Hydrogen fuel

TheOneMarine

Well-Known Member
LOS ANGELES - City Councilman Bill Rosendahl drove into a corner gas station with a big grin on his face. He stepped out of a sports utility vehicle, pumped fuel into the tank and declared it "the most joyous moment I've had since being elected to office."
That's because Rosendahl was marking the opening of California's first retail hydrogen station on Thursday, and the Chevrolet Equinox he was riding in emits nothing but water vapor.
"This is the car of the future," he said. "Let's get rid of gasoline."

While there are few hydrogen powered fuel-cell vehicles on the road now, supporters hope the station will show the public that hydrogen can become a mainstream, eco-friendly alternative to petroleum. State officials see it as part of the "Hydrogen Highway," a developing network of fueling stations to promote commercialization of hydrogen-powered cars.
"It was only a few years ago that this was just a concept, now you can see it, touch it and feel it," Fred Joseck, technology analyst of the U.S. Department of Energy's hydrogen program, said at the opening ceremony.

The Shell station near Interstate 405, which was charging $4.59 per gallon of regular gas Thursday, features one pump with a bright blue "Hydrogen" label above a video monitor that dispenses the fuel by the kilogram. Hydrogen is made and stored in a tank above the dispenser.
For now, the fuel is available to roughly 100 hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road in California, all of them being used in demonstration programs by motor companies, said Roy Kim, a spokesman with the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Because all the cars are in those programs, drivers won't be charged for filling up at the station.
General Motors Corp. has 80 Chevrolet Equinox fuel-cell vehicles in California, Washington, D.C., and the New York City metropolitan area as part of its "Project Driveway" market test. BMW has lent several Hydrogen 7 Series sedans to Hollywood celebrities to tool around town, and soon Honda plans to lease 200 FCX Clarity hydrogen fuel cell cars for $600 a month.
There are 25 other hydrogen stations in the state, but they're mostly fenced off and designed to service these experimental fleets. The Shell hydrogen station, part of a regular gas station, is the first that's open to the public on the West Coast and has a visitor center to educate drivers about the use of hydrogen cars. Shell operates another retail station in Washington, D.C.

Auto makers have said a key hurdle to mass producing the cars is the cost and lack of hydrogen filling stations.
"That's where we really need to start building a hydrogen infrastructure," said Analisa Bevan, chief of the sustainable transportation technology branch of the California Air Resources Board. "We're hearing from the automakers that a core network of about 10 stations would work well to support early users of hydrogen, and then growing that network to about 40 stations would meet the needs of the vast majority of Los Angeles-area drivers."
To that end, the Air Resources Board will provide $7.7 million to help fund the opening of three more hydrogen fueling stations, Bevan said.
I really hope this works out. I'd shell out $600 a month for a lease if this worked and got rid of the oil dependance and made all those involved in oil go broke.
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
I really hope this works out. I'd shell out $600 a month for a lease if this worked and got rid of the oil dependance and made all those involved in oil go broke.

I would not spend 600 a month, but I am sure they would come down in price if they were mass marketed. I would love a fuel cell vehicle. How great would it be to sit at a red light and not have to breathe in all those terrible fumes?!
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
The problem of course is that hydrogen vehicle costs over $1 million dollars to produce, and most of that is hard costs and not research & development. The catalysts used in the hydrogen fuel cell is platinum after all.

Hope he doesn't park it in the ghetto! forget the rims, go straight for the fuel cell!
 

TheOneMarine

Well-Known Member
The problem of course is that hydrogen vehicle costs over $1 million dollars to produce, and most of that is hard costs and not research & development. The catalysts used in the hydrogen fuel cell is platinum after all.

Hope he doesn't park it in the ghetto! forget the rims, go straight for the fuel cell!
The new Honda being produced for 2010 is currently $500,000 to build. Cost is comming down, it is mass production and a lack of refuel points that is the deterrent currently. Only California, Florida and a few European nations have plans for major Hydrogen highways, if the government would subsidize a little more it could become popular sooner, but as it stands, it will be at least a decade before the cars can be mass produced and there are enough stations to refill at. Plans are for 25 stations in CA by 2010. In the US there are well over 600,000 crude oil gas stations currently. Without federal gov't help, you do the math. Again, I'll even pay more toll roads if it goes to this cause.
 

kellwolf

Piece of Trash
Wasn't there a big to-do with the current prez at a press conference talking about how hydrogen was the future, blah blah blah. Doesn't look like the government is rushing to help out, but it made for good press coverage.

Also, isn't California the state that used to have a law saying XX% of cars on the road would be electric by 20XX, but then repealed that law?

