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Old 10-21-2021, 05:21 PM   #11 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
It doesn't solve any problems because 95% of hydrogen is derived from natural gas. That process is about 80% efficient.
Not to mention the energy required to implement safety measures to a safe storage of hydrogen.


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Might as well simply burn the natural gas directly than to do a bunch of energy conversions.
Some 18 years ago I used to believe hydrogen would be the new CNG, then 15 years ago I was more favorable to ethanol (even though CNG might be worth for some operators).

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Old 10-21-2021, 05:25 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary
(I'm not trying to start a political debate, just mention a hypothetical situation. If you don't like hypothetical situations, please stop reading this immediately.)
I live for hypothetical situations. Extra points for unicorns that poop rainbow sherbet.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm always excited for new things... until they turn out to not deliver what they promised.

I went through the same process of thinking H2 would be the greatest fuel, then ethanol, but at least in the US ethanol production consumes too much land area and doesn't deliver enough energy to displace fossil fuels.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:28 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
It doesn't solve any problems because 95% of hydrogen is derived from natural gas. That process is about 80% efficient.

Hydrogen fuel cells are about 50% efficient.

Way more efficient to simply burn the natural gas directly than to do a bunch of energy conversions.
While you can argue that that's where most of hydrogen comes from today on average in most parts of the world, you can't argue with the possibility of running a hydrogen vehicle off of hydrogen made 100% from renewable sources.

The same argument can be said of battery electric vehicles. Sure, you can go get a generator from Harbor Freight and charge your EV off of that. Or you could install solar panels and charge your EV off of those. Just because in country A 95% of electricity comes from coal and 95% of it's hydrogen comes from natural gas doesn't mean that in country B 95% of it's electricity can't come from wind and solar and 95% of it's hydrogen can't come from wind and solar powered electrolysis. (Again, I'm not trying to start a political debate, I'm just saying it's hypothetically possible.)

On the flip side, fuel for internal combustion engines can also come from renewable sources, (e.g. bio fuels, carbon capture, etc.).

The question is, what would I do if, hypothetically, I as an individual, company owner, city, state, or country, etc., decided I wanted to use up to 100% renewable fuels and move away from fossil fules, granted I have the economical and technological means to do so?

Say I run a fleet of trucks that drive long distances and want to stay away from fossil fuels. Would solar to battery storage to battery electric vehicles make the most sense, seeing how I'd have to charge often for long charging times, and the weight of the batteries would make me have to take along less cargo? Or would solar to electrolysis be better, even though I'd need more solar panels? But at least I wouldn't need to store the electricity in stationary batteries since hydrogen is already a storage medium. The trucks could haul more cargo and drive farther distances between refuels since hydrogen is much lighter than lithum ion batteries and refuelling would be much, much faster. Or would fields of corn to produce bio fuels make the most sense? This is all hypothecially speaking of course.
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Old 10-21-2021, 05:44 PM   #15 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I went through the same process of thinking H2 would be the greatest fuel, then ethanol
Placing all the bets at a single fuel to become the "miraculous" one-size-fits-all replacement for petroleum was a mistake. Just like there was no gasoline-only or Diesel-only strategy going to succeed, different operating conditions might turn out to be more beneficial to either ethanol, biomethane, biodiesel or synthetic fuels made through carbon sequestration from the atmosphere.


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but at least in the US ethanol production consumes too much land area and doesn't deliver enough energy to displace fossil fuels.
Relying on a single feedstock for ethanol has always been a problem. Ethanol made out of corn is not so bad, once we look at the usage of distillation grain to feed livestock for instance, but outside the United States it's often pointed out as an environmental disaster mostly because of politics. Even in Brazil, nowadays some sugar and ethanol mills also process corn while sugarcane is out of season, and the distillation grain yelds a faster weight gain for beef cattle.
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Old 10-21-2021, 06:43 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
I'm always excited for new things... until they turn out to not deliver what they promised.

I went through the same process of thinking H2 would be the greatest fuel, then ethanol, but at least in the US ethanol production consumes too much land area and doesn't deliver enough energy to displace fossil fuels.
That's what we call a give up or discouraged attitude. Something doesn't work out the way you'd like, so you give up.

The thing is that we wouldn't be where we are today if people gave up at their first failed attempts. How many failed attempts were there in making the first internal combustion engine, the first road car, the first air plane, the first diesel engine, the first electronic fuel injected systems etc.? Look at how many failed attempts there were in making a production worthy EV back in the 70's, for an example. If everyone gave up on thier first failed attempts then then cars like Telsas would not exist. Actually vehiclular transportation wouldn't exist at all.

One thing is for sure, and that is that things change. Many of us didn't think things would change this fast. I remember when nobody had a cellphone and cars were carbureted.
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Old 10-22-2021, 02:12 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
While you can argue that that's where most of hydrogen comes from today on average in most parts of the world, you can't argue with the possibility of running a hydrogen vehicle off of hydrogen made 100% from renewable sources.
Sure I can, because it's not happening. Arguing against something that isn't a reality is simple.

