- May 14, 2021
.The Hydrogen Economy was a grand idea back last century when it was worked out.
X things to remember.
1. Hydrogen is a gas "battery". It's how you transport and temporarily store power made by another means.
Temporary, because it leaks like crazy. Through steel. A nice thick steel tank isn't really that much "worse" than a gasoline storage tank, since gasoline has a shelf life, for sake of argument a year? I'll WAG they're close enough to not argue about.
The sub-point is, Neither fuel can be put in a corner of your hanger for years and still be good. Arguably the Hydrogen doesn't go "stale" so you still have some ( but less than you put there ) fuel after a given time.
2. Hydrogen isn't very efficient at turning electricity/energy into portable storage.
Although using chemical feed stock like, say, methane, is more efficient than splitting water, on a scale of Power In vs. Power Out, there are still huge losses. Feel free to argue numbers but Zero ain't one of them. Which leads to
2A. Thus you need Lots of Cheap Power to make the Hydrogen Economy work. Period.
Cheaper and Lots More than today. (A government could Demand that you accept higher prices and scarcity, but their competitors won't, and out perform economically. )
3. Transport and storage are expensive. You don't use pipes to move it any distance. Leaks.
Complex chemistry solutions, like shipping it as a different chemical, just shoots your efficiency in the foot, again, so why not just use that chemical, instead?
4. Despite the doom & gloom that physics hands us, in certain cases Hydrogen is potentially great stuff.
Given lots & lots of Cheap Power, it can make sense, economically, and is VERY low pollution, except for oxides of nitrogen in ICE s that a catalytic converter can solve, and a potent, but health friendly, greenhouse gas.
It's a possible use for methane from biomass. The system used in the movie Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, is used routinely on pig farms. That just burns the methane. I'll suggest analyzing methane as fuel.
4A. It's a fairly rational way to transition from fossils fuels, which is the Reason the concept exists.
5. Unfortunately if your goal is CO2 control, unless you use nuclear en mass you have to emit more than you gain, if I understand the math right. So if that's your goal, pick a different "battery". Imho.
Well said , thank you
I live in Manitoba Canada and we have huge hydro electric dams and some of the lowest electrical rates in the world.
Should we then make hydrogen .... NO ... because there is no demand for it and simply producing it will not create a sufficient demand ... then the transportation costs to move it must be considered .
During the Olympics in British Columbia the organizers decided to save the planet and used a fleet of hydrogen buses .... cost multiple millions of dollars more than regular buses.
Clean burning ... ?? .... yes of course .... but what they dont tell you is the hydrogen fuel had to be trucked 3000 miles from Quebec .... those semis used more diesel hauling the hydrogen than diesel buses would have used at the Olympics.
Not only that .... those very costly buses had no value after the games .... nobody wanted them.