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Tue Mar 24, 2015, 09:05 PM

 

95% of the hydrogen produced in the United States is made by natural gas reforming in large plants.

So just remember this next time you read about the fabulous new hydrogen cars coming out.

They will trap you in a habit that only corporation owned stations can support.

And they call it green, seriously. BP Chevron ConocoPhillips and Shell are early investors in the scheme. It doesn't take a genius to figure out why.

US Department of Energy:

Today, 95% of the hydrogen produced in the United States is made by natural gas reforming in large central plants.

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Reply 95% of the hydrogen produced in the United States is made by natural gas reforming in large plants. (Original post)
NYC_SKP Mar 2015 OP
mindwalker_i Mar 2015 #1
NYC_SKP Mar 2015 #2
mackdaddy Mar 2015 #3
NYC_SKP Mar 2015 #4
hunter Mar 2015 #5
nationalize the fed Mar 2015 #7
NYC_SKP Mar 2015 #9
nationalize the fed Mar 2015 #11
hunter Mar 2015 #14
nationalize the fed Mar 2015 #6
NYC_SKP Mar 2015 #8
nationalize the fed Mar 2015 #10
NickB79 Mar 2015 #12
NYC_SKP Mar 2015 #13
StevieM Mar 2015 #20
mackdaddy Mar 2015 #15
NYC_SKP Mar 2015 #16
mackdaddy Mar 2015 #17
NYC_SKP Mar 2015 #19
NNadir Mar 2015 #18

Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Tue Mar 24, 2015, 10:52 PM

1. Ok, I'll bite

If hydrogen vehicles become even somewhat common, there will be a lot of pressure (pardon the pun) to find new ways to produce hydrogen. Recently there have been some very interesting developments in catalysts to make electrolysis more efficient without requiring platinum. Combined with solar, that could make the south very popular.

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Response to mindwalker_i (Reply #1)

Tue Mar 24, 2015, 11:08 PM

2. Even with solar and more economical electrolizers, the infrastructure will control costs...

 

You will be owned by the owners of the stations, the distributors, just like we are now with gasoline.

And, the technical details of production and transport of hydrogen prove that it's an inefficient scheme compared to simpler battery electric vehicles.

My car is outside charging right now, and it was charging last night at my condo, all household current.

30 miles all electric costs less than one dollar.

Here is the original plan hatched between oil companies, car companies, and the US department of energy under Bush. It's still alive.

The Partnership is an effort to examine and advance the pre-competitive, high-risk research needed to develop the component and infrastructure technologies necessary to enable a full range of affordable cars and light trucks, and the fueling infrastructure for them that will reduce the dependence of the nation's personal transportation system on imported oil and minimize harmful vehicle emissions, without sacrificing freedom of mobility and freedom of vehicle choice.

The partners are: the DOE, BP America, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Shell Hydrogen LLC, and the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR)—a legal partnership among DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.

PDF: http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/fc_fuel_partnership_plan.pdf


Read further and you'll find that the plan is very specifically to replace gas stations with hydrogen stations selling fuel at a profit for about the same price as gas, and they don't give a shit if it's done with solar or with natural gas.

Trust me, they just want to sell us natural gas and call it green. It's much more sensible to use solar to charge batteries.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 03:58 PM

3. "Hydrogen" cars have several problems.

First they are electrical motor driven vehicles just like current EVs. The Fuel Cell is in essence just a special hydrogen driven battery. That is, the hydrogen storage tank and the fuel cell are equivalent to the chemical battery in any current electrical vehicle. Instead of electrically charging a chemical battery to "refuel", the hydrogen storage tank is refilled.

Right now the hydrogen is stored at tremendous pressures in very special tanks. Up to 10 thousand psi storage tanks and lines to be effective. Propane tanks are by comparison about 150psi.

It takes very special (electrically driven) compressors to pump the hydrogen up to these high pressures into these storage tanks to refill the tanks in the cars. Again all of the hoses, connectors and valves have to be capable of handling these extreme pressures.

