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Hydrogen Fuel Cell advocates are leading us down the Wrong Path

electrictroy
07-23-2008, 08:02 AM
Imagine I have a fuel cell car, fresh from Honda's factories. Now I need hydrogen - where does that come from? Can I sink a hole in my backyard and start sucking-out hydrogen gas? Nope. Those who support fuel cells as "the future" tell us we just need to get water, because water contains hydrogen.

Great! I just happen to have a couple gallons of water here. What do I do to remove the hydrogen out of the water so I can fuel my car?

Hmmm.

I'll save some time by pointing-out you can't "burn" water in a fuel cell car. You need electricity to crack the water..... and 99% of that electricity comes from oil/coal/et cetera. So effectively my fuel cell car is no better than my old gasoline car. I still haven't solved the problem; I'm still burning oil and other fossil fuels.

The Right Path:

The right path is to stop living in denial & acknowledge that we squandered all our oil reserves, in a similar fashion as MC Hammer squandered all his millions. What's left is bankruptcy. Our oil reserves are not bankrupt yet, but they are pretty darn close. When the OPEC fields finally dry-up, that's it. Game over. Finished. Oil will be as scarce as gold or diamonds & cost almost as much ($50 a gallon, or more).

Our human ingenuity will lead us back to a late 1800s-type lifestyle. We'll still have our TVs and other gadgets, but we'll work from home or within walking distance of our jobs, just as our ancestors did. No more 300 mile a week journeys that burn-up precious fuel. At home there will be no more whole house heating or whole house air conditioning (which are both extremely wasteful of energy). We'll replace our disposable culture with a "fix it" or "build it yourself" culture.

We'll be forced to live like we are energy poor.

Because we will be.

unotis
07-23-2008, 09:40 AM
Imagine I have a fuel cell car, fresh from Honda's factories. Now I need hydrogen - where does that come from? Can I sink a hole in my backyard and start sucking-out hydrogen gas? Nope. Those who support fuel cells as "the future" tell us we just need to get water, because water contains hydrogen.

Great! I just happen to have a couple gallons of water here. What do I do to remove the hydrogen out of the water so I can fuel my car?

Hmmm.

I'll save some time by pointing-out you can't "burn" water in a fuel cell car. You need electricity to crack the water..... and 99% of that electricity comes from oil/coal/et cetera. So effectively my fuel cell car is no better than my old gasoline car. I still haven't solved the problem; I'm still burning oil and other fossil fuels.

The Right Path:

The right path is to stop living in denial & acknowledge that we squandered all our oil reserves, in a similar fashion as MC Hammer squandered all his millions. What's left is bankruptcy. Our oil reserves are not bankrupt yet, but they are pretty darn close. When the OPEC fields finally dry-up, that's it. Game over. Finished. Oil will be as scarce as gold or diamonds & cost almost as much ($50 a gallon, or more).

Our human ingenuity will lead us back to a late 1800s-type lifestyle. We'll still have our TVs and other gadgets, but we'll work from home or within walking distance of our jobs, just as our ancestors did. No more 300 mile a week journeys that burn-up precious fuel. At home there will be no more whole house heating or whole house air conditioning (which are both extremely wasteful of energy). We'll replace our disposable culture with a "fix it" or "build it yourself" culture.

We'll be forced to live like we are energy poor.

Because we will be.

The top portion in blue is an easy question to answer, the Honda FCX will come with a unit called the HES (Home Energy Source or System).

It will be about the size (from what I hear) of a small refrigerator and will use natural gas to burn and cause heat that will power a turbine that then will produce the electricity to be used to break up the water molecule into Hydrogen and oxygen, you will then pump the Hydrogen into the tank of the FCX to power it and excess electricity could be used to supply most of your home's electrical needs and supposedly at up to a 60% cost reduction over buying directly from the electrical power grid like we normally do.

And as to your question or statement about where the electricity would come from to enable us to break down the water molecule for Hydrogen fuel production, yes for right now we would need to use conventional methods like conventional fossil fuels to produce electricity, but that could quickly change by production of new "Pebble Bed" nuclear power reactors/plants, production of more of the new extremely clean and efficient and abundantly available cheap coal powered power plants, then we would need to replace a lot of old worn inefficient electrical power transmission lines to cut our power loss from 83% to only 20%, then we would have all the cheap clean electrical power to generate and sustain the Hydrogen fuel cell economy easily, it would also allow us to better develop and use new electrical battery powered vehicles as an attractive alternative to Gasoline powered vehicles.

Alternate power sources are the only clean and cheap way to continue to provide fuel and power needs for our county and world in the future.

We cannot continue to use rapidly reducing and dirty sources of fossil fuels to power our needs for much longer, we need to begin the change over to alternate sources right now!

electrictroy
07-23-2008, 05:22 PM
The top portion in blue is an easy question to answer, the Honda FCX will come with a unit called the HES (Home Energy Source or System). Okay. So why not just run the natural gas directly into the car & burn it? I don't see why it's necessary to introduce extra "make electricity" and "make hydrogen" steps. That's two steps that could be eliminated if the natural gas was burned directly by the car (example: Honda Civic CNG). ....production of new "Pebble Bed" nuclear power reactors/plants, production of more of the new extremely clean and efficient and abundantly available cheap coal powered power plants, That's fine and dandy, but I repeat my previous question: Why not just dump the electricity directly into the car's battery? (example: Prius EV). Skip the hydrogen step because it's not necessary.

ssjLancer
07-23-2008, 05:36 PM
Okay. So why not just run the natural gas directly into the car & burn it? I don't see why it's necessary to introduce extra "make electricity" and "make hydrogen" steps. That's two steps that could be eliminated if the natural gas was burned directly by the car (example: Honda Civic CNG). That's fine and dandy, but I repeat my previous question: Why not just dump the electricity directly into the car's battery? (example: Prius EV). Skip the hydrogen step because it's not necessary.Power plants are more efficient than a car engine..
So you maybe saving a whole 5% in fuel costs..

As for fuel cells vs. normal batteries. Fuel cells are better cause they can be refilled and have a long range. Batteries have an extremely short range, which is why we have hybrids and not full electric cars. They have to be recharged and eventually.. the charge wont last as long, and replacement batteries will cost hundreds and hundreds of dollars which defeats the whole 'no maintantence costs' thing it has over combustion engines. And if youre into the whole environment then thats another plus, manufacturing the the batteries in hybrids for example are really hazardous to the environment around the factories.
And from a performance standpoint Im pretty sure that a hydrogen powered car will generally weigh much less than a battery powered car.

electrictroy
07-24-2008, 08:24 AM
Power plants are more efficient than a car engine.. So you maybe saving a whole 5% in fuel costs.. Not really. 2 gallons of Natural Gas in a Civic CNG will take you 60 miles.

2 gallons of Natural Gas, converted into hydrogen by Honda's power plant (to feed their Fuel Cell Car), will only take you 30 miles.

That's a 50% loss in energy.

As for EVs, 200 miles with a NiMH power cell is not a short range, especially since 95% of American drive 60 miles or less. (Plus as you pointed-out, you can extend that range by using a hybrid engine for those one-a-month trips to see the beach or grandma.) And if you're into the whole environment then thats another plus, manufacturing the the batteries in hybrids for example are really hazardous to the environment around the factories. I don't know who told you that, but it's not true. The EPA states that lead-acid and NiCad batteries need to be recycled, but the NiMH batteries used in hybrids can be tossed into the landfills. They are non-toxic.

I have my doubts a Platinum Fuel Cell is non-toxic when you dispose of it.

travis74
07-24-2008, 10:23 AM
It takes time to develop infrastructure. Just because it isn't there now doesn't mean we wait for it, the demand has to be created first. Henry Ford just started cranking out the old jalopies and eventually(quite quickly actually) there was a niche for filling stations.
All of the current circumstances are ripe for exploration of new means and methods of producing and procuring energy. From personal production of hydrogen (possible, but unlikely, due to fears of explosion, real or unfounded, and the desire to reap regulatory profits) and solar (happening now, right? But at a prohibitive cost that forces one to make the leap for ideological reasons rather than a cost benefit. Although even that is changing rapidly with new and emerging technologies.), to wind and interim means such as LNG, "clean" coal (personally not convinced), and nuke power. IMHO the real lesson should be to avoid dependance on any single technology.
Skipping Hydrogen altogether doesn't make sense, and neither does reliance on hybrid or all electric. If hydrogen becomes prevalent in # of autos and fuel infrastructure it could alleviate the current strain on the electrical grid. Again, this is if a renewable energy is used to produce the electricity to produce the hydrogen. So then, I suppose these stations could be power stations for EV's as well. (I'm actually talking myself away from hydrogen as I write this!)
Anyway, the point being we can't turn away from any emergent technologies in our current crisis. We need to see what we the consumers want and use our purchasing power to tell the MFG's which way to go. We know what happens when the corp's are allowed to make the calls. DOWN WITH THE OIL BARONS!!!!

rbinck
07-24-2008, 10:57 AM
I don't think one can obtain LNG from their utility company at home, so there would be the issue of increasing the pressure to liquify it. As to whether the energy for that ends up using the 50% I don't know, but in any case you have to get the LNG somehow. And I don't know off hand what the pressure needs to be at room temperature, but it could be considerable. Then too, I don't know the hydrogen storage pressure either. I also don't know the relative safety issues of a homeowner dealing with LNG vs Hydrogen. But to make a complete picture all of these things must be taken into account.

ssjLancer
07-24-2008, 12:30 PM
Not really. 2 gallons of Natural Gas in a Civic CNG will take you 60 miles.

2 gallons of Natural Gas, converted into hydrogen by Honda's power plant (to feed their Fuel Cell Car), will only take you 30 miles.

That's a 50% loss in energy. I dont know how accurate those numbers would be. But youre right, hydrogen cars wont be helpful till we have refuelling stations in every city, or if more power plants werent coal or gas powered. But I do think you'll at least have some savings.

As for EVs, 200 miles with a NiMH power cell is not a short range, especially since 95% of American drive 60 miles or less. It isnt great and those were only for the little cars. Family sedans and small trucks had a range of only 60 miles. Car companies arent gonna continue with a technology they can only use with 10% of their car lineup.
(Plus as you pointed-out, you can extend that range by using a hybrid engine for those one-a-month trips to see the beach or grandma.) Would you rather be less dependent on oil, or completely independent.

I don't know who told you that, but it's not true. The EPA states that lead-acid and NiCad batteries need to be recycled, but the NiMH batteries used in hybrids can be tossed into the landfills. They are non-toxic.

I have my doubts a Platinum Fuel Cell is non-toxic when you dispose of it.Youre right. I was grossly misinformed. Just did a google on the article I read and this is what I got.
It has come to our attention that a story originally published in the Mail on Sunday has apparently been misinterpreted by some of our readers.

In order to prevent further misinterpretation, we have removed the article from our website. The following letter was published in the Mail on Sunday on May 13, 2007:

Your article about the Inco nickel factory at Sudbury, Canada, wrongly implied that poisonous fumes from the factory had left the area looking like a lunar landscape because so many plants and trees had died. You also sought to blame Toyota because the nickel is used, among countless other purposes, for making the Prius hybrid car batteries.

In fact any damage occurred more than thirty years ago, long before the Prius was made. Since then, Inco has reduced sulphur dioxide emissions by more than 90 per cent and has helped to plant more than 11 million trees.

The company has won praise from the Ontario Ministry of Environment and environmental groups. Sudbury has won several conservation awards and is a centre for eco-tourism.

Dave Rado

Colchester

BANDB
07-24-2008, 02:29 PM
It appears to me that a LNG fueled plug-in hybrid would be the best of all worlds.
Plug-in to take advantage of low peak electricity usage at night for charging, LNG for availability and clean burning, and hybrid to support longer trips.
Hydrogen fuel cells sound slick, but the infrastructure required for support and the energy cost to produce the gas seems prohibitive.
My 2¢

travis74
07-24-2008, 03:06 PM
I think the up side to LNG is def that it is clean burning. The downside is that these were the countries with largest reserves as of 06.

