky Size- Hydrogen systems are dramatically less bulky than batteries.

High Weight- The weight of batteries is so great ir reduces the reange of travel of a vehicle which causes the use of wasteful energy just to haul the batteries along with the car. Hydrogen energy systems weigh far less.

Environmental soundness- The disposal of batteries after use presents a deadly environmental issue.

Self Discharge issues- Hydrogen does not self discharge like batteries.


The charge-keeping capability of a typical lithium-ion battery degrades steadily over time and with use. After only one or two years of use, the runtime of a laptop or cell phone battery is reduced to the point where the user experience is significantly impacted. For example, the runtime of a typical 4-hour laptop battery drops to only about 2.5 hours after 3,000 hours of use. By contrast, the latest fuel cells continue to deliver nearly their original levels of runtime well past the 2,000 and 3,000 hour marks and are still going strong at 5,000+ hours
The electrical capacity of batteries has not kept up with the increasing power consumption of electronic devices. Features such as W-LAN, higher CPU speed, "always-on", large and bright displays and many others are important for the user but severely limited by today`s battery life. Lithium ion batteries, and lithium-polymer batteries have almost reached fundamental limits. A laptop playing a DVD today has a runtime of just above one hour on one battery pack, which is clearly not acceptable.
Such limitations have led to an enormous interest in alternative power sources, of which the fuel cell is the most promising candidate. Storage density, i.e. the electrical capacity available per unit mass of energy storage means, is one of the most important parameters.


So you have battery evangelists who are anti-hydrogen sheep:
Ulf Bossel of the European Fuel Cell Forum, Alec Brooks, EV World Sam Thurber, Cal Cars and others.

Yet for every manipulated argument they come up with, they are shot down by hundreds of sites with facts.

The interventions of these 'doubters' fall into a number of clear categories which I'll summarise as:

1 "You can't succeed because no-one has ever succeeded at this (sports car making / battery-power / taking on the majors, etc etc) before". - May I commend to everyone Dava Sobel's wonderful (and short!) book, "Longitude", which offers a perfect map of the tendency of government and the scientific establishment collude to reject true innovation. This effect can only be overcome when a tipping-point of perceived popular utility is reached, at which point the establishment suddenly has a bout of collective amnesia about their earlier denials. (Same story many times over, historically, of course - from Gallileo onwards.)

2 "It's inefficient to carry around". Rather as it's inefficient to carry around a full tank of gas, perhaps? Or to carry around a SUV chassis which itself weighs a ton or more? (Come on, Detroit, you can find a better argument than that, surely?)

3 "This technology is not a solution and never will be." This very much reminds me of the IBM's famously short-sighted take on the prospect of home computing, back in the 70s. The language of these contributions, let alone their content, points to a thought-process rooted in volume-producers'
vested interests. Consider the successes of some other new-tech challengers of vested interests: Dyson taking on Hoover with a bagless vacuum-cleaner; Bayliss bringing clockwork (i.e. battery-less) radios and laptops to the third world; thin-film solar panels (sorry, can't remember who, but you know who I mean). On this point, it was deeply depressing, at a high-level environmental science conference of the UK Government last year, for me to witness a "leading and respected" Professor of Transport rejecting electric traction out-of-hand with the words "it will never be more than just power storage on a trolley". Given that this "expert" was advising ministers of state setting future national policy on alternative transport, my immediate thought was "Who pays this man's research grant?"

So let's be vigilant for any who claim, in a smooth way, that invention can't possibly have the answers. From a position of some expertise in this field, may I remind readers that the "you-don't-understand-how-our-industry-works" argument has been the policy instrument of choice for numerous corporate fraudsters and protectionists down the ages (Enron, anyone?). New York's energetic DA, Mr Spitzer, has made a fine career out of challenging such thinking in the finance sector (with the simple rejoinder: "WHY does your industry work like that? Against customer choice?"). And then of course there's the entire consumer movement (remember Flaming Fords? remember "Unsafe at Any Speed"?). We can and should ask the same questions of the conventional auto industry.

The good news is that genuine innovation will out - as long as ordinary consumers are able to find it and buy it. One of the early lessons of the twentyfirst century, thank goodness, is that the old-school, browbeating style of corporate communication - terrorising one's customers into rejecting alternatives - increasingly fails as people wise up to making decisions based on their own independently-gathered information about benefits and risks. (Interestingly, a popular reaction against "selling by fear" is also now happening in the political field. Now why might that be?) As a consumer, one doesn't have to agree with the in-ya-face techniques of anticorporate critics like Michael Moore and Morgan Spurlock to still subscribe to the view that we can buy what we want to buy. We no longer want to be told by old-tech that new-tech is inherently suspect. Isn't it old-tech that brought us dependency on oil, climate change, wars over energy sources?