As for toll roads, I happily took the 408 and 417 just to keep off I-4. :)
 

TheOneMarine

Well-Known Member
Wasn't there a big to-do with the current prez at a press conference talking about how hydrogen was the future, blah blah blah. Doesn't look like the government is rushing to help out, but it made for good press coverage.

Also, isn't California the state that used to have a law saying XX% of cars on the road would be electric by 20XX, but then repealed that law?

As for toll roads, I happily took the 408 and 417 just to keep off I-4. :)

lol, I hear you on the I-4 thing. I use the 417 like it's going out of style. I just wish the money would go to improvements. We'll see what the new '09 government does, but people will start revolting if congress sucks as much as they have here lately.
 

Sidious

Well-Known Member
I know next to nothing about the power of hydrogen but can it be used to power piston or turbine aircraft? I know the level of hydrocarbons in the fuel of today provide the energy for combustion, can hyrdogen replace that?
 

The Gardener

Terrafirma Phobic
It would be great if this came around! and to get rid of the stench of Jet A. Sounds nice but I won't be holding my breath (literally) for that one.
 

Wild_Weasel

Well-Known Member
I really hope this works out. I'd shell out $600 a month for a lease if this worked and got rid of the oil dependance and made all those involved in oil go broke.
I'm not completely certain, but, from what I remember, one of the issues with Hydrogen is that the primary source of it is still from crude oil.

So unless they're getting this Hydrogen from water or something else it's probably not going to do much to reduce our oil dependance. :(



Edit... Question
And anyone know...since Hydrogen weighs less than air, wouldn't that have the possibility of being a REALLY good benefit for aircraft? (not sure if it has to be stored in a liquid state or something, though)
 

granlistillo

Well-Known Member
I'm not completely certain, but, from what I remember, one of the issues with Hydrogen is that the primary source of it is still from crude oil.

So unless they're getting this Hydrogen from water or something else it's probably not going to do much to reduce our oil dependance. :(



Edit... Question
And anyone know...since Hydrogen weighs less than air, wouldn't that have the possibility of being a REALLY good benefit for aircraft? (not sure if it has to be stored in a liquid state or something, though)
1. Hydrogen is most cheaply made by steam reforming natural gas, not from crude oil. It can be made from renewable energy by hydrolisis of water, with no carbon involved.
2. Concerning the weight, and density... Hydrogen is extremely difficult to compress as a gas. Hence the extremely limited range of fuelcell cars. in the space program, liquid hydrogen is used in the shuttle for fuel and in the fuel cells, but liquid hydrogen must be chilled to near absolute zero before it will turn into a liquid. Until the storage problem is solved, this is not a feasible solution. There have been some advances with metal hydrides and other compounds to carry the hydrogen but elemental hydrogen as a solution is not going to be a solution in the foreseeable future.
 

Patrick

Well-Known Member
Lets not forget the fact that although a hydrogen powered fuel cell is certainly cleaner than internal combustion, and (depending upon the source of the hydrogen) does not rely on crude oil, it is still poorly efficient as there is plenty of waste heat, just like internal combustion.

The only way to have abundant sources of hydrogen for the masses, is hydrolysis, which requires significant amounts of electrical energy. Unless we're getting that energy from geothermal, wind, solar, etc, or more likely, nuclear (currently fission, but if anyone can figure out fusion we'll be ALL set). If we're still burning coal to produce electricity to produce hydrogen to power our cars, we're not really making much forward progress, aside from the fact that though coal (or oil) is fossil fuel, your power plant reaps some 90% of the energy out of the fuel and turns it into electricity, your car, reaps maybe 30% of the energy of a gallon of gas to propel you forward. That simple fact, to me, is the largest problem with internal combustion. However, diesel is significantly more efficient, and I have never understood why American's don't want modern diesels the way the Europeans do.

As to hydrogen powered airplanes, in order to cram enough of it to be useful, it would have to be stored as a liquid, which is difficult. But sure, turbines would burn it just fine.
 

TheOneMarine

Well-Known Member
I'll have to find the process for you guys but Granillisto is right in that it no longer requires crude to make. They said in the report that it is made right there at the station by a combination of oxygen and chems and can get 280 miles today on a full tank and where as it costs the most fuel efficient vehicle $55 to fill today, even the larger tanks would only be $25. Now you are right, if the energy needs to be produced electrically for the cell then it could pose the problem that it still comes from oil, there is no way around that until we get the power grid changed over. But they can make it into liquid pretty easily now they're saying, and hopefully it can be used on jet engines soon. $200 bbl oil and there won't be any US airlines to try it on anyway.
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
I'll have to find the process for you guys but Granillisto is right in that it no longer requires crude to make. They said in the report that it is made right there at the station by a combination of oxygen and chems and can get 280 miles today on a full tank and where as it costs the most fuel efficient vehicle $55 to fill today, even the larger tanks would only be $25. Now you are right, if the energy needs to be produced electrically for the cell then it could pose the problem that it still comes from oil, there is no way around that until we get the power grid changed over. But they can make it into liquid pretty easily now they're saying, and hopefully it can be used on jet engines soon. $200 bbl oil and there won't be any US airlines to try it on anyway.
Honda has developed a fueling station complete with its own power supply, solar. It has commercial and personal applications.

