In spite of enthusiastic politicians, hydrogen is a carrier, not a source of energy. Read on...
Fuel Cells in Wikipedia
"The round-trip efficiency (electricity to hydrogen and back to electricity) of such plants is between 30 and 40%"
Our Transportation Energy Future F. David Doty – [2004 March]
"[T]he 'Hydrogen Economy' will never materialize and our only viable, long-term option is renewables. ... [H]ydrogen has order-of-magnitude disadvantages in fuel costs, engine costs, and CO2 release that will not be solved in the next five decades."
Is Hydrogen the Solution? Hydrogen fuels have long-term promise, but we need to act now to relieve dependence on foreign oil and reduce global warming pollution. NRDC [2004 April]
"Hydrogen fuel cells and fuel sources, however, face significant technology, cost, and deployment barriers. A practical assessment of these barriers reveals that it will take at least two decades before hydrogen and fuel cells can begin to make a significant contribution to our energy security, cleaner air, and a safer climate."
"The idea of a hydrogen economy has burst like a supernova over the energy policy landscape, mesmerizing us with its possibilities while blinding us to its weaknesses. Such a fierce spotlight on hydrogen is pushing more promising strategies into the shadows.
The Hydrogen Hallucination The “Freedom Fuel” Leaves Us in Chains, Mark Sardella, PE [2003 June 17]
It’s being called the “freedom fuel”, capable of releasing us at last from the grip of the oil barons. The “hydrogen economy” is even the buzz of the bestseller list. But don’t break out the party balloons yet, because hydrogen hasn’t even the slightest chance of solving our energy problems. A bold assertion, perhaps, but the proof is contained in the simplest of facts: Hydrogen is not a source of energy.
The Future of the Hydrogen Economy: Bright or Bleak? Ulf Bossel, Baldur Eliasson, Gordon Taylor [2003 April 15]
"In this study, the energy consumed by each stage is related to the true energy content - the higher heating value (HHV) - of the delivered hydrogen. The analysis reveals that much more energy is needed to operate a hydrogen economy than is required for fossil energy supply and distribution today. In fact, the input of electrical energy to make, package, transport, store and transfer hydrogen may easily exceed the hydrogen energy delivered to the end user - implying a well-to-tank efficiency of less than 50 per cent. However, precious energy can be saved by packaging hydrogen chemically in a synthetic liquid hydrocarbon like methanol or ethanol. To de-couple energy use from global warming, the use of "geo-carbons" from fossil sources should be avoided. However, carbon atoms from biomass, organic waste materials or recycled carbon dioxide could become the carriers for hydrogen atoms. Furthermore, energy intensive electrolysis may be partially replaced by the less energy intensive chemical transformation of water and carbon to natural and synthetic hydrocarbons, including bio-methanol and bio-ethanol. Hence, the closed natural hydrogen (water) cycle and the closed natural carbon (CO2) cycle may be used to produce synthetic hydrocarbons for a post-fossil fuel energy economy. As long as the carbon comes from the biosphere ("bio-carbon"), the synthetic hydrocarbon economy would be far better than the elemental hydrogen economy - both energetically and thus environmentally...
"[Myth] Delivering hydrogen to users would consume most of the energy it contains.
In turn, this entire article is challenged in “Twenty Hydrogen Myths”: A physicist’s review by Dominic Crea.
"This article is being written in response to a recent paper by Amory Lovins —“Twenty Hydrogen Myths”—and wishes to identify what this author believes are a series of errors and misleading statements contained in that document. Doubtless, this paper will find itself questioned in turn; this is encouraged since an active and healthy debate amongst concerned scientists, engineers and the general public will ultimately clarify rather than confuse the issues surrounding the Hydrogen Economy."
Perspectives on Fuel Cell and Battery Electric Vehicles Alec N. Brooks, AC Propulsion, Presented at the CARB ZEV Workshop [2002 December 5]
"But are fuel cell vehicles really the holy grail – the end game for providing clean personal mobility? The popular and accepted view is that they are. The thinking goes along the lines of: fuel cells far more efficient than an IC engines because they are based on an electrochemical process rather than combustion; they are quiet, there are no moving parts, no greenhouse gas emissions, only pure water for emissions, and will have far more range than battery electric vehicles. It sounds great.
The debate continues...
|© 1994-2011 Ecotopia