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0872966.html

Rank--Country--Proved reserves (trillion cu ft)
1. Russia 1,680
2. Iran 971
3. Qatar 911
4. Saudi Arabia 241
5. United Arab Emirates 214
6. United States 193

Although we are sixth, I don't know how that relates to availability vs consumption needs. Also, LNG needs expansion of its infrastructure. And living somewhere where there is a proposed off-shore sight, I can attest that there is a lot of NIMBY attitude. Seemingly due to a fear of it being a potential target.

unotis
07-24-2008, 04:00 PM
Not really. 2 gallons of Natural Gas in a Civic CNG will take you 60 miles.

2 gallons of Natural Gas, converted into hydrogen by Honda's power plant (to feed their Fuel Cell Car), will only take you 30 miles.

That's a 50% loss in energy.

As for EVs, 200 miles with a NiMH power cell is not a short range, especially since 95% of American drive 60 miles or less. (Plus as you pointed-out, you can extend that range by using a hybrid engine for those one-a-month trips to see the beach or grandma.) I don't know who told you that, but it's not true. The EPA states that lead-acid and NiCad batteries need to be recycled, but the NiMH batteries used in hybrids can be tossed into the landfills. They are non-toxic.

I have my doubts a Platinum Fuel Cell is non-toxic when you dispose of it.

We will need to study how exactly the HES uses natural gas to produce electricity which is used in turn to break up the water into Hydrogen and oxygen, it does not take that much natural gas to produce enough Hydrogen to fill the FCX Hydrogen Fuel Cell car and that will allow it go between 350 to 400 miles (the final mileage will depend on which government's estimates you choose to use).

We will have to wait and see what the final specs will be when the car actually come out to be sold to the public.

Joe_news
07-28-2008, 02:22 AM
I want energy that comes from the Sun/the Atom and the Wind. Nothing else. We can save our oil for the other industries that use it [medical/plastic/ect]. But for me to go 4 miles to a friends house? Its a total waste, the battery technology is already there, and it has been for YEARS. Google the GM EV1.

Or watch the unreleased commercial from the 90s: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwJCK6G38kg

I think we will switch to other forms of energy in time, but its lame its taken this long. I mean for a pollution/acid-rain free world why didn't stuff like the EV1 program get canceled the car never actually sold [only leased to ~1,200 people]. O well, karma is bitting GM back, according to the CEO [who canceled the program in '03 citing costs of 500+ million] it was his biggest mistake he ever made and if he hadn't done it they could have had an electric car on the market now, instead of the Chevy Volt having a late 2010 expected release date.

electrictroy
07-29-2008, 03:28 PM
I think it's funny when the GM CEO says, "The demand for the EV1 was not there." I don't know if he's delusional or just a liar, but the EV1 had a 100% lease rate. With a long waiting list. The demand WAS there.

And yes my figures were accurate. 2 gallons of CNG put into a Civic GX will take you twice as far as the same amount converted to hydrogen. Hydrogen is just an inefficient process. It's like taking a gallon of fresh, clean water... peeing in it... running the yellow water through a distiller... and then drinking the end result.

Instead of doing all that, and wasting a lot of energy in the process, why not just drink the first gallon?!?!? THAT'S how stupid hydrogen is. It isnt great and those were only for the little cars. Family sedans and small trucks had a range of only 60 miles. Toyota built a Rav4 SUV that went 150 miles with NiMH battery technology.

unotis
07-29-2008, 03:56 PM
I think it's funny when the GM CEO says, "The demand for the EV1 was not there." I don't know if he's delusional or just a liar, but the EV1 had a 100% lease rate. With a long waiting list. The demand WAS there.

And yes my figures were accurate. 2 gallons of CNG put into a Civic GX will take you twice as far as the same amount converted to hydrogen. Hydrogen is just an inefficient process. It's like taking a gallon of fresh, clean water... peeing in it... running the yellow water through a distiller... and then drinking the end result.

Instead of doing all that, and wasting a lot of energy in the process, why not just drink the first gallon?!?!? THAT'S how stupid hydrogen is. Toyota built a Rav4 SUV that went 150 miles with NiMH battery technology.

Again, I don't think the HES used to convert water into Hydrogen fuel uses Natural gas to make the electricity in order to burn it to produce the heat needed to produce the steam needed to power the generator to produce the electricity, so it is not actually taking gallons of natural gas and directly converting it to Hydrogen fuel so I don't see how you could convert it to a gallon to gallon comparison of efficiency.

Also, the same electricity will power your home's electrical needs at a reduced cost over buying it directly from the power company's grid.

So the amount of Natural gas used for making electricity not only produces the Hydrogen fuel for you FCX but also powers your house's electrical needs, that means depending on several factors like how much electricity does your home use and how much exactly is used to fill up your auto will tell us the actual cost to drive.

Where exactly did you get your figures?

And how would you know exactly how much Hydrogen fuel is actually needed to flll up the tank on the Honda FCX for it to go it's estimated 350 to 425 miles per fill-up?

If you have a link telling us the facts that back up your statement then please do so, right now it goes against everything I've been seeing and I would like to know what the facts are. :confused:

ssjLancer
07-29-2008, 04:19 PM
I think it's funny when the GM CEO says, "The demand for the EV1 was not there." I don't know if he's delusional or just a liar, but the EV1 had a 100% lease rate. With a long waiting list. The demand WAS there.

And yes my figures were accurate. 2 gallons of CNG put into a Civic GX will take you twice as far as the same amount converted to hydrogen. Hydrogen is just an inefficient process. It's like taking a gallon of fresh, clean water... peeing in it... running the yellow water through a distiller... and then drinking the end result.

Instead of doing all that, and wasting a lot of energy in the process, why not just drink the first gallon?!?!? THAT'S how stupid hydrogen is. No they arent.
Youre assuming everything is at a 1:1 ratio. It isnt. We dont know how much NG it takes to refuel a car, and what the mileage said car would be on a comparable CNG car.

From hondas home energy station.
"it also is expected to lower the total running cost of household electricity, gas and vehicle fuel by 50 percent."
http://cars.blogs.ca/2006/02/06/hydrogen-powered-honda-fcx-to-go-into-production/3/

Also remember that currently, hydrogen powered cars are twice as efficient as internal combustion engines.

Toyota built a Rav4 SUV that went 150 miles with NiMH battery technology.According to the wiki entry.
The RAV4 EV closely resembles a regular ICE version - without a tailpipe - and has a governed top speed of 78 mph with a range of 100 to 120 miles.And its 0-60 is 18 seconds. Average car in its class is 11 seconds.

electrictroy
07-29-2008, 05:06 PM
I didn't realize I was in a race. The 90hp car I've been driving since 1991 has 15 second times, and nobody's hit me yet. I'm just going to work, not trying to win the checkered flag.

Also, you claimed 60 miles. Actual figure is 120. So you were off by a factor of two. Not even close to the true reality of what an EV-SUV can do.

And:

My figures are correct about the CNG. You have a choice: (a) Burn two gallons of CNG to heat steam/turbines/whatever, and produce 30 miles worth of hydrogen for your Honda Fuel Cell. -or- (b) Burn two gallons of CNG in your Honda Civic GX and go 60 miles.

It's clear choice (b) is better.
Choice b carries you twice as far as choice a.
Producing hydrogen is horribly inefficient & energy-wasteful. It's a boondoggle.

ssjLancer
07-29-2008, 05:28 PM
I didn't realize I was in a race. The 90hp car I've been driving since 1991 has 15 second times, and nobody's hit me yet. I'm just going to work, not trying to win the checkered flag.Cars are suppose to be getting faster, not slower. We arent going back in time and not everyone wants to drive a 90hp car.
The businessman in a 300hp 5-series BMW isnt trying to win a race either.

Also, you claimed 60 miles. Actual figure is 120. So you were off by a factor of two. Not even close to the true reality of what an EV-SUV can do. I said large sedans and small trucks. The Rav4 is neither.
Thats besides the point anyways, I said electric cars have horrible range. 120 miles is horrible range.

And:

My figures are correct about the CNG. You have a choice: (a) Burn two gallons of CNG to heat steam/turbines/whatever, and produce 30 miles worth of hydrogen for your Honda Fuel Cell. -or- (b) Burn two gallons of CNG in your Honda Civic GX and go 60 miles.

It's clear choice (b) is better.
Choice b carries you twice as far as choice a.
Producing hydrogen is horribly inefficient & energy-wasteful. It's a boondoggle.Those are made up figures. Try to stick with reality please.

electrictroy
07-29-2008, 05:31 PM
Cars are getting faster, not slower. We arent going back in time. If gas goes to $10 a gallon during the next decade, you can well bet that we will be going slower (to save fuel). No more crotch rockets... it will be about high MPG. Look at the E.U.:

Europeans drive 45-55hp cars with 20 second times. Why? Because they are already paying close to $10 a gallon, and they want to save money. THAT is the future for Americans as well.

ssjLancer
07-29-2008, 05:35 PM
If gas goes to $10 a gallon during the next decade, you can well bet that we will be going slower (to save fuel). No more crotch rockets... it will be about high MPG. Look at the E.U.:Thats the whole point. Hopefully we wont be using gas durrr.

Europeans drive 45-55hp cars with 20 second times. Why? Because they are already paying close to $10 a gallon, and they want to save money. THAT is the future for Americans as well.Sorry, if youre argument is "Lets all drive 50 hp smart cars" or 15hp vespas then Im gonna stop right here. You can continue believing what you want.

unotis
07-30-2008, 10:29 AM
My figures are correct about the CNG. You have a choice: (a) Burn two gallons of CNG to heat steam/turbines/whatever, and produce 30 miles worth of hydrogen for your Honda Fuel Cell. -or- (b) Burn two gallons of CNG in your Honda Civic GX and go 60 miles.

It's clear choice (b) is better.
Choice b carries you twice as far as choice a.
Producing hydrogen is horribly inefficient & energy-wasteful. It's a boondoggle.

I'm sorry, those seem to be made up figures (unless you can provide a reputable link).

There is no way anyone outside the engineers at Honda could know what the actual fuel economy is of the new Honda FCX Hydrogen Fuel Cell car, nor the number of gallons of Natural gas is needed to produce a number of gallons of Hydrogen Fuel.

In fact, is Natural gas piped to your home in a liquid state, like petroleum oil or is it in a gas form and is not the Hydrogen fuel produced in a gas form and then pumped into a pressurized tank inside the car also?

So where do these gallon to gallon conversions come from?

Just asking, it just seems a little strange way of stating an opinion for or against Hydrogen Fuel cell vehicles. :confused:

mobiushky
07-30-2008, 12:13 PM
It is critical that you all understand the process for extracting hydrogen from NG. It is not used to create electricity to "crack" the NG. A small portion of the NG is burned to create heat. That heat is used to generate steam which is introduced into the remaining NG along with a catalyst to reform the NG into hydrogen and carbon monoxide. That is further reformed at lower temps into more hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

The byproduct of this process is a lot of heat. That heat is then used to heat things like your house or your water, etc. Notice that no electricity has been generated yet? You can then use the hydrogen in a fuel cell system to generate electricity for you house, or you can store it, or whatever....

Something like 95% of the world's hydrogen is produced using steam reforming, not electrolysis.

The incorrect assumption is that using hydrogen in a fuel cell is the same as burning it in a combustion engine. That is not valid. A more appropriate comparison would be to compare the themal efficiencies of the two ideas. Recently an NG engine was developed that has a pretty impressive thermal efficiency of about 40%. It was the 15L ISX G engine developed under the Next Generation Natural Gas Vehicle activity funded by a whole laundry list of goverment and private agencies. The average recognized thermal efficiency of a hydrogen fuel cell is 75% tp 85% depending on the purity of the hydrogen.

The main difference is that when you use steam reforming to generate hydrogen, you can take advantage of the by-products and waste less. Burning NG is an engine has no method for capturing the by-products (mainly heat) and is therefore much less efficient.

mobiushky
07-30-2008, 12:56 PM
Further:

In order to have an appropriate debate about fuels and alternatives, you have to understand a few basics. First, there is no alternative that holds the same amount of “potential work” as petroleum based fuels. For comparison, Diesel contains about 138,700 BTU/US Gal. Regular Gasoline contains about 125,000 BTU/US Gal. Vegetable oil contains about 123,143 BTU/US Gal. LNG contains about 90,800 BTU/US Gal. and liquid hydrogen contains about 33,696 BTU/US Gal. That is roughly that amount of “energy” stored in one US liquid Gallon of each of the fuels. No matter what you try to argue that will not change.

