U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-25-2011, 05:51 AM
 
15,924 posts, read 17,382,767 times
Reputation: 7641

Advertisements

You don't have range anxiety like an electric car, you don't have 4-8 hours downtime recharging the battery AND much less impact on the environment (when you include the manufacturing of the electric cars batteries)...

A car where you don't have to change your driving habits...

Honda FCX Clarity - Drive FCX - Official Honda Web Site





Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-25-2011, 10:29 AM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,861 posts, read 10,534,277 times
Reputation: 9518
Hydrogen cars... uh-huh. We'll have a car to haul our lazy butts around, but at some point we're going to be very thirsty.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2011, 11:35 AM
 
3,115 posts, read 6,133,136 times
Reputation: 1797
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Hydrogen cars... uh-huh. We'll have a car to haul our lazy butts around, but at some point we're going to be very thirsty.
I'm not understanding. Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, and one of the byproducts of this car's use of hydrogen is...hydrogen. Do you think we would run out?

I would snatch one of these up in a heartbeat if there were refueling options nearby. I too think they are going to be the mainstream car in the future.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2011, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,925,242 times
Reputation: 2978
The hydrogen economy (and thus the hydrogen car) has very serious issues. The biggest problem with hydrogen is safety. As a rule, the monomolecular hydrogen gas is very hard to contain, has a low density, and a very low boiling point. Thus hydrogen fuel tanks must be highly pressurized. Seals must be perfect and even low-volume leaks cannot be tolerated without risking a hydrogen explosion.

Hydrogen has a very wide range of explosive mixture ratios with air (compared to a narrow range for natural gas and other fuels). There is no question that switching from gas or gas-electric hybrids to hydrogen will result in more explosive fires, the question is how many are tolerable?

Finally, hydrogen generation is fairly easy to do--from petrochemicals. But that doesn't solve our oil problem. It can also be generated from water (even polluted water or salt water) but this is an extremely energy-intensive process and would require a huge increase in grid baseload capacity. I do not know if hydrogen can be generated from biological/biofuel sources.

I, too, used to be excited about hydrogen vehicles. But the reality of the situation is that they are less technically feasible than other options. Perhaps someday this will change, but for the present, a viable hydrogen economy or even widespread use of hydrogen vehicles is still several decades away.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2011, 12:27 PM
 
Location: DC
6,510 posts, read 6,433,801 times
Reputation: 3112
You'll see hydrogen cars in Iceland long before you see them here. So far, not many hydrogen cars in Iceland.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2011, 01:47 PM
 
Location: The Island of Misfit Toys
2,767 posts, read 2,293,734 times
Reputation: 2343
I wonder what would be the effect of excess hydrogen in the atmosphere?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: 125 Years Too Late...
10,861 posts, read 10,534,277 times
Reputation: 9518
As far as I know, the two main ways of producing hydrogen (at least economically speaking) are from natural gas and/or other petrochemicals, and by basically "destroying" water (electrolysis of H2O).

Which is more palatable for you? The first basically leaves us with the same problem we have with oil. The second... well like I hinted at before, how much water are we willing to "destroy" to haul our lazy asses around? Which is more important to continued life on the planet? I sometimes wonder if we are any better at thinking of the future than locusts are.

Last edited by ChrisC; 05-25-2011 at 02:15 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2011, 02:07 PM
 
11 posts, read 29,781 times
Reputation: 17
Some problems with hydrogen are fuel density, and production costs. Pressurized tanks to store hydrogen are heavy and somewhat dangerous. Producing pure hydrogen also costs quite a bit of energy, as does electricity, but electricity is more adaptable. I was thinking something more along the lines of battery replacement stations, where you exchange your depleted battery for a charged battery. I haven't put too much thought into it yet, so I don't know if it is feasible.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2011, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Bike to Surf!
3,080 posts, read 9,925,242 times
Reputation: 2978
Quote:
I wonder what would be the effect of excess hydrogen in the atmosphere?
Nothing. It would only be from leaky tanks, as the byproduct of hydrogen combustion is water (steam), not hydrogen as someone stated. Hydrogen gas emissions would rise into the upper atmosphere and become so dispersed as to be negligible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
As far as I know, the two main ways of producing hydrogen (at least economically speaking) are from natural gas and/or other petrochemicals, and by basically "destroying" water (electrolysis of H2O).

Which is more palatable for you? The first basically leaves us with the same problem we have with oil. The second... well like I hinted at before, how much water are we willing to "destroy" to haul our lazy asses around? Which is more important to continued life on the planet? I sometimes wonder if we are any better at thinking of the future than locusts are.
Electrolysis of water generates Hydrogen and Oxygen. Presumably the Hydrogen would be collected as fuel for cars (home heating, aircraft, etc) and the Oxygen would be released into the atmosphere.

When the hydrogen is burned, it recombines with atmospheric oxygen to form water, so you aren't "destroying" water. It's a zero-loss system except for the energy. The problem is you need MASSIVE amounts of energy to produce hydrogen from water. Again, biomass systems might be a better source of hydrogen.

Petrochemicals are not totally off the table, because I think that there is an energy gain in extracting hydrogen from hydrocarbons, and it might possibly not produce atmospheric CO2. Not sure about this, but I imagine this would have to be true for people to be bothering with hydrogen. In other words, switching to hydrogen would still mean using oil, but it would be used more efficiently.

The truth, however, is simply that gas-electric hybrids (like the volt) are better from an engineering point of view. Battery and recharging technology is developed enough to be mass marketed. Eventually energy storage/recharge will be good enough that mass marketed vehicles will be able to go all electric. Ranges will go up to 200-400 miles and higher with A/C, radio, etc on hot or freezing days, and running out of power will mean walking to the nearest service station and charging an emergency capacitor with enough power to take you another 60 miles or so. (As opposed to a gas can). Or calling AAA.

I don't think hydrogen is a dead-end, but I also think it will be a fringe technology until we start running out of natural gas and need another gaseous fuel source. Again, my guess is people will get serious about it in 25-40 years.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-25-2011, 02:38 PM
 
Location: DC
6,510 posts, read 6,433,801 times
Reputation: 3112
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC View Post
Which is more palatable for you? The first basically leaves us with the same problem we have with oil. The second... well like I hinted at before, how much water are we willing to "destroy" to haul our lazy asses around? Which is more important to continued life on the planet? I sometimes wonder if we are any better at thinking of the future than locusts are.
Combustion of Hydrogen yields water 2H2 + O2 = 2H2O

We aren't destroying water.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Green Living
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top