Migrating to a hydrogen economy.

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Goat
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Migrating to a hydrogen economy.

Post #1

Post by Goat »

Recently, there have been a number of advances that makes it appear moving to a hydrogen based economy for fuel rather than relying on fossil fuels feasible. One is there has been advances in using solar energy to produce hydrogen from solar energy much more economical.

The second advancement is the advances in fuel cells. For example, the cube is a fuel cell that runs much cooler than previous fuel cells, so that it can be manufactured using steel rather than more expensive alloys. This reduces the cost of making fuel cells. I am sure there are other examples.

Now, assuming that both the fuel cell cost, and the various different methods for producing cheap hydrogen pan out (everything from extracting it from plant material, to the various solar methods), what technical hurdles to people see for getting hydrogen to replace fossil fuels as a legitimate source for electricity, and to replace gas engines in cars?

I am sure most people would see the economic and environmental benefits of getting away from fossil fuels. Fuel cells don’t have the political and emotional drawbacks than nuclear power plants have at this current time.
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Nilloc James
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Post #2

Post by Nilloc James »

I wouldnt think hydrogen would be a good 'electricity' choice. It takes energy to make elemntal hydrogen. You can just skip it and use your that primary source directly for most things.

As for using it as fuel it is necessary to keep it stable enough that it won't explode in case of an accident. We have to build with those worst case scenarios in mind.

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Post #3

Post by LiamOS »

Nilloc James wrote: I wouldnt think hydrogen would be a good 'electricity' choice. It takes energy to make elemntal hydrogen. You can just skip it and use your that primary source directly for most things.
Currently this is the case.
The general idea though is that hydrogen stores the power, and makes it portable, in a manner similar to oil now. If hydrogen generation and burning can be made efficient enough, it should be viable too.

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Post #4

Post by Divine Insight »

Hydrogen also has the added advantage of not creating pollution. Although I guess it does create carbon dioxide when burned.

I heard a rumor that fusion reactors may be possible as soon as only a couple decades. If that's true our energy problems may be almost over. If I understand it correctly a fusion reactor will not create the radioactive waste products like fisssion reactors do. So they will be truly clean energy.

I also heard a rumor that as our technology advances with fusion reactors we may even be able to create specific elements as the end product of the fusion reaction, so turning lead into gold may someday be a byproduct of creating energy. ;)

That last idea is pretty far-fetched. But still if we could build a fusion reactor, we would no longer be bothered with radioactive waste products. There is also no risk of thermal runaway or melt downs with fusion reactors so they are much safer overall.

I don't know if the prediction of 20 years is reasonable, but if that prediction has any merit at all, then surely we'll have one up and running within the next century at least.
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Post #5

Post by LiamOS »

Divine Insight wrote:Hydrogen also has the added advantage of not creating pollution.
That said, the method of separating out hydrogen may well pollute the environment, as may any storage/transport methods.
Divine Insight wrote:Although I guess it does create carbon dioxide when burned.
:-k
H + O = CO2

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Post #6

Post by Divine Insight »

LiamOS wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:Although I guess it does create carbon dioxide when burned.
:-k
H + O = CO2
Your right. I don't know what I was thinking there. Me bad. #-o
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Post #7

Post by Goat »

Nilloc James wrote: I wouldnt think hydrogen would be a good 'electricity' choice. It takes energy to make elemntal hydrogen. You can just skip it and use your that primary source directly for most things.

As for using it as fuel it is necessary to keep it stable enough that it won't explode in case of an accident. We have to build with those worst case scenarios in mind.
It would be more like a very high density battery. When it comes to power collection via solar or wind, there are times you produce more than you need, and other times you don't produce enough. Also, if you have a car that runs on a fuel cell with compressed hydrogen, the amount of distance between refills is much higher than the current crop of batteries, and the refuel time is much lower than electric.

Hydrogen isn't that much more 'explosive' than natural gas, yet there are cars that run on compressed natural gas.
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Post #8

Post by Goat »

LiamOS wrote:
Divine Insight wrote:Hydrogen also has the added advantage of not creating pollution.
That said, the method of separating out hydrogen may well pollute the environment, as may any storage/transport methods.
Divine Insight wrote:Although I guess it does create carbon dioxide when burned.
:-k
H + O = CO2

There are several methods in development that use solar to separate water into hydrogen and oxygen.

One of the keys would be getting a solar cell that produces 1.5v cheaply. The cells that do that are currently too expensive to make for hydrogen production, but work is being done to get that. For example Hypersolar recently got a cheap solar cell to produce 1V. That's still a way off from the 1.5V needed for hydrolysis... but people are working on it.

Honda and GM are working on bringing hydrogen cars to market, and Redox Power Systems has developed a fuel cell that works at 300 degree F, which means that they can make a fuel cell using steel instead of more exotic alloys for heat. This would particularly be good for cities that have a tendency for smog.

A kg of hydrogen has the energy equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. You have to get to being cheaper than gasoline before you can consider building the infrastructure to support that for cars.
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

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Re: Migrating to a hydrogen economy.

Post #9

Post by Finn the human »

[Replying to post 1 by Goat]

Hydrogen power will not happen for a very long time.

Looky here ------->

We got a lot left and it is cheaper than anything else. Unless they can make hydrogen dirt cheap. If that happens there will be a market crash. So if they keep it the same price as oil no one will take it as there is no infrastructure for it & no one want to build it. Doomed to fail.

on another note...

People complain when the TAX'S are raised so no politician will raise them for setting up the infrastructure that their current party wont see any benefit in another 50 years (very unpopular move with the public).

Every one like the short play since majority of the public forgets. The party leader will only think for the short play as that is the most popular.

The only way for it to change if the majority of people ask for it; but that wont happen until hurricanes hit every state in America 3 times a month.

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Re: Migrating to a hydrogen economy.

Post #10

Post by Goat »

Finn the human wrote: [Replying to post 1 by Goat]

Hydrogen power will not happen for a very long time.

Looky here ------->

We got a lot left and it is cheaper than anything else. Unless they can make hydrogen dirt cheap. If that happens there will be a market crash. So if they keep it the same price as oil no one will take it as there is no infrastructure for it & no one want to build it. Doomed to fail.

on another note...

People complain when the TAX'S are raised so no politician will raise them for setting up the infrastructure that their current party wont see any benefit in another 50 years (very unpopular move with the public).

Every one like the short play since majority of the public forgets. The party leader will only think for the short play as that is the most popular.

The only way for it to change if the majority of people ask for it; but that wont happen until hurricanes hit every state in America 3 times a month.
That's the whole point, now isn't it. The technological advances in the last few years is making hydrogen production much cheaper. To make hydrogen production cheap enough to compete with natural gas, the cost of hydrogen production is 2 bucks per kg.
“What do you think science is? There is nothing magical about science. It is simply a systematic way for carefully and thoroughly observing nature and using consistent logic to evaluate results. So which part of that exactly do you disagree with? Do you disagree with being thorough? Using careful observation? Being systematic? Or using consistent logic?�

Steven Novella

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