View Full Version : hydrogen-powered automobiles?
05-12-03, 04:52 PM
In President Bush's State of the Union Address, January 28, 2003 he proposed a $1.2 billion proposal in research funding so that America could lead the world in developing, clean hydrogen-powered automobiles. I have a few questions: In reality is this something that can be researched and invented and marketed within the next 10 years? Is America leading the developing or do you think that another country will develop it first?
05-12-03, 08:46 PM
You could have the first ones out in that time but I guess they would be pretty crappy. Low mileage and power, high price, etc. They would gradually improve after the first one are sold though.
It dosnt matter who gets them first as within a few years they would be made and used everywhere. (if not in great numbers) Its like that with most innovations.
05-12-03, 11:09 PM
One problem which would slow down the introduction of fuel cell cars is the problem with the fueling stations. As of now, I believe America has only like one or two hydrogen fueling stations...so it boils down to "what came first, the chicken or the egg?"
Once someone invests in more fueling stations, then the cars will follow.
As of now, the only cars using hydrogen number below one hundred, and they are all prototypes.
05-12-03, 11:22 PM
Same with standard gas. Long ago there probabally was only one gas station in the world.
What will probabally happen is when they are about to come out some gas station company will install fueling pumps in its stations to try to corner the hydrogen market.
I believe America has only like one or two
I think it's more like 6 :p
05-19-03, 04:14 AM
When I was living in Montreal near the end of 2001 BMW were showing off their latest hydrogen powered cars. The specs were impressive and they could keep up with the average petrol. You also had two tanks one for petrol and one for hydrogen, because of the problem of an unhelpful amount of pumps to fill up at. Tell you what if I had the cash I'd set up a hydrogen producing plant and start the trend down here (in NZ).
BMW developed them somewhere round Asia (Japan I think) so I guess America aren't the first. Although back then there was only 1 pump in North America so they must be slowly building it up.
05-19-03, 05:53 PM
Actually, I have hear (don't know if it is true) that the biggest fear is the hydrogen tank exploding in a car crash. The hienenberg (sp?) only upscaled.
Now, I know that they have tested the tanks, and have shown them to be safe, but facts doesn't stop the fear.
05-19-03, 06:33 PM
I have read that with the Hindenberg it was the frame and gasbag material that was burning so much. After all, what is the oxidation product of hydrogen?
But Then the problem with hydrogen fuelled cars is the storage, they havnt licked it to my knowledge, so I'll have to snoop around and see what the BMW uses, since compressing H2 takes a lot of energy and a big strong tank, liquefying it also takes a lot of energy and an insulated tank, and imagine if it all burst, and storing it in interstices in i think Palladium, isnt very efficient volume wise and needs heating to get the H2 out. Ahh well, hopefully some compromise will be reached, after all, once you have your own hydrogen car, you can make your own fuel using soemo solar panels on your roof. Of course then the local laws might be changed to stop you messing about with this potentially dangerous substance.
05-22-03, 02:44 PM
to waterproof the fabric used in the construction of the Hindenberg, they painted it with a coating of a petroleum based chemical. Problem was, after that chemical sat in the sun for a few days, it turned into what was, FAIAP, jet feul. :eek:
the fuel used in these cars is liquid hydrogen, which evaporates and dispurses into the air pretty quickly. it's flamible, but the low consentrations in the 70% Nitrogen atmosphere we have makes combustion of the H2 possible; a sustained "burning", as you would see with gasoline, is pretty much not an issue.
edit:more info on the burning zepplin
5.4. The Hindenburg Accident
If a gasoline fire in a car lasts approximately 20 minutes, a similar hydrogen fire would last only a tenth of that time. The same is the case for an airplane, and hydrogen (liquid) is considered to be a safer fuel in airplanes than that used today.
In 1936 the Hindenburg airship was finished. It was 245 meters long and was driven by four 1,100 horsepower Daimler-Benz diesel engines, reaching a speed of 135 km/h and ranging 14,000 km.
The blimp could carry 50 passengers and had cabins, a bar, a dining room and walkway as well as large panorama windows and lounges. It flew a regular route between Germany and USA for DELAG and transported over 1,000 passengers in 1936 in 10 round-trip tours over the Atlantic Ocean; it took 65 hours going east and 52 hours going west.
