Solved: Hydrogen fuel production, Biodiesel efficiency - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 11-13-2007, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
Surely A Large Human
Qubes's Avatar
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: '08 C219
Location: Between Earth and Mars
Posts: 34,234
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 482 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
(Thread Starter)
Solved: Hydrogen fuel production, Biodiesel efficiency

Looks like that pesky ol' dependency on combustible fuels like ethanol or gasoline are about to be quaint anachronisms. Come now, ye naysaying nabobs of negativity, and shoot down some more solutions to the fossil fuel problem that aren't yours!

New technique creates cheap, abundant hydrogen: report - Yahoo! News
"This process produces 288 percent more energy in hydrogen than the electrical energy that is added in the process," said Bruce Logan, a professor of environmental engineering at Penn State.

The technology is economically viable now, which gives hydrogen an edge over another alternative biofuel which is grabbing more headlines, Logan said.

"The energy focus is currently on ethanol as a fuel, but economical ethanol from cellulose is 10 years down the road," said Logan.

"First you need to break cellulose down to sugars and then bacteria can convert them to ethanol."

Motorhead Messiah - Fuel Efficient Cars - Biodiesel - Hybrids
Goodwin leads me over to a red 2005 H3 Hummer that's up on jacks, its mechanicals removed. He aims to use the turbine to turn the Hummer into a tricked-out electric hybrid. Like most hybrids, it'll have two engines, including an electric motor. But in this case, the second will be the turbine, Goodwin's secret ingredient. Whenever the truck's juice runs low, the turbine will roar into action for a few seconds, powering a generator with such gusto that it'll recharge a set of "supercapacitor" batteries in seconds. This means the H3's electric motor will be able to perform awesome feats of acceleration and power over and over again, like a Prius on steroids. What's more, the turbine will burn biodiesel, a renewable fuel with much lower emissions than normal diesel; a hydrogen-injection system will then cut those low emissions in half. And when it's time to fill the tank, he'll be able to just pull up to the back of a diner and dump in its excess french-fry grease--as he does with his many other Hummers. Oh, yeah, he adds, the horsepower will double--from 300 to 600.

"Conservatively," Goodwin muses, scratching his chin, "it'll get 60 miles to the gallon. With 2,000 foot-pounds of torque. You'll be able to smoke the tires. And it's going to be superefficient."

He laughs. "Think about it: a 5,000-pound vehicle that gets 60 miles to the gallon and does zero to 60 in five seconds!"
Qubes is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 11:23 AM Thread Starter
Surely A Large Human
Qubes's Avatar
Date registered: Jun 2006
Vehicle: '08 C219
Location: Between Earth and Mars
Posts: 34,234
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Quoted: 482 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
(Thread Starter)
Interesting progress being made on the hydrogen fuel front, courtesy of Penn State and the US DoE.

Solar cell directly splits water for hydrogen
Solar cell directly splits water for hydrogen

Plants trees and algae do it. Even some bacteria and moss do it, but scientists have had a difficult time developing methods to turn sunlight into useful fuel. Now, Penn State researchers have a proof-of-concept device that can split water and produce recoverable hydrogen.

"This is a proof-of-concept system that is very inefficient. But ultimately, catalytic systems with 10 to 15 percent solar conversion efficiency might be achievable," says Thomas E. Mallouk, the DuPont Professor of Materials Chemistry and Physics. "If this could be realized, water photolysis would provide a clean source of hydrogen fuel from water and sunlight."

Although solar cells can now produce electricity from visible light at efficiencies of greater than 10 percent, solar hydrogen cells – like those developed by Craig Grimes, professor of electrical engineering at Penn State – have been limited by the poor spectral response of the semiconductors used. In principle, molecular light absorbers can use more of the visible spectrum in a process that is mimetic of natural photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses chlorophyll and other dye molecules to absorb visible light.

So far, experiments with natural and synthetic dye molecules have produced either hydrogen or oxygen-using chemicals consumed in the process, but have not yet created an ongoing, continuous process. Those processes also generally would cost more than splitting water with electricity. One reason for the difficulty is that once produced, hydrogen and oxygen easily recombine. The catalysts that have been used to study the oxygen and hydrogen half-reactions are also good catalysts for the recombination reaction.

Mallouk and W. Justin Youngblood, postdoctoral fellow in chemistry, together with collaborators at Arizona State University, developed a catalyst system that, combined with a dye, can mimic the electron transfer and water oxidation processes that occur in plants during photosynthesis. They reported the results of their experiments at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science today (Feb. 17) in Boston.

