What Happened To Hydrogen-Powered Cars?

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by Mojo2, May 23, 2014.

  1. Mojo2
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    Mojo2 Gold Member

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    What Happened To Hydrogen-Powered Cars?

    By JEREMY SHERE
    Posted May 28, 2010

    What Happened To Hydrogen-Powered Cars? | A Moment of Science - Indiana Public Media


    I just heard Glenn Beck extol the virtues of Hydrogen Cars and then attribute it's demise to Government chicanery involving the financial 'Bailout.'

    I was screaming at the radio that Hydrogen Cars are impractical until some way is found to more efficiently, more economically separate the hydrogen from the (typically) oxygen to form electricity.

    Will someone please spread the news to everyone that Hydrogen Cars cost more to fuel than gasoline powered cars because of the cost of creating usable hydrogen.

    That makes these cars impractical.

    Until an improved process makes it more efficient Hydrogen Propulsion will remain, as the article says, "a long range solution."
     
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  2. indiajo
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    indiajo VIP Member

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    There is only one problem with Hydrogen, and that is called "storage". It is about the gas station tanks as well as the tanks in the cars. You have to cool them down to minus twohundredsomething °C (I am just too lazy to look up the table for the right number), and this can only be done by evaporating parts of the hydrogen. It is the same effect you can see at nitrogen or liquid air tanks in some factories.
    Actually you would lose around 2% of your tank content per day.

    Second, hydrogen is a very special stuff. It diffuses through steel, thereby having the very nasty side effect of making the steel brittle so that it would lose its tensile strenght. All of that is not good.

    It is definetely not the energy efficiency of hydrogen. There is nothing that contains more energy per kg, around 75.000 KJ/kg. Your car would just go berserk with it.

    It is simply too risky to give it in the hands of DAUs. And not really commercially viable.
    The solution is actually to produce hydrogen and convert it into Methane. Or Methanol.
    We can handle that, we have the infrastructure, all is set and ready.
     
  3. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Compared to renewable electricity and EV's, hydrogen is just too difficult to handle, and costly. Fuel cells definately have applications, but have not proven to be practical for vehicles. A good technology, just not suitable for a lot of things.
     
  4. Mojo2
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    Mojo2 Gold Member

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    There's more than ONE problem with it.

    It costs more to create than what energy it delivers.
     
  5. Politico
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    Politico Gold Member

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    What happened? People didn't like blowing up.
     
  6. indiajo
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    indiajo VIP Member

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    I am workin for an engineering company and had a job to do at a Solvay plant, they try to set up kind of battery recycling for Li-Cd batteries of Computers, Mobiles etc.
    Now, I had some time there to chat with the engineers of the R&D department, and the talk also strived fuel cells, because there was just a media hype starting abut them.
    Triggered by politicians and their dreams of electically poweres cars.

    The brief answers were like this:
    Power supply for cars is the worst thinkable application for fuel cells, it is like we would have started developing Quantum Computers before discovering electricity.
    1. The effieciency is bad
    2. The efficiency is even worse if they have no steady performance at their operating point. The volatile energy requirement of cars (stillstand, acceleration, high or low seed, uphill-downhill etc.pp) is exactly the opposite.
    3. More bad news, fuel cells like optimized peripherical conditions. i.e. temperature.
    Not quite ideal in Europe with temperature differences from -30 to +40 °C.
    4. Fuel cells need continuous surveillance by skilled personell. The use in cars is like handing them out to the worst thinkable DAUs.
    5. They do not like beeing shaked or vibrated. Actually they die pretty instantly if mechanically mistreated. Sounds perfect for cars.
    6. Actually the beste efficiency comes with the use of Hydrogen and Oxygen.
    No educated person would like the idea to see this two substances dealt with by the normal foolish customer at the gas station.

    In summary: to promote the development of fuel cells for cars ist one of the most idiotic ideas that came from politics recently.
     
  7. indiajo
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    indiajo VIP Member

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    Well, not exatly. But almost.
     
  8. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Granny don't want Uncle Ferd to get a hydrogen car an' blow hisself up...
    [​IMG]

    Cars Powered by New Fuel Type Tested in Australia
    August 11, 2018 — Australian scientists have test driven two cars powered by a carbon-free fuel derived from ammonia. A team from the Australian government’s research agency, the CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization), says the pioneering technology will allow highly flammable hydrogen to be safely transported in the form of ammonia and used as a widely available fuel.

     
  9. Bob Blaylock
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    Bob Blaylock Gold Member

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    Actually, there are more than just one problem with hydrogen. In your own posting, you mentioned at least two separate problems, and there are others as well.
     
  10. Bob Blaylock
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    Bob Blaylock Gold Member

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    To elaborate on that point, the easiest way to produce free hydrogen is to run an electric current through water, which causes it to break apart into hydrogen and oxygen.

    If everything were perfectly 100% efficient, then the amount of energy that you could then get by burning that hydrogen would exactly equal the amount of energy that you had to put into breaking apart the water to produce it. Of course, in real life, nothing is 100% efficient. There is no way, in real life, to obtain or produce hydrogen that does not require a greater expenditure of energy than what you can get back out of it by burning it.

    The thing that is so great about petroleum is that it contains a great amount of energy, there for the taking. OK, it costs a lot of money, energy, and other resources to find petroleum, to get out out of the ground, and to refine it into various types of fuels, but after all of that is done, the energy that you get by burning those fuels is far greater than what had to be put into obtaining it. This will never be true of hydrogen, at least as a chemical fuel. (Now, if we ever get nuclear fusion to work as a practical energy generation method, then this could change.)
     

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