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Iowa Co. Hopes to Make Gasoline Obsolete
AP on Yahoo ^ | 5/19/06 | David Pitt - ap

Posted on 05/19/2006 10:01:17 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

ALGONA, Iowa - While much of the world fumes over escalating fuel prices, a small company in north central Iowa is quietly hoping to make gasoline obsolete as an engine fuel.

Research at the Hydrogen Engine Center Inc. is done in an early 1900s red brick armory at the Kossuth County fairgrounds.

There, a clean six-cylinder engine that looks like it could have been pulled from a Ford pickup has been running for 110 hours, not quite half the 300 hours it must continuously run for certification. The company, led by a retired Ford Motor Co. engineer, hopes to meet Environmental Protection Agency automotive 2007 emission standards.

All 81 parts are original Oxx Power, the brand name the company has given all its engines.

The engine can run on a number of fuels including hydrogen, ethanol, natural gas, propane or digester gas from landfills.

The company, started by Ted Hollinger, 65, is initially focusing on making more efficient, environmentally friendlier engines to replace those used in generators and in forklift trucks, airline ground equipment, irrigation pumps, tractors and buses.

Ford, General Motors and Chrysler have dropped industrial engine production as they've cut costs, leaving what Hollinger said is a ready-made market for his fledgling company.

"Our engine has to bolt in where the old engine went and can't be a thread off," he said. "If you do that and you make improvements in it so that it gets rid of emissions and it's more efficient, then I think people are going to like it."

The company incorporated in Iowa in 2003 and two years later in Canada. It merged with Green Mt. Labs in August 2005 and became a publicly traded company under the name Hydrogen Engine Center Inc.

Hollinger said he insisted that his company have a product to sell from day one instead of starting up as a research and development firm.

The company's products include a six-cylinder engine and a three-cylinder version for small engine applications.

The company has found immediate interest in its hydrogen-powered generators that use five engines.

Brad Van Horn, an engine distributor with Northern Power Productions of Minneapolis, said some orders are already placed for the generators as they approach the production phase.

"The level of excitement is huge," he said.

Van Horn, who sells in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska, said he gets calls daily from companies running irrigation equipment in Nebraska. Airports needing to replace the Ford engines in their baggage handling and other ground service equipment will also be a large market.

The company said American Airlines alone has 9,500 vehicles likely to be converted to alternative fuels over the next decade.

While the engines drive a revenue stream for the company, engineers are working to improve the technology of engines that run on hydrogen and other clean fuels.

Bob Mendlesky, another retired Ford engineer, light ups when he describes the potential for the engines his shop is developing.

He said there are obstacles to making cars powered with hydrogen-fueled internal combustion engines. To carry enough hydrogen, the fuel tank would have to be under extremely high pressure, he said. In addition, tanks made to that specification cost as much as the engine to power the car.

Hydrogen technology is better suited for generator applications and for industrial uses at its current stage of development, he said.

A better solution may be engines that run on ammonia, Hollinger said.

Development of ammonia as a fuel must include ways to improve its combustibility. Ammonia does not readily spark like other fuels, but Hollinger is determined to overcome some of the obstacles.

"I tell people that I'm no dumber now than when I was at Ford Motor Co. If I can invent at Ford, I can invent here," Hollinger said. "I don't think that there's any reason we can't. Will we? I don't know."

Hollinger said he doesn't expect his small company to make major breakthroughs in the automotive propulsion, but he's willing to work with Ford or any other company working on clean fuel technology.

"I hope in the future the automotive people will look at our stuff and incorporate some of our ideas," he said. "Somebody needs to do something now."

___

On the Net: Hydrogen Engine Center: http://www.hydrogenenginecenter.com


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; News/Current Events; US: Iowa
KEYWORDS: energy; environment; gasoline; hopes; hydrogen; invention; iowa; make; obsolete; oil; oxx; oxxpower
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To: NormsRevenge
Specular post. Must read. I remember reading about it in the news paper. Good old boy Johnson must have been slick willies teacher. Cover up your corruption by murder. I'll bet things out in Texas and Ark. haven't changed much.
51 posted on 05/20/2006 4:22:08 AM PDT by G-Man 1
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To: TexasTransplant

this one is at .68 cents a share jump on board now.
make $$$$. (sarc.)