On the evening of May 6, 1937, the Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst, New York. Of the 97 passengers onboard, 35 lost their lives. One person in the ground crew of 200 was killed when one of the motors fell out. Of those that died, 27 had jumped out in panic while still in the air and the other 8 died due to burn injuries from burning diesel. An investigative commission engaged by the Zeppelin company concluded that some hydrogen had leaked out from the internal tanks and was ignited by a spark.
For several years now Addison Bain has carried out extensive investigations to try to find out exactly what the cause of the accident was. The conclusion, after having analysed bits of the materials used in the canvassing around the blimp, was that the Hindenburg burned because this material was extremely flammable. The fire was sparked by static electricity as the result of an error in design. The hydrogen gas used for buoyancy had no direct influence on the accident. Bellona recommends reading Bainís report, which is available on the Internet at http://www.dwv-info.de/pm/hindbg/hbe.htm.[Bain and Schmidtchen 2000]
a site on hydrogen as a fuel (http://www.bellona.no/en/energy/hydrogen/report_6-2002/22966.html#22973)
05-27-03, 01:22 AM
I believe that Bush put the funds in the wrong area! He should have put the funds into research on better ways of aquiring the hydrogen, not new ways of building hydrogen cars... we've known how to do that since the 50's! Perhaps its a money laundering scheme?
05-27-03, 09:22 AM
I really don't think it is. But anything is possible. You mean you think funds should be set aside for help research where to find hydgrogen?
05-27-03, 09:25 AM
Or do you mean better ways of forming it from it's natural source to workable hydogen to use in cars?
05-27-03, 10:52 AM
With regard to the lack of fueling stations, I think it would be better to build the first ones all in one city rather than evenly distributed. It would be relatively low-cost to install these stations in just one area (of London or New York perhaps) and I'm sure for trail purposes they could have low introductory prices for vehicles.
I have no idea about the dangers of a lot of hydrogen in one place, but I know that it is not explosive in the absence of oxygen. The hindinberg (sp?) would have had a pretty nice mix of Oxygen and Hydrogen in it's hull. A car would not.
05-27-03, 05:55 PM
When I said "better ways" I meant more efficient ways of getting it... perhaps also other places of getting it as well.
Agreed. Unsing hydrogen is not that big of a deal. Converting from a natural resource to a safe, easily accessible fuel is the problem, mostly storage during use and transport.
The main danger with cryogenic(liquid) H2 is frostbite. Picture your car rolling over and having a -300 degree liquid pouring all over you.
I never really got an answer about whether carbon fiber pressure cans like those used on paintball markers provide, at the pressures we'd be looking at, a significant weight reduction.
Originally posted by Gifted
The main danger with cryogenic(liquid) H2 is frostbite. Picture your car rolling over and having a -300 degree liquid pouring all over you. I don't think that frostbite would be a major danger. People have pretty screwy ideas about the dangers involved in working with liquid gases. I've never worked with liquid hydrogen, but you can poor a beaker of liquid nitrogen over your hand without any danger of serious frostbite. You pretty much have to actually submerge part of your body in it for it to be dangerous.
People often comment on how dangerous it would be to drive around with a tank of hydrogen in their car, as if they weren't already driving around with 20 gallons of explosive liquid. The risks are all relative.
05-28-03, 04:48 PM
That's true. We are driving around with twenty gallons of flamable liquid. How large would the actual hydrogen tanks be in the cars?
05-28-03, 10:52 PM
Methanol (mixed with other alcohols) running a fuel cell is virtually ideal.
05-29-03, 12:11 AM
I vouch for Methanol or Ethanol as the next car fuel: Can be produce from biowaste in energy positive production (unlike hydrgoen which would be made from water and electricity) they can be used in fuel cells (Direct Alchohol Fuel Cells) and normal ICE with little modification (unlike hydrogen which cannot run in a normal ICE) they can be mixed with gasoline for silent conversion, in fact many states have 10% ethanol mixures in gasoline already They release no net green house gaseous, because all CO2 and H2O produce is re-absorbed by the plants used to make the fuels. Think about it: with the biotech break through of cellulose to ethanol fermentation we could supply all of the nations gasoline needs with ethanol from farm waste (as well as cardboard, paper, wood pulp, even grass clippings!)
06-01-03, 02:43 AM
The plan was pushing was designating petroleum as the source of hydrogen. This mean there will be zero reduction in energy cost and zero reduction in pollution as whatever is remaining from the conversion will still be highly toxic.
