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Author Topic: Is OSC right about global warming?
Tresopax
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quote:
What I'm saying is that Gore is even less qualified. If you want, I can back down and say they're equally qualified. They're both people who've looked at information that isn't a field they studied and formed opinions on them.
Gore doesn't base his argument on his own authority though. He bases it on the expert authority of the scientists who he is citing. So the question is not whether Gore is qualified; the question is whether the scientists he is citing are qualified to tell us "what Science says".
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DarkKnight
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I do wonder how many of the predictions are coming true. We are supposed to be ice free in the artic as soon as this year according to some experts. If we are that close, shouldn't sea levels already have risen? Why isn't NYC under water now?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
I do wonder how many of the predictions are coming true. We are supposed to be ice free in the artic as soon as this year according to some experts.
The more hyperbolic predictions are of course the ones that get reported (and used as worst-case scenarios by advocates on either side), but it's worth noting that these are the extremes. The mainstream predictions have been pretty accurate over the last decade.
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DarkKnight
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quote:
The mainstream predictions have been pretty accurate over the last decade.
Do you have any data to support this? Which 'claims' would this be?
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TomDavidson
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*points up to Rabbit's links*
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DarkKnight
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Ok, I just picked sea levels as one prediction and Rabbit had posted:
quote:
Even if none of the polar ice melts, sea levels will rise appreciably as the planets temperature rises.
We are supposed to have massive Global Warming so again, we are not under water? Why is Florida not submerged yet? Where is all the hard evidence of actual sea level rise and not just the speculation of what might happen if castastrophic man-made global warming is occuring? Why are all the numbers of estimated sea rise so different?
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TomDavidson
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quote:
We are supposed to have massive Global Warming so again, we are not under water?
Sea levels have risen and the ice shelf is melting and falling into the ocean. How fast does the worst-case scenario have to happen before you're recognize it?
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Scott R
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quote:
sea levels will rise appreciably as the planets temperature rises.
"Appreciably" does not mean "massively."
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DarkKnight
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quote:
Sea levels have risen and the ice shelf is melting and falling into the ocean. How fast does the worst-case scenario have to happen before you're recognize it?
arctic refreezing at record rate
quote:
The record melting of Arctic sea ice this summer was widely viewed as a harbinger of global warming, though unusual wind patterns played a role and many factors affecting fluctuations in Arctic ice are poorly understood by scientists.
quote:
Here's how NASA explains the record re-growth of ice over that 10-day period in October and November:

Record sea ice growth rates after a record low may sound surprising at first, but it is not completely unexpected. The more ice that survives the summer melt, the less open water there is for new ice to grow. When summertime ice extent hits a record low, on the other hand, large areas of open water provide room for the ice to grow once temperatures cool off enough. While summer warming of the upper ocean surface can cause wintertime sea ice regrowth to lag initially, as the fall season progresses and sunlight weakens, the rate of energy loss from the ocean increases. That heat loss coupled with a large area of open water creates ideal conditions for sea ice to form rapidly over large areas.

I think at a minimum I'd like to know it is really happening....
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Scott R
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I wonder if the gross loss of ice is greater than the amount of ice refrozen. That is, I suspect that although there is refreezing at an escalated rate, it's not compensating for the amount of ice lost.
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Bokonon
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It seems pretty clear to me from your excerpts. So much ice became ocean last year that when it finally got cold enough, a fair portion of that ocean was able to refreeze quickly.

If you have two glasses of water, one with ice in it, one without, and stick them both in the freezer, the one without ice will most likely have a faster freezing rate than the other glass, since there is more unfrozen water to freeze [EDIT: to begin with].

-Bok

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The Rabbit
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quote:
If you have two glasses of water, one with ice in it, one without, and stick them both in the freezer, the one without ice will most likely have a faster freezing rate than the other glass, since there is more unfrozen water to freeze.
Not True! I could go in to detail if you'd like but this analysis is simply wrong.
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rivka
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It's not? What about Newton's Law of Cooling?

*ponders* Wait, is it because of the heat of enthalpy associated with freezing?

(Darn, I used to know this stuff!)

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Bokonon
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Nope, I'll merely withdraw it in the face of better science than my common sense.

-Bok

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ClaudiaTherese
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quote:
Originally posted by lynn johnson:
Maybe The Rabbit is around and can parse these data for us? She seems strongly committed to human caused global warming, so I would like to know how the data presented fall apart.

In looking back over the thread, this brought something to mind.

In the case where one poster has demonstrable relevant credentials in a given area and has participated in depth for more than a dozen or so threads on a given topic, I'll make a formal motion that any serious questioners thereafter first demonstrate a basic understanding of the prior discussions by summorizing them (correctly) in his or her own words.

It seems like a lot of additional detailed work could be avoided by making sure people who are going to ask for additional courtesy of conversation are at least clear on what's gone before. Not in excruciating detail, just the salient points, and not as punishment (seriously). I have a strong suspicion that making sure the questioner first understood the prior discussions would be the most productive use of time, especially for someone who has already donated a lot of energy to laying things out. I've seen some cases of "I read that stuff" when it's pretty clear the reading wasn't the same as understanding, as well as a more-or-less implicit "It's too much to read" even when a particular person is asked to do too much in the other direction, anyway.