The key to their process is a tiny complex of molecules with a center catalyst of iridium oxide molecules surrounded by orange-red dye molecules. These clusters are about 2 nanometers in diameter with the catalyst and dye components approximately the same size. The researchers chose orange-red dye because it absorbs sunlight in the blue range, which has the most energy. The dye used has also been thoroughly studied in previous artificial photosynthesis experiments.

They space the dye molecules around the center core leaving surface area on the catalyst for the reaction. When visible light strikes the dye, the energy excites electrons in the dye, which, with the help of the catalyst, can split the water molecule, creating free oxygen.

"Each surface iridium atom can cycle through the water oxidation reaction about 50 times per second," says Mallouk. "That is about three orders of magnitude faster than the next best synthetic catalysts, and comparable to the turnover rate of Photosystem II in green plant photosynthesis." Photosystem II is the protein complex in plants that oxidizes water and starts the photosynthetic process.

The researchers impregnated a titanium dioxide electrode with the catalyst complex for the anode and used a platinum cathode. They immersed the electrodes in a salt solution, but separated them from each other to avoid the problem of the hydrogen and oxygen recombining. Light need only shine on the dye-sensitized titanium dioxide anode for the system to work. This type of cell is similar to those that produce electricity, but the addition of the catalyst allows the reaction to split the water into its component gases.

The water splitting requires 1.23 volts, and the current experimental configuration cannot quite achieve that level so the researchers add about 0.3 volts from an outside source. Their current system achieves an efficiency of about 0.3 percent.

"Nature is only 1 to 3 percent efficient with photosynthesis," says Mallouk. "Which is why you can not expect the clippings from your lawn to power your house and your car. We would like not to have to use all the land area that is used for agriculture to get the energy we need from solar cells."

The researchers have a variety of approaches to improve the process. They plan to investigate improving the efficiency of the dye, improving the catalyst and adjusting the general geometry of the system. Rather than spherical dye catalyst complexes, a different geometry that keeps more of the reacting area available to the sun and the reactants might be better. Improvements to the overall geometry may also help.

"At every branch in the process, there is a choice," says Mallouk. "The question is how to get the electrons to stay in the proper path and not, for example, release their energy and go down to ground state without doing any work."

The distance between molecules is important in controlling the rate of electron transfer and getting the electrons where they need to go. By shortening some of the distances and making others longer, more of the electrons would take the proper path and put their energy to work splitting water and producing hydrogen.
Qubes is offline  
post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 11:45 AM
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Posts: 36,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
I'd hate to have all those mean bastards sit in the sand watching goats graze.

The biggest problems we are facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all and thatís what I intend to reverse.

~ Senator Barack H. Obama
Botnst is offline  
post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 12:52 PM
DP's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2002
Vehicle: 190E, 400E, SLK350
Location: Chesapeak Bay
Posts: 64,111
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Quoted: 983 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
Originally Posted by Botnst View Post
I'd hate to have all those mean bastards sit in the sand watching goats graze.
Oh come on, I know you won't hate it
DP is offline  
post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 02-18-2008, 02:26 PM
Jakarta Expat's Avatar
Date registered: Aug 2006
Vehicle: PM me to Join the Expat Muslims for Obama Club........
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Posts: 17,697
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Motorola Unveils Hydrogen Cell Mobile Battery

What if you could power your mobile phone with nothing more than good old H2O? That would really be something!

Angstrom Power and teammate Motorola seem to have developed a way to power cellphones with a hydrogen fuel cell. Of course, it's still in the testing phase, with a prototype, but the concept is certainly interesting. Imagine, all you’ll need to do is fill up your cellphone with water – and voila, it’ll start working again.

Angstrom has already developed an LED flashlight that runs on a similar concept of a hydrogen fuel cell. The good thing is perhaps we can look forward to a cleaner planet in the not-so-distant future. India > Motorola Unveils Hydrogen Cell Mobile Battery > News on Mobile Phones Mobile
Jakarta Expat is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Similar Threads
    Topic Author Forum Replies Last Post
    Hydrogen Gas Supplementary Fuel System leongster V-Class 1 09-15-2007 11:49 AM
    Further Progress with Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Curacao General Mercedes-Benz 0 10-07-2006 08:24 AM
    Hydrogen Fuel May Not Be So 'Clean' tiggerfink Off-Topic 0 01-30-2005 04:28 PM
    First public hydrogen fuel station in California opens Wolfgang General Mercedes-Benz 1 08-15-2004 10:41 AM
    Problem Solved! Not the Fuel Pump? UncAl W163 M-Class 9 06-04-2003 04:53 PM

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome