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Old 03-13-2016, 08:18 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Your discussion shows you missed my point.

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Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
Yes, so what?
My argument that the container outweighs the gas still stands, whether it is hypercompressed, hypercooled, bound with palladium or methane.
The energy density of hydrogen does not have to be equal to that of a tin container holding a few dozen liters of gasoline. It is competing against batteries. And with that in mind, it far exceeds battery energy density. It does not need to be hyper cooled/compressed. Metal hydride tanks can be purchases from industrial suppliers that hold 500 liters of hydrogen gas in a 5 Kg stainless steel bottle at 10-20 bar at standard temperatures. That is about the same energy found in about 15 Kg of lithium-ion batteries. In another thread, I mentioned complex hydrated plastic polymers that act as a recyclable carrier of hydrogen and it can be carried in hand at room temperatures and pressures. 5 Kg of the plastic far exceeds the energy found in many kilograms of the average lithium-ion battery. I use the example of natural gas pipelines as infrastructure that can be used to transport hydrogen gas long distances. If the "carrier methane gas" is from a biosphere source the substitution of an -OH for an H on a bonding sight gives you methanol which is even far more energy dense than Li-ion batteries.

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Natural gas pipelines are in use to transport natural gas. In Holland almost all houses are connected to the natural gas network.
The pipelines, shutters, controllers etc are designed to work with the gas composition from our giant well in Slochteren. Nowadays gas from other sources gets used too, which meant we needed vast adaptations to our network to keep it safe. Just closing a valve on a main transport line causes a violent bang as the flow of a vast amount of gas is suddenly stopped. So the shutters have a shock absorber to cushion the blow. A different composure of the gas means those need to be redesigned. And so do the sniffers that test for leakage, pumps, etc.

Our gas network could not be used for transporting hydrogen, not even if it were not in use for natural gas anymore, but definitely not within a few years.

If hydrogen becomes economically viable, then the infrastructure for it will be built up, either piece by piece or by a vast investment scheme. In fact it would be hard to stop it from happening. Until then, it won't. Nobody wants to lose money until it is certain the investment will pay back.
Hydrogen needs to be cheap or it won't be a thing.
The point of mixing natural gas and hydrogen gas is just this - the hydrogen can be carried with the methane with little to no change in the piping system. If the you didn't catch it, the hydrogen IS part of the methane. Your equipment will function the same.

And as far as price, hydrogen just needs to be cheap enough - cheap enough to beat Li-ion batteries in high density energy applications. This is enough of a market that companies have already started into it with solutions.

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Old 03-13-2016, 12:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I'm not sure you got what I wrote either.

There are two ways to look at hydrogen; as a competitor against electric cars and against conventional cars.

It may be possible to store a higher energy content of hydrogen than electricity for the same weight. But where the electricity can be used directly to power a relatively light motor, the hydrogen needs either a fuel cell in addition to that or an engine to conventionally produce motion; that seems to outweigh the system.
The end result is at best comparable. But hydrogen is nowhere near as cheap as electricity yet.

Compared to gas cars the weight, limited range, cost and complexity are prohibitive; only if the environmental argument carries more weight than that will it ever compete. The argument would need to be funded substantially. I doubt any economy could sustain its widespread use any time soon, even if it wants to.

As I explained in my previous post, the gas network can NOT be used to transport hydrogen unless it is freed of its current application and amended substantially.

Here I am discussing just cons of hydrogen, while I would rather have a more balanced story. You tip me off balance as you seem to hold an onesided story too, triggering me with statements I cannot support like the gas network.
I bet you'd rather see me write that hydrogen is the ideal power source.

Well, it is! But its application has some problems. They may well be solved one day, but they need all be recognized and dealt with. Stating that will happen is not the same as actually making it happen.

What nags me most is the competing with electric aspect.
I cannot escape the thought that traditional auto makers deliberately set up hydrogen fuel projects not because they believe it is the power source for future cars but because it challenges the main threat for the conventional car industry; pure electric cars.
By scooping up subsidies labled for green tech they dilute the funds flowing towards electric car developers. And they trouble the view over what technology is to supersede current gas cars.
Divide and conquer.

If hydrogen car development never reaches the stage where a substantial amount of cars effectively use it all the effort has gone for naught, and we might still be driving mostly gas powered cars where electric would have played a bigger part if the hydrogen distraction would not be there.