Not a law or a command either -- just a motion. [Smile] In demonstration of good faith and common courtesy, if nothing else.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
If you have two glasses of water, one with ice in it, one without, and stick them both in the freezer, the one without ice will most likely have a faster freezing rate than the other glass, since there is more unfrozen water to freeze.
Not True! I could go in to detail if you'd like but this analysis is simply wrong.
Actually, I think Bokonon has phrased a true statement rather badly. Let me try to rephrase: Suppose you have two glasses of water with the same amount of heat energy. One glass, however, has a section of ice and a section of warm (ish) water; the other has rather less ice, but colder water. The latter glass will freeze more rapidly because the water doesn't have to be cooled to 0 Celsius first.

I don't think you can observe this with actual kitchen glasses, because they're so small that the ice will very rapidly be heated by the warmish water. But in a glass the size of the Arctic Ocean, it might work that way.

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BlueWizard
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Here is the flaw in the argument from both sides. As an illustration, let me use myself and my brother. I am a Democrat and I believe global warming is accelerated by man. My brother is a Republican, and he believes global warming is not caused by man.

That would seem to leave us at an impasse, but, oddly, no. We both believe that regardless of whether global warming is cause by mankind or not, everything global warming demands that we do, we should and must do independent of global warming.

First, at this minute, each and everyone of you is sending a substantial column of heat into the air, and I don't just mean your body temperature. You are consuming electricity and that is generating heat in the creation of it and in the consumption of it. Your hot water heater is steaming away. If the weather is chilly, you furnace is pouring far more heat into the atmosphere than it is pouring into your house. Cooking generates heat from dual sources. You car generates heat from dual sources; meaning both in the creation and consumption aspects. Mankind has become one huge furnace, and I can't believe with nearly 7 billion people spread across the earth constantly pouring out a continual stream of heat, that that heat does not accumulate and have an effect. But of course, that's my personal opinion.

Now compound the shear volume of heat generated with all the greenhouse gases and it would seem next to impossible that we are not having an effect.

But as I said, even if I am wrong, everything global warming demands that we do, we truly must do even if global warming is wrong.

The USA consumes and wastes at an extreme and unprecedented rate. The rest of the developing world aspires to live like us in wealth and luxury. Unfortunately, if China and India, reach the level of wealth and wasteful consumption of the USA, then the earth is pretty much dead. It simply can not sustain that level of wasteful consumption.

The USA needs to make an effort on the scale of the moon landing to assure that we are the most efficient and wasteless country in the world. That way, when the other developing country aspire to our life style, it will be a life style that the earth can sustain.

Next, and again on the scale of the moon mission, the USA needs to remove all political obstacles to creating new forms of energy, and to developing new energy technology.

There are new magnetic motors being developed in Japan, Australia, and in backroom garages around the world. Unlike conventional electric engines, these engines do not need sustained flow of current. The are driven near full revolution by the force of magnets. Unfortunately, when the rotor spins round to the starting point, it stalls. So, at the point, it just needs a little pulse of electricity to push it past that point, at which time the magnets take over.

I have always said that Hydrogen engines were a waste of time, because it was too difficult and too expensive to refine and store the hydrogen. But, of course, I realize that commercial science was taking completely the wrong approach.

You don't separate the hydrogen and oxygen in an expensive process and the try to store and ship the hydrogen. You just leave it in the very safe form of common water and electrolysize it in the engine. Several backyard mechanics have already developed prototype cars that do this.

This can either be done as a gas/water hybrid, where the hydrogen boost the fuel economy of a standard gas engine. Or, a standard gas engine can be converted quite easily to run on pure hydrogen in the form of water. The advantage to both these methods, is not only safety, since the fuel tank contain only water, but a virtual unlimited supply of fuel at mere pennies per gallon.

So why is this being promoted by backyard mechanics and not big corporations and government? Well, of course, the answer is, there is no money to be made in selling water. Though the bottled water industry might be the exception.

What happens to the corner gas station if all people need is water to run their cars? What happens to the immensely powerful petrol companies? How do they make a buck off of water?

Now, some will say that my self-sustaining on-the-spot hydrogen generation and magnetic engines is the hopelessly flawed perpetual motions machine; not at all.

The common gas engine is HORRIBLY inefficient. The power-in to the power-out ratio is terrible. All that massive blistering heat that comes off your engine is energy that does nothing. So, with an internal hydrogen production mechanism, the energy to the engine is more than the energy lost to the drain on the electrical system. But still it is very inefficient. The internal combustion engine will always waste energy. The question isn't have we made it 100% efficient; the question is, have we improved the efficiency?

Also note that as the temperature of the water increases, hydrogen/oxygen electrolysis becomes easier; something beneficial from all that otherwise wasted engine heat.

There are countless videos on YouTube.com related to on-the-spot hydrogen productions from water, that also has the added benefit of cracking out the oxygen and using it, which also increases the efficiency of the engine. Pure oxygen makes a far more potent burn than the common 20% oxygen in air.

You will also find a wide assortment of videos on various well known forms of magnetic engines including a few commercially workable systems.

I personally think it is time for the age of petroleum to end. Steam had its century, and now petroleum has had its century; time for it to die. There can be new clean efficient source of energy if we try in an honest and nonpolitical way to seek them out.

steve/bluewizard

[ June 08, 2008, 02:38 PM: Message edited by: BlueWizard ]

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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by The Rabbit:
quote:
If you have two glasses of water, one with ice in it, one without, and stick them both in the freezer, the one without ice will most likely have a faster freezing rate than the other glass, since there is more unfrozen water to freeze.
Not True! I could go in to detail if you'd like but this analysis is simply wrong.
Since people are so confused, I'll go into detail.