What changes is the efficiency of the engine used to extract that “energy” from its given fuel. A gasoline engine with 50% efficiency (which is high, I know) will have an available 62,500 BTU of energy per gallon, where a LNG vehicle with 50% efficiency will only have 45,400 BTU. However, it may be possible to make a more efficient engine using an alternative that will extract more of the raw power from that fuel. A 10% increase in efficiency on that LNG engine relates to an increase of 9,080 more BTU available.

But the bottom line is that it will always be easier to get more power out of gasoline or diesel than any other fuel. That because the same 9,080 BTU would only take a 7.3% efficiency boost from a gasoline engine. The question is, what does it take to make a gasoline engine 7% more efficient and what does it take to make an LNG engine 10% more efficient? That’s the real discussion. Nothing else really matters, and any other discussion (including whether there is oil reserves or not) is irrelevant and opinion based only.

The dirty little secret about fuel is that gasoline is the king and it always will be. Nothing will be better, unless we figure out a way to defy the laws of physics.

electrictroy
07-30-2008, 01:19 PM
Let me put it a different way:

- 2 gallons of CNG will move a Civic GX 60 miles (verifiable fact).

- Those same 2 gallons of CNG, converted to heat/steam/whatever, and then "reformed" to create hydrogen can NOT push a hydrogen car 90 miles. <--- That's perpetual motion/overunity energy & it violates the Law of Thermodynamics. Or as Scotty wisely said: "You cannae change the laws of physics!"

You can not convert from one form (CNG) to another form (heat/steam) to yet another form (hydrogen) without a loss of energy. Thats the whole point. Hopefully we wont be using gas durrr. Yes but energy will still be scarce (whether it's electric, hydrogen, or other). You won't be able to drive-around in sportscars unless you're filthy rich, and can afford the ~$200 a tank costs. <--- Hence the necessity for people to drive what they can afford to upkeep - small cars that just barely sip the fuel out of the tank.

ssjLancer
07-30-2008, 02:30 PM
Let me put it a different way:

- 2 gallons of CNG will move a Civic GX 60 miles (verifiable fact).

- Those same 2 gallons of CNG, converted to heat/steam/whatever, and then "reformed" to create hydrogen can NOT push a hydrogen car 90 miles. <--- That's perpetual motion/overunity energy & it violates the Law of Thermodynamics. Or as Scotty wisely said: "You cannae change the laws of physics!"

You can not convert from one form (CNG) to another form (heat/steam) to yet another form (hydrogen) without a loss of energy. Again youre assuming both car engines are equally energy efficient. Combustion engines are only 15% efficient, while Hydrogen powered cars have a normal efficiency of 50% and a theoretical max of 83%
http://209.85.173.104/search?q=cache:vD3jhjlC0GEJ:www.ruf.dk/ceeti/hydrogen.doc+hydrogen+car+efficiency&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=ca

Not true, combustion engines are very inefficient. Yes but energy will still be scarce (whether it's electric, hydrogen, or other). You won't be able to drive-around in sportscars unless you're filthy rich, and can afford the ~$200 a tank costs. <--- Hence the necessity for people to drive what they can afford to upkeep - small cars that just barely sip the fuel out of the tank.Changing our way of lives because of gas prices is already happening.. full size SUV sales have dropped... and compact SUV sales have risen.
Thats pretty much all thats gonna happen.

mobiushky
07-30-2008, 02:49 PM
Let me put it a different way:

- 2 gallons of CNG will move a Civic GX 60 miles (verifiable fact).

- Those same 2 gallons of CNG, converted to heat/steam/whatever, and then "reformed" to create hydrogen can NOT push a hydrogen car 90 miles. <--- That's perpetual motion/overunity energy & it violates the Law of Thermodynamics. Or as Scotty wisely said: "You cannae change the laws of physics!"

You can not convert from one form (CNG) to another form (heat/steam) to yet another form (hydrogen) without a loss of energy. Yes but energy will still be scarce (whether it's electric, hydrogen, or other). You won't be able to drive-around in sportscars unless you're filthy rich, and can afford the ~$200 a tank costs. <--- Hence the necessity for people to drive what they can afford to upkeep - small cars that just barely sip the fuel out of the tank.

You have some major fallacies in your logic. The first being as lancer said that you are assuming a fuel cell has the same efficiency as a combustion based engine. That is not valid. Combustion engines suffer from heat losses that rob efficiency. Fuel cell efficiency is more directly related to purity of hydrogen and the catalyst involved. The is very little heat loss. So, a fuel cell can in fact draw more energy out of a "gallon" of hydrogen than a combustion engine can draw out of a "gallon" of LNG.

It is in fact possible to get 2 gallons of LNG converted into Hydrogen to drive a vehicle farther than 60 miles. There is no overunity until one of the two can actually reach unity first. 40% efficiency vs 85% efficiency does not defy physics in any way. It is a fact that fuel cell systems are more efficient. And that they can typically be utilized in a manner that allows any losses to be captured in a useful way. IE, heating a house or a hot water system, etc. You cannot do that with a combustion based engine in a vehicle unless you plan to heat your hot water in a tank on your car and pump it all into your house when you get home.

unotis
07-30-2008, 03:56 PM
You have some major fallacies in your logic. The first being as lancer said that you are assuming a fuel cell has the same efficiency as a combustion based engine. That is not valid. Combustion engines suffer from heat losses that rob efficiency. Fuel cell efficiency is more directly related to purity of hydrogen and the catalyst involved. The is very little heat loss. So, a fuel cell can in fact draw more energy out of a "gallon" of hydrogen than a combustion engine can draw out of a "gallon" of LNG.

It is in fact possible to get 2 gallons of LNG converted into Hydrogen to drive a vehicle farther than 60 miles. There is no overunity until one of the two can actually reach unity first. 40% efficiency vs 85% efficiency does not defy physics in any way. It is a fact that fuel cell systems are more efficient. And that they can typically be utilized in a manner that allows any losses to be captured in a useful way. IE, heating a house or a hot water system, etc. You cannot do that with a combustion based engine in a vehicle unless you plan to heat your hot water in a tank on your car and pump it all into your house when you get home.

Nicely put, I sometimes get too tired to post everything about a subject, I don't think most readers would read everything nor accept it anyway.

Good example, I should have brought up the steam aspect in producing Hydrogen fuel by the initial use of Natural gas to burn and produce heat in order to make steam, I just got too lazy (and maybe still am).

I just knew he was in someway using faulty logic in his opinion/statement and didn't explain it well enough.

For some reason, I'm just very tired today and not feeling well.

BobY
07-30-2008, 10:13 PM
Further:

In order to have an appropriate debate about fuels and alternatives, you have to understand a few basics. First, there is no alternative that holds the same amount of “potential work” as petroleum based fuels. For comparison, Diesel contains about 138,700 BTU/US Gal. Regular Gasoline contains about 125,000 BTU/US Gal. Vegetable oil contains about 123,143 BTU/US Gal. LNG contains about 90,800 BTU/US Gal. and liquid hydrogen contains about 33,696 BTU/US Gal. That is roughly that amount of “energy” stored in one US liquid Gallon of each of the fuels. No matter what you try to argue that will not change.

What changes is the efficiency of the engine used to extract that “energy” from its given fuel. A gasoline engine with 50% efficiency (which is high, I know) will have an available 62,500 BTU of energy per gallon, where a LNG vehicle with 50% efficiency will only have 45,400 BTU. However, it may be possible to make a more efficient engine using an alternative that will extract more of the raw power from that fuel. A 10% increase in efficiency on that LNG engine relates to an increase of 9,080 more BTU available.

But the bottom line is that it will always be easier to get more power out of gasoline or diesel than any other fuel. That because the same 9,080 BTU would only take a 7.3% efficiency boost from a gasoline engine. The question is, what does it take to make a gasoline engine 7% more efficient and what does it take to make an LNG engine 10% more efficient? That’s the real discussion. Nothing else really matters, and any other discussion (including whether there is oil reserves or not) is irrelevant and opinion based only.

The dirty little secret about fuel is that gasoline is the king and it always will be. Nothing will be better, unless we figure out a way to defy the laws of physics.

That really depends on the definition of "better". Gasoline may be king of "energy-per-gallon", but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be king of "energy-per-dollar", or even king of "available in enough quantity" in the future.

We need to get used to the idea that Gasoline will eventually become as expensive here as it is in Europe. While Europe's gas prices are artificially high as a result of taxation and an effort to discourage consumption, US gas prices are artificially low and many in the US government have similar motivations as in Europe.

mobiushky
07-31-2008, 07:45 AM
That really depends on the definition of "better". Gasoline may be king of "energy-per-gallon", but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be king of "energy-per-dollar", or even king of "available in enough quantity" in the future.

We need to get used to the idea that Gasoline will eventually become as expensive here as it is in Europe. While Europe's gas prices are artificially high as a result of taxation and an effort to discourage consumption, US gas prices are artificially low and many in the US government have similar motivations as in Europe.

Well, I made no comments at all about the economics of gasoline. Only the physics of gasoline. There is no more powerful and easy fuel than petroleum based fuels. And my point was simply to say that gasoline is a very attractive form of fuel because efficiency is less important because there is more in the "bucket" to begin with. Does that make it the best economically? Today? Yes. The reason is that gasoline is a pretty singular use product. You can't eat or drink gasoline. You can't really do much else with gasoline. However, with most other alternative fuels (at least for the time being), that is not true. Most alternative fuels are based on a different, currently used product. For example, ethanol. It is a fact that E85 is driving the price of corn up. In turn that means it costs more to feed cattle. So the price of milk is also affected. On down the line. Think about all the corn based products we have. Beef. Liquors. etc. I'm sure that is a short term affect, but it is an affect none the less. It is possible that in the long term, prices will stabilize and food products will drop back a little, but not until human greed is slaked and production increases to the point that corn floods the market. However, you have to keep in the back of your mind that crop lands are not infinite, and I wouldn't be surprised to see more corn imported to meet demand which ends up putting us right where we are now depending on outside sources to sustain our own country.

A lot of people are working on the assumption that petroleum based fuels have a limited life expectancy. As if we are going to "run out" any day now. I don't believe that at all. In fact, most of the estimates that I've read indicate that the global oil reserves will last into the hundreds of years. AND that assumes that oil is not being "created" now. That's not true. Many tests have shown that oil can be created within days, not millions of years, under the right conditions. And that most oil deposits happen to be in the "right conditions" category of high pressure and temp. The Prudhoe Bay reserve was supposed to last 10 years back in the 70's. It's now hitting 30 years, and still going. Estimates put Colorado oil shale in the 800+ BILLION barrels. Billion. That's more that Saudi Arabia. Think about that. US daily consumption is roughly 12 million barrels per day. At that rate, 800 Bill would last 180 years.

I'm not advocating blinders and ignoring everything. But I am certainly stating that I don't believe the hype and sensationalism that makes this appear to be some kind of epic crisis. It's not. What it is, is an election year. That's all. I'm glad to see that nearly 70% of the US no favors drilling offshore and in ANWR. Good. It's about time. Even if they never actually pull oil out, think of the pressure that would put on OPEC. You open up the billions of barrels of oil possibilities in the US to drilling and I guarantee OPEC takes notice. Even if they never drill. It's a great trump card to have that OPEC knows the US won't pull simply because we have idiot politicians who refuse to understand the truth.

I do like to see some of the alternatives. From a purely physics standpoint, fuel cell cars fascinate me. I hope to see them all over the roads in a few years. GM is also running a similar test to Honda's FCX. Great! competition! Biodiesel is pretty cool too. There is a product (waste oils) that has no other good use and shouldn't affect other costs. There are a lot of pretty cool options. But you also have to get used to the fact that gasoline is a 100 on the scale of fuels. Anything that is not gasoline is going to have to start at less than 100. Hydrogen is a 30. Even E85 is about a 75. You can't get the gas mileage out of E85 that you do out of gas. You are starting with less power in the "bucket" to begin with so you have to make the engine more efficient to acheive the same output as gas. That is where you can't defy physics.

