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Hydrogen cars: Fuel-cell technology coming on fast
Salt Lake Tribune ^ | 06/20/2008 | Tribune Editorial Staff

Posted on 06/20/2008 7:04:57 AM PDT by Red Badger

Cost of gasoline bleeding you dry? Air pollution taking your breath away? Worried to death about auto-induced climate change and the future of your planet? You should be. Our oil addiction is a drain on our wallets, a threat to our health and national security, and a major contributor to the global warming that threatens our planet. And with world-wide demand for oil increasing and supplies dwindling, it's a problem we can't drill or dig our way out of. But there's a solution somewhere over the horizon. Hang on, folks. Hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth, is on the way. Honda's new hydrogen fuel cell car rolled off the assembly line in Japan this week, en route to Southern California. It runs on H2 and, instead of spewing CO2, CO, NOx, Pm2 and other pollutants, it will emit good old H2O - water vapor - out its exhaust pipe. It's a limited production model; only 200 will be leased in the next three years. It's expensive to build; Honda won't say how much. And fuel will be hard to find; there are only three hydrogen fueling stations in California. But it's another step in the right direction, with a potential equal to that of electric cars. While Honda built a better mousetrap, hydrogen-powered automobiles are nothing new. Many manufacturers have prototypes, and General Motors built its first working model in 1968. But gas was cheap, oil was plentiful, the air was tolerable, demand was non-existent, climate change wasn't part of the vernacular. And the incentives - economic, governmental, environmental, ethical - were somewhere far into the future. Now the future has arrived. Auto manufacturers are working feverishly to produce affordable, efficient fuel cells. Energy companies are working on ways to economically compress or liquefy hydrogen without using fossil fuels, and laying plans to put infrastructure - production plants, pipelines, fueling stations - in place. And research and development facilities, many utilizing government grants, are ramping up and achieving results. We're not telling you to sell your electric-gasoline hybrid, surrender your bus pass or park your bicycle. A hydrogen-powered car won't appear in your driveway overnight. The technology is still primitive; the costs are still prohibitive. But the incentives, the demand, and the desire on the part of consumers, manufacturers, energy companies and government entities are in place.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Technical; US: Utah
KEYWORDS: auto; energy; fuel; hydrogen; transportation
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Hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth, is on the way.

Not unless we import a few zillion tons of it.........

1 posted on 06/20/2008 7:08:06 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: Red Badger

ok so we have a bunch of H cars, how are we supposed to buy one. We wont be able to trade our old one in.


2 posted on 06/20/2008 7:09:52 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: Red Badger

why does this sound like Dick Tracy, “the nation that controls magnetism will control the universe?”


3 posted on 06/20/2008 7:10:39 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Red Badger

Whats more abundant that Hydrogen? Water perhaps? :)

Actually its iron isnt it?


4 posted on 06/20/2008 7:10:59 AM PDT by driftdiver
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To: Red Badger

<.P.>


5 posted on 06/20/2008 7:11:53 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Red Badger
It's expensive to build; Honda won't say how much.

Glenn Beck said 200m to build 200 cars (there's your limited production)

6 posted on 06/20/2008 7:12:48 AM PDT by gusopol3
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To: Red Badger

Finally. I remember when Mr. Bush was first elected, pre-9/11, there was lots of talk about hydrogen fuel. Then nothing until now...an important election year.


7 posted on 06/20/2008 7:14:09 AM PDT by stuartcr (Election year.....Who we gonna hate, in '08?)
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To: Red Badger
Repeat after me: water shortage.

Invest in desalinization industires.

8 posted on 06/20/2008 7:15:04 AM PDT by stravinskyrules (Why is it that whenever I hear a piece of music I don't like, it's always by Villa-Lobos?)
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To: Red Badger
Hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth, is on the way.

Bull, unless he means AFTER hydrolysis and hydrocarbon breakdown. Elemental hydrogen is rare.
9 posted on 06/20/2008 7:15:52 AM PDT by struggle ((The struggle continues))
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To: Red Badger

I will never understand why greens say CO2 will destroy the planet and then they embrace Hydrogen which produces water vapor and is recognized as the #1 cause of the greenhouse effect.

Dont get me wrong. I think Hydrogen would be fine if it could be produced cheaply.

I just don’t get the libs arguments about greenhouse gases.