First let us consider the case where we have two glass one with ice and water at 0 C, and one where we have water at 0 C. The rate at which ice will form in each glass will be proportional to the rate at which energy is removed from the glass by heat transfer (assuming that we aren't limited by the rate of nucleation of ice crystals). The heat transfer rate from both glasses will be proportional to the temperature difference between the contents of the glass and the surroundings. Since the two glasses are at the same temperature and in the same freeze, we would expect ice to form at the same rate in both glasses.

Now consider what would happen if you added a glass with water at 10 C to the freezer. Initially, the temperature difference between this water and the freezer would be greater and so the heat transfer rate would be greater. But as heat was transfered from the glass, the water temperature would drop and thus the heat transfer rate would also drop. Ice would not begin to form until the water reached 0 C. At this point the heat transfer rate between this glass and freezer would be exactly the same as the heat transfer rate between the freezer and the glass that started at 0 C. From the point that this glass reached 0 degrees to the time it was completely frozen would be identical to the time it took the glass that started at 0 C to freeze. The total freezer time it would take to freeze the glass that started at 10 C would be the time it took to cool that glass to 0 C plus the time it would take to freeze a glass that started at 0 C.

Now we will consider KOMs scenario where we have a little ice in warm water compared to a lot of cold water. In this case the relevant question is how much enthalpy would need to be removed from the system to get it to freeze. We could answer this question if we knew exactly how much ice and water were present and the temperatures of each phase. But in the case of the sea ice we can take a simpler approach.

Consider two cases. In both case we start with the same polar ice cap but in one case we will melt 10% of the ice during the summer and in the other we melt 50% of the ice during the summer. From which system will we need to remove the most energy in order to get the ice to refreeze? Since the two systems were in the same state when we started, we know that the difference in the enthalpy of the two systems is equal to the amount of energy it took to melt 40% of the ice. So we will have to remove more energy from that system to get the ice to refreeze than in the system where less ice melted.

There is one more complicating factor in all this. In the oceans we aren't freezing pure water we are freezing salt water. As ice freezes, the concentration of salt in the surrounding water will rise. This will lower the freezing point of the water and slow the freezing rate. Conversely as the polar ice melts, it will dilute the salt in the ocean and the freezing point will be elevated. If there is rapid melting of the polar ice, the water surrounding the ice will be less salty. When winter returns, that less salty water will begin freezing at a higher temperature resulting in more rapid ice formation initially. But just like the case of the 10 C glass, this will only be an initial effect. Once all the water from the original ice has refrozen, the ocean will go back to having the original salt concentration and the original freezing temperature. So it is likely that going from 50% ice to 60% ice would go faster than going from 90% ice to 100%. But that effect would diminish as you went from 60% to 70%, diminish even more as more ice froze.

[ June 08, 2008, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: The Rabbit ]

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King of Men
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quote:
Consider two cases. In both case we start with the same polar ice cap but in one case we will melt 10% of the ice during the summer and in the other we melt 50% of the ice during the summer. From which system will we need to remove the most energy in order to get the ice to refreeze? Since the two systems were in the same state when we started, we know that the difference in the enthalpy of the two systems is equal to the amount of energy it took to melt 40% of the ice. So we will have to remove more energy from that system to get the ice to refreeze than in the system where less ice melted.
But when you are talking about polar ice rather than glasses of water, the rates of heat transfer are no longer identical for the two cases. Now you have to account for the larger area occupied by the 40% extra ice that melted. If we assume that this water stays at the surface and occupies some reasonably even depth, then the area is proportional to the amount of melted ice and thus so is the heat transfer, modulo differences due to latitude. But really, by this point you need a proper climate model with fluid dynamics and a supercomputer.
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The Rabbit
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You have a point KOM, perhaps it would be better to compare to a glass that has a layer of ice already frozen on all the edges. In that case, the ice layer will act as an insulator reducing heat transfer to the water in the center of the glass. If you removed the ice from some of the surfaces, the heat transfer rate and therefore the freezing rate would increase.

The situation gets even more complicated because radiation will account for a significant component of the heat transfer and there is a significant difference between the albedo for ice and water (at least in the visible spectrum). In the summer, this actually tilts the balance toward melting but I'm not sure what it would do in the polar winter when visible light from the sun is minimal and the primary factor will be IR radiation from the surface.

I still think the more significant factor is the dilution of the salt water. Since fresh water has a lower density than salt water, the water melting from the ice caps will tend to float on the saltier sea water. It will then begin freezing at a higher temperature so that the initially the refreeze will happen faster than it would if less melting had occurred.

I think the key thing is to note that none of these effects will lead to more ice freezing than would have frozen without the melt.

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scifibum
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bluewizard, you're way off when it comes to the idea of using water as a fuel in cars. You *cannot* get more energy out of the hydrogen and oxygen produced by electrolysis than it takes to perform the electrolysis. You'd have to input energy from another source, which means a battery or a directly combustible fuel. So why not do that? Because you have efficiency losses at each step, so it's more efficient to take the energy from the battery or the combustible fuel and just propel the car with it.

Personally I think we're going to need an array of sustainable electricity generation options, probably including hydro, nuclear, wind, and solar, and much-improved battery and capacitor technology. Then use the batteries and capacitors to power our vehicles and other machines that can't be connected directly to the power grid.