So c'mon people, how about a reward system for "spot the spoiler"? I'm all for free debate on the issues, but some of these blogs smell rather like the work of paid old-tech corporatists trying to sabotage your success.
Challenge such interventions with the greatest possible vigour, and let consumers decide for themselves!

1.) Battery companies are spending millions of dollars to knock H2
because it works longer, better, faster and cheaper than batteries! Most of the people writing these screaming anti-H2 articles are battery company shills or have investments there. H2 does beat batteries on every front so the should be SCARED!

2.) The steel unions hate H2 because H2 cars don't use steel. Steel is
too hard to afford any more so nobody will use it in any case.

3.) Activists hate H2 because they think it can only be made by the oil
companies and they hate the oil companies. This is a falsehood created by the battery and steel guys.

4.) Oil companies hate H2 because it is so much better than oil but they
only get to hate it unto 2030 when the affordable oil runs out. Then they know they must love it because H2 energy will be all that is left. The Oil industry is dismayed that H2 is coming on so fast and they are trying to slow it down even more.

5.) Other alternative energy interests hate it because it is getting all
of the funding because the polita-nomics are better with H2 than ANYTHING ELSE ON EARTH.


If the gasoline in your car blows up it will do a VAST AMOUNT more death and damage than H2 ever will.
You are driving a MOLOTOV COCKTAIL. In 2030 oil is GONE and there is NO OTHER OPTION that can be delivered world-wide in time but H2!

If I am a shill who could I possible be working for? I say it is all free and you don’t need an oil company or energy company anywhere in the loop.

Pradeep

I am a MBA (Marketing).

I have been looking for a electricity making process using coal (cheaper solution than gas or fuel oil) and also create hydrogen as a by-product.

Will be very grateful for your assistance in this regard.

Always,

Pradeep Chandak, MBA (Marketing)

Installment Loans

The conserve on energy blog might put of some effort for the sudden change in the California States.
I don't even think that fast payday loan could help California’s state budget. Thousands of homes that were destroyed in the Southern California wildfires. This, along with the downturn in the national economy is adversely affecting the budget states. The collapse of the housing bubble is also having a great impact on California's revenue from property taxes. Then there are the losses of both industrial output and jobs. All of this leads towards the calendar of disaster in the most populous state in the union. The state budget of California is already running a several billion dollar deficit, and, if something doesn't change, is set to hit over $11 billion by the year's end and may even balloon to up to almost $30 billion by summer next year. Governor Schwarzenegger, it has been reported, has called legislators into a budget meeting to slash spending spreading and increase taxes. Gov. Schwarzenegger admonishes lawmakers for not only failing to act in a timely fashion, but also tells them that they had best get something done about this quickly. If you find something about interested thing for an emergency expense, you also need to act quickly with payday loans. Click to read more on Installment Loans.

Installment Loans

The conserve on energy blog might put of some effort for the sudden change in the California States.
I don't even think that fast payday loan could help California’s state budget. Thousands of homes that were destroyed in the Southern California wildfires. This, along with the downturn in the national economy is adversely affecting the budget states. The collapse of the housing bubble is also having a great impact on California's revenue from property taxes. Then there are the losses of both industrial output and jobs. All of this leads towards the calendar of disaster in the most populous state in the union. The state budget of California is already running a several billion dollar deficit, and, if something doesn't change, is set to hit over $11 billion by the year's end and may even balloon to up to almost $30 billion by summer next year. Governor Schwarzenegger, it has been reported, has called legislators into a budget meeting to slash spending spreading and increase taxes. Gov. Schwarzenegger admonishes lawmakers for not only failing to act in a timely fashion, but also tells them that they had best get something done about this quickly. If you find something about interested thing for an emergency expense, you also need to act quickly with payday loans. Click to read more on Installment Loans.

Ada T.

The United States was founded on the principles of individual freedom, equality and due process
in a democratic society, but in the area of the justice system, these principles have often been challenged..
Nowhere are the principles of human rights and democratic society more at risk today than in the U.S.
juvenile justice system. The United States strongly advocates for the extension of human rights
enforcement throughout the world, but when it relates directly to U.S., there is resistance to theenforcement of those rights by United Nations agencies. So apparently a bunch of states are saving extra cash by cutting juvenile justice programs. In states like South Carolina, programs that focus on counseling, rehabilitation and teaching life skills have helped cut in half the number of juvenile offenders who end up back in the system. But even after all this progress, some states are cutting 20 percent or more of their spending on juvenile justice programs. Obviously, if the number of child criminals who re-offend goes back up, the number of adults who get thrown in the slammer will go up right along with it. I think it’s discouraging that the government is taking more and more money away from prevention and rehabilitation. It’s just going to get spent on punishment later. This article talks about which programs are getting axed in the government’s quest to save extra cash.


coalportal

The call to reduce the use of coals is valid for western countries but unfortunately, coal reports show developing economies are more likely to increase their use of coal in coming years because of its affordability and to meet increasing demands for electricity and steel for the coal industry. www.coalportal.com

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