Another problem with these special high pressure tanks is that they have a fairly short operating life. The tanks will have an expiration date stamped into them. The one I saw needed to be replaced every 5 to 7 years, and were expensive.

It is not that all of these can't be overcome, but I do not see them as practical yet.

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Response to mackdaddy (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 05:05 PM

4. IMO, not practical ever, not for mainstream transport.

 

All you say is true and what's more, contaminants muck things up.

And, even if the source is solar, H2 is less efficient if used to drive electric motors than use of batteries.

Key to the entire discussion is that 2015 is the year selected to push hydrogen vehicles and begin rolling out fueling infrastructure.

They are intent on discouraging widespread use of PHEVs and BEVs.

I'm here to fight that plan, the plan to keep us dependent upon fuel dealers.

Thank you for the reply.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 05:53 PM

5. Yep. Hydrogen "fuel" is just a way to keep fossil fuel incorporated in business.

I did the math in the early 'eighties and angrily burned a few bridges behind me when I couldn't make the math work.

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Response to hunter (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:26 PM

7. How much did a 486 Computer cost in the '80s

and what was it capable of?

I did the math in the early 'eighties and angrily burned a few bridges behind me when I couldn't make the math work.


"in the early 80's!" ROFL Have you checked the latest prices of solar PV panels? No wonder you can't understand renewable hydrogen.

here's what a 5 megabyte hard drive used to look like



Aren't you the guy that thinks Nuclear energy is a good way forward and Chernobyl was good for Ukraine? Sheesh.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:47 PM

9. Your pipedream will forever be so. The fuel of the future will forever be just that.

 

Show us one piece of evidence that H2 can ever match battery to motor using the same source of electricity, source to wheels.

You can't.

The cork is out of the bottle, EVs busted loose with Tesla and now Ford, GM, BMW, Cooper, and dozens of others.

There's no putting it back.

You'll be lucky if you ever, even once, see a fucking Toyota Mirai on the streets of an American city.

Me, at least I've driven a Mercedes FCEV, and been loaned for research Mitsubishi and Ford and other electrics.

BECAUSE I'M IN THE FUCKING ENERGY INDUSTRY AND I KNOW ABOUT THESE THINGS.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:08 PM

11. Having to resort to using foul language

means you have nothing else.


BECAUSE I'M IN THE FUCKING ENERGY INDUSTRY AND I KNOW ABOUT THESE THINGS.


ROFL! That's very interesting, after myself being accused day and night of working for "big oil". I'd ask you to elaborate but frankly I just don't care.


Time for me to bow out here, have fun with your batteries.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:19 PM

14. I'm the radical environmentalist patiently waiting for the automobile age to end.

Fossil fuels are abhorrent to me, and I'm rather indifferent about modern nuclear power in comparison.

I think the best reason to oppose nuclear power (and most especially clean fusion nuclear power, if that technology is ever developed) is that it supports the growth of our environmentally destructive economic system. What we call "productivity" today is directly proportional to the damage we do to the earth's environment and the human spirit.

If we must have cars, then electric and hybrid electric cars parked under solar awnings to recharge during the day seem like a pretty good deal. The idea seems to terrify the fuel industry. Imagine people who commute back and forth to work all year without ever having to stop at the gas station. You end up with a situation where even medium sized cities have only one or two fuel stations right next to a freeway ramp and nowhere else.

There's not really any comparison between computers and energy technology. We don't really know yet how far we can push information and computer technology, and the quantum limits are still far beyond our reach. But the laws of physics regarding transportation, lighting, chemical synthesis, etc., can't be pushed beyond well established thermodynamic limits, and with efficiencies of thirty percent and beyond in many of these technologies the cost of the equipment becomes the greater concern.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:18 PM

6. Just because something has been done a certain way in the past

does not mean that is the way it has to be done in the future. Why is this such a difficult concept? Are you Julian Cox?

Most cookies in the past were made with lard. Now very few cookies are made with lard. Capisce?

For the ten thousandth time:

Hydrogen made from renewable energy is the key. Japan, Germany, Iceland, England and Scotland can grasp this idea.