I think hydrogen as a fuel probably has no long term potential due to the storage problems, and because we have to manufacture it which takes more energy than we get out.

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T:man
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What about cow farts. (methane!!)
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King of Men
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quote:
You'd have to input energy from another source, which means a battery or a directly combustible fuel. So why not do that? Because you have efficiency losses at each step, so it's more efficient to take the energy from the battery or the combustible fuel and just propel the car with it.
While this is true in principle, hydrogen does have the advantage of being quite energy-dense once you've produced it, unlike your average battery. So if you produce it in a central location, with all the attendant economies of scale, and then distribute it, that can be more efficient than a bunch of batteries, which also tend to be heavy. After all batteries are just a method of storage, too! You cannot tell from first thermodynamic principles which of these approaches is best, you have to duck into the greasy engineering details.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
You'd have to input energy from another source, which means a battery or a directly combustible fuel. So why not do that? Because you have efficiency losses at each step, so it's more efficient to take the energy from the battery or the combustible fuel and just propel the car with it.
While this is true in principle, hydrogen does have the advantage of being quite energy-dense once you've produced it, unlike your average battery. So if you produce it in a central location, with all the attendant economies of scale, and then distribute it, that can be more efficient than a bunch of batteries, which also tend to be heavy. After all batteries are just a method of storage, too! You cannot tell from first thermodynamic principles which of these approaches is best, you have to duck into the greasy engineering details.
I don't know that I disagree with what you posted, but I want to point out that it's difficult/expensive to store and transport hydrogen, and its energy density by volume is typically poor...and also that internal combustion engines will probably always have a lower efficiency than electric motors.

So...yeah, you've got to get into the greasy details to figure out what works best. What I DO know is that water-as-a-fuel is a non-starter.

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steven
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" What I DO know is that water-as-a-fuel is a non-starter."

Really? I think it has certain useful applications. IIRC, the credit card companies in NYC use water fuel cells as a backup power supply. There was a blackout in NYC in the late 80s/early 90s that lasted about an hour, and cost the credit card companies several million dollars in lost sales. They were looking for an absolutely reliable power supply, with no moving parts to wear out.

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King of Men
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Yes, yes, but it's not a fuel, it's an energy storage medium. The actual fuel in the case you mention is probably coal, from whatever power plant's output was used to produce the hydrogen.
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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I don't know that I disagree with what you posted, but I want to point out that it's difficult/expensive to store and transport hydrogen, and its energy density by volume is typically poor...and also that internal combustion engines will probably always have a lower efficiency than electric motors. [/QB]

True on all points. The basic problem we are facing is that oil is just plain useful. There's a reason we've got so dependent on it, and it's not that evil oil companies have been pushing the stuff on an unwilling public. This is the same basic fallacy you see in the drug war: We have drug lords because Americans want to get high, not because Colombians are evil. If there were any easy, cheap substitutes for oil, they'd have been found already. In the end, we're going to have to get used to a lifestyle where energy, and especially mobile energy, is more expensive than at any time in the last half century.

People talk a lot about substitutes for oil becoming economic as the price goes up, and they're right as far as it goes. But the thing is, a substitute that's only economic for oil prices above, say, $120, cannot possibly push the price of oil back down below $120. So the question is, at what level do we have enough substitutes that the price of oil doesn't continue to go up? If it turns out to be $250, we're all going to be biking to work.

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BlueWizard
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Producing hydrogen is easy; any kid can do it in his kitchen. BUT, and this is the BIG BUT, can you get more out than you put in? For example, if we have a hydrogen hybrid car, and we produce $1.00 worth of hydrogen, it's kind of a waste if it takes $1.50 worth of gas to do that.

When the electrolysis process draws current, that make the car generator harder to turn, which means the gasoline engine has to work hard and therefore consume more fuel. If you can't get improved gas mileage with the added hydrogen, then really what is the point?

But as I pointed out, the commerial approach to hydrogen has been all wrong. First is the issue I've already mentioned, of separating the hydrogen and oxygen, and distributing the compressed hydrogen; bad idea, fraught with problems, safety issues, and expenses.

You can go to the welding supply store, the same store that sells acetylene and oxygen, and you can buy a tank of hydrogen. But that hydrogen was produced using the same ancient method that the kid in his kitchen is using. But here, efficiency is not a problem. You just set the price of hydrogen to meet your cost plus profit. But it establishes that commercially available hydrogen is indeed available.

And that is the problem, it is so easy to produce hydrogen, that we've never looked past the common and easily available methods to do it.

Oh and by the way, most commercially available hydrogen comes not from water, but from natural gas. Exactly what do we gain by that process when our cars are quite capable of just burning the natural gas?

There is an inventor, Stanley Meyer, you can search for YouTube videos about him. He has over 40 patents on hydrogen technology. Using common easy methods of hydrogen production, the cost to energy ratio is pretty poor. But Stanley Meyer has developed a hydrogen cell and produced a working car using advanced all-water hydrogen production technology.

By using pulse width modulation and variable frequency, plus efficient tubular electrodes, he claims to have flipped the energy conversion ratio from 3:1 to 1:3. I'm not sure about Mr. Meyer but others have increase the production of hydrogen by adding a catalyst or electrolyte to the water. Commonly, just baking soda.