In that light hydrogen may be the clean energy solution that indirectly creates more pollution than anyone could have envisioned.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:39 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I understand perfectly what you wrote.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RedDevil View Post
There are two ways to look at hydrogen; as a competitor against electric cars and against conventional cars.

It may be possible to store a higher energy content of hydrogen than electricity for the same weight. But where the electricity can be used directly to power a relatively light motor, the hydrogen needs either a fuel cell in addition to that or an engine to conventionally produce motion; that seems to outweigh the system.
The end result is at best comparable. But hydrogen is nowhere near as cheap as electricity yet.

Compared to gas cars the weight, limited range, cost and complexity are prohibitive; only if the environmental argument carries more weight than that will it ever compete. The argument would need to be funded substantially. I doubt any economy could sustain its widespread use any time soon, even if it wants to.

As I explained in my previous post, the gas network can NOT be used to transport hydrogen unless it is freed of its current application and amended substantially.

Here I am discussing just cons of hydrogen, while I would rather have a more balanced story. You tip me off balance as you seem to hold an onesided story too, triggering me with statements I cannot support like the gas network.
I bet you'd rather see me write that hydrogen is the ideal power source.

Well, it is! But its application has some problems. They may well be solved one day, but they need all be recognized and dealt with. Stating that will happen is not the same as actually making it happen.

What nags me most is the competing with electric aspect.
I cannot escape the thought that traditional auto makers deliberately set up hydrogen fuel projects not because they believe it is the power source for future cars but because it challenges the main threat for the conventional car industry; pure electric cars.
By scooping up subsidies labled for green tech they dilute the funds flowing towards electric car developers. And they trouble the view over what technology is to supersede current gas cars.
Divide and conquer.

If hydrogen car development never reaches the stage where a substantial amount of cars effectively use it all the effort has gone for naught, and we might still be driving mostly gas powered cars where electric would have played a bigger part if the hydrogen distraction would not be there.

In that light hydrogen may be the clean energy solution that indirectly creates more pollution than anyone could have envisioned.
Please look up my posts on the Rasa and others. You still envision hydrogen competing against electricity. It is not. It is competing against batteries. If you do not understand that salient concept, we will speak in circles.

And I understand fully that hydrogen is expensive at the moment and will be for the foreseeable future. But, my caveat has always been the primary power source. Nuclear is the only solution for an industrial world. Multiple energy carriers will be needed to transport this energy. Batteries have their limits. Hydrogen can be transformed into other than pure gas. To be exact, it can be formed into the analogs of the very hydrocarbons we use right now. Thus, we can use nuclear energy in the everyday without a huge shift in infrastructure. Can you do that with electric batteries alone? Not a chance.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:13 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I always meant battery powered electric cars. A hydrogen fuel cell car uses electricity just as a mediator. It is a series hybrid. Not an electric car that takes electricity as a primary power source.

Batteries have been improved massively in the last two decades. They will probably improve some more in the coming decades, especially considering charge time, longevity and cost.

So by the time nuclear power plants have regained a major position in the energy market, if that is to happen, batteries will be much better than they are today.
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:46 PM   #15 (permalink)
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And I can see you have the media view of things.

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I always meant battery powered electric cars. A hydrogen fuel cell car uses electricity just as a mediator. It is a series hybrid. Not an electric car that takes electricity as a primary power source.

Batteries have been improved massively in the last two decades. They will probably improve some more in the coming decades, especially considering charge time, longevity and cost.

So by the time nuclear power plants have regained a major position in the energy market, if that is to happen, batteries will be much better than they are today.
Hydrogen IS a form of energy storage as is a battery. But battery storage is limited by the chemistries available. There are no more chemistries that will allow a doubling or tripling of energy densities. All that is left to "improve" batteries is to lower cost and improve their ability to accept fast charge without undue degradation of lifetime. Capacity improvements are now incremental. If you have any links showing me a battery chemistry that that will double energy density of batteries, please inform me. I'm all for it. But, I am confident you will not find it.

I am confident you will find hydrogen storage schemes that will improve density by leaps and bounds.

And I am not a proponent of a hydrogen for an everything solution. I support batteries where they do the most good. But, can you design me a long range battery pack that will compete in the trucking industry or the air transport? I can do that with a fuel cell or with analog hydrocarbons.

And as I have noted in the Rasa posts, there are areas of energy where the energy is so cheap it is thrown away. Why not store that throw away energy and transport it to a place where it can do good? Batteries are not long term storage and they are too costly to ship as energy transport media.