Solar Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future by Mario Pagliaro
(Think Mario is stupid? http://www.amazon.com/Mario-Pagliaro/e/B001JSBQTQ)

Renewable hydrogen produced using solar energy to split water is the energy fuel of the future. Accelerated innovation in both major domains of solar energy (photovoltaics and concentrated solar power) has resulted in the rapid fall of the solar electricity price, opening the route to a number of practical applications using solar H2. New thermochemical water splitting using concentrated solar power (CSP) as well as CSP coupled to electrolysis has the potential to convert and store solar energy into clean hydrogen using a tiny fraction of the world's desert area to meet our present and future global energy needs.

Photovoltaics, in turn, has the versatility required for supporting the creation of a distributed energy generation infrastructure in developing countries especially now that the price of PV solar electricity has fallen to unprecedented low levels. In all these cases, solar H2 will be used to store energy and release it on demand either for fuel cells (to power homes and boats) or internal combustion engines and turbines (for powering cars, trucks and in thermoelectric power units)...more
http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Hydrogen-Future-Mario-Pagliaro/dp/1849731950/


Why do you ignore the following:



20 Tons a year. That's a pretty good start for solar hydrogen in ENGLAND, isn't it.







Obviously it's a waste of time to try to discuss new things with people that have their mind so firmly made up that they ignore countless examples of new and better ways of doing things. Have fun replacing your expensive battery- you haven't included that cost in your figures, just like Julian Cox ignores renewable hydrogen.

H2 made from renewables is the ultimate decentralized energy. Watch what happens as the rest of the world gets it.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #6)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 08:40 PM

8. Hydrogen made from renewables is inefficient. Chevron, BP, Shell, Conoco, all want us to move to H2

 

Question:

Why do you want us to remain dependent on fuel dealers?

How can you possibly compare cost per mile from Hydrogen with Batteries given the same source.

You can't. It's been proven over and over again. My 2-4 cents/mile will never be matched with H2, even from the sun.

These demonstration projects you keep promoting here are neither scalable nor replicable nor economical even if we imagine future technologies.

It just isn't there, and the Department of Energy and NREL documents prove it.

March, 2006, Bush: FreedomCAR and Fuel Partnership Plan

They specifically say that they want to fast track adoption of hydrogen fueling infrastructure competitive with petroleum but using domestic sources, not much about renewables, really.

The partners are: the DOE, BP America, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corporation, Shell Hydrogen LLC, and the United States Council for Automotive Research (USCAR)—a legal partnership among DaimlerChrysler Corporation, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors Corporation.

PDF: http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/fc_fuel_partnership_plan.pdf


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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:02 PM

10. Hydrogen made from renewables is free

after the equipment is paid for. What part of that is so hard to understand?

My 2-4 cents/mile will never be matched with H2, even from the sun.


Once again, you are not factoring in the cost of replacement batteries OR the environmental cost of making and disposing of these batteries. One day the battery in every Tesla on the road will need to be replaced at an estimated cost of between $15- 20,000. Think about that for a second. Who will want to buy a used Tesla? A replacement Leaf battery is $5,000 + tax and installation. That's why you can buy used Leafs so cheap. Don't believe me, just look around. Battery only cars are dinosaurs.

These demonstration projects you keep promoting here are neither scalable nor replicable nor economical even if we imagine future technologies.


And there you have it Ladies and Gentlemen. The definition of a waste of time. "American Exceptionalism" at its finest.

Batteries will always get better (by leaps and bounds they say!) but H2 is stuck in the past.

You will not stop the hydrogen revolution. You can take that to the bank. Toyota, Honda and Hyundai agree with me. Time will tell who is right. Sooner rather than later.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #10)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:13 PM

12. "after the equipment is paid for"

Of course! Why didn't we all think of that in the first place?

I mean, who DOESN'T have $500,000 just lying around with nothing better to do, like your favorite example, Mr. Strizki, and his gazillion solar panels and hydrogen-powered yacht?