52 posted on 05/20/2006 4:46:48 AM PDT by sopwith (don't tread on me)
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To: Prophet in the wilderness

"And the motor in the Ford made the wheels go around."

Sorry, I couldn't help it.


53 posted on 05/20/2006 5:01:17 AM PDT by preacher (A government which robs from Peter to pay Paul will always have the support of Paul.)
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To: TexasTransplant

Hydrogen Embrittlement.
How do they work around it?


54 posted on 05/20/2006 5:39:37 AM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (islam is a mutant meme)
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To: DB
"and still uses other fuels to produce."

It will ALWAYS use other power sources to produce...
55 posted on 05/20/2006 5:54:52 AM PDT by babygene
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To: Zeppelin
BMW is doing pretty well with hydrogen combustion engines.

I have an engineer friend who is working on hydrogen injection into gasoline and diesel burning engines. From what he tells me by injecting a small amount of hydrogen in the intake cycle the efficiency goes way, way up. He claims the cost to convert any gasoline or diesel engine will be less than $1000.

56 posted on 05/20/2006 6:04:04 AM PDT by Thermalseeker
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To: NormsRevenge

Almost forgot Billie...and Bobby Baker. Blasts from the past.

And yes, LBJ was as crooked as they come. The more I hear, the more I believe he did have something to do with Kennedy's murder.


57 posted on 05/20/2006 6:10:55 AM PDT by toddlintown
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To: Prophet in the wilderness
as someone else said that Hydrogen crystallizes ( kind of like small granular particles ) in a engine ( kind of like trowing sand or grit into the engine

No, the hydrogen doesn't crystallize. It's a gas. It is not abrasive. The iron in the cylinder walls is changed by the hydrogen, becomes more brittle, and it cracks.

58 posted on 05/20/2006 6:42:17 AM PDT by Right Wing Assault ("..this administration is planning a 'Right Wing Assault' on values and ideals.." - John Kerry)
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To: Rightwing Conspiratr1
Don't you have to burn a lot of coal or natural gas to generate the electricity to make the hydrogen?

Yes, but you can also use solar energy. Do a search on 'Solar Water Splitting'.

59 posted on 05/20/2006 7:00:40 AM PDT by layman (Card Carrying Infidel)
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To: StACase

A fuel cell/electric motor combination is certainly the most efficient way to obtain motive power from hydrogen - probably twice the output of any internal combustion engine burning hydrogen in air.

Hydrogen is easy to use as fuel, but expensive and difficult to extract, store, transport, and distribute. Hydrogen cannot be liquified at any temperature above MINUS 400 F, a very expensive temperature to reach and maintain. Cryogenic storage and distribution is not practical, so we are left with chemical storage or compressed hydrogen gas.

As the lightest molecule in existence, gaseous hydrogen can leak through almost anything, including solid steel. Increased pressure means increased leakage. Also, hydrogen gas is explosive in air at a mixture of as little as 8 percent. Monitoring and venting will be critical. Also, distributing a gas is far different from distributing a liquid. Is the distribution system at a high or a low pressure? As a gas expands, it cools; as it is compressed, it heats. Allowing gas to flow from a hi-pressure supply tank into an empty vehicle tank is energy intensive. And it would have to be pumped into the tank, because if the supply pressure were low your vehicle tank would not be filled. And how do you measure the fuel?

Let's consider the standard for the energy content of vehicle fuel, which clearly is gasoline. But gasoline has a secondary characteristic - it is nature's method for storing hydrogen at a density not found elsewhere in nature anywhere closer than 90,000,000 miles from here - (the Sun). The average molecule in gasoline is almost 16% hydrogen, over 40% greater than water. In fact, in order to match the number of hydrogen atoms per gallon of gasoline, gaseous hydrogen would have to be pressurized to over 19,000 PSI in the same volume. HALF that pressure is remarkable.

So I believe that the only practical way to use gaseous hydrogen as a common vehicle fuel will be by tank exchange, using standardized tanks. That is how most of us buy fuel for a gas grill today.

But I don't think we will do that. I think that the fuel of the future will be ... GASOLINE! Perhaps we will no longer be able to find the crude oil we make it from today, but we will make it from other sources of carbon, hydrogen, and energy, and distribute it the same way we do today.