Mr. Meyer has a working vehicle that he estimates could drive coast to coast on 25 gallons of water. And he was about to demonstrate that very fact, when he met an oddly untimely and mysterious death. Though he did have a business partner who hopefully controls the patents, who is carrying on his work. Though Meyer's death has delayed things a little, demonstrations are moving along

YouTube, which admittedly is not the most reliable source, has videos of Mr. Meyer all-water (meaning not a hybrid) car out driving around.

Another video shows a TV news report of a guy in New Zealand (I think) who has a working 350cc motorcycle running electrolytic water, again meaning all-water/no-gas. He puts water in the tank, and with some difficulty starts the motorcycle, and drives it around. What else do you need to know? The vehicle works.

In another case, again on YouTube, a man is completely energy self-sufficient. He has an array of solar cells that generate far more electricity than he needs, so he takes the excess and 'cracks' water into hydrogen and oxygen, stores it in old propane tanks, and heats his house with it.

Any place we have crap (dung, manure) we have fuel, the very fuel that most American homes are heated with; 'natural gas'. Every farm could be a source of usable methane. Every human waste treatment plant could also be a source of methane. Every garbage dump is a source of methane. But are we taping any of these sources? No, or at least only on a small scale.

Plus, these methane fuel sources, generate a usable waste product. After a farmer has wrung every last drop of fuel out of his dung, the dung still contains nitrogen and is usable as fertilizers. Even better, it is a far less toxic and safer form of fertilizer than raw manure.

My point is, that if we weren't so fixated on fixing a hopelessly broken system. We might dedicate some resources and intellect toward creating new technology. As I've said, it is time for the age of petroleum to die. If we make a dedicated scientific effort, I truly believe these problems can be solved.

But they are certainly not going to be solved when Bush and Cheney are in bed with the oil companies.

I'm not saying the science is completely there, I'm saying there are encouraging signs that the science CAN BE there if we spend the time and effort to seek it out.

We are surrounded by tons of energy that is completely ignored and wasted. Let's develop the technology to put that energy to use.

Steve/bluewizard

[ June 10, 2008, 06:01 PM: Message edited by: BlueWizard ]

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BlueWizard
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One major unsurpassable draw back to electric vehicles - recharge time. It takes five minutes to pull into a gas station or refuel. It is simply not practical to have my vehicle inaccessible for many hours at a time. With hydorgen, petroleum, methane, or water, refuel times are extremely short and convenient.

Electricity can never overcome that obstacle without radical changes in batter and charging technology. Even then, the best we can hope for is recharge times of a few hours, rather than many many hours.

The only solution, is for people to have one short range car and one long range car, but for many citizens, that is hopelessly expensive. Likely even if your family has three cars (father, mother, kids), the need is for three long range cars.

Electric/Gas hybrids have some potential and I think great strides will be made in this area. But people simply can't function with the single limited purpose electric car.

So, in my view, accept of a limited few, in all urban driving, in moderate climates, with plenty of recharge time, most people simply can't use an all electric car.

I live in fridged Minnesota; once I engage the lights, windshield wipers, and heater, an electric car becomes hopelessly impractical.

Steve/bluewizard

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scifibum
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Steve, I agree with your overall point, and some of the ideas you're advocating.

But in the case of water-powered vehicles, you're missing that the laws of thermodynamics (which last I checked, are still pretty reliable) dictate that you cannot obtain more energy from burning hyrdogen obtained through electrolysis than you poured into the electrolysis. So using water as a mobile source of hydrogen fuel just doesn't make sense. #1, you lose some of the energy you use in the electrolysis (to electrical resistance and whatnot). #2, you lose a LOT of the heat energy from burning oxygen and hydrogen (there's no way around this in an internal combustion engine). Meyer and the NZ motorcyle guy are either crackpots or what you've read/seen about their inventions is not complete.

But I fully agree we need to pursue a lot of alternative energy solutions and generally be a lot less wasteful.

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King of Men
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It is not possible to extract more energy from burning hydrogen than you put into making it. This is because the two equations are

2H2O + energy = 2H2 + O2
2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + energy.

Flipping the equals sign does not produce a change in the amount of energy required. This is the First Law of Thermodynamics. If these people are really claiming what you say they are claiming, then they are also saying they have invented perpetual motion.

Now, I simplified there; the real equations are

2H2O + energy = 2H2 + O2 + heat
2H2 + O2 = 2H2O + work + heat

It is possible that these people have found ways of reducing the heat, thereby getting closer to the ideal equations above. But I will lay any amount of money you care to name that they are not extracting work from water. And I will offer the following test: Try, in the next ten years, to buy a vehicle that will take you even a hundred miles - never mind coast to coast - inputting nothing but water. You won't be able to do it.

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King of Men
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quote:
By using pulse width modulation and variable frequency, plus efficient tubular electrodes, he claims to have flipped the energy conversion ratio from 3:1 to 1:3.
I do note, this is roughly equivalent to reversing the polarity.
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BlueWizard
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Yes, but you are not quantifying 'energy'.

Do you really think that gasoline magically appears? No, you have to put energy into crude oil to separate it into its constituent parts.

Do you really think that electricity just magically appears? No, you have to put another source of energy into the process to get electrical energy out.

How are these processes any different than creating hydrogen? Are there more BTU's in the coal burned to create electricity, or are there more BTU's in the electricity converted into some form of work?

Do, you really think your car is 100% efficient? Not by a long shot. The massive blistering heat your engine gives off is wasted energy, it is energy that did not go into driving your car. So, just because cars are not perpetual motion machines, we should abandon them?