Arguments that we should stop doing something now because something in the future might be better aren't reasonable. I could say we should shut down all fossil fuel power generation now because we might have cheap and abundant fusion electricity in the future, but it wouldn't be rational.

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The same argument can be said of battery electric vehicles. Sure, you can go get a generator from Harbor Freight and charge your EV off of that. Or you could install solar panels and charge your EV off of those. Just because in country A 95% of electricity comes from coal and 95% of it's hydrogen comes from natural gas doesn't mean that in country B 95% of it's electricity can't come from wind and solar and 95% of it's hydrogen can't come from wind and solar powered electrolysis. (Again, I'm not trying to start a political debate, I'm just saying it's hypothetically possible.)
A country could go 95% wind and solar and they would be broke, which is why none do it. I could have my lawn mowed with fingernail clippers, and it would consume no fossil fuels, hypothetically.

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Say I run a fleet of trucks that drive long distances and want to stay away from fossil fuels. Would solar to battery storage to battery electric vehicles make the most sense, seeing how I'd have to charge often for long charging times, and the weight of the batteries would make me have to take along less cargo? Or would solar to electrolysis be better, even though I'd need more solar panels? But at least I wouldn't need to store the electricity in stationary batteries since hydrogen is already a storage medium. The trucks could haul more cargo and drive farther distances between refuels since hydrogen is much lighter than lithum ion batteries and refuelling would be much, much faster. Or would fields of corn to produce bio fuels make the most sense? This is all hypothecially speaking of course.
That's a relatively simple question to solve mathematically. Even more simple is Energy Return On Investment (EROI). It's the amount of energy invested divided by the amount of energy returned expressed as a ratio. If it takes 1 unit of energy to harvest 10 units of energy, that is cheaper than if it takes 1 unit of energy to harvest only 3 in return.

The nature of competition is those who spend the least to extract the most have the market advantage. Those who have to spend more or extract less have to increase the price of their product, and people largely aren't willing to pay more for commodities.

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Old 10-22-2021, 09:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Sure I can, because it's not happening. Arguing against something that isn't a reality is simple.
What in the world are you arguing against? It's not only possible, it's already been done. Solar panels, wind mills and hydro exist. Electrolysis exists. Hydrogen fuel cells exist. Which of those components isn't a reality? And if they are a reality, how on earth could using them together not be possible?

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Arguments that we should stop doing something now because something in the future might be better aren't reasonable. I could say we should shut down all fossil fuel power generation now because we might have cheap and abundant fusion electricity in the future, but it wouldn't be rational.
Maybe I don't understand you or you don't understand me. But I never said that we should stop doing anything. On the other hand, you sound like you're saying we should stop trying anything new.

But that's the beauty of choice. If you want to burn gasoline, go ahead, have at it. If I want to drive an EV, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, or a bike should I be banned from doing so? Should I be banned from putting solar panels on the top of my house or banned from installing a battery bank or a (safely built) hydrogen fuel electrolysis generator and compressor for my hydrogen fuel cell vehicle?

The other day someone told me I shouldn't have the right to ride my bicycle and should drive to work in a car like everyone else... Is that really the case?

Why can't we let people use what they want to use? What's so wrong with that (as long as it's not malicious).

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A country could go 95% wind and solar and they would be broke, which is why none do it. I could have my lawn mowed with fingernail clippers, and it would consume no fossil fuels, hypothetically.
Doesn't Norway get 95% or more of it's energy from renewables?

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Originally Posted by redpoint5 View Post
That's a relatively simple question to solve mathematically. Even more simple is Energy Return On Investment (EROI). It's the amount of energy invested divided by the amount of energy returned expressed as a ratio. If it takes 1 unit of energy to harvest 10 units of energy, that is cheaper than if it takes 1 unit of energy to harvest only 3 in return.

The nature of competition is those who spend the least to extract the most have the market advantage. Those who have to spend more or extract less have to increase the price of their product, and people largely aren't willing to pay more for commodities.

True. But spending more and having a more exepnsive product or service can build an image others may still be willing to buy. A couple examples are organic foods and companies like Apple and Tesla.

On the other hand, nonacceptance can also kill cheaper products and services. For an example, it should technically be cheaper to build a station wagon over a crossover SUV. But nobody want's a station wagon, so station wagons are no longer available brand new in the USA anymore.

The same can be said of gasoline, vs. electric, vs. hydrogen vs. coal. vs. solar. vs. wind. vs natural gas, and so on. If you can build up enogh of a good image of something that it gets enough people to buy into it, it will take off.