SLedford
07-31-2008, 09:44 AM
This is an interesting thread. One thing that I think we can all agree on is that we will eventually have to replace oil based fuels with something different. Eventually oil based fuels become too scarce and / or costly to use as fuel, and eventually easily pumped oil runs out.

Our electicity comes from multiple sources: coal, oil, natural gas, hydro, wind, nuclear and so on. I think our autos will be fueled by multiple fuel sources as well. I like the plug-in hybrid concept like the Volt, where batteries alone will cover most commutes, but a small generator recharges the batteries when that mileage is exceeded. But I think there is room for other options as well, so E85 and hydrogen play a roll. Boone Pickens is pushing natural gas as a short term alternative.

What is missing from this equation is an energy vision, which is why we are seeing all these different fueling options. I have a new 2008 Honda Fit which gets excellent mileage, so buying a plug-in hybrid is not really an option for another (hopefully) 10 years or so. But I think (correct me if I am wrong) that my car can be modified fairly cheaply to run on liquid natural gas. If this fuel were available at enough stations and if the conversion cost were low enough, my car could be one of many to quit using gasoline.

A year ago (before the Honda Fit) I was in the market for a new car and a reasonably priced Chevy Volt type car would have been at the top of my list. This would be another car that would not use gasoline, at least not much (just the generator for long trips). Assuming that the average car is replaced every 7 years (probably high), if incentives and an efficient / inexpensive plug-in hybrid were available, in 7 years most cars would be off the gasoline diet. The newspaper this week had an article saying that the electric power industry feels they can handle the first 3-4 years of projected plug-in hybrid sales without needing additional power plants.

But we need an energy vision from our leaders (other than ethanol from corn). My proposal would be this:
- Require that a certain percentage of gas stations in a market have a liquid natural gas pump. Offer incentives.
- Offer a limited time FREE conversion to LP for newer gasoline powered autos. Based on my internet research, the cost would be about $200 per auto, much cheaper than the incentive check I got this year.
- Offer a generous trade-in incentive for all autos traded in on a plug-in hybrid of any brand built in the USA.

We don't have the technology (and possibly the natural gas capacity) to do this now, but possibly we could in a few years. This would generate a lot of new business and could quickly get us out of the gasoline market.

mobiushky
07-31-2008, 10:12 AM
This is an interesting thread. One thing that I think we can all agree on is that we will eventually have to replace oil based fuels with something different. Eventually oil based fuels become too scarce and / or costly to use as fuel, and eventually easily pumped oil runs out.

Actually, I don't think we can agree that we will run out of oil based fuels. Ever. There are a lot of assumptions that have not been proven true that you have to make to get to the end conclusion that we will run out of oil. Is it possible? Sure. Is it absolute? Nope, not at all. The biggest misconception to oil is that it is no longer being generated by the earth. That's not true. Perhaps it is not as fast as demand, but it is being generated and it has been shown that it does not take anywhere near as long as the media would have us believe. So maybe we are running out of oil, maybe we are not.

The best thing for the country to do right now is let the market dictate the direction. Currently, larger vehicles are in much less demand. I would like to see a market driven system that ends with multiuple different types of vechicles. From electric to gas and anything in between. Gas powered vehicles will never go away. We at least I don't believe they will. If any of the estimates are accurate (and remember, if you believe all the estimates about climate change why do we not believe the estimates of geologists? Because we choose not to?) Anyway, if any of theses geologists are accurate, we have several hundred years of oil. Don't you think that in 100 years, something will be made available? Espescially considering the mass hysteria the media has created about oil lately?

SLedford
07-31-2008, 10:39 AM
mobiushky,

I agree that oil could be around for a long time. I read about a technology being tested that could take any organic household garbage (including plastic, etc) and turn it into high grade oil. The system duplicates in hours what takes millions of years for the earth to do. They had the process down to where it was a net energy producer (took less energy to produce the oil than was in the oil). The potential is for cities to "lease" the rights to mine city dumps for it's oil producing potential, and to reduce the need for future dumps. We shall see.

I think that oil will be around for a long time, 10 years or longer in my case. But I do hope we eventually move away from oil in our vehicles for several reasons:
- Right now we are net importers of oil, and as such, we (and our economy) are vulnerable to foreign, often hostile, governments.
- As the world economy picks up (China, India, etc) the demand for oil will go up, along with the price.
- While I personally do not think humans have much effect on global warming / cooling (which has happened repeatedly for millions of years), I am not opposed to reducing our impact on the earth, and both LP and electric vehicles would be an improvement over gasoline.

But you bring up a good point. There is enough oil to power our economy and autos for some time, so there is no need to do something rash.

mobiushky
07-31-2008, 11:56 AM
- Right now we are net importers of oil, and as such, we (and our economy) are vulnerable to foreign, often hostile, governments.


Just remember that this is of our own doing and our own fault. We have the oil within our borders to sustain the country for many years beyond our lives and our childrens children etc,etc. Thanks to a few well placed excecutive orders and an impotent congress, we can't even drill in our own waters, but 50 miles away, anyone in the world can... how does that make sense?

Why are we fighting opening up Colorado for exploration? The list goes on.

I am fully aware that even opening them up would take years to produce oil, but the message to OPEC would hit now. And the oil would be available long before any alternative becomes mainstream. There are a lot of things that could be done to send a message to the world that things are changing here in the US.

BobY
07-31-2008, 01:16 PM
I don't believe we will run out of petroleum any time soon, but it will be harder and more expensive to get to it and that will drive the price up.

We are not in a crisis of "not enough gas", but we are rapidly approaching a crisis of "not enough cheap gas". Every aspect of our economy is dependent on the price of oil and everything eventually goes up in price as gas and diesel fuel become more expensive given our interstate transport systems are so dependent on petroleum.

Even if an energy plan were based on corn-derived ethanol, high prices would be at the beginning, as the technology was getting established, which is inevitable. Once corn demand for energy consumption was met, there wouldn't be as much pressure on corn for food purposes--even now tens of millions of bushels of corn rot each year because they can't be brought to market in a timely fashion for a reasonable price.

Of course there are many sources to derive ethanol from, including non-edible grasses, which are much more efficient than corn and put no pressure on foodstuffs.

I personally am in favor of ethanol development, as it could not only give the US far more energy independence, but it can also make use of the existing fuel-delivery infrastructure and the internal-combustion-engine vehicle infrastructure. I believe that any alternate energy for transportation (like electric cars, hydrogen-powered cars, LNG, etc.) that requires putting a whole new infrastructure in place for delivery and consumer "refueling" purposes is utterly doomed to failure due to the incredible costs involved in dumping the current infrastructure and building a whole new nationwide infrastructure to support that alternative.

ssjLancer
07-31-2008, 02:13 PM
I know a guy who knows a guy, who sells canola oil at wholesale for a whopping 30 cents per gallon.

We're dependent on oil not because its all we have. Its because thousands and thousands of jobs are in that industry, and the oil lobbysists have the government in their pockets.

mobiushky
07-31-2008, 02:42 PM
I know a guy who knows a guy, who sells canola oil at wholesale for a whopping 30 cents per gallon.

We're dependent on oil not because its all we have. Its because thousands and thousands of jobs are in that industry, and the oil lobbysists have the government in their pockets.

Bull. Sorry, but that is propaganda based non-sense and conspiracy theory at it's finest. If you believe that honestly, then you have to say the same thing about every other industry in exactly the same way. All industries have lobbyists and all of them pay politicians.

Yes, there are thousands of jobs in the industry, much like there are in every other industry.

Now if only you could actually burn canola oil for fuel.....

BobY-

It would not be as simple as re-using the same infrastructure to deliver Ethanol. It would require a fairly major over haul as Ethanol is extremely corrosive and cannot be handled in the same fashion as petroleum based fuels. There would have to be a effort to transition basically every vessel, hose, and pump into a non-corroding material. Ethanol is nasty stuff really. It will eat right through the existing systems.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I think you have a slightly unrealistic outlook. Even as oil prices rise, there will be an equilibrium point reached where everything will adjust. Despite the doom and gloom the media is shoving down our throats, the economy is actually not receding. It actually grew nearly 2% last quarter. Things are not as bad as we are told. Though they are also not perfect and super wonderful either. It's a cycle that happens about every 10 yrs or so and we will all get through it. Unless some idiot decides to raise taxes on top of all this... then we're doomed.

ssjLancer
07-31-2008, 03:09 PM
Bull. Sorry, but that is propaganda based non-sense and conspiracy theory at it's finest. If you believe that honestly, then you have to say the same thing about every other industry in exactly the same way. All industries have lobbyists and all of them pay politicians.I must admit I do like conspiracy theories..
Not all lobbyists have equal power(NRA?). And the oil lobby is so powerful that they managed to create a war in iraq.. the cold war was propaganda to make billions of dollars on an arms race that would never escalate.. and yes the man on the moon was fake..

Yes, there are thousands of jobs in the industry, much like there are in every other industry.Any other industry can just evolve. The oil industry cant. Are they just gonna convert all the oil drillers and turn them into farmers? Are the same billion dollar oil deals gonna turn into billion dollar farm fields?

Now if only you could actually burn canola oil for fuel.....You can find do-it-yourself guides on the internet to convert any diesel car to run on vegetable oil.

mobiushky
07-31-2008, 03:27 PM
I must admit I do like conspiracy theories..
Not all lobbyists have equal power(NRA?). And the oil lobby is so powerful that they managed to create a war in iraq.. the cold war was propaganda to make billions of dollars on an arms race that would never escalate.. and yes the man on the moon was fake..

Any other industry can just evolve. The oil industry cant. Are they just gonna convert all the oil drillers and turn them into farmers? Are the same billion dollar oil deals gonna turn into billion dollar farm fields?

You can find do-it-yourself guides on the internet to convert any diesel car to run on vegetable oil.

Yeah, uh, war in Iraq for oil. Sure. If you say so. Don't mind me if I laugh at that one.

If other industies can evolve, so can oil workers. They may not want to, but they can.

The canola oil thing was a joke.

ssjLancer
07-31-2008, 03:29 PM
Yeah, uh, war in Iraq for oil. Sure. If you say so. Don't mind me if I laugh at that one.Youre right it was to find weapons of mass destruction lol.

If other industies can evolve, so can oil workers. They may not want to, but they can.Doubt it.

mobiushky
07-31-2008, 03:34 PM
Youre right it was to find weapons of mass destruction.

Funny, I was under the impression that it was to stop an evil dictator from mass murdering hundreds of thousands of his own people. I seem to remember said dictator didn't fair so well when his own people got a hold of him. I think the news brought up something about weapons, but that never seemed to be the point to me. But then, I don't really buy everything the news tries to force me to believe so they can further their agenda.

ssjLancer
07-31-2008, 03:48 PM
Funny, I was under the impression that it was to stop an evil dictator from mass murdering hundreds of thousands of his own people.USA the world police lol. If thats the case why isnt the US going after the hundreds of other dictators who are much worse than hussein? shouldnt bush have a hit list or something? hmm could it be that none of these evil dicators have any oil?
Saddam murdered thousands of people yes.. still small compared to the millions of people that died as a result of trade sanctions. So please dont pretend that this war was made to 'save' these people.

I seem to remember said dictator didn't fair so well when his own people got a hold of him. I think the news brought up something about weapons, but that never seemed to be the point to me. But then, I don't really buy everything the news tries to force me to believe so they can further their agenda.It seems you did fall for everything, dont be sad alot of people did.
Its shame that things like this wont be taken seriously in the country.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDAFozFn4kU

Scottnot
07-31-2008, 06:36 PM
Funny, I was under the impression that it was to stop an evil dictator from mass murdering hundreds of thousands of his own people. . . . I think the news brought up something about weapons, but that never seemed to be the point to me.
Gosh, I was under the impression that the news was just reporting what the President of the United States put forth at the sole reason for the invasion of Iraq.

rbinck
07-31-2008, 07:19 PM
If thats the case why isnt the US going after the hundreds of other dictators who are much worse than hussein?
If there were a lot of UN sanctions against those hundreds of other dictators (100s??) there would be a reason, perhaps.

