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Commercial Hydrogen is currently produced by cracking oil or natural gas, so it is a derivative hydrocarbon product.

The other method of producing H2 is electrolysis which requires a large amount of electricity, and is cost inefficient. If you need to produce electricity to crack water, why not just use the electricity to power the vehicle?

Having said that, there is maybe a future for H2 in air travel - but the safety issue is horrendous, as is the weight issue for high pressure, or the temperature issue for cryo H2.

by senilebiker on Tue Sep 22nd, 2009 at 10:08:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I didn't say I agree with Hugo about the hydrogen economy!

I'm a cynic myself.

We need more energy density, particularly for planes.  I like the work on ammonia etc being done by the likes of Stranded Wind often to be found posting here....

But tiny fuel cells could be replaced with tiny batteries/ capacitors, of course, and naturally I'm a big fan of the enterprise model, which aligns everyone's interests towards a sustainable outcome...

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Sep 22nd, 2009 at 11:24:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... towards a sustainable outcome".

Supposedly what our elected representatives are meant to do, though they confuse their own select circle with 'everybody'. Their alignment should be with a pock-marked wall.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Tue Sep 22nd, 2009 at 12:00:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There are already designs on the drawing board to make very efficient versions of H2, including ammonia, directly from offshore wind, because we find the wind and the water together.  if the delivery technologies, like fuel cells or direct IC engines, progress as planned, wind will deliver the higher density H2.

The first versions of floating wind-powered hydrogen ships that i saw were in '74.  i believe that was 1974.  the technology has progressed some since then.  The idea is to combine a floating foundation with the necessary desalinization and H2 production stages rather than shipping the electricity back onshore, since the water is already there.

Floating also means it works outside the North Sea, like in Japan or Argentina.  it could even be done in Patagonia, which has by far the most concentrated wind resource in the world, and shipped as various products just like crude.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Tue Sep 22nd, 2009 at 06:07:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
So instead of shipping guano from Chile or from Patagonia it'll be wind-powered ammonia?

Nice.

I saw some interesting technology the other day. Wind powered vessels.....whatever next....



"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Tue Sep 22nd, 2009 at 07:18:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It would never work in practice. There would always be days without wind when you'd have to use your nuclear reactor.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 02:22:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Or sit at port waiting for the wind to pick up.

If we became less impatient life would suddenly be easier.

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 04:08:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That is an important point. Many (most) goods are not time-critical. The only reasons it matters whether a container full of computers is one or two or three months underway is that 1) sailors have to be paid for their time and 2) having things in the pipeline reduces the relative return on investment.

But with proper warehousing, you would not lose revenues in the absolute sense. And in a full world - where production is constrained by access to raw materials - absolute revenues make more sense as a measure of firm health than return on investment.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 05:27:10 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But warehousing is out of fashion, it's all Just In Time™ now!

En un viejo país ineficiente, algo así como España entre dos guerras civiles, poseer una casa y poca hacienda y memoria ninguna. -- Gil de Biedma
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 05:56:31 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I had a manger once who was so cautious - and always wanted so much prior justification for doing something different - I dubbed him a "just too late" manager.  A bit like the whole cliamte change control thing?

notes from no w here
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 05:27:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The very earliest version, from the cover of National Geo.

Sure i've already posted this here.  Later versions had very sophisticated submerged hydrogen production stations.  All designed by the chief designer of the world's first nuclear submarine, Wm. E. Heronemus.  (My mentor.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 10:50:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so knowledgeable about ammonia as a fuel, but the additional nitrogen molecule will add significantly to the weight of the fuel.

Having worked in the Industrial gas industry for twenty years, I am familiar with the problems of production, handling and storage of hydrogen, and simply put, of all the common gases, hydrogen is the one that gives rise to the most safety issues.

The first liquid H2 plant in Europe was built in the eighties, and as a product, it was a failure,because of the transport/storage problems. The most significant application was for space flight. For the rest, compressed hydrogen worked out just fine.

by senilebiker on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 02:20:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Compressed is OK.  the first H2 pipeline was built from somewhere in the Ruhr valley to near Köln in the late 20's (article says 30's, believe it's wrong).  It's remained in full use to the present.  notice what's happening now.

LINK


"There was a study two or three years ago which calculated that around 300,000 cars could be operated by the excess hydrogen. That is plenty for the short term, we just need to gain access to it. The plan is to build five refuelling stations along the route which are connected to the main pipeline by smaller ones. We have asked Air Liquide to calculate the cost per kilometre of these smaller connecting pipelines so we can get a clearer view of the infrastructure costs," explains Koch.

Another option, he says, is to build filling stations directly at some of the chemical sites along the pipeline. At a plant near Cologne, for example, there is a chlorine electrolyser which can produce hydrogen at very low cost: as low as €2 to €3 per kg, compared to around €12 - €25 per kg at a hydrogen filling station in Berlin.



"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 10:44:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
1  million cubic feet of H2 is about 1/15th of what is used to launch the space shuttle each time.Liquefied, it would fill one 11,000 gal container, which wouldn't run 300,000 cars.

Even 1 miilion cubic feet per day wouldn't be enough as this would work out about 3 cubic feet at atmospheric pressure per car per day.

by senilebiker on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 11:02:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd trust the people behind the NRW project, but not the journalist.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Anaïs Nin
by Crazy Horse on Wed Sep 23rd, 2009 at 12:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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