Skip to comments.Hydrogen cars: Fuel-cell technology coming on fast
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.
Not unless we import a few zillion tons of it.........
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.
why does this sound like Dick Tracy, “the nation that controls magnetism will control the universe?”
Whats more abundant that Hydrogen? Water perhaps? :)
Actually its iron isnt it?
Glenn Beck said 200m to build 200 cars (there's your limited production)
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.
Invest in desalinization industires.
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.
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’.
Folks, don’t sell your pickup yet. These waterbug-sized cars are not in our immediate future.
We’re gonna make clean hydrogen from dirty coal.
You're right on the money, but he also says a lot of other untruthful statements. To whit:
Well, really the entire first paragraph
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.
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.
“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.
And the vast majority of it is bound to either Carbon, or Oxygen. The former is an energy source, the latter is not.
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.
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.
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.
I understand all that.
I’m questioning why they don’t see the basic flaws of their argument.
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.
The problem is it takes more energy to break the molecular bond than the resulting hydrogen atom will yield.
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?
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.
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".
Yes. the earth is self regulating for the most part.
Excellent observation! No doubt, given time H2O will be classified as a pollutant just as they have done to CO2.
Its all “crazy talk”
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.
And where to fill up?
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?
One hot steamy, seamy city!
Hydrogen is the most abundant, but its always bound to something.
Iron is the most stable.
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!
No more California wildfires...............
Because they don't want to. Ignorance is curable unless it is deliberate.
BUT... WATER VAPOR is a GREENHOUSE GAS (most people don’t seem to know this).
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.
You get back less, not the same..........
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!”
On Earth, silicon is the second most abundant element (after oxygen) in the crust, making up 25.7% of the crust by mass.
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.
The initial concept is for at-home hydrogen stations using electrolysis to use electricity (from coal) to split housewater into hydrogen and oxygen.
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.
Very good point. Water vapor is the primary element involved in the Greehouse Effect. These idiots are going to kill us all!
“”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.