60 posted on 05/20/2006 7:32:10 AM PDT by MainFrame65
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To: MainFrame65

Yes, and I have posted numerous times that the first change in direction will be to synthesize gasoline from coal. Germany did during World War II and South Africa is doing it today.


61 posted on 05/20/2006 9:07:12 AM PDT by StACase
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To: StACase

I think you and I might have exchanged posts on this before. My point was that I believe hydrogen is a boondoggle - a waste of time and resources. The only way it could work would be tank exchange, which would require an entire new infrastructure.

The one technology breakthrough that would reduce our consumption would be to find a way to put our trains, trucks, and cars on the electric grid, at least on major routes. That would require changing to electric-drive hybrid vehicles, electrification on major routes, and some kind of trolley system for vehicles, along with a metering system to pay for usage.

Your vehicle could charge its batteries from the grid, or from its on-board generator when needed, when you were traveling away from the grid.


62 posted on 05/20/2006 11:07:04 AM PDT by MainFrame65
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To: MainFrame65
High priced gasoline will force change. Electric or electric hybrid cars? I have a short commute and would be interested if one were at the "Geo" end of the price scale (-:

Hydrogen most certainly isn't for cars. But as an energy transfer system could it be more efficient than electricity? A fuel cell in every house? A heating plant that exhausts water vapor and nothing else? A distribution system that for the most part exists as natural gas lines that don't lose the huge percentage in transmission that electricity does? An energy transfer system that can have the production located near the energy source i.e., hydroelectric, solar or atomic? An energy transfer system that can be stored as opposed to electricity that must have expensive peak demand capacity?

Drawbacks? The initial energy transfer if you start with water can't be very good since half the energy goes into free oxygen. If you start with natural gas - well what would be the point?

63 posted on 05/20/2006 12:18:30 PM PDT by StACase
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To: SierraWasp; 1Old Pro; aardvark1; a_federalist; abner; alaskanfan; .38sw; 185JHP; 1FreeAmerican; ...
" people are getting so desperate to believe in anything to replace gasoline that it's literally making them crazy!!! "

You can't scream that loud enough to suit me. Hydrogen as a fuel is insane. There is so little energy available, and it takes as much or more energy to isolate the hydrogen in the first place, that makes hydrogen a net waster of energy.

The purpose of all this is to separate people from their personal mobility and freedom. Immobilized people are easier to control.

64 posted on 05/20/2006 5:40:18 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: TexasTransplant

Maybe you were right, just a bit early...


65 posted on 05/20/2006 5:44:54 PM PDT by Freedom4US
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To: TexasTransplant
Hydrogen is good for Energy Cells but it destroys regular Internal Combustion Engines, even regular Gas Stoves run on Hydrogen fail in just a few years."

Right on TT,. hydrogen is the world's most invasive acid in a combustion cycle. It destroys all metals.

66 posted on 05/20/2006 5:44:59 PM PDT by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: TexasTransplant
"Hydrogen is good for Energy Cells but it destroys regular Internal Combustion Engines..."

That's my take on it as well.

Just what is the engine octane rating (as opposed to the "research" value) of hydrogen? I was under the impression that it only had a value of 60.

67 posted on 05/20/2006 7:38:03 PM PDT by nightdriver
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To: preacher
I think Ford also made 6 cylinder engines for farm tractors.
I guess it wouldn't be feasible to put jet engines in cars.
68 posted on 05/20/2006 8:31:00 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: Right Wing Assault
I see.
Good observation.

" The iron in the cylinder walls is changed by the hydrogen, becomes more brittle, and it cracks "
Not good at all, nope, don't want that to happen in a engine.
69 posted on 05/20/2006 8:33:00 PM PDT by Prophet in the wilderness (PSALM 53 : 1 The FOOL hath said in his heart , There is no GOD .)
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To: editor-surveyor; FOG724
"The purpose of all this is to separate people from their personal mobility and freedom. Immobilized people are easier to control."

There you go AGAIN!!! Waxing profound and going oh so deep!!!

But all kidding aside, you speak the truth! And soon we'll all be in dire straights if we don't find ways to secure our freedom through mobility... quickly, even if we must re-learn hiking and walking which is way more primitive than I would enjoy!!!