I'm throwing my chips in with the biodiesel crowd. There are 3 cylinder diesel engines that get upwards of 75 MPG (estimate, can't remember precise figure) combine this with hybrid technology and we can acheive near 200 MPG. Take that fuel efficency the current waste vegetable oil produced in this country could supply upwards of 50% of our current motive fuel needs. (these figures are rough estimates)
If you drive a diesel now, you can make your own at home. If your vehicle is older then 84' you might need to change some hoses, that is the extent of the modifications.
Make it Happen,
Originally posted by DigitalPhalanges
The plan was pushing was designating petroleum as the source of hydrogen. This mean there will be zero reduction in energy cost and zero reduction in pollution as whatever is remaining from the conversion will still be highly toxic.We already get our hydrogen from petroleum - virtually all industrially produced hydrogen is created by stripping the hydrogen off of petroleum hydrocarbons. The byproduct is just carbon sludge, which isn't toxic.
06-01-03, 04:26 PM
... but produce just as much CO2 as burning it.
06-01-03, 06:20 PM
What is the point of using H? They just extract it from petroleum ... just great :bugeye:
If he doesn't spend cash on military, it's for another useless purpose.
06-01-03, 07:24 PM
There other ways of obtaining H2 then from petroleum. Carbon sludge although benign is still toxic in that it is 'additive' to the carbon bank. This is a considerable problem when our planet is becoming less and less capable of dealing with excess carbon. Petroleum in any from is toxic to the enviroment. I say this because the ecosystem that we and the rest of the larger lifeforms on this planet have evoloved in contains considerably less carbon then the one we are creating. Yes, I understand that this may not cause us any harm in the short term, but are you willing to accept an experiment of this magnitude perpetrated by fools with only money on there minds.
One of the reasons biodiesel is so great is that it is not 'additive' to the enviroment *all of its ingredients come from the Carbohydrate Cycle which is the natural cycle of life and regeneration. This is as opposed to the Hydrocarbon Bank which is material that has been out of the Carbohydrate Cycle for millions of years.
*does anyone know any of the various methods for obtaining KOH and SOH these are both catalysts and with proper care can be reused almost indefinately.
Peace be with you,
06-01-03, 08:03 PM
Again I believe Ethanol, Methanol and other biologically obtain fuels (biodiesal) are the best solution. The many reason is that the process is recyclable and no net increase of CO2 is produce. Plant matter makes the above fuels, we burn the fuels, the CO2 produce is absorbed by plants, and repeat. Also the process is energy positive unlike making hydrogen which cost more energy in electricity or petroleum then is extracted from the hydrogen! We could make methanol from sewage and wood pulp, We can make Ethanol from corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, but with a universal biological fermenting agent (Still in development :( ) we could also make ethanol from wood, paper, card board, plant waste of any form! Biodiesel is made for animal or vegetable fat and nuts. All of these fuels will burn in modern engines with little to no modifications and all burn cleaner then gasoline or diesel! Why are no politicians considering this? With home grown fuel we can tell all those Arab countries to @#$% them selfs instead of stealing their oil and pissing them off!
Why are no politicians considering this? With home grown fuel we can tell all those Arab countries to @#$% them selfs instead of stealing their oil and pissing them off! *Insert picture of large check from oil company to prominent politician here*
06-09-03, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by WellCookedFetus
Plant matter makes the above fuels, we burn the fuels, the CO2 produce is absorbed by plants, and repeat. Also the process is energy positive unlike making hydrogen which cost more energy in electricity or petroleum then is extracted from the hydrogen! We could make methanol from sewage and wood pulp, We can make Ethanol from corn, wheat, rice, potatoes, but with a universal biological fermenting agent (Still in development :( ) we could also make ethanol from wood, paper, card board, plant waste of any form! Biodiesel is made for animal or vegetable fat and nuts. \
even better, make fuel from carbon-based human poop. we create enough of it. putting it to use would be great. getting over the stima of "this car is running on my ass" would take generations, though...
06-09-03, 03:58 PM
All we need to do is cap the top of sewage treatments plant pools, add methane produce bacteria (like the panda poo kind) and here comes fart fuel! Methane can be burnt at the treatment station to produce electricity, it is choke burnt to produce CO instead of CO2, the CO and H20 are piped into red hot catalyze chamber with methane: producing methanol. I donít see methanol be produce in quantities that could supply the nations fuel need entirely but I do see it added into fuels.