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May 14, 2006



Very, very interesting. I'd love to see the prospective downsides of this application from some of the other (See: smarter than me) posters on this wonderful site.


A big breakthrough for hydrogen technology, but at the end you have hydrogen instead of liquid fuel.

Hydrogen is not a good fuel source for vehicles, it is too hard to store. And hydrogen fuel cells are too expensive so far.

And the feedstock is sugar, produced with chemical agriculture that destroys soil as a carbon sink and uses fossil fuel based fertilizer and contaminates groundwater. There is also the byproduct CO 2 to consider.

None of this is sustainable and the whole process releases as nearly as much CO 2 as burning fuel produces.

Renwable electricity from wind, wave, and water power used in plugin vehicles produces no CO 2. The hydrogen economy is a political scam to delay renewable energy, it is not a practical plan to eliminate reliance on foreign oil and stop greenhouse gas global climate disaster.

The simple technology of battery powered vehicles combined with the simple technology of wind, solar, and water electric power generation is practical right now.

Using excellent research like this to delay that outcome is less than helpfull in the battle against global climate disaster. Hurricane warnings are out for the east coast this season, as well as the gulf coast.

How much will a Katrina sized storm hitting New York City cost? It cost about 2 trillion in the gulf coast region. The financial/trade center of the planet underwater?

Have all the financial institutions duplicated their systems further inland? Who would know? FEMA, the department of homeland security? Are there even any evacuation plans? Where would all those people evacuate to?

It is way past time to stop all these delaying tactics encouraged by the politicians that are frontmen for fossil and nuclear power and the auto industry. We are facing unprecedented disaster with nothing but self deception.

Add in the veiled administration threats to use nuclear bunker busters on Iran, which absolutely would raise gas prices overnight to 10 bucks per gallon, or more, and it is easy to see the immediate economic threat from relying on oil and oil wars as usual for a transportation energy source.


Very nice posting, Jim

One of main byproducts of biodiesel production is glycerine. If you use the biodiesel for trucks and automobiles, use the glycerine to produce hydrogen for fixed location power plants, and use the bio-waste for cellulosic ethanol--you have a very efficient use of plants for energy production.

This is a very useful advance, when combined with all the other advances taking place due to higher oil costs, will make a distinct difference.

Producing hydrogen for fixed location power generation is incredibly useful. Being able to substitute renewable hydrogen for natural gas and gasified coal is a superb step toward cleaner power production..

Negative doompuppies are a dime a dozen. You'd think they'd wise up after a while and try contributing something productive to society instead of their whinish negativity.


If this small-scale system could be paired with the biodiesel microreactor being developed at Oregon State University - i.e., with the biodiesel microreactor taking virigin oils as a feedstock and producing biodiesel and glycerine which can then be used to feed the hydrogen production process - you'd have quite a nice little farm-sized fuel production facility. If they can be made small enough and cheap enough for farmers (or a coop of farmers at least) to purchase, they could begin supplying all the fuel they need to run their operations and become energy self-sufficient. Any excess fuel could be sold to neighbors or they could form a larger coop to distribute the fuel elsewhere. Sounds like another way to reinvigorate rural communities to me...


I can see it in lights now... Jumping Jim Fraser and the Negative Doom Puppies

Thomas Covert

I'm curious if this process is efficient, durable, and cost-effective on a smaller level. Imagine making one the size of a fuel tank + basic 4-banger ICE, feeding the H2 to a PEM fuel cell on the fly, instead of lugging around a high-pressure tank. Any speculation on the feasibility of this?


I'm curious if this process is efficient, durable, and cost-effective on a smaller level. Imagine making one the size of a fuel tank + basic 4-banger ICE, feeding the H2 to a PEM fuel cell on the fly, instead of lugging around a high-pressure tank. Any speculation on the feasibility of this?

Probably not in the form discussed above. The product is not just H2, but a mixture of H2, alkanes, and carbon dioxide. So you'd need a separation system between the reformer and the fuel cell, and you lose the energy content of the alkanes. So in the present form, it's probably not useful for Small Things That Go.

Now for Big Things That Go, like large oceangoing ships, maybe rail, or for stationary generators, you might think about using the output of this to power a solid oxide fuel cell, which isn't so picky about its fuel. You still can't do away entirely with the hydrogen storage problem, because if you need a burst of power, the reforming system can't provide that immediately, so you need some stock of reformed fuel available for higher-performance situations. The applications I mentioned above tend not to change loads quickly, so that's not so much of a problem. You could also use the hydrogen continuously and store the alkanes for performance.

If this technology really can undercut natural gas reforming for hydrogen production, the first place you'll see it is in syngas-based chemical processing: ammonia, methanol, and acetates all require hydrogen, and less expensive hydrogen is immediately useful for these applications.


Glycerine is flammable (though it needs to be heated). Seems to me it would be easier to burn it directly than go though a multi-step process to produce and burn hydrogen. On the other hand, hydrogen is a good thing to have for other reasons (fuel cells, chemical processes, etc.)

Potassium Chloride

Good post again.Thank you for sharing, I hope you happy and wish you good luck! this helpful information.

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