10 posted on 06/20/2008 7:16:25 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Red Badger

Lemme see now ... Big Oil will buy Honda and put the technology in a safe place, never to be heard from again for at least a generation or two. When Big Hydrogen controls the resource, this technology will be ‘re-invented’.
(/sarc)

Folks, don’t sell your pickup yet. These waterbug-sized cars are not in our immediate future.


11 posted on 06/20/2008 7:17:11 AM PDT by ByteMercenary (9-11: supported everywhere by followers of the the cult of islam.)
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To: Red Badger

Yay.
We’re gonna make clean hydrogen from dirty coal.


12 posted on 06/20/2008 7:17:24 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: Red Badger
What I want to know is, where is all this hydrogen going to come from? Water? When you combine hydrogen and oxygen into water, you only get back the same amount of energy that it took to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen in the first place. Where is THAT energy going to come from? Most likely a coal fired power plant. Hydrogen is a SOURCE of energy only if you can drill for it like oil. If not, if we have to create it ourselves, then it's not an energy SOURCE.
13 posted on 06/20/2008 7:17:32 AM PDT by NurdlyPeon (New tag line in progress.)
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To: struggle
Bull, unless he means AFTER hydrolysis and hydrocarbon breakdown. Elemental hydrogen is rare.

You're right on the money, but he also says a lot of other untruthful statements. To whit:

Well, really the entire first paragraph

14 posted on 06/20/2008 7:18:03 AM PDT by EarthBound (Ex Deo,gratia. Ex astris,scientia (Who the hell do I vote for now?))
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To: Red Badger

This article is so misleading on so many levels that it is hard to know where to start.

If the car is using fuel cells, then it is an electric car that uses hydrogen to produce electricity.

Hydrogen in water has to have more electric energy put into it than the hydrogen it liberates allows you to use later, in other words, a net energy loss, not a gain.

Hydrogen may be a good way to store energy for transport, but it is not a *source* of energy.


15 posted on 06/20/2008 7:18:34 AM PDT by marktwain
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To: mylife

They’re both non-issues. There are natural cycles to take care of water and CO2 in the atmosphere.

Water is naturally cycled through weather. CO2 is used by plants during photosynthesis.


16 posted on 06/20/2008 7:20:49 AM PDT by AntiKev ("The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena." - Carl Sagan)
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To: Red Badger

“General Motors built its first working model in 1968. But gas was cheap, oil was plentiful, the air was tolerable, demand was non-existent, climate change wasn’t part of the vernacular.”

Today’s air is ten times cleaner than in 1968.


17 posted on 06/20/2008 7:21:05 AM PDT by Old Professer (The critic writes with rapier pen, dips it twice, and writes again.)
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To: Red Badger
Hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth,...

And the vast majority of it is bound to either Carbon, or Oxygen. The former is an energy source, the latter is not.

18 posted on 06/20/2008 7:21:47 AM PDT by Jack of all Trades (This line intentionally left blank)
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To: Red Badger

What such articles rarely mention:

Hydrogen is to energy what wire is to electricity - a conduit, not a source.

Yes, hydrogen is hugely abundant. Problem is, it’s usually connected pretty firmly to something else (usually oxygen), and to acquire H2 requires expending more energy to extract it than will be obtained via fuel cell (which just puts the H2 and O back together again).

Oil is a great energy “source” because a lot of easily-released energy is trapped therein, and we just have to pump it out of the grounda and refine it a bit to be really useful.
Hydrogen is nowhere as useful because (to oversimplify) we essentialy have to put the energy _into_ it before we can get useful energy _out_.

Unlike oil, there is very little “free” H2 out there. We don’t have to make oil to use it; making H2 is very costly.


19 posted on 06/20/2008 7:22:32 AM PDT by ctdonath2 (The average piece of junk is more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. - Ratatouille)
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To: mylife
I just don’t get the libs arguments about greenhouse gases.

That's because you're accepting their argument at surface value.

The true agenda is control of, and reduction of, your energy usage, your lifestyle, and ultimately, your freedom.

20 posted on 06/20/2008 7:25:05 AM PDT by MrB (You can't reason people out of a position that they didn't use reason to get into in the first place)
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To: Red Badger
The hydrogen that is used to fuel these vehicles, is formed up from electrolysis of water right at the point where it is dispensed. Anyone who has taken even an elementary course in chemistry, has seen a demonstration of the formation of H2 in the desktop, by running a DC current through a beaker of water, with the electrodes under two separate test tubes. The volume of hydrogen formed is half the volume of the oxygen formed, so we know, the process works, and it follows the speculation that there is twice as much oxygen formed as hydrogen.