Kind of like this thread about a hydrogen fuel cell car going over 800 miles on a tank. That will catch people's attention. It will contribute to their interest in the technology. It doesn't prove it's better in every way shape or form. But maybe they're be a group tha benefits from it some day. Or we could just ignore innovation and dictate that everyone needs to stop riding their bikes and all drive gasoline power car,s because that's what's proven to work and there's no point in reinventing the wheel.
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Old 10-22-2021, 09:54 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Isaac Zachary View Post
What in the world are you arguing against? It's not only possible, it's already been done.
It hasn't. 95% of worldwide hydrogen comes from natural gas.

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Maybe I don't understand you or you don't understand me. But I never said that we should stop doing anything. On the other hand, you sound like you're saying we should stop trying anything new.
Pretty sure I understand you; that we should embrace much less efficient technology and become less prosperous for the greater good of reducing CO2 emissions.

I'm saying that just because something can technically be done doesn't mean it's the superior method. Things are the way they are because better alternatives haven't been discovered.

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But that's the beauty of choice. If you want to burn gasoline, go ahead, have at it. If I want to drive an EV, a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, or a bike should I be banned from doing so? Should I be banned from putting solar panels on the top of my house or banned from installing a battery bank or a (safely built) hydrogen fuel electrolysis generator and compressor for my hydrogen fuel cell vehicle?
We're in agreement here. Liberty means freedom to decide what's best for oneself. Forcing me to pay for Paul's solar panels is the opposite of liberty though.

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Doesn't Norway get 95% or more of it's energy from renewables?
Norway has a population of Wisconsin and tons of hydro power resources. We could be like Norway if we invaded to take their natural resources and then culled 85% of our population.

Perhaps it slightly attones for their #1 economic product; oil exports.

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But spending more and having a more exepnsive product or service can build an image others may still be willing to buy.
Right, which is why the hydrogen Mirai has sold a few thousand examples.

Obviously progress requires change, but most new ideas are terrible. I'm not saying everything new is a failure, just the vast majority. After enough time, it becomes more obvious which of the new things has more potential.

H2 looks pretty dead from my understanding. Even with super cheap H2 from natural gas, it isn't widely adopted for transportation. How much less popular would it be if the fuel came from more expensive renewables?
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Old 10-23-2021, 03:57 AM   #20 (permalink)
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It hasn't. 95% of worldwide hydrogen comes from natural gas.
That still makes zero sense. As I said before, it makes as much sense as saying all electicity comes from coal.

Hydrogen stations in California have to dispense at least 40% of their hydrogen from renewable sources. And of those stations, currently both FirstElement and Equilon are procuring 100% renewable hydrogen for their existing 28 open retail stations. So if you buy a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle, like the Toyota Mirai, and live near a FirstElement or Equilon station, your hydrogen will be 100% renewable. And that's available today, right now.


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Pretty sure I understand you; that we should embrace much less efficient technology and become less prosperous for the greater good of reducing CO2 emissions.

I'm saying that just because something can technically be done doesn't mean it's the superior method. Things are the way they are because better alternatives haven't been discovered.
Everyone's idea of superior is different. No one has to embrace what others think is superior.

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We're in agreement here. Liberty means freedom to decide what's best for oneself. Forcing me to pay for Paul's solar panels is the opposite of liberty though.
I suppose. But that also works the other way around. I'm forced to pay for coal fired power plants I may not want.

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Right, which is why the hydrogen Mirai has sold a few thousand examples.

Obviously progress requires change, but most new ideas are terrible. I'm not saying everything new is a failure, just the vast majority. After enough time, it becomes more obvious which of the new things has more potential.

H2 looks pretty dead from my understanding. Even with super cheap H2 from natural gas, it isn't widely adopted for transportation. How much less popular would it be if the fuel came from more expensive renewables?
Agreed that it looks that way. And I have no idea if Hydrogen will ever take off or not. On the other hand, as long as there's growth there's a chance it might. There are more hydrogen fuel cell cars on the road now than ever before. And although that growth may currently be artificial, possible only through grants and subsidies and the like, that doesn't necessarily mean it isn't getting slowly closer to becoming a selfsuficient profitable industry. The same can be said of EV's. And although EV's are still very expensive, many experts think they could actually become cheaper than ICEV's within the next decade.

That's the problem with numbers. Things can start very slowly, seemingly dead for quite some time, and then suddenly hit a growth spurt.

When GM's EV1 and several other California EV compliance cars were killed off back in 2004 I thought EV's were dead, never to become a thing ever again. Then companies like Tesla, Zap, Zenn and Aptera popped up and Nissan came out with the Leaf and GM with the Volt. And even though Aptera folded, Zap and Zenn disapeared, GM stopped making the Volt, Tesla always seemed to be holding on by a thread, and Nissan made really crappy batteries, now several companies are wanting to get in on a piece of the EV pie. So maybe the EV didn't die after all.

Could the same eventually happen with hydrogen? I don't know. But I'm not going to shout out to the world that another technology is dead again because you just never know when it might spring to life, especially when it still has benefits to offer over other technologies.

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