[TAG] Hydrogen fuel (non-Linux)
asp at baylink.com
Thu May 20 11:22:47 MSD 2004
Mike Orr wrote:
> On Wed, May 19, 2004 at 12:48:14PM +0100, Thomas Adam wrote:
>> --- Mike Orr <mso at oz.net> wrote:
>>>Iceland (pop. 250 000) is the first country in the world to convert to
>>>hydrogen energy on a national scale. Currently there are test buses
>>>rolling. Test cars will be next, but one of their major goals is
>>>fishing trawlers, which bring in 70% of Iceland's GNP but are powered
>>Actually, while this is the "official" story, we _all_ know that someone
>>in America has been using this form of energy for ages.
> What? I was talking about fuel cells, which have only existed for a few years.
> Not about nuclear plants or dirigibles.
Hydrogen makes sense in Iceland, because they have so much geothermal
energy with which to make it.
Hydrogen does not, however, make sense for most of the rest of us. At
least not at the moment, and not for the forseeable future. The reason
for this is simple. 90+% of all commercial hydrogen is refined from
fossil fuel. This very effectively turns all of those "zero emissions"
fuel cells into "emissions elsewhere" fuel cells.
The energy to make all of that hydrogen has to come from somewhere.
Where, you ask? For the forseeable future the ultimate energy source
for the vast overwhelming majority of hydrogen production will be fossil
fuel. Which leaves us right back where we started.
Repeat after me: "Hydrogen is a transmission medium, not an energy source."
Say it again. Say it again. Say it again.
Keep in mind, I LIKE the idea of fuel cells, but running them on
hydrogen is not the right answer. For fuel cells to be truly practical
they need to be able to run on a fuel that is _liquid_ at room
temperature, and the temperatures at which people usually operate
vehicles. They also need to be less fussy about what they eat. And
they need to be able to eat it without running it through a reformer
Design a fuel cell that will run on a truly renewable fuel, like ethanol
or vegetable oil, and if the oil industry doesn't assasinate you then
the world will beat a path to your door.
More information about the TAG