The $5000 replacement battery pack for a LEAF looks pretty damn reasonable in comparison.

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Response to NickB79 (Reply #12)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 09:18 PM

13. Even with solar, H2 is a dud. Breakdowns common.

 

Contamination just from the atmosphere kills the PEM.
That's one of the reasons hydrogen reforming of natural gas is common.

Solar hydrogen-- distraction, silly, greenwashing the dirty industry.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #13)

Sun Mar 29, 2015, 01:23 PM

20. I wonder if some kind of compromise may emerge. (And I would be interested in your thoughts on this

since you seem to know a lot about the subject).

Is it possible that hydrogen would be more economical if used for buses and trains, while leaving cars to electric?

And do you think that flow battery cars might be an option down the line?

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #8)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:24 PM

15. Anhydrous Ammonia would be a much better Hydrogen fuel for big central dealers

Anhydrous Ammonia is NH3, three hydrogen atoms and an nitrogen atom. It is carbon free. It turns out that it can be contained at fairly low pressures 150 psi like propane cylinders, and most current internal combustion engines can be easily modified to run it it instead of gasoline or diesel.

There is already a significant infrastructure for NH3 as it is used in industry and farmers inject it directly into their fields as nitrogen fertilizer. There are already interstate pipelines carrying NH3. NH3 can easily be made using any renewable energy source including renewables. One of the plans in using any excess energy from large off shore wind generators was to use the excess to make NH3 using the salt from saltwater oceans.

I have not studied the details, but there are supposedly some fuel cells which can take NH3 directly as fuel, and there would be much less contamination problems.

A lower pressure storage tank for NH3 would be much less expensive than those for high pressure hydrogen gas, and a very interesting fact is that there are MORE hydrogen atoms in a tank of Anhydrous ammonia NH3 than in a tank of equal volume of 10,000 psi pure hydrogen. It would be very easy to have an on-board NH3 fuel tank to get a reasonable range from either Internal combustion or Fuel Cell EVs.

The only real downside is NH3 leaks can be dangerous, but then so are gasoline or propane leaks. But NH3 leaks are not explosive or as inherently flammable.

http://nh3fuelassociation.org/

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Response to mackdaddy (Reply #15)

Wed Mar 25, 2015, 11:29 PM

16. All true, but fuel cells of every type have a long way to go before they can be considered reliable.

 

And efficient.

I had a small multi-fuel fuel cell that could work with ethanol, methane, propane, etc, and might have worked with NH3, I've no idea.

Use in an ICU might be cleaner but not terribly efficient and then you lose all the simplicity found with a Battery Electric Vehicle.

The only downside of a BEV is charging time coupled with range, and this could easily be solved with swappable battery packs.

For now, I still love my Volt.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #16)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 04:57 PM

17. I taught a Fuel Cell class at the community college level.

Last edited Thu Mar 26, 2015, 06:40 PM - Edit history (1)

And we had an EV program, and CNG conversions on autos, as well as a solar and small wind programs.

One of the most important classes though was the Economics of Advanced energy class where I would take the students through the hard and fast real dollar costs and benefits of various renewable energy sources.

A lot of these items are possible, and many have advantages, but if it is not competitive financially, It is ultimately a no-go.

The biggest problem with most of these "Alternatives" is that those promoting them only tell half the story. You have to look at the entire life cycle to get a true evaluation. If you only look at the benefits without a true accounting of the "costs" economic, engineering design, or societal you do not have enough true information for a real evaluation. Having half the story is what I call Half assed economics. (see also trickle down economics,-- which half of a wheel can you do without?)

Solar is a good example. It was not really competitive with central coal fired generators, but the equipment costs have dropped by 75% in the last 10 years, and on a level playing field it is now cheaper besides much cleaner. But of course without storage, or as part of a larger grid, it is only part of the solution. No the sun does not shine at night, but it sure does every day. The 10kw array I put in 18 months ago has now offset burning 21 thousand pounds of coal, and even without any subsidies it will pay for itself in 10 years, and should last 30 years, with minimum maintenance.