BobY
07-31-2008, 10:25 PM
Bull. Sorry, but that is propaganda based non-sense and conspiracy theory at it's finest. If you believe that honestly, then you have to say the same thing about every other industry in exactly the same way. All industries have lobbyists and all of them pay politicians.

Yes, there are thousands of jobs in the industry, much like there are in every other industry.

Now if only you could actually burn canola oil for fuel.....

BobY-

It would not be as simple as re-using the same infrastructure to deliver Ethanol. It would require a fairly major over haul as Ethanol is extremely corrosive and cannot be handled in the same fashion as petroleum based fuels. There would have to be a effort to transition basically every vessel, hose, and pump into a non-corroding material. Ethanol is nasty stuff really. It will eat right through the existing systems.

I don't necessarily disagree with you, but I think you have a slightly unrealistic outlook. Even as oil prices rise, there will be an equilibrium point reached where everything will adjust. Despite the doom and gloom the media is shoving down our throats, the economy is actually not receding. It actually grew nearly 2% last quarter. Things are not as bad as we are told. Though they are also not perfect and super wonderful either. It's a cycle that happens about every 10 yrs or so and we will all get through it. Unless some idiot decides to raise taxes on top of all this... then we're doomed.

Don't get me wrong--I didn't say pure Ethanol. Every gas pump in my area is currently mixed with some percentage of ethanol and E85 is a reality in lots of of the world. There are also retrofits already available and approved for fleet vehicles to convert gas burners to some percentage of Ethanol. The necessary changes to the infrastructure are Billions, perhaps Trillions of dollars less than the alternatives:

http://www.fleetfinancials.com/News/Print/Story/2008/01/AAMCO-Will-Be-First-to-Retrofit-Fleets-to-Ethanol.aspx

mobiushky
08-01-2008, 07:57 AM
USA the world police lol. If thats the case why isnt the US going after the hundreds of other dictators who are much worse than hussein? shouldnt bush have a hit list or something? hmm could it be that none of these evil dicators have any oil?
Saddam murdered thousands of people yes.. still small compared to the millions of people that died as a result of trade sanctions. So please dont pretend that this war was made to 'save' these people.

It seems you did fall for everything, dont be sad alot of people did.
Its shame that things like this wont be taken seriously in the country.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDAFozFn4kU

Gosh, I was under the impression that the news was just reporting what the President of the United States put forth at the sole reason for the invasion of Iraq.

Bottom line. Neither of you will change the way I feel. Nothing you can say will affect my views, so don't bother. I have too many friends too close to the truth to let you guys even put a dent in my belief. This thread has nothing to do with the politics of the war, so let's just leave it at that and move on.

electrictroy
08-05-2008, 09:49 AM
IMHO we should not touch the Colorado or other shale reserves until the Mideast runs dry. It's like money. You spend you neighbor's money first, while you leave your saving account untouched. Only when the neighbor runs out, then do you start drilling your own savings.

We should drain the Mideast dry before we start tapping our own reserves.

electrictroy
08-05-2008, 09:58 AM
Again youre assuming both car engines are equally energy efficient. Combustion engines are only 15% efficient, while Hydrogen powered cars have a normal efficiency of 50% and a theoretical max of 83% The hybrid cars have efficiencies of 40% while the 88mpg diesel Lupo achieved 50% efficiency.

And while electric motors inside Hydrogen fuel cell cars are very efficient, that's not where the loss happens. The loss happens BEFORE the fuel gets to the car, during the process of converting Natural Gas to hydrogen... roughly 50% of the energy disappears.

The U.S. government has already performed energy analysis studies (GREET), and they determined that hydrogen fuel cell cars are worse than gasoline cars. Why? Because the process of making hydrogen wastes huge amount of energy.

I'm going to repeat that:

The GREET study, which performs well-to-wheel anaylsis, determined that hydrogen fuel cell cars are less energy-efficient than gasoline cars. (Do a google search if you don't know what GREET is.) Why? Because the process of making hydrogen is extremely wasteful. It's almost as bad as the process of making ethanol.

electrictroy
08-05-2008, 10:06 AM
P.S.

I think the reason a lot of you don't comprehend my point is because you're ignoring conversion losses from the Input Fuel (natural gas) to the Output Fuel (hydrogen). 2 gallons of CNG is only going to produce about 1 gallon of H2.

- 2 gallons of CNG inside a Honda Civic GX -versus- 1 gallon inside a Honda Fuel Cell

The Civic will move farther.
Burning CNG directly is more energy efficient -versus- burning it indirectly.

mobiushky
08-05-2008, 05:58 PM
P.S.

I think the reason a lot of you don't comprehend my point is because you're ignoring conversion losses from the Input Fuel (natural gas) to the Output Fuel (hydrogen). 2 gallons of CNG is only going to produce about 1 gallon of H2.

- 2 gallons of CNG inside a Honda Civic GX -versus- 1 gallon inside a Honda Fuel Cell

The Civic will move farther.
Burning CNG directly is more energy efficient -versus- burning it indirectly.

First, GREET is more of an environmental model and focuses on Well to pump. Other models are used from pump to wheel. Second, ANL has openly criticized several government studies for incorrectly applying their GREET model. (PS - GREET is a model based on assumptions, not a study in and of itself.) Third, the most recent study I found from the DOE actually contradicted what you said by concluding that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles actually exceeded all other options well to wheel. The only systems that beat the pure fuel cell were diesel hybrid and gasoline reformer fuel cell hybrid.

http://www.epa.gov/ORD/NRMRL/std/fuelcell/fuelabstracts/Brinkman_abs.pdf

Fourth, and this is where you lose credibility, have you ever take a chemistry class? So you know the reaction equations? Here's a few:

CH4 + H20 => CO + 3H2 (reaction #1)

CO + H20 => CO2 + H2 (reaction #2)

CO + H20 => CO2 + H2 (reaction #3, at lower temp than #2)

End result is 5H2 for every 1H4 introduced. Wait a minute, by your "gallon" analogy, that means 2.5 "gallons" of H2 for every 1 "gallon" of NG. UH, how can that be? Chemistry.

Approximately 20-25% of the feed gas is burned to generate heat to produce the steam. But remember that water has Hydrogen in it! So even though you are burning some NG, you are introducing hydrogen via water. The result is that introducing 1.5 Sm3/hr of NG into the reformer will result in approximately 2.5 Sm3/hr of H2 coming out. What am I saying? The conversion losses in steam reforming of NG to H2 are not nearly as much as you make out. Actually, you gain H2 because H20 in used to reform the NG. And that H20 is put back during the fuel cell process.

Further, burning CNG is much less efficient because the losses are heat and noise. Remember, the energy stored in CNG comes from the Hydrogen (CH4), and burning it produces a lot of heat and a little mechanical work. So it is more efficient to use the heat produced from burning the CNG than the mechanical force of the explosion.

Bottom line is that fuel cell vehicles are more efficient than CNG.

mobiushky
08-05-2008, 06:17 PM
Almost forgot. The other thign you are ignoring is that the "losses" of the conversion process of NG to H2 can be recaptured via heat exchangers to accomplish other useful work such as heating buildings etc. You cannot recapture the losses of an NG combustion engine to do anything other than heat your car in the winter.

Most of these studies assume that the heat generated by the reforming process is simply vented to the atmosphere and lost. That is not accurate.

electrictroy
08-06-2008, 07:30 AM
Your equations did not take into account the energy losses incurred by pumping millions of gallons through the pipes & into people's homes (to feed the NG-to-H2 reformer). Piped water is not free. It has an energy cost. Almost forgot. The other thign you are ignoring is that the "losses" of the conversion process of NG to H2 can be recaptured via heat exchangers to accomplish other useful work such as heating buildings etc. What about in the summer? I certainly don't want my Natural Gas-to-Hydrogen reformer to be heating the garage and house. It's hot enough.


I just don't buy that you can take NG to H2, and not lose energy. Every equation I studied in college tells me that be no more real than Alchemy. i.e (False lying scumbags == alchemists.) The Carnot cycle also tells me it's impossible to have a perfect conversion from NG to H2.

Everything in my being tells me burning NG *directly* in a car makes a hell of a lot more sense than reforming the NG to H2, and thereby burning it indirectly. (Like my earlier example, you don't take a pee in water, distill it, and then drink it. You drink it first while it's still pure, and save yourself a lot of unnecessary steps.)

Everything in my being tells me that 2 gallons of NG, used in two different methods:
- burned directly in a Civic GX
- reformed to H2, then used in Honda FC

That the first will travel a longer distance. The first will be gain more useful work out of the 2 gallons of NG then the second.

mobiushky
08-06-2008, 09:37 AM
Your equations did not take into account the energy losses incurred by pumping millions of gallons through the pipes & into people's homes (to feed the NG-to-H2 reformer). Piped water is not free. It has an energy cost. What about in the summer? I certainly don't want my Natural Gas-to-Hydrogen reformer to be heating the garage and house. It's hot enough.


I just don't buy that you can take NG to H2, and not lose energy. Every equation I studied in college tells me that be no more real than Alchemy. i.e (False lying scumbags == alchemists.) The Carnot cycle also tells me it's impossible to have a perfect conversion from NG to H2.

Everything in my being tells me burning NG *directly* in a car makes a hell of a lot more sense than reforming the NG to H2, and thereby burning it indirectly. (Like my earlier example, you don't take a pee in water, distill it, and then drink it. You drink it first while it's still pure, and save yourself a lot of unnecessary steps.)

Everything in my being tells me that 2 gallons of NG, used in two different methods:
- burned directly in a Civic GX
- reformed to H2, then used in Honda FC

That the first will travel a longer distance. The first will be gain more useful work out of the 2 gallons of NG then the second.

Everything in your being is wrong. Sorry, but it is. I did not say that no energy is used to complete the conversion. I said that less was wasted to convert NG into H2 than is lost in the inefficiency of the CNG burning process to produce mechanical work. Many times physics is intuitive. However, there are times when judgement is clouded by inaccurate information and ends up appearing that physics is counterintuitive. That is the case here. You have a preconceived idea and cannot reconcile it to fact.

It is true that the path of well to pump is not as efficient as gasoline. It is also less efficient than CNG. However, that is more than made up for by the nearly 250% efficiency of the H2 fuel cell model from pump to wheel over both gas and CNG. Read that report I posted.

Do you take showers in the Summer? Ever boiled water? Perhaps you could use a hot water heater periodically during the summer? There are more options than just heating the house. The major idea is that the energy "lost" during the conversion can be reclaimed to a large extent in a way that cannot be reclaimed if you use CNG to generate mechanical force. The amount of mechanical force generated by burning CNG is a small portion of the stored energy. The heat generated is completely lost in that process. It is more efficient to use that burning to produce heat than to produce mechanical energy, therefore more efficient to reform NG into H2 than to straight burn NG.

Most studies put fuel economy of CNG at about 25-30MPG which is comparable to gasoline. A gasoline hybrid will nearly double that and a diesel hybrid will double that. A fuel cell will get 250% the equivalent fuel economy of gasoline. It may be that you lose energy during the transort and reforming process. But you need much less H2 to get 100 miles than CNG. It really doesn't matter what your entire being tells you.

mobiushky
08-06-2008, 09:49 AM
Your equations did not take into account the energy losses incurred by pumping millions of gallons through the pipes & into people's homes (to feed the NG-to-H2 reformer).

I also didn't include all of the other reactions that occur as Methane (CH4) is not the only component of NG. NG also contains in varying quantities:

Ethane (C2H6)
Propane (C3H8)
Butane (C4H10)
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

There are a lot of Hydrogen molecules floating around that are easily extracted during the process.

Further, look up the energy densities of NG vs Hydrogen... Again, chemistry.

Granted that they both vary depending on purity and content, etc. The average density of NG is about 37 MJ/kg. Hydrogen is about 120 MJ/kg. This according to the physics factbook: (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/)

Oh and btw about alchemy. It is possible to convert lead into gold. However, the process is so energy intensive that the resulting gold would cost much more than regular gold. Was done in 1980 at least by Glenn Seaborg, a nobel prize winner, but it is possible that in 1972 the soviets succeeded by accident at a nuclear research facility near Lake Baikal in Siberia when they found the lead shielding of an experimental reactor had changed to gold according to reports. Maybe you need to stop relying on your "being" and rely more on facts.

kbaker2002de
08-06-2008, 10:21 AM
Perhaps someone can enlighten me on why the plan is to extract the needed H2 from NG as opposed to water? That is something that did not make a lot of sense to me.

