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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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"Hydrogen Economy"

In my opinion, the little fantasy called the "hydrogen economy" is just a ruse to keep us on the petroluem tit by big oil. In the short term, hydrogen can be produced by processing coal reserves, but there is no long term future for hydrogen as an energy storage medium. Note, hydrogen is NOT an energy source -- it must be processed from something, be it a hydrocarbon or water. So it is more efficient to use electricity directly rather than waste it to split water. Furthermore, the energy density of highly compresssed hydrogen is still 1/10 that of diesel fuel. Even in liquid form, it is 1/4 as dense as our current fuels. That means shorter ranges for vehicles that cannot be overcome. Here is an interesting description and overall view of hydrogen as fuel:

http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/2/24/14175/0884

Note that biodiesel is currently useable by all diesels on the road, is renewable, and doesn't contribute to global warming. It also takes the power from big oil because anyone can make their own fuel.

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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 10:15 AM
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

I know this is horribly off-topic, but I never thought to meet another k5 person on this forum... small world.
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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 12:45 PM
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

Altho I know that this has also become the holy grail of the nanotech/fuel cell sector and they may find a way around the barriers you mention, the only viable way to crack hydrogen is thru nuclear power. We need to build nuke plants - the left in this country made a huge mistake in opposing them, because the result of not having them is the oil madness/global warming we are faced with today. A nuke plant can supply energy to crack hydrogen from water cheaply enough to make the production of hydrogen gas, which could then be used in cars, economical. Perhaps the one good thing that could come out of the Rpub victory would be restarting the nuclear energy industry.
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 02:32 PM
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

You've got to be kidding. The way ahead is renewables, not nuclear. The latter feeds the whole military-industrial f**k-you thing, decommisioning hands the bill on to our grandchildren, and one 'good' accident doesn't bear thinking about. A collegue of mine did research in Chernoble after the accident there - what an eye opener that was.

Here in UK the govs strategy is to build nuclear plant to fulfill their carbon commitments. This is a huge mistake.
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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 02:38 PM
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

Got to keep working..... cold fusion...

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

Quote:
kvining - 11/9/2004 12:45 PM

Altho I know that this has also become the holy grail of the nanotech/fuel cell sector and they may find a way around the barriers you mention, the only viable way to crack hydrogen is thru nuclear power. We need to build nuke plants - the left in this country made a huge mistake in opposing them, because the result of not having them is the oil madness/global warming we are faced with today. A nuke plant can supply energy to crack hydrogen from water cheaply enough to make the production of hydrogen gas, which could then be used in cars, economical. Perhaps the one good thing that could come out of the Rpub victory would be restarting the nuclear energy industry.
I'll try to leave the nuclear stuff for another topic.

My point was it's more efficient to charge batteries and run an electric car than to split water for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The nanotechnology applications for hydrogen storage are very interesting, however the energy density issue cannot be compensated - even stored as a liquid, you'd need 4-5 times the tank volume you'd need for a vehicle fueled with biodiesel. And hydrogen will still leak like crazy -- nothing will keep that stuff in, the molecules are just too small.

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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 04:25 PM
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

Come on up to Warshington and visit the spectacular nookular legacy at the Hanford site--it continually gets glowing reviews. The populace just overwhelmingly passed an initiative to stop the feds from shipping any more of their radioactive waste here. Nookular ain't free energy, it always produces waste (contaminated cooling water, spent fuel rods, radioactive clothing, etc.) that must be dealt with on an inter-generational timeline. No need for my progeny's progeny's progeny to subsidize my outlandish lifestyle and poor decisions.
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 05:58 PM
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

This could be an interesting thread.

I agree with Kirk's premise that the virulent opposition to the nuclear power industry has made the likelihood of the projected horrors of the anti-nukes virtually a certainty. The reason is, it is a dead industry. No one is investing in anything to do with nukes, except the government.

There is a valid counter to every argument against nuclear power, but none of the investment capital needed will be made available with the way things are done today. But, had the industry made a few standard plant designs, much the way the US Navy made a few plant designs to power several hundred ships, configuration control and overhead technical costs would have been much lower. Upgrading and engineering analysis needed to maintain plant safety would have been affordable.

The waste issue is a long term problem, but when did global warming from the present means become a short term problem. In the end, the nuclear risks are much more manageable than fossil fuel burning. With suitable investments in appropriate technologies (like the Europeans, especially - Oh my God, I can't believe I am saying this - the French) waste volume can be minimized and managed much more safely than letting it sit in pools at each nuke plant like we do in the US.

A national energy policy that ignores nuke plants is incomplete.

But Kirk, don't make Hydrogen gas from water with the electricity. It is a poor investment of hard working neutrons. There will be solutions for hydrogen storage when they are ready. At present I know of only one means for safely storing hydrogen at about the energy density of Diesel fuel. No one is working on it.

Nukes, yes, but not in the present deregulated world of utilities where the anti-nuke's nightmares will come true. All the really smart kids for the last twenty years or so graduating from college went to fields where you can make a living. Which is not the nuclear power industry. What is left is a bunch of old men, some dedidcated to keeping the science they started safe and others who can't find a job elsewhere for any number of reasons, and body shop type engineers hired by the hour. It is getting more dangerous by the minute as the good old guys retire. Jim
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 06:48 PM
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

Quote:
kvining - 11/9/2004 2:45 PM

Altho I know that this has also become the holy grail of the nanotech/fuel cell sector and they may find a way around the barriers you mention, the only viable way to crack hydrogen is thru nuclear power. We need to build nuke plants - the left in this country made a huge mistake in opposing them, because the result of not having them is the oil madness/global warming we are faced with today. A nuke plant can supply energy to crack hydrogen from water cheaply enough to make the production of hydrogen gas, which could then be used in cars, economical. Perhaps the one good thing that could come out of the Rpub victory would be restarting the nuclear energy industry.
Well, I'll be damned, KV! You've actually said something that I agree with! [:D]

But I still don't think hydrogen is the "future fuel". Biodiesel/electric hybrid is the way to go.

Mike


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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 11-09-2004, 07:08 PM
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RE: "Hydrogen Economy"

this might be interesting to some of you

http://www.keelynet.com/energy/oxyhyd1.htm

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