That is the flaw in the counter argument, that magnetic motors and hydrogen engines are some crackpot attempt at perpetual motion. They ARE NOT. Perpetual motions machines are set into motion and continue on forever, never consuming a measurable amount of energy. We know that is impossible.

But magnetic motors do have a measurable source of energy; the magnets. As long as the magnets never wear out, the motor keeps running. Further, magnetic motors do consume electricity, but they do it in a far more energy efficient way that the standard electric motor.

Back to hydrogen. The resulting hydrogen combined with oxygen has a fixed potential energy. That is, for the most part a constant. However, the energy IN can be a variable, if we can find more effective and efficient means of creating the resulting energy.

If nothing else, we can effectively engage in energy conversion. We can convert something for pennies into something that cost dollars. That's what the petroleum industry does. They pump in pennies worth of energy to get dollars worth of product.

A good example of this is Alcohol Fuel, when petroleum costs are high, it is monetarily efficient to substitute alcohol for fuel. When petrol prices are low, it is not. But if you have corn and little fuel, you can still convert the corn to a more usable fuel. By that I mean, you can heat your house with corn, but you can't fuel your car on raw unprocessed corn.

So, my central point is that the conversion of fuel energy into motion is terrible inefficient. Yet, it is, up until now, financially workable.

We have a form conversion, and energy conversion, and a monetary conversion. Form conversion is sometimes necessary, and ultimately, monetary conversion weighs heavier than energy conversion.

I say we don't know what the energy IN to energy OUT ratio is because we have not sought out the most efficient method of energy IN for hydrogen.

For example, if we have liquid water, is that more difficult to 'crack' than vaporized/atomized water? If we atomized or vaporized the water first, then hit it with a blast of electricity just before it enters the cylinder fuel injector, would it be easier to 'crack'? Easier to crack mean better energy conversion.

I concede that the common method of electrolysis in not very energy efficient. But is that the best method, or is that just the easiest method?

Ask yourself this, what is the energy conversion ratio between crude oil in the ground to gasoline after it's burned in a car?

That is an incredibly bad energy conversion ratio, but for now, it is an acceptable money conversion ratio. Though, for how much longer that remains true is debatable.

I don't think you can say that the energy conversion ratio or the money conversion ratio of hydrogen is not workable until science has sought out the most efficient method to do that.

Clearly all previous hydrogen models have been hopelessly flawed in their approach in all aspects; creation, transportation, storage, safety, distribution, etc....

But just because they did it wrong, doesn't mean someone else can't find a way to do it right. All they have to do is find a way to lower either the actual energy or the cost of the energy input in the process.

Steve/bluewizard

[ June 10, 2008, 07:04 PM: Message edited by: BlueWizard ]

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BlueWizard
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quote:
Originally posted by King of Men:
quote:
By using pulse width modulation and variable frequency, plus efficient tubular electrodes, he claims to have flipped the energy conversion ratio from 3:1 to 1:3.
I do note, this is roughly equivalent to reversing the polarity.
No, it is the equivalent to increasing the efficiency.

And by the way, we reverse polarity all the time; in most cases, roughly 60 times per second ;0 .

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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[Big Grin]
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King of Men
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quote:
Do you really think that gasoline magically appears? No, you have to put energy into crude oil to separate it into its constituent parts.
Yes. But in the case of oil you put X in, and you get NX out, N>1. In the case of hydrogen you put X in, and you cannot possibly get more than X out.

quote:
How are these processes any different than creating hydrogen?
They are different because with hydrogen, you are not going to get back more energy than you put in.


quote:
A good example of this is Alcohol Fuel, when petroleum costs are high, it is monetarily efficient to substitute alcohol for fuel. When petrol prices are low, it is not. But if you have corn and little fuel, you can still convert the corn to a more usable fuel. By that I mean, you can heat your house with corn, but you can't fuel your car on raw unprocessed corn.
Yes, there is value in converting one form of energy to a more mobile or dense one, even if you lose some energy on the way. But ultimately the energy has to come from somewhere. Hydrogen does not solve that problem; oil does, or rather did. Nuclear would, for a couple of centuries until we ran out of uranium. Hydro would, if we had enough mountains. Geothermal would. Solar and wind would, if we had enough empty land that gets plenty of sunshine or wind.

At some point you must put energy into the system. Hydrogen cannot do that; all it can do is distribute the energy you are producing elsewhere in a reasonably effective way, if that. You are never going to put water and nothing else in your tank, and go motoring off into the sunset, which is what you were claiming a few posts ago.

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scifibum
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quote:
For example, if we have liquid water, is that more difficult to 'crack' than vaporized/atomized water? If we atomized or vaporized the water first, then hit it with a blast of electricity just before it enters the cylinder fuel injector, would it be easier to 'crack'? Easier to crack mean better energy conversion.

I concede that the common method of electrolysis in not very energy efficient. But is that the best method, or is that just the easiest method?

Doesn't matter how efficient you get at cracking the water. You could get 100% efficient at it (you can't, but for argument). You'd still get no more energy from burning the resulting O2 and H2 than you poured into the process.

H2 can be used as a mobile fuel - you can possibly use energy that you can't easily take on the road to do the cracking, store the result, and then use the result as a mobile fuel. I can even imagine that maybe, with improved technology, this becomes a competitive option compared to oil or ethanol or stored electrical energy. No argument there. I think research should continue.

One plausible option might be putting water in at home and plugging into an electrical outlet or using solar cells to do the electrolysis before you hit the road. If you had efficient and inexpensive machinery and efficient storage of the result, it could work.