I agree Fuel Cells are a maintenance nightmare. We had two gummed up 10kw PEM generator unit which were supposed to be able to run from natural gas. The generator enclosures were about 90% taken up by gas reformer/filter units. I never saw either of them running, but they made good examples of what bad things can happen.

The only fuel cell units that may be feasible are the Bloom Energy Solid oxide fuel cell units. Of course these have to be stationary, and the SOFC have an operating temperature of above 1000 degrees F. The jury is still out on the long term operating and maintenance costs.

I would like to have a Volt, leaf or Tesla, but I do not drive much, and I made do with my 19 year old Toyota pickup. It only has a quarter million miles on it...

I am certainly not anti-hydrogen, but I am pro-reality. If it is going to work then like in the movies it comes down to "Show Me The Money".

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Response to mackdaddy (Reply #17)

Sat Mar 28, 2015, 01:38 AM

19. VERY interesting. Maybe we can talk offline some time.

 

Our backgrounds have a great deal of overlap.

Solar prices really have dropped. When I brought in a contract for a 500kW system in 2010 (hi mount and electric car charging stations) at $5/watt, it was a steal.

Price are well below that now.

Fuel cells and hydrogen definitely have a place in our future but there's plenty of false hope being promoted.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Original post)

Thu Mar 26, 2015, 08:49 PM

18. There are many ways to make hydrogen, dangerous natural gas being...

...only the most popular way.

Solar hydrogen gets lots of attention, but like all of the solar schemes proposed thus far, they simply soak up money while producing insignificant amounts of stored energy.

However while solar hydrogen is useless in itself, some people getting grants to study it have actually produced some interesting thermochemical hydrogen cycles. There are many of these, the SI cycle, and variants, including the nickle variant; several ferric oxide cycles, including zirconium, aluminum, and copper/aluminum variants; the copper chloride cycle; the UT-3 (CaBr) cycle...etc...etc...

When one reads about these cycles, it is often covered with a silly remark about "solar heat" but the cycles would work quite well with nuclear heat, and some cycles, in particular some forms of the (dubious in my mind) SI cycle were specifically developed for nuclear applications.

My personal favorite cycle is the ZnO cycle with a carbonate intermediate which can directly make syn gas from water and carbon dioxide.

Here is a link to a relatively recent publication on the topic, albeit coupled with the usual "we'll do it with solar" fantasy as the obligatory opening paragraph, even if the solar industry has soaked up nearly a trillion bucks over the last decade without ever being able to produce enough energy to run the servers dedicated to saying how great it is: Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 2013, 52 (5), pp 1859–1869 After half a century of jawboning about the solar industry, it doesn't even produce 1 of the 550 exajoules of energy that humanity produces each year.

Hydrogen by itself is a terrible consumer product, but as a captive intermediate it is very useful. Writing elsewhere, I wrote,

In the golden age of chemistry, in which we live, there are very few important organic chemicals that we cannot make with access to syn gas. Archimedes famously said, "Give me a place to stand, and I can move the Earth!" The modern chemist might say, without too much exaggeration, "Give me some 'syn gas' and I can make any organic chemical industrial commodity there is!" We can make “FT” (Fischer-Tropsch) gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, jet fuel if we still want any of that awful stuff, or things like my favorite “one size fits all” wonder fuel, dimethyl ether. Hell, we can make anything and everything we make from dangerous fossil fuels using syn gas or carbonized biomass, including I think, with due respect to the great mind of Vaclav Smil,[25] even perhaps steel[26].


Better Chemistry, Better Biofuels? The Glycerol Glut, Solketal, and Other Floating Ideas

However none of these ideas about hydrogen cycles will ever be put to use. The world is far too mindless to do anything serious about the emergency before it. What will be done is the last molecule of carbon dioxide that can be squeezed into the atmosphere will be squeezed into it by the last man or woman standing.

There's hardly any point in discussing these subjects any more. Science and Engineering are the object of hatred both on the extreme left and the extreme right, and I see little hope for the future.

Have a nice evening.

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