http://world.honda.com/FuelCell/FCX/station/
 

CoffeeIcePapers

Well-Hung Member
Am I just dense, or what?

If it takes Natural Gas to make the hydrogen fuel, why don't we just convert cars to work on natural gas? Don't we have this capability already? Wouldn't this be cheaper, in the long run, as well?
 

granlistillo

Well-Known Member
Am I just dense, or what?

If it takes Natural Gas to make the hydrogen fuel, why don't we just convert cars to work on natural gas? Don't we have this capability already? Wouldn't this be cheaper, in the long run, as well?
This has been done a long time, say at least 20 years with alternative fuel tax credit to boot. My grandpa's pickup we drove around working on his oil wells on his ranch in Oklahoma when i was a kid ran on natural gas.
then there is methanol, propane...
blah blah blah
This would lead to another conversation on infrastructure, markets and the oil bidness that should go to the lav...
 

averyrm

Well-Known Member
The catalysts used in the hydrogen fuel cell is platinum after all.
So is the catalyst in your car right now, assuming it's not pre-80's. ;)

Just wait though, these will be all the rage and in 50 years people will be talking about global cooling from all of the increased cloud cover from the water vapor exhaust...
 

Maurus

The Great Gazoo
Lets not forget the fact that although a hydrogen powered fuel cell is certainly cleaner than internal combustion, and (depending upon the source of the hydrogen) does not rely on crude oil, it is still poorly efficient as there is plenty of waste heat, just like internal combustion.

The only way to have abundant sources of hydrogen for the masses, is hydrolysis, which requires significant amounts of electrical energy. Unless we're getting that energy from geothermal, wind, solar, etc, or more likely, nuclear (currently fission, but if anyone can figure out fusion we'll be ALL set). If we're still burning coal to produce electricity to produce hydrogen to power our cars, we're not really making much forward progress, aside from the fact that though coal (or oil) is fossil fuel, your power plant reaps some 90% of the energy out of the fuel and turns it into electricity, your car, reaps maybe 30% of the energy of a gallon of gas to propel you forward. That simple fact, to me, is the largest problem with internal combustion. However, diesel is significantly more efficient, and I have never understood why American's don't want modern diesels the way the Europeans do.

As to hydrogen powered airplanes, in order to cram enough of it to be useful, it would have to be stored as a liquid, which is difficult. But sure, turbines would burn it just fine.
Take a look at what our wonderful EPA has done to discourage car makers from creating diesel cars for our country. That is one reason we don't have them like the Europeans do. I still say using coal-to-gas is the best bet for us and nuclear power for energy needs.

Also don't forget that we wont be off of fossil fuels for a long long long long long long long time. It isn't just gas that is made from crude oil. Considering all the things we use every day that are made from plastics, I think we have a long way before we are off crude oil. More reason to start drilling oil, digging coal, and building nukes.

Also when will these hydrogen cars become affordable? $600 a month is extremely steep for a car. I fully own my jeep and only pay about $100 a month in gas, sometimes less.

Also don't forget about our other forms of transportation such as oh say flight. This stuff wont be able to get off fossil fuels for years to come.
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
Just wait though, these will be all the rage and in 50 years people will be talking about global cooling from all of the increased cloud cover from the water vapor exhaust...
You're probably not far off with that comment! :D
 

wheelsup

Well-Known Member
Take a look at what our wonderful EPA has done to discourage car makers from creating diesel cars for our country.
To be fair, diesels were pretty dirty. The new crop is definitely something to look at though.

Also when will these hydrogen cars become affordable? $600 a month is extremely steep for a car. I fully own my jeep and only pay about $100 a month in gas, sometimes less.
I would say that's actually not bad. $600 includes mx and insurance. Reports are the car is worth around $10 million a piece so I'd say that's a steal!

But I'm with you, it doesn't make sense to trade in a paid-for car that you don't drive much to a monthly lease, however for people buying a new car who drive a lot it might work.

That being said, this car is extremely impractical and probably won't go anywhere. I'm still holding out hope for algae derived oil.
 
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