You'll never have a good way to do your water cracking on the fly in a vehicle and get net energy out. That's all I've been arguing. If you take sufficient input energy on the road to do it on the fly, that input energy would be better used directly for propulsion.

BTW, KoM didn't need to quantify "energy" - there was the equal sign there. However much energy is on one side of the equation, you won't have more on the other.

BTW, oil and corn both have a lot of stored chemical energy that you can easily release, unlike water.

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Orincoro
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I'm just going to jump in slightly randomly with my own critique of OSC's thinking here.


quote:
These paragraphs were sent to me by a friend who is seen how much heat I've taken for calling Environmentalism a religion and for pointing out that the claims of human-caused global warming are faith-based rather than science-based. He thought -- correctly -- that I would find it vastly reassuring to know that Freeman Dyson agrees with me.
This is the root of the problem. Dyson's commentary on the religious and ethical aspects of the Environmentalist movement is calm, rational, logical, and non-condemnatory of those who actually think (I don't say "believe") that carbon emissions are correlated with global warming. The people who are environmentalist in their thinking are not the only people who think this, and yet in OSC's view, they all are.

At least in his language, in his endless lambasting of the true-believerism of environmental movements, the motivations can never be pure- they have to be relegated to the groupthink of automatons who have questionable, freedom hating, and un-American reasons for what they are doing that have to do with hating society, and ultimately, by extension OSC himself.

There it is. This is about OSC. And why not? What do you know about people who spend all their time worrying that someone out there is going to break into their house and shoot them in their sleep? That person owns a gun, and talks about using it, and wants to use it- and you can tell they do.

Why are good cops able to do their jobs? Many will tell you that it's because they identify with criminality- they are cut from the same cloth, and they deal with the same world, the same world view, just on the flip-side.


OSC's endless ranting about science as a religion, or rather the corruption of science into religion, makes me think about him. Why is he so sure that intellectuals, academics, scientists, pretty much anyone he disagrees with, is expressing a belief or an idea that comes not from them, but from some vast group-thinking conspiracy of incompetence? Does he have experience with this entanglement of religious dedication and analytical thought? Has he been the victim, ironically, of people like himself, who pigeon-hole him for his Mormon background and beliefs, and have decided that he is unable to think for himself because he is religious? Does he see the parallel there at all? Is he really that obtuse?

I mean, seriously, I've come lately to think that he must, must have a bent to his thinking related to an experience I have just never had.

He's like one of those people who tells you he just wants to have a good time, but somehow things never go right for him, but it really isn't his fault, but he'll be damned if people are gonna disrespect him, and it's not like he was looking for trouble, but trouble just seems to find him. I think of Step Fletcher from "Lost Boys" and the way everyone is always beating up on this meek and noble guy with his sweet family and his noble spirit, and yet he finds himself constantly among people who are horrible to him, and never seems to be able to get away from them... It's frightening to think about sometimes.

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Samprimary
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Last time I saw this kind of sound and fury leveled at a scientific finding calling it a hoax, a fabrication, 'groupthink,' or a 'religion' it was against evolutionary theory.

Same buzzwords, same talking points, just now leveled against global warming consensus.

quote:
OSC's endless ranting about science as a religion, or rather the corruption of science into religion, makes me think about him. Why is he so sure that intellectuals, academics, scientists, pretty much anyone he disagrees with, is expressing a belief or an idea that comes not from them, but from some vast group-thinking conspiracy of incompetence?
Cognitive dissonance? Truthiness? I don't know how much it matters at this point.
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sylvrdragon
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Let me see if my understanding of the subject is correct.

You can only get as much energy out of something as was put into it in the first place. The reason petroleum is so energy dense is that hundreds of thousands of years of solar energy (via heat and pressure) were put into creating it. Hydrogen, however, has far less energy contained within it as it is basically the base element. The only energy that you are likely to get out of it is whatever you put into it, whereas petroleum is very nearly already the finished product. You DO get more net energy out of petroleum than YOU put into it. So much in fact, that we can WASTE most of the energy stored within it and STILL have a net gain. The Sun did all the work for us in spades.

If the above is given, then it stands to logic that the higher the atomic weight of an atom, the more energy was put into it (fusion takes a lot of energy right?). This is why Uranium is so valuable; it has the highest atomic weight of any naturally occurring element. It has the most to give that we didn't have to put into it ourselves.

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BlueWizard
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you can doubt the validity of as-you-drive water to hydrogen conversion, but how many examples do you have to see before you start considering the possibility.

H2O Car - Water Powered Car
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jivb7lupDNU

The company is called 'Genepax' and they have developed a hydrogen engine that they claim needs no extrenal support. In other words not batteries to charge or anything. As long as you have water of any type or quality, the car will run, and it will run 80km per liter of common water.

Motorcycle Runs on Water - Auckland NZ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW_LQqJk740

Stan Meyer - Water Fuel Cell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIgOn1kRw5s

Car running on water, Hydrogen. Stan Meyer part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIXjODu7DIA

Steve/bboyminn

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Samprimary
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quote:
The company is called 'Genepax' and they have developed a hydrogen engine that they claim needs no extrenal support.
Free bridge with every water-powered car?

Sorry, I'm defaulting to skepticism first.