So the commercial application of this process has the side effect of putting oxygen into the atmosphere, where it is available to be converted back into water vapor in the fuel cell.

In fact, if the water is a little contaminated, or has a modest saline content, it goes through the process of electrolysis even more quickly than pure water. Sewage water, anybody?

The abiding need here is for cheap electricity - like from nuclear power generation plants, that can pump out the electricity for maybe half or less what it would cost from other sources.

21 posted on 06/20/2008 7:26:29 AM PDT by alloysteel (Carbon dioxide is plant food, no more of a "pollutant" than water or oxygen.)
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To: MrB

I understand all that.

I’m questioning why they don’t see the basic flaws of their argument.


22 posted on 06/20/2008 7:28:35 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: struggle

The Wikipedia article on the Earth claims:

It is composed mostly of iron (32.1%), oxygen (30.1%), silicon (15.1%), magnesium (13.9%), sulfur (2.9%), nickel (1.8%), calcium (1.5%), and aluminium (1.4%); with the remaining 1.2% consisting of trace amounts of other elements.

Hydrogen is not even in the top eight.

Hydrogen is the most common element in the Universe (after stupidity, of course), but that’s not the case on Earth.


23 posted on 06/20/2008 7:29:25 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: alloysteel

The problem is it takes more energy to break the molecular bond than the resulting hydrogen atom will yield.


24 posted on 06/20/2008 7:30:51 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife
I will never understand why greens say CO2 will destroy the planet and then they embrace Hydrogen which produces water vapor and is recognized as the #1 cause of the greenhouse effect
((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((

Can someone look into their crystal ball to see what the affect will be on LA with every vehicle on their grid blocked freeway system spewing out water vapor?

25 posted on 06/20/2008 7:30:53 AM PDT by CHEE (ROCK STEADY!)
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To: NurdlyPeon
"When you combine hydrogen and oxygen into water, you only get back the same amount of energy that it took to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen in the first place."

IF energy cannot be created or destroyed then all we can ever hope to do is transfer it.

Id rather we use non M.E. sources to begin the transfer.

26 posted on 06/20/2008 7:31:47 AM PDT by NoLibZone (When Shall We Have The Courage Our Founders Had? It's Time For The 2nd American Revolution.)
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To: mylife
I just don’t get the libs arguments about greenhouse gases.

It's not about "greenhouse gases".

It's about control of energy and driving civilization back to the Stone Age.

Similar to the way "gun control" is more about "control" than about "guns".

27 posted on 06/20/2008 7:31:50 AM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: AntiKev

Yes. the earth is self regulating for the most part.


28 posted on 06/20/2008 7:32:19 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife
"I will never understand why greens say CO2 will destroy the planet and then they embrace Hydrogen which produces water vapor and is recognized as the #1 cause of the greenhouse effect."

Excellent observation! No doubt, given time H2O will be classified as a pollutant just as they have done to CO2.

29 posted on 06/20/2008 7:32:25 AM PDT by avacado
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To: avacado

Its all “crazy talk”


30 posted on 06/20/2008 7:33:13 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Red Badger
...it's a problem we can't drill or dig our way out of...

What a crock, the world has a couple of hundred years of oil, oil shale, and coal. We have that long to develop alternatives. Taping the known oil fields and building a few refineries will go a long way to keeping the price under control (wait a minute, it is under control of a hateful government trying to eliminate the middle class) until a viable alternate arrives.

31 posted on 06/20/2008 7:33:53 AM PDT by BillT (God said it, that settles it whether I believe it or not! (Bible rules))
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To: SJSAMPLE

And where to fill up?


32 posted on 06/20/2008 7:34:32 AM PDT by Holicheese (Hillary deserves the CMoH for her time in Tuzla!)
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To: Red Badger

What happens when there are 1,000,000 H2 cars on LA freeways, spewing water vapor. Will it start to rain once the air is saturated?


33 posted on 06/20/2008 7:34:32 AM PDT by Forrestfire (("To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society." Theodore Roosevelt))
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To: CHEE

Yeah.

One hot steamy, seamy city!