Only the EnvironMentalist/Pagan dirt worshipping Luddite creeple people want us back on our feet, grinding our nuts on the rocks like a bunch of ignorant savages!!!

70 posted on 05/20/2006 9:23:09 PM PDT by SierraWasp (Without consistent core conservatives in charge, the GOP is fast becoming the Gelded Old Party!!!)
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To: editor-surveyor

BTTT


71 posted on 05/21/2006 3:13:46 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: editor-surveyor; NormsRevenge

"Somebody needs to do something now."

'Somebody' needed to do something decades ago. *Rolleyes* Why energy independence is so HARD for our Government/Legislators to figure out is beyond me! It's not like there aren't a hundred great ideas posted here every d@mn day! Rush uses us as Show Prep...why don't our CongressCritters use us in the same manner? ;)

But I thought the new "craze" was Ethonol? From what I've read, we're going to tear up all of The Heartland and plant corn and soybeans and sawgrass and sugar beets to fuel our cars. ;)

"Immobilized people are easier to control."

Exactly. The Socialists want to shove us all back into little boxes in The City, packed in like rats.


72 posted on 05/21/2006 6:22:33 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: editor-surveyor

Years ago, there used to be something called a "carbide engine", which was fueled by dropping pieces of Calcium Carbide in water, and collecting the fumes that came up from the surface of the water, then using these fumes to fuel an internal-combustion engine.

I guess the reaction was the formation of acetylene gas from the carbide as it combined with water, and the other byproduct was Calcium Hydroxide. The acetylene mixed with the oxygen in air within a collection chanber, no attempt to use any kind of carburetor, the mixture was just sucked into the intake manifold.

Calcium Carbide was some kind of byproduct in the reduction of iron ore in the presence of coke and limestone.


73 posted on 05/21/2006 12:35:36 PM PDT by alloysteel
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To: hootiebird

"Now let's hope we don't get $20 a barrel oilor lower that will
effectively kill it."

Drill California, on and off shore and execute it immediatly!!!!

It doesn't deserve a slow death.


74 posted on 05/21/2006 4:35:22 PM PDT by dalereed
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To: NormsRevenge
hopes to meet Environmental Protection Agency automotive 2007 emission standards.

Crisis in a nutshell. Edison had no EPA. His inventions were at first crude and inefficient. His first light bulb was very inefficient. Gradually it was perfected.... wthout an EPA. True of most inventors.

Some think government is the solution. Some think government is the problem. - RR

75 posted on 05/22/2006 10:33:07 AM PDT by spintreebob
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To: PatrickHenry; b_sharp; neutrality; anguish; SeaLion; Fractal Trader; grjr21; bitt; KevinDavis; ...
I bookmarked this thread when I was out of town and just remembered it. The ping's obviously a bit late, but I think it's a very intriguing article, so here it is!

FutureTechPing!
An emergent technologies list covering biomedical
research, fusion power, nanotech, AI robotics, and
other related fields. FReepmail to join or drop.

76 posted on 05/25/2006 8:55:34 PM PDT by AntiGuv ("..I do things for political expediency.." - Sen. John McCain on FOX News)
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To: TexasTransplant
Hydrogen embrittlement is a big problem for most unprotected metals and organic based plastics. Also Hydrogen molecules are real small and will leak out of the seals, posing fire/explosion hazards. There is a reason they call it "rocket science."
77 posted on 05/25/2006 9:08:13 PM PDT by anymouse
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To: NormsRevenge

How about a vehicle with a toilet in place of the driver's seat? Runs on your own crap.


78 posted on 05/26/2006 8:05:22 AM PDT by strategofr (H-mentor:"pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it"Hillary's Secret War,Poe,p.198)
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To: anymouse
>>>>>"Hydrogen embrittlement is a big problem for most unprotected metals and organic based plastics"<<<<

I got fairly exited about Ceramic Engines back in those days, 1975, (being heavily invested in "Roger Billings Hydrogen Homestead", the man is a Fraud and it is a shame, he set back Research and implementation of Hydrogen by years with his shameful pseudo Science hype)

I still think that Hydrogen is viable fuel, just not yet.

TT
79 posted on 05/26/2006 6:19:35 PM PDT by TexasTransplant (NEMO ME IMPUNE LACESSET)
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