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King of Men
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quote:
The company is called 'Genepax' and they have developed a hydrogen engine that they claim needs no extrenal support.
Well then, I suggest you go buy some shares, or lend them money for further development. If you get rich, I'll eat humble pie.

As for the videos, I see a car; it is festooned with "H2O power" stickers; I hear various claims about water only; I see a man pouring water into a beaker; there is some nondescript machinery in the car. What I do not see is any indication that this car will continue running for any distance with no input but water.

So, to answer your question, "one". I have yet to see one.

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King of Men
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Sylvrdragon, your analysis is not horribly off, but you are mixing up chemical and nuclear energy. Further, fusion does not take energy for elements lighter than iron.

[ June 14, 2008, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: King of Men ]

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sylvrdragon
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Ah. Well, that's why I intend to take Physics classes; so as not to be ignorant of the subject any longer.
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Threads
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I think KoM phrased it poorly. Fusion takes energy no matter what you are fusing. It just produces more energy than it takes when fusing elements lighter than iron. I'm not even sure its true for all elements lighter than iron but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.
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The Rabbit
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quote:
Originally posted by BlueWizard:
you can doubt the validity of as-you-drive water to hydrogen conversion, but how many examples do you have to see before you start considering the possibility.

H2O Car - Water Powered Car
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jivb7lupDNU

The company is called 'Genepax' and they have developed a hydrogen engine that they claim needs no extrenal support. In other words not batteries to charge or anything. As long as you have water of any type or quality, the car will run, and it will run 80km per liter of common water.

Motorcycle Runs on Water - Auckland NZ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW_LQqJk740

Stan Meyer - Water Fuel Cell
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YIgOn1kRw5s

Car running on water, Hydrogen. Stan Meyer part 3
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIXjODu7DIA

Steve/bboyminn

Such a vehicle would violate the first law of thermodynamics. As such it is would not be patentable (at least in the US).

If this actually works, everyone should be making one quite soon.

Oh, and someone will certainly win the nobel prize for it.

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King of Men
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quote:
Originally posted by Threads:
I think KoM phrased it poorly. Fusion takes energy no matter what you are fusing. It just produces more energy than it takes when fusing elements lighter than iron. I'm not even sure its true for all elements lighter than iron but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Well, ok, it depends a bit on the precise reaction you are doing. You can no doubt find some elements close to iron that would require energy to fuse. But I don't think it's accurate to say that a process requires energy when it gives off energy on net.
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King of Men
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Getting back to the Genepax car, a bit more detail has come to light. It seems they are not inputting water only; they have a "membrane electrode assembly" which splits the water through some chemical action. In other words they have found a way of making a battery which will store energy and give it back when water is poured over it. That's completely different and entirely possible. Of course, it may still be economically unviable if the membranes are expensive or have to be replaced often. We shall see if they make it to market. Please note, though, that the fundamental objection remains: This is just a convenient way to store energy; the energy has to be produced somewhere, and there will certainly be largish efficiency losses. (Create the membrane, split the water, recombine the water - three steps.) It may make it possible to retain a car culture without oil, but it won't solve the larger energy problem.
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Glenn Arnold
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quote:
I concede that the common method of electrolysis in not very energy efficient. But is that the best method, or is that just the easiest method?
Allow me to interject here on the subject of H2 vehicles, and also of fueling them (I'm working on this project, so I've can call myself an expert, to some extent)

Most H2 vehicles use a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell to convert the energy in H2 to electricity. The efficiency of the fuel cell is quite high, on the order of 50% to 60% of the energy in the H2. The efficiency of the electrical motor is in the 90% range. So if you compare H2 as a fuel to a gasoline engine, you're in a completely different ballpark. Gasoline engines typically peak at about 15% thermal efficiency, and normally operate between 6-8 percent thermal efficiency.

Creating fuel stations for hydrogen is what I'm actually working on. We are trying to develop a combined cycle system (or a hybrid, if you prefer) that works like this:

A stationary fuel cell producing let's say 1.5 MW sits on a street corner. This is called distributed generation; since the fuel cell is local, electrical distribution losses are minimized.

The fuel cell runs on natural gas, which is reformed by the fuel cell into H2 and CO2. Reforming is endothermic, and waste heat from the fuel cell is recuperated into the incoming air and fuel to power the reforming process. Fuel cells have an efficiency loss that is somewhat different from auto engines and electrical motors, in that they can't use all the fuel that runs through them. We call this efficiency "fuel utilization." Typical fuel utilization is in the 60 to 70% range. (note the difference between the 50 to 60% efficiency of the fuel cell in converting fuel to electricity. There is only about 10% difference between fuel utilization and fuel efficiency, which means that for the fuel energy that is actually consumed by the fuel cell, a very large percentage is actually converted to electrical power)

The result of this is that the fuel cell exhaust gas contains significant amounts of unused H2, which can be easily separated from the exhaust, by using a PEM cell backwards. Apply electricity to the PEM cell and it will preferentially move the H2 across the membrane to produce pure H2.

Remember that this fuel cell is sitting on a street corner? Well, the excess H2 is now available to fuel hydrogen powered cars. This is how we expect to create fueling stations for H2 powered cars. So forget about electrolysis please.

Ultimately the energy from this system has to come from methane. Right now that can be fossil fuel methane, but increasingly it's expected to come from biomass, such as from wastewater digestion, landfill gas, or waste biomass, such as produced by Pepperidge Farm or Sierra Brewery.

[ July 04, 2008, 03:22 PM: Message edited by: Glenn Arnold ]

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