Thanks.

unotis
08-06-2008, 10:25 AM
I also didn't include all of the other reactions that occur as Methane (CH4) is not the only component of NG. NG also contains in varying quantities:

Ethane (C2H6)
Propane (C3H8)
Butane (C4H10)
Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)

There are a lot of Hydrogen molecules floating around that are easily extracted during the process.

Further, look up the energy densities of NG vs Hydrogen... Again, chemistry.

Granted that they both vary depending on purity and content, etc. The average density of NG is about 37 MJ/kg. Hydrogen is about 120 MJ/kg. This according to the physics factbook: (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/)

Oh and btw about alchemy. It is possible to convert lead into gold. However, the process is so energy intensive that the resulting gold would cost much more than regular gold. Was done in 1980 at least by Glenn Seaborg, a nobel prize winner, but it is possible that in 1972 the soviets succeeded by accident at a nuclear research facility near Lake Baikal in Siberia when they found the lead shielding of an experimental reactor had changed to gold according to reports. Maybe you need to stop relying on your "being" and rely more on facts.

This is an excellent thread, we all need to read and comprehend what is being posted.

There is so much BS floating around being represented as fact, it just makes it much more difficult for people to make informed educated decisions about our energy problems.

And I admit a couple of times I've responded with over inflated numbers posed as facts (the energy loss over power lines which I knew was incorrect) in response to some of the BS posted, but 2 wrongs don't make a right, so I will refrain from doing it anymore.

This is one of the few times on a forum you actually might learn something useful. :rolleyes:

mobiushky
08-06-2008, 10:38 AM
Perhaps someone can enlighten me on why the plan is to extract the needed H2 from NG as opposed to water? That is something that did not make a lot of sense to me.

Thanks.

It takes a lot more energy by way of electricity to extract hydrogen from water only. The benefit to the reforming process is that only 20-25% of the NG is burned to produce the heat. Water is injected into the process by way of steam. Hydrogen is extracted from the steam in the process, but to use water alone requires a lot of electricity which makes it less efficient. Typically you can get about 50-70% efficiency out of the process if you ignore the fact that you need electricity. Adding power generation into the equation reduces it to 25-40% efficient. Considering all the options available, steam reforming is closer to 58% including all the ancillary requirements. The actual process of reforming is actually closer to 85% efficient not counting the transport and power requirements.

BobY
08-06-2008, 11:06 PM
One should also bear in mind (as we've discussed previously Electrictroy) that it really doesn't matter if the overall energy is more per unit for a given "fuel" if that fuel is not in a form we need. There is cost associated with refining oil into gasoline, but our cars run on gasoline, not oil (or natural gas, or hydrogen, or whatever) and it's going to be a long, long, long time before all the gasoline burning vehicles on the road are replaced by something else.

If you have to spend money in the conversion, the cost gets tacked onto the price. Even if it takes more energy to do the conversion than you actually get out of the final fuel, it's still more desirable to have the fuel in a form you can use rather than one you can't. At that point, it's simple economics--you tack on whatever adder you need to pay for the conversion inefficiency and losses. If the final price is too high, it encourages the development of alternatives.

Aside from the infrastructure issue (which is more easily and less expensively dealt with by choosing Ethanol over any other solution), there is the issue of the Hundreds of Millions of gasoline powered vehicles on the road which are never going to run off electricity or NG or hydrogen or any other source of energy that doesn't pour into a fuel tank, get introduced into the engine via a fuel injector and burn in a cylinder with approximately the characteristics of gasoline.

AFAIK, ethanol retrofits for existing cars are the only thing that won't take decades or even possibly a century to have a meaningful impact on gasoline consumption.

mobiushky
08-07-2008, 07:33 AM
One should also bear in mind (as we've discussed previously Electrictroy) that it really doesn't matter if the overall energy is more per unit for a given "fuel" if that fuel is not in a form we need. There is cost associated with refining oil into gasoline, but our cars run on gasoline, not oil (or natural gas, or hydrogen, or whatever) and it's going to be a long, long, long time before all the gasoline burning vehicles on the road are replaced by something else.

If you have to spend money in the conversion, the cost gets tacked onto the price. Even if it takes more energy to do the conversion than you actually get out of the final fuel, it's still more desirable to have the fuel in a form you can use rather than one you can't. At that point, it's simple economics--you tack on whatever adder you need to pay for the conversion inefficiency and losses. If the final price is too high, it encourages the development of alternatives.

Aside from the infrastructure issue (which is more easily and less expensively dealt with by choosing Ethanol over any other solution), there is the issue of the Hundreds of Millions of gasoline powered vehicles on the road which are never going to run off electricity or NG or hydrogen or any other source of energy that doesn't pour into a fuel tank, get introduced into the engine via a fuel injector and burn in a cylinder with approximately the characteristics of gasoline.

AFAIK, ethanol retrofits for existing cars are the only thing that won't take decades or even possibly a century to have a meaningful impact on gasoline consumption.

The conversion from gasoline to ethanol would be about the same as a conversion from gasoline to CNG. Cars today can be converted to CNG in pretty much the same fashion as you would to ethanol, though obviously not the same process. The main difference is that the infrastructure for NG transport is already in place with the exception of the actual pumps. As we've said before, the conversion to ethanol would take an investment in infrastructure that does not exist yet. At the very least converting current gasoline infrastructure to ethanol compatible systems.

Honestly, using a term like "possibly a century" is plain ridiculous. Do you honestly think it would take 100 years to transition to something like hydrogen? Really? Many estimates have used time frames on the order of 2-3 decades. Even His Lord Highness the Almighty Barry Hussein Obama, (queue angelic choral chords), has stated that we will be an alternative fuel economy by 2030. And he knows more than God. (OK, that was a bit of sarcasm)

I'm in no rush and I personally believe that we as a country should stop trying to force a crisis into a situation where there is none. We need to be smart and not artificially hasty. Gasoline will be available in plenitful quantities for centuries according to many geologists. What we need is to threaten OPEC by being willing to drill our own oil reserves. Sure it will take 5-7 years for the US to see any fruit from that, but the message will be sent to OPEC that the end is near. Then, at the same time, we research every alternative under the sun. From nuclear to solar and everything in between. In the end, we have a sort of energy "buffet" if you will. Much like we have several types of televisions, we have several types of energy systems. You can drive your ethanol car while I drive whatever I want. The point is, it's better to have many options (diversity) so as to avoid another situation where the entire country is at the whim of one energy source.

BTW, ethanol is not better than gasoline. It just introduces it's own new forms of poisons that gasoline doesn't.

kbaker2002de
08-07-2008, 09:26 AM
BTW, ethanol is not better than gasoline. It just introduces it's own new forms of poisons that gasoline doesn't.

And it's made from food. It has been a boon for farmers but it is an absolute pipedream to think we can move completely to E85 nationwide. E85 is barely competitive with a very small demand. We would not be able to grow enough corn to convert all E10 fuel to E85.

I do not know the abilities of Sugar Ethonal and if that would be a better.

mobiushky
08-07-2008, 11:06 AM
And it's made from food. It has been a boon for farmers but it is an absolute pipedream to think we can move completely to E85 nationwide. E85 is barely competitive with a very small demand. We would not be able to grow enough corn to convert all E10 fuel to E85.

I do not know the abilities of Sugar Ethonal and if that would be a better.

I think Ethanol is a viable path for fueling part of the economy for sure. And as time progresses, it will be better. But it won't or shouldn't replace gas completely. It should be a choice among many.

teranova
08-07-2008, 12:56 PM
Fuel cell emissions.
I've read that the only emission from fuel cells is pure water or water vapor. In the near future, if millions of fuel cell vehicles start spewing out excess water/water vapor, how will this affect our fragile climate?
Some say this would be good for arid states such as New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and southern California but won't this upset the balance of nature e.g. all the desert plants and animals that have adapted to living in very dry or desert regions?
I live in the Pacific Northwest and locally we get approximately 80 to 90 inches of rain a year. I wouldn't want the rainfall to increase anymore than that!

mobiushky
08-07-2008, 02:23 PM
Fuel cell emissions.
I've read that the only emission from fuel cells is pure water or water vapor. In the near future, if millions of fuel cell vehicles start spewing out excess water/water vapor, how will this affect our fragile climate?
Some say this would be good for arid states such as New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and southern California but won't this upset the balance of nature e.g. all the desert plants and animals that have adapted to living in very dry or desert regions?
I live in the Pacific Northwest and locally we get approximately 80 to 90 inches of rain a year. I wouldn't want the rainfall to increase anymore than that!

LOL!! I love it! Truth be told here, the #1 greenhouse gas on the planet is not CO2. It's actually water vapor. So damned if you do, damned if you don't.

unotis
08-07-2008, 03:50 PM
LOL!! I love it! Truth be told here, the #1 greenhouse gas on the planet is not CO2. It's actually water vapor. So damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Don't current state-of-the-art climate models predict that increasing water vapor concentrations in warmer air will amplify the greenhouse effect while maintaining nearly constant relative humidity, thus water vapor in effect acts as a positive feedback to the forces provided by greenhouse gases such as CO 2?

Am I wrong in assuming they would actually be beneficial to maintaining our greenhouse effect benefits in maintaining the constant livable temperatures of the earth?

mobiushky
08-07-2008, 04:40 PM
Don't current state-of-the-art climate models predict that increasing water vapor concentrations in warmer air will amplify the greenhouse effect while maintaining nearly constant relative humidity, thus water vapor in effect acts as a positive feedback to the forces provided by greenhouse gases such as CO 2?

Am I wrong in assuming they would actually be beneficial to maintaining our greenhouse effect benefits in maintaining the constant livable temperatures of the earth?

First you have to understand that the term "greenhouse gas" is more a political term than anything. Recent studies by NASA have shown that the temperature "rise" of the earth has not kept pace with the increase in CO2 levels in any way. In fact, NASA very recently had to revise their climate models heavily because CO2 is not having much of a "greenhouse" effect at all. Of course you only heard that in passing from the media.

Here's one of several links that show the errors in NASA's model that has had to be revised.

http://icecap.us/index.php/go/joes-blog/new_rankings_for_warmest_years/

The main issue here is that we have been told that the warmest year on record is 1998, when in fact it was actually 1934. That's a complete contradiction to the belief that manmade CO2 is causing warming. Why? Because 80% of manmade CO2 emissions didn't happen until after 1940. So the warmest ever year on record was prior to the CO2 levels. Further, the order is actually now, 1934, 1998, 1921, 2006, 1931, 1999, and 1953... per that link. No rhyme or reason at all and 3 of the hottest years on record are prior to 1940. Further, in the top 20 hottest years on record, 10 are prior to the 1950s.

In fact, studies have shown that the post CO2 emission era of "warming" has been surprisingly similar to another wamring pattern that occured in 1898 to 1934. With absolutely no correlation to CO2 levels at all. The problem is, there is nothing in science to even link CO2 levels to warming in anyway unless you fake the numbers and make faulty assumptions. Unfortunately, that information is not politically expedient to winning a campaign, so we never hear the truth.

Here is a graph from junkscience.com that shows the cyclical nature of the earth's temps from 1880 to 2004.

http://junkscience.com/MSU_Temps/Arctic1880-2004_5.gif

And that brings us to the truth. "Global warming" is not a man made phenomenon. It's the natural cycle of the earth. There's nothing we can do about it. So now it's not "global warming" anymore, it's "global climate change."

Estimates put water vapor at up to 95%* responsible for "greenhouse" warming of the earth. Given the vast amounts of water vapor in the atmoshpere, it is unlikely that man has anything to do with it or could even change it if we tried. Estimates put mans total combined affect on global temps at 0.28%. Given that the most you can observe the globe warming is less than 1.5 degrees C, that puts mans affect 0.0042 degrees C at a maximum.