There is a place for hydrogen now and in the near future.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:18 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Beyond the safety hazard, Hydrogen processing and storage are still too energy-intensive, thus becoming expensive. Even if photovoltaic or wind power were used to provide the energy required for those processes, it becomes wasted, and the power generation devices are going to need maintenance sometime.
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Old 03-14-2016, 05:52 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I can see ethanol getting used for planes and trucks, as its energy density per weight (contemplating the full system; fuel, tank, lines, engine) is not far off the current systems.
Neither batteries nor hydrogen comes near.

Planes have the advantage of only using airports and generally fixed routes so the fueling infrastructure could be set up relatively easy, but planes have very limited considering the extra space and weight the system would have.
Trucks are less limited on weight and space but need to go anywhere.
Batteries would be out of the question, except for short range (city) delivery trucks if they can get charged where they get loaded in - especially if 'emission free' zones are going to be a thing.
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Old 03-14-2016, 02:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I still don't see hydrogen being used to directly power vehicles.

If hydrogen can be produced so easily then it would more easily be produced by the oil companies and used to hydro form liquid fuels that are more energy dense, less hazardous, less reactive, less volatile and all around easier and safer to handle.
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Old 03-14-2016, 06:19 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Bingo!

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Originally Posted by oil pan 4 View Post
I still don't see hydrogen being used to directly power vehicles.

If hydrogen can be produced so easily then it would more easily be produced by the oil companies and used to hydro form liquid fuels that are more energy dense, less hazardous, less reactive, less volatile and all around easier and safer to handle.
Now you get it. Was it that hard?

If you had read my posts in the Rasa thread, you would have seen that this is exactly what I was proposing. We already use hydrogen from the sun stored in the form of hydrocarbons. No need for new, extensive infrastructure.

Now, as far as oil companies controlling the fuel output, it will not be easy for them. Nuclear power or excess renewables will be needed. So will a carbon stream such as a municipal waste stream. These resources are far more diffused and easily set up. A country could run totally off of fossil fuels if they chose to. I used Iceland as an extreme example for the now.

And if you wanted a long range, high performance electric car, it is going to cost you Tesla money with batteries as your storage. But, use a smaller battery pack and a smallish fuel cell and you can get the price down to that of a Lexus sedan. Fuel cells are coming down in price. My favored solid-oxide fuel cells are now able to run below 600 deg C, down from the 900 deg C of a decade ago. Current work has improved the rapidity of cycling starts to seconds instead of minutes and new material applications are eliminating the failure prone silicone matrix used in Anode/Cathode construction. They still need a burst of pure H2 and a few mg/cc of platinum to fast start, but those problems are not insurmountable as catalyst research is going like gangbusters compared to battery gains. Now, I can drive 80 Km on electricity and then tap the fuel cell powered by methanol for the rest of the drive giving me hundreds of Km range . You can't do that with pure batteries.

Yes, hydrogen is expensive in comparison to fossil fuels and straight renewable electricity. But my example of excess renewables being thrown away is where a company can set up shop producing synthetic methanol from this waste electricity storing this electrical energy in a dense, easily stored and transported form. As I have mentioned, the wind farms here in Palm Springs are capable of producing far more electrical energy than what can be used locally. This time of year is the windiest time and most of the wind turbines are feathered for reduced output or idled all together. Only one local company is producing H2 from this cheap electricity for industrial as well as transport use. A small addition to their process could yield methanol. Albeit, current catalysts need an acid step to produce the methanol, but a few lab solutions provide the possibility of a solid catalyst that can take H2 and CO2 under pressure and produce liquid methanol.

Once you get to liquid methanol, you can of course move to produce octane and JP8 analogs.

Once you wrap your mind around the concept that hydrogen is nothing more than a form of battery to be stored and transported, you start seeing the possibilities. Straight electricity to batteries is more efficient. But, hydrogen allows you storage and density advantages that will fit markets that batteries cannot fill.

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Old 03-15-2016, 01:55 AM   #20 (permalink)
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The oil companies are the only ones that know anything about making, moving large volumes of hydrogen, hydroforming colossal amounts of substances, dispose of or reuse the waste and they are the best at moving tons of flammable liquid fuel and not to mention they already have pretty much everything needed to do all the above mentioned.
So even when liquid fuels are made from hydrogen split from water we will still rely heavily on the oil companies.

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