34 posted on 06/20/2008 7:34:39 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: driftdiver

Hydrogen is the most abundant, but its always bound to something.

Iron is the most stable.


35 posted on 06/20/2008 7:35:25 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: Forrestfire

What happens when 500K spewing water vapor are driving around Boston in January? You might as well buy a Zamboni now because the place will be a skating rink!


36 posted on 06/20/2008 7:37:09 AM PDT by Holicheese (Hillary deserves the CMoH for her time in Tuzla!)
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To: Forrestfire
What happens when there are 1,000,000 H2 cars on LA freeways, spewing water vapor. Will it start to rain once the air is saturated?

No more California wildfires...............

37 posted on 06/20/2008 7:38:07 AM PDT by Red Badger (NOBODY MOVE!!!!.......I dropped me brain............................)
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To: mylife
I’m questioning why they don’t see the basic flaws of their argument.

Because they don't want to. Ignorance is curable unless it is deliberate.

38 posted on 06/20/2008 7:40:09 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: Red Badger

BUT... WATER VAPOR is a GREENHOUSE GAS (most people don’t seem to know this).


39 posted on 06/20/2008 7:40:13 AM PDT by beethovenfan (If Islam is the solution, the "problem" must be freedom.)
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To: ctdonath2
Yes, hydrogen is hugely abundant. Problem is, it’s usually connected pretty firmly to something else (usually oxygen), ...

and CARBON.......

40 posted on 06/20/2008 7:40:13 AM PDT by Red Badger (NOBODY MOVE!!!!.......I dropped me brain............................)
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To: NurdlyPeon

The real question isn’t what’s the net energy used, but what’s the net crude oil used.

If you get away from crude then you defund the terrorists. The energy can come from nuclear, hydroelectric, even solar when it becomes feasible.


41 posted on 06/20/2008 7:41:34 AM PDT by DannyTN
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To: NurdlyPeon
...you only get back the same amount of energy that it took to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen in the first place.

You get back less, not the same..........

42 posted on 06/20/2008 7:42:18 AM PDT by Red Badger (NOBODY MOVE!!!!.......I dropped me brain............................)
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To: dirtboy

I think it runs to some kind of desire to feel important.
A God complex of sorts.

We cant build a freeking fence on the border but these pinheads think they can control the weather and “SAVE THE WORLD!”


43 posted on 06/20/2008 7:43:21 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: driftdiver
Actually its iron isnt it?

from WIKI:

On Earth, silicon is the second most abundant element (after oxygen) in the crust,[1] making up 25.7% of the crust by mass.

44 posted on 06/20/2008 7:43:37 AM PDT by Red Badger (NOBODY MOVE!!!!.......I dropped me brain............................)
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To: DannyTN

In nuclear submarines we use electrolysis to split water molecules.

We use the resulting O2 to breath and we pump the Hydrogen overboard as a waste byproduct L0L!

Nukes provide abundant energy.


45 posted on 06/20/2008 7:46:33 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: Holicheese

The initial concept is for at-home hydrogen stations using electrolysis to use electricity (from coal) to split housewater into hydrogen and oxygen.


46 posted on 06/20/2008 7:46:45 AM PDT by SJSAMPLE
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To: CHEE; mylife
"Can someone look into their crystal ball to see what the affect will be on LA with every vehicle on their grid blocked freeway system spewing out water vapor?"

The rich women and pansy men of Los Angeles will bitch that the extra water from cars is causing them to have way too many bad hair days due to increased humidity.

47 posted on 06/20/2008 7:47:38 AM PDT by avacado
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To: avacado

Yup! L0L


48 posted on 06/20/2008 7:48:16 AM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: mylife

Very good point. Water vapor is the primary element involved in the Greehouse Effect. These idiots are going to kill us all!


49 posted on 06/20/2008 7:48:50 AM PDT by ChinaThreat (s)
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To: Red Badger

“”Hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth, is on the way.””

An utterly stupid statement targeting the ignorant. Yes, hydogen bonded to water is useless. Hydrogen bonded in a useable energy state to carbon, called hydrocarbons, is useful indeed and we call it petroleum and natural gas. As I recall, diatomic hydrogen blew up the Hindenburg and is highly explosive; not to mention there is no infrastructure to retail the stuff.


50 posted on 06/20/2008 7:49:21 AM PDT by Neoliberalnot ((Hallmarks of Liberalism: Ingratitude and Envy))
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