SO, no matter what we do, the climate of the earth is pretty much going to do what it wants and will treat us like we are not even here.


* here are a few resources:
a. S.M. Freidenreich and V. Ramaswamy, “Solar Radiation Absorption by Carbon Dioxide, Overlap with Water, and a Parameterization for General Circulation Models,” Journal of Geophysical Research 98 (1993):7255-7264

b. Global Deception: The Exaggeration of the Global Warming Threat
by Dr. Patrick J. Michaels, June 1998
Virginia State Climatologist and Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia

c. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Appendix D, Greenhouse Gas Spectral Overlaps and Their Significance
Energy Information Administration; Official Energy Statistics from the U.S. Government

d. Personal Communication-- Dr. Richard S. Lindzen
Alfred P. Slone Professor of Meteorology, MIT

e. The Geologic Record and Climate Change
by Dr. Tim Patterson, January 2005
Professor of Geology-- Carleton University
Ottawa, Canada

f. EPA Seeks To Have Water Vapor Classified As A Pollutant
by the ecoEnquirer, 2006


g. Air and Water Issues
by Freedom 21.org, 2005
Citation: Bjorn Lomborg, p. 259. Also: Patrick Michaels and Robert Balling, Jr. The Satanic Gases, Clearing the Air About Global Warming (Washington, DC: CATO Institute, 2000), p. 25.

h. Does CO2 Really Drive Global Warming?
by Dr. Robert Essenhigh, May 2001

i. Solar Cycles, Not CO2, Determine Climate
by Zbigniew Jaworowski, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., 21st Century Science and Technology, Winter 2003-2004, pp. 52-65

unotis
08-07-2008, 05:01 PM
I've read the recent changes to what was believed caused global warming, and I know human activity does not directly effect the natural fluctuation of regional water vapor concentrations except in example: localized areas such as right next to irrigated fields.

So, I am not too terribly worried about any negative effect that water vapor coming out of the exhaust of Hydrogen fuel Cell vehicles could actually have on global/regional water vapor concentrations and on the greenhouse effect.

I actually agree that global warming is a temporary natural result of changes to the world's climate, history has shown that increases and decreases in global temperatures are going to happen no matter what we do.

My basic reasons are fiscally and security based as to why we should look at alternate fuel sources, we have based our total economy on fossil fuels for so long and now we depend on other countries to provide us with the fuel sources needed to keep our economy going and some of the fossil fuels come to us from areas of the world where they not only hate us but actively try to do us harm, leaving our entire economical health and security in such dubious hands is just plain crazy.

Lanny
08-08-2008, 11:23 AM
Someone earlier mentioned the energy needed to pump water. But, everyone is acting like there are no water shortages.

There are many areas of the world with very low water resources, and it's not going to get any better.

unotis
08-08-2008, 12:23 PM
Someone earlier mentioned the energy needed to pump water. But, everyone is acting like there are no water shortages.

There are many areas of the world with very low water resources, and it's not going to get any better.

When we are talking about using water to convert into Hydrogen fuel, we are not talking about a real drain on water sources in most areas of the world and even then after the fuel is used it puts out a water vapor which will go into the air as a water vapor which we all know then condenses into clouds and then back into rain.

Right now with the level of hydrogen fuel usage we are likely to see in the near future, water usage is not too much of a problem and if it becomes it can be addressed then.

BobY
08-11-2008, 12:13 AM
The conversion from gasoline to ethanol would be about the same as a conversion from gasoline to CNG. Cars today can be converted to CNG in pretty much the same fashion as you would to ethanol, though obviously not the same process. The main difference is that the infrastructure for NG transport is already in place with the exception of the actual pumps. As we've said before, the conversion to ethanol would take an investment in infrastructure that does not exist yet. At the very least converting current gasoline infrastructure to ethanol compatible systems.

Honestly, using a term like "possibly a century" is plain ridiculous. Do you honestly think it would take 100 years to transition to something like hydrogen? Really? Many estimates have used time frames on the order of 2-3 decades. Even His Lord Highness the Almighty Barry Hussein Obama, (queue angelic choral chords), has stated that we will be an alternative fuel economy by 2030. And he knows more than God. (OK, that was a bit of sarcasm)

I'm in no rush and I personally believe that we as a country should stop trying to force a crisis into a situation where there is none. We need to be smart and not artificially hasty. Gasoline will be available in plenitful quantities for centuries according to many geologists. What we need is to threaten OPEC by being willing to drill our own oil reserves. Sure it will take 5-7 years for the US to see any fruit from that, but the message will be sent to OPEC that the end is near. Then, at the same time, we research every alternative under the sun. From nuclear to solar and everything in between. In the end, we have a sort of energy "buffet" if you will. Much like we have several types of televisions, we have several types of energy systems. You can drive your ethanol car while I drive whatever I want. The point is, it's better to have many options (diversity) so as to avoid another situation where the entire country is at the whim of one energy source.

BTW, ethanol is not better than gasoline. It just introduces it's own new forms of poisons that gasoline doesn't.

Well, first of all, CNG is not a renewable resource, so it seems to me to be starting off on the wrong foot. Secondly, a CNG conversion kit for an existing gasoline-powered vehicle is dramatically more expensive and complicated than a flex-fuel retrofit and involves sacrificing cargo capacity (again, I never said I was talking about 100% Ethanol).

A large percentage of existing gas stations must already be Ethanol compatible to some extent--every gas station within at least 50 miles of me has ethanol added to their gasoline according to the pumps (up to 20%). The number of existing CNG stations is tiny, so CNG would involve a huge infrastructure investment. Although we do not currently run Ethanol through the fuel delivery pipelines in this country, Brazil has been doing it for years with no harm.

I think it would take many decades to completely replace all the gasoline-burning vehicles on the road with some alternative fuel that didn't involve a relatively inexpensive retrofit. There are over 250 Million gasoline-powered vehicles on the road (and the number has been steadily growing each year), they last at least 10 years (and the average age and lifetime is increasing) and around 7 Million vehicles are sold each year (and that number has been steadily falling). That would take nearly 40 years, assuming the economy is strong enough to support the current sales rate (which historically has been falling) and each new vehicle sold replaced an existing gas-burner and took it off the road (incredibly unlikely). That also doesn't take into account few people are going to be willing to buy a new $20,000+ car just to be able to use an alternate fuel.

The only way to make it happen quickly is with retrofits to existing cars--or else the government could just spend a few Trillion dollars and buy us all new alternative-fuel cars. Frankly, even a retrofit approach will probably require a government mandate and a subsidy to make anything happen quickly.

It would be great if we could have a variety of different "fueling" technologies, but realistically that would be counter-productive, as each technology would require huge investments in widespread infrastucture to support it. Drivers will want some assurance that no matter where they go, they will be able to get "refueled" before they run out and that it won't take long to do it.

I agree we shouldn't rush into things, as I do foresee we will have to pick one alternate "fuel" and run with it, as we won't be able to afford the infrastructure for multiple technologies and it will just slow things down. If we make the wrong choice, we will be in trouble. I just hope that the people who are analyzing this take into account that we need a renewable fuel source that is not dependent on hostile foreign powers and won't break the bank on the infrastucture and vehicle replacements.

I also hope they won't be agenda driven, like the silly Berkley analysis of Ethanol that assumed corn would be grown in the Midwest and transported to California for refining into Ethanol, which would then be transported back to the Midwest for use. Funny how the Midwestern states assumed the refineries would be built where the corn is grown.

BobY
08-11-2008, 12:23 AM
And it's made from food. It has been a boon for farmers but it is an absolute pipedream to think we can move completely to E85 nationwide. E85 is barely competitive with a very small demand. We would not be able to grow enough corn to convert all E10 fuel to E85.

I do not know the abilities of Sugar Ethonal and if that would be a better.

Corn is not the only, nor even the best crop for Ethanol. Non-food and waste grasses are more efficient.

Why would you think E85 is any more a pipedream than any of the other technologies being discussed? The cost to build a completely new "fuel" delivery and "refueling" infrastucture and replace all gasoline burning vehicles would be staggering for any "fuel" that is not at least somewhat compatible with the existing gasoline infrastructure.

mobiushky
08-11-2008, 08:02 AM
Well, first of all, CNG is not a renewable resource, so it seems to me to be starting off on the wrong foot.

That is an assumption. One that is not necessarily true. Many recent studies have shown that it does not take "millions" of years to produce petroleum based fuels and NG. Is it renewable? Don't know for sure, but it's not the way they teach our kids in school.

The thing is, you are acting (to me) like an advocate of one single commodity to replace gasoline. Why? I am not opposed to useing Ethanol based fuels. I simply think that they are not the salvation you make them out to be. I personally feel that we should advocate as diverse a range of alternatives as possible. Why set ourselves up to be beholden to a single source once again? You can drive your corn powered car, not a big deal to me. Fred over there can drive his battery powered car. John can have his hydrogen car, etc, etc, etc. The less we are dependent on a single form of fuel, the better we are able to withstand the ebb and flow of any given source. As it stands now, we are so dependent on oil, that oil prices greatly affect our ability to control our own economy. Imagine if any one fuel source only held a 10-15% market share. What would happen then if the price of corn went nuts? Not much really. That's what I'd live to see.

electrictroy
08-12-2008, 05:16 PM
I did not say that no energy is used to complete the conversion. I said that less was wasted to convert NG into H2 than is lost in the inefficiency of the CNG burning process to produce mechanical work. Yes, and so far you have shown no equations to back-up your claims. If you want to support this NEW technology, versus old PROVEN technology (CNG-powered engine), then you need to show me the math to prove that CNG-to-H2-to-fuel cell is more efficient (versus CNG-directly-to-car).

Otherwise it's all just alchemy. Or as Penn & Teller would say: Bullsh**. However, that is more than made up for by the nearly 250% efficiency of the H2 fuel cell model from pump to wheel It is physically impossible to have efficiency exceed 100%. To claim 250% efficiency is just alchemic double-speak, and I will not be fooled by it. (Nor will I believe you can turn lead into gold.)


greenercars.org aka ACEEE.org rank the CNG Civic, the electric EV1, and the Hybrid Prius all in the same level of "cleanness" (with the 68mpg Insight approximately 5 points higher). Why is the EV1 ranked as no better than a Prius? Simple: Electric cars are very efficient, but the process of producing their "fuel" from a coal/natural gas electric plant (or hydrogen reformed from someplace else & converted to electricity internal to the car) is no more efficient than 50%. At best.

Multiply 50% fuel-to-electric ratio by the 85% efficiency of the typical DC/DC converter-motor combination, and you get just 42% which is no better than a Prius, and inferior to a diesel Lupo (50%).

electrictroy
08-12-2008, 05:22 PM
Oh and btw about alchemy. It is possible to convert lead into gold. However, the process is so energy intensive that the resulting gold would cost much more than regular gold. PRECISELY. Hydrogen has the exact same flaw, except here the "expense" is in the form of energy. It requires more energy to move a H2-fuel cell car 100 miles (due to the requirement the H2 must first be MADE from some other fuel)..... than it takes to move a gasoline, diesel, or natural gas car the same distance.

Perhaps that's why the oil companies love the idea of hydrogen.

They realize we'll be buying *twice* as much oil/natural gas to reform into H2 to fill our fuel cells, than we ever did with gasoline/diesel. They probably see hydrogen cars as a way to double their profits.

mobiushky
08-13-2008, 08:44 AM
Yes, and so far you have shown no equations to back-up your claims. If you want to support this NEW technology, versus old PROVEN technology (CNG-powered engine), then you need to show me the math to prove that CNG-to-H2-to-fuel cell is more efficient (versus CNG-directly-to-car).

I have shown enough for a lay person to understand the basic science and chemistry behind the truth. That you still refuse to believe it is not my problem. I'll stick behind my physics and mathematics degrees and choose to not believe you.

Otherwise it's all just alchemy. Or as Penn & Teller would say: Bullsh**. It is physically impossible to have efficiency exceed 100%. To claim 250% efficiency is just alchemic double-speak, and I will not be fooled by it. (Nor will I believe you can turn lead into gold.)

