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Viv Forbes

Viv has a degree in Applied Science Geology and is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

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Hydrogen – the Net-Negative Energy Option


The same people who promoted intermittent energy (wind and solar) have trumped that with their latest green energy fad – hydrogen fuel.

Hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe; it fuels the sun and is the third most common element on Earth. But it is so reactive that it is seldom found in its elemental state - it combines strongly with other elements such as oxygen to form water or with carbon to form methane. It is an essential component in all acids, alkalis, hydro-carbons and organic materials.

To extract hydrogen from natural compounds such as water, methane or coal requires very large inputs of energy. Most commonly hydrogen is produced from methane gas using heat and steam, or by electrolysis of water using large quantities of electricity. 

Hydrogen can be used to power rockets, cars and engines of all types. However the energy used to produce the hydrogen can never be fully recovered from the energy in the hydrogen. It is thus NOT a source of energy – it is merely a storehouse for energy - a battery.

It is possible to produce hydrogen from water using electricity from nuclear or hydro-carbon fuels, or even intermittent green energy. The hydrogen gas could then be transported to cities as a clean energy source for cars, thus reducing pollution from petrol/diesel vehicles. 

But hydrogen is a very dangerous gas. It has tiny lightweight molecules which have low energy density and are difficult to compress, contain and store. It also forms an explosive mixture with air. To provide a network of hydrogen car-fuelling stations, or to suggest hydrogen as a domestic gas, is inviting explosive disasters in the suburbs – (imagine the Health and Safety regulations!)

Even the impractical electric cars have benefits compared to the hydrogen car. Electricity is safer and the supply network is easier and essentially in place. Moreover, electric cars do not reduce the oxygen content of city air - every tonne of hydrogen fuel consumes eight tonnes of oxygen to produce nine tonnes of water vapour. So instead of urban smog, we may get urban fog.

And to suggest that hydrogen can provide base-load power tops all green energy idiocy.

Hydrogen is a Net-Negative Energy Option.



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Comments

I think you have too many Fosters in your shed fridge.

It's about time some bright spark invented an anti gravity device. Let's stop trying to overcome the force and negate it.

I'm an automotive engineer, by the way. Although retired.

The problem with LPG is the gas is dry and the valves wear where they contact the valve seat. The problem with hydrogen is that it corrodes the metal. 2 different problems.

Why don't we gather up every Green and Leftoid looney and send them on a spaceship to the Sun with a mission to gather up free hydrogen to bring back and run our cars.

Quote from BlackRoo's link
"Hyundai's local refuelling station initially will use hydrogen from the reforming process but the maker aims to switch to solar energy by mid-year." The end of dirty coal gets closer and closer.

I have been running a HHO dry cell on my deisel Landcruiser for five years now and have enjoyed better fuel economy more power and a quieter engine, the fuel saving was an increase from approx 500 klm per tank to 600klm per tank. This system is also promoted as reducing emissions but I have not checked this personally.

Guys check this out, its coming!

http://www.carsguide.com.au/car-reviews/hyundai-ix35-fuel-cell-review-first-drive-video-31552#.VSd_W-EwBCt

...yes your correct Viv....I just don't get it...some want to power cars etc with Hydrogen....and as you say...Hydrogen is the most abundant atom in the universe...but it doesn't exist on its own that can be easily harvested here on Earth...so we would have to use a shit load of energy to produce Hydrogen...so whats the point...the lunatics just keep on keeping on with this renewable green energy shit...there is no doubt in my mind that a new form of energy will be found....but at the moment...no one is going to spend money on finding it when there is so much cheap energy available right now...I leave to the scientists of 1, 2 to 300 years from now...like in Star Trek that powers Star Ship Enterprise...it will be found...green policy now will only destroy our prosperity for no reason......

FORGET ELECTRIC ...... FORGET HYDROGEN .... USE AIR !

http://geekologie.com/2012/02/8k-compressed-air-cars-shipping-in-augus.php

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compressed_air_car

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgwXCS-O_MM

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/23/peugeot-car-that-runs-on-air-hybrid_n_2535024.html

Interesting , Vic ! I appreciate the way that you present technical matters , in a way that many of us can easily understand. Look forward to your explanation of the Nuclear Power potential.

No smoking in or around hydrogen powered cars. Remember the Hindenberg.

We used to rattle off at school in physics class "Energy can neither be created nor destroyed". Someone should tell Two Dads and the rest of the Greens bogans that there is a Law of Conservation of Energy.

Sounds like you are working on a Stirling engine.

All very well, but,,,, hydrogen causes excess corrosion on the engines valves, leading to shorter engine life in petrol and diesel engines.

How about we build a big funnel and place it over Canberra. All the captured hot air should be able to run something.

Come back Joh all is forgiven!

Hydrogen has the same net energy losses as what ethanol has, to produce both you need to burn copious quantities of fossil fuel.

Just dug out my files - There was a corporation called Horvath Energy International Limited - M.L.C. Centre, 1929 Martin Place, suite, 6310, Sydney, Australia, GPO Box 3880, Sydney NSW 2001 : as of the 6th June 1983. ---- There is a half page article and photo showing Stephen Horvath and Joh Bjelke-Petersen standing beside the open bonnet of the "world's first 'thermonuclear-powered' Ford Fairlane in the Courier Mail, Wednesday March 18, 2009..... Nuclear powered in that that was the medium by which the water was converted to hydrogen. The depression of the pedal caused more water to pass through the carby - much the same as a petrol motor. For we less sophisticated we can always revert to charcoal burning gas producers. As far as I know the company shifted to Hong Kong and oblivion.

The tank pressure required to carry a reasonable amount of hydrogen is probably more like 10,000psi.