[TAG] Hydrogen fuel (non-Linux)
Ramon van Alteren
ramon at forgottenland.net
Thu May 20 13:37:48 MSD 2004
I would like to add my 2 cents to the discussion.
On Thursday 20 May 2004 09:22, Alan Petrillo wrote:
> 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.
Not exactly.. You're absolutely right about the fact that most of the hydrogen
will be produced with fossil fuel for the short term future. This does
however NOT leave us right back where we started.
The important change of switching to hydrogen based energy is that we no
longer depend on fossil fuel. I can create/fill hydrogen based fuel cells by
burning fossil fuels, but I can just as easily create/fill fuel cells using
solar energy, wind energy, (tidal, gravity, etc.) water energy or whatever
other sustainable energy source I can think of.
I cannot use any of those sustainable energy sources to run a petrol based
car / motorcycle / powerplant.
> 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.
Even then the majority of fuelcells will still be "filled" by using fossil
fuel, simply because it's cheaper. Currently sustainable energy is not widely
used because of the enormous costs of using these sources in a world with an
energy infrastructure which is exclusively geared towards fossil fuel.
Switching to hydrogen as a transmission medium will go a long way in reducing
those costs and creating a level economical playfield for all kinds of energy
sources. It is very likely that this will increase the use of sustainnable
energy, especially because the pressure on fossil fuel companies, to pay the
costs of the "side effects" associated with the mining, refining,
transportation and use of fossile fuel, is increasing.
As an added bonus the R&D budgets of energy related companies such as car
manufactors, oil companies, electricity producers etc. will go to improving
the efficiency of fuel cells and the associated infrastructure, instead of
improving the efficiency of the petrol based infrastructure. There will be a
gradual switch from petrol stations to fuelcell stations etc. etc.
This basically offers all the people and companies in the world a way to
gradually "write off" the enormous amount of money invested in the current
ramon at forgottenland.net
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