You misunderstand what that efficiency is related to. The hydrogen vechicle had an efficiency that was 250% of the gasoline vehicle. Not 250% total, 250% of what the gasoline had. The CNG vehicle's efficiency was 170% of the gasoline vehicle. OR if you still can't figure that out: The hydrogen vehicle was 150% more efficient than the gasoline vehicle and the CNG was 70% more efficient. OK, I know, you still don't get it. Never mind, you never will. If you really still refuse to believe that lead has been turned to gold (by a Nobel prize winning Physicist) then you are only going to use your biased opinion to cloud you understanding and will never "get it." If that is the case, then enjoy your CNG car. Hope you love it to death.

greenercars.org aka ACEEE.org rank the CNG Civic, the electric EV1, and the Hybrid Prius all in the same level of "cleanness" (with the 68mpg Insight approximately 5 points higher). Why is the EV1 ranked as no better than a Prius? Simple: Electric cars are very efficient, but the process of producing their "fuel" from a coal/natural gas electric plant (or hydrogen reformed from someplace else & converted to electricity internal to the car) is no more efficient than 50%. At best.

Multiply 50% fuel-to-electric ratio by the 85% efficiency of the typical DC/DC converter-motor combination, and you get just 42% which is no better than a Prius, and inferior to a diesel Lupo (50%).

What the HECK does "cleanness" have to do with efficiency? And once again you are "mixing your metaphors" as it were. I can use some pretty fancy irrelevant data to prove that the sun is actually the earth given enough completely random and irrelevant data points. I've shown you the reality of Hydrogen vs CNG along with plenty of links that you can read showing all the mathematical equations that you could dream of. Including the link that proves you were incorrect about what the DOE actually determined regarding CNG vs hydrogen. The study you claimed proved you point. The one that stated the only vehicle well to wheel that beat the hydrogen fuel cell was a diesel-hybrid. The one that showed that CNG was only marginally better than straight gasoline. Yeah, that one.

mobiushky
08-13-2008, 08:47 AM
PRECISELY. Hydrogen has the exact same flaw, except here the "expense" is in the form of energy. It requires more energy to move a H2-fuel cell car 100 miles (due to the requirement the H2 must first be MADE from some other fuel)..... than it takes to move a gasoline, diesel, or natural gas car the same distance.

Perhaps that's why the oil companies love the idea of hydrogen.

They realize we'll be buying *twice* as much oil/natural gas to reform into H2 to fill our fuel cells, than we ever did with gasoline/diesel. They probably see hydrogen cars as a way to double their profits.

Man, you are a lost cause. OK, whatever. You can think whatever inaccurate ideas you want. Once again, I'll stick with my physics background and the truth and choose to write you off as a looney. For all I care, you can do the same with me. But I'm still confused as to how you intend to write off all the science and studies that prove you wrong. That's a bit tougher to do.

electrictroy
08-13-2008, 04:14 PM
If you think a home garage-based power plant converting CNG to Hydrogen can exceed 50% efficiency, then YOU are the one who is a lost cause. At the end of the day, 50% is no better than a diesel Lupo. Once you dump the H2 inside the fuel-cell-car's 85% efficiency fuel cell-motor combination, it drops to just 42% overall in *ideal* conditions.... lower in real-world conditions. i.e. No better than a Prius.

You have to consider the WHOLE process, including the gadget in your garage making the hydrogen and its lousy 40-50% efficiency, and the car's 85% efficiency.

(Oh and to answer your question, efficiency and cleanliness are closely related. That's why the 50mpg Prius, despite being only a "dirty" gasoline vehicle, scores equal to the "clean" EV1 on ACEEE.org's greenercar list. The EV1's as dirty as the Prius because its electricity comes from natural gas plants which only operate at 40-50% efficiency.)

(Well-to-wheel cleaniness depends upon the EFFICIENCY of the whole process, not just the car by itself.)

mobiushky
08-14-2008, 09:16 AM
If you think a home garage-based power plant converting CNG to Hydrogen can exceed 50% efficiency, then YOU are the one who is a lost cause. At the end of the day, 50% is no better than a diesel Lupo. Once you dump the H2 inside the fuel-cell-car's 85% efficiency fuel cell-motor combination, it drops to just 42% overall in *ideal* conditions.... lower in real-world conditions. i.e. No better than a Prius.

You have to consider the WHOLE process, including the gadget in your garage making the hydrogen and its lousy 40-50% efficiency, and the car's 85% efficiency.

(Oh and to answer your question, efficiency and cleanliness are closely related. That's why the 50mpg Prius, despite being only a "dirty" gasoline vehicle, scores equal to the "clean" EV1 on ACEEE.org's greenercar list. The EV1's as dirty as the Prius because its electricity comes from natural gas plants which only operate at 40-50% efficiency.)

(Well-to-wheel cleaniness depends upon the EFFICIENCY of the whole process, not just the car by itself.)

Honda has shown that the thermal efficiency of the HES is about 59% efficient. The study you mentioned says the same number for steam reforming well to pump for hydrogen. So you are already off. But let’s assume you are even close to right. You are giving the CNG vehicle a pass on the well to pump, but not the fuel cell? You multiplied the well to pump (you claim 50%, we know that’s not correct) by the thermal efficiency of the fuel cell which can range from 75-90% depending on the hydrogen. But 85% is probably a decent value. And you come up with 42%. OK, you then claim that’s lower than the CNG vehicle. But you don’t factor anything in for well to pump for CNG? I see your logic now.

The truth is, CNG vehicles have close to the same thermal efficiency as gasoline. Essentially, they are in the 30-40% range. (Did you happen to notice that we are already below your number for fuel cell, I did.) Now, it is not an argument that well to pump efficiency of CNG and gasoline is much better than hydrogen. In the 80+% efficiency. No argument there. But even then, you end up with say 90% * 40% = 36%. Which is about what the study said. You keep proving me right with every piece of information you generate.

Further, the “greenercars” deal has little to do with total efficiency of the pathway, and more to do with the assumed “pollutants” generated along the path. They couldn’t care less what is the most efficient process, only what is the “greenest.” Further, they only review production vehicles, not prototype or new technologies. When FCX or any other fuel cell based vehicle finally makes production, then you might see them reviewed. Another baseless argument.

I don’t feel like doing any more of the research for you. You can even have the last word, because you are unwilling to overlook your personal agenda and bias to do the research yourself.

Lanny
08-15-2008, 11:23 AM
When we are talking about using water to convert into Hydrogen fuel, we are not talking about a real drain on water sources in most areas of the world and even then after the fuel is used it puts out a water vapor which will go into the air as a water vapor which we all know then condenses into clouds and then back into rain.

Right now with the level of hydrogen fuel usage we are likely to see in the near future, water usage is not too much of a problem and if it becomes it can be addressed then.

There are many areas of the world where water is rationed and there are many places in the US with summer lawn watering bans. Then there are places like Las Vegas that use more water than they will ever get back from rain.

If you can't water your lawn or fill your swimming pool in the summer, you're not going to have local water resources for electrolysis to produce Hydrogen.

mobiushky
08-15-2008, 11:51 AM
There are many areas of the world where water is rationed and there are many places in the US with summer lawn watering bans. Then there are places like Las Vegas that use more water than they will ever get back from rain.

If you can't water your lawn or fill your swimming pool in the summer, you're not going to have local water resources for electrolysis to produce Hydrogen.

The difference being that the water used in fuel cells is returned to the atmosphere immediately during the process. Further, I simply cannot state this enough apparently. Hydrogen is not typically produced by electrolysis. Over 95% of the world's hydrogen is generated through steam reforming, which does not use very much electricity at all aside from monitoring and control systems. Electrolysis is an extremely inefficient way to produce hydrogen. So why would everyone suddenly abandon the most efficient and cheapest way to generate hydrogen for electrolysis?

PS - electrictroy, did you know that Toyota published a report saying that their gasoline based engines were only 15% efficient? In that report, they stated that nearly 85% of the energy in the fuel was lost to heat. CNG engines suffer nearly the same problem.

BobY
08-15-2008, 10:21 PM
That is an assumption. One that is not necessarily true. Many recent studies have shown that it does not take "millions" of years to produce petroleum based fuels and NG. Is it renewable? Don't know for sure, but it's not the way they teach our kids in school.

The thing is, you are acting (to me) like an advocate of one single commodity to replace gasoline. Why? I am not opposed to useing Ethanol based fuels. I simply think that they are not the salvation you make them out to be. I personally feel that we should advocate as diverse a range of alternatives as possible. Why set ourselves up to be beholden to a single source once again? You can drive your corn powered car, not a big deal to me. Fred over there can drive his battery powered car. John can have his hydrogen car, etc, etc, etc. The less we are dependent on a single form of fuel, the better we are able to withstand the ebb and flow of any given source. As it stands now, we are so dependent on oil, that oil prices greatly affect our ability to control our own economy. Imagine if any one fuel source only held a 10-15% market share. What would happen then if the price of corn went nuts? Not much really. That's what I'd live to see.

Okay, CNG is not a known renewable resource--that's splitting hairs, don't you think? Maybe someday we'll learn how to burn air for fuel, too. It helps to have a theoretical basis, though. (BTW, I'm with you on "millions" of years", but is there any theoretical basis for manufacturing NG, regardless of how long it may take?).

I'm not a farmer, nor do I stand to make money off Ethanol (actually, I had some oil well investments which even made some money back in the 80's).

The way I see it, we don't have the time or the money to pursue a variety of energy alternatives, as each one is going to require huge, expensive, time-consuming infrastructure development to support it. Whatever form of "fuel" one's vehicle uses, you need to be able to get it in every State and as easily and conveniently as gasoline is now, or it won't amount to anything.

Fred isn't going to wait an hour at a charging station to "refuel" his car and "battery swaps" will require enormous infrastructure and redundant supplies of batteries (which will create an attendant solid waste problem). And we're already taxing the electric grid in many areas. John isn't going to like it if he finds the next hydrogen filling station is 20 miles past the point he's going to run out of fuel.

Again, I think it would be great to have various alternatives, but I don't think we have the luxury due to the costs involved and the time. The time crunch isn't because we are running out of gas, it's because we are running out of cheap gas and our economy is critically dependent on cheap gas. Every product we buy has been transported using oil-based energy and the companies that manufacture, import, package, ship, market and sell them all have oil-related energy cost burdens. On top of that, our economy, for better or worse, is a consumer economy based on consumers buying things they want, not necessarily things they need. As prices rise, consumers cut back on discretionary spending. The more consumers cut back on discretionary spending, the more companies cut back on production, lay off workers or go out of business. The worse the economy looks to people when such things happen, the more they cut back on discretionary spending and we have a vicious cycle.

Over the long term, we can adapt, especially by abandoning some of our prized luxuries such as living where we like, even if it is far away from where we work, shop or send our kids to school. Gasoline doesn't need to get a lot more expensive than it is to cripple our economy in the short term--I suspect that if the price of gas in the US was the same as it is in most of Europe, we'd be hurting bad.

The reason I like Ethanol is that it is the only thing I'm aware of that addresses the issues:

1) It's infinitely renewable

2) It's completely under our control and not that of hostile foreign nations.

3) The cost to retrofit the existing infrastructure and existing vehicles is not insane, as opposed to replacing or building from scratch.

electrictroy
09-10-2008, 05:07 AM
PS - electrictroy, did you know that Toyota published a report saying that their gasoline based engines were only 15% efficient? Well Volkswagen says their Lupo TDI engine is 45% efficient, so either Toyota makes lousy engines, or you misunderstood them.

As for Honda's claimed 59% efficiency on their CNG-to-H2 reformer, I suspect that's only during the winter months when excess heat can be used to warm the house. ----- During summer the excess heat would have the opposite effect of making the Air Conditioner run more often, thereby wasting energy and bringing overall efficiency downto 30% or lower.

As for pump-to-wheel:

In my comparisons I used the same starting point: The fuel delivered to your house (CNG) and asked the question: "Is it more efficient to run the CNG into a Honda Fuel Cell Car, or into a Honda Civic GX?"

The answer in my research points to the GX.

videobruce
09-13-2008, 06:30 AM
What does this topic have to do with this forum?? :confused:
Shoudn't this go here?:
http://www.highdefforum.com/forumdisplay.php?f=64