Featured Hydrogen fuel a strong possibility?

Discussion in 'Prius, Hybrid, EV and Alt-Fuel News' started by Montgomery, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    no big deal .... they estimate it'll burn itself out - in what .... 250 more years?
    [​IMG]
    .
     
  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Maybe for trucking and trains. Natural gas is just easier to implement, and we can make it renewable, and power fuel cells with it.

    Even with a viable hydrogen FCEV plane, I don't see it working. Most commercial planes are fueled by truck. To switch to hydrogen, airports will need more, costlier fuel trucks, or install hydrogen pumps at all the terminals.

    It was also assumed the hydrogen car would be lighter and have better range than the BEV. The long range Model 3 is a pound or two lighter than the Mirai, with about 10 miles more range. It can also carry more people and things. The Mirai doesn't have a fold down rear seat, and the nature of high pressure vessels means a dedicated hydroFCEV platform won't recover much of that lost space.

    Fuel cells may become a range extender in the future, but I don't see hydrogen working with its requirements.
    With transportation and stationary power both competing for Li-ion, fuel cells for energy storage may find a niche.

    Petroleum is toxic to surface life. As long as the surrounding rock strata isn't damaged in the process, the carbon and nasties stay down there.

    We won't get the material to make all the other goods that come from oil(though many of those require the carbon), but the company is proposing this for tar sands, which really aren't viable to mine and process at current oil prices, and for old oil wells that can't be pumped for the last bit of oil in the bed.
     
  3. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Can’t they just flood that mine with water?
     
  4. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    My take is that the oil is going to come out of the ground regardless of whether we burn it or use it for other purposes (fertilizer, plastics, medicines, etc.). It’s just too darned useful a raw material to pass up! The best we can do is prevent it from being burned, but we can’t keep it from coming out of the ground.

    So, the only real question is, after they pump it out of the ground and then de-hydrogenate it in this manner, what will the leftover compounds be? Will they be useful for creating plastics (etc.)? Will they be (even more) toxic?
     
  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    It's an underground fire that has spread beyond the mine itself. There is no easy way to fight those. Centralia started at an old strip mine in a mountainous region. If you could get enough water into the mine, and if the water could make it all the way into where fire is at, the seams and fire could be above the water level. The fire reaches 1000F in places, so that alone will hinder water reaching where you need it. It could be put out, but it's cheaper to just buy the town out, and move the people.

    This is how China fights these fires. Note how long they flood the seam.
    • Smoothing the surface above the fire with heavy equipment to make it fit for traffic.
    • Drilling holes in the fire zone about 20 m apart down to the source of the fire, following a regular grid.
    • Injecting water or mud in the boreholes long term, usually 1 to 2 years.
    • Covering the entire area with an impermeable layer about 1 m thick, e.g., of loess.
    • Planting vegetation to the extent the climate allows.
    Coal-seam fire - Wikipedia

    Went up to Centralia once on a winter night. There was big banks of fog, and sections of the snow covered road were completely clear and dry.
    This process leaves the coal, oil, tar sands, etc. in the ground.

    Wells are drilled into the deposit. Some are plugged with a membrane that only lets hydrogen through. The others are used to pump oxygen down into it. The material starts 'burning' at those wells. The heat from that, with the pressure of the oxygen being forced in, spreads through the deposit, and starts breaking the hydrocarbons. Hydrogen is collected from the other wells, leaving everything else in the ground.

    Essentially, it is gasification in situ instead of in a plant. With carbon sequestering, if you don't over pressure the system, cracking the containing rock formations, letting everything leak out.
     
  6. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Yes, I noticed that, but that’s a patently silly assumption, in my view. That is simply never going to happen: Nobody is going to agree to leave oil in the ground; it’s *too* *freaking* *useful*!

    It’s axiomatic in my view that the oil is coming up no matter what, but hopefully we can stop ourselves from burning it (please)!

    So then, once they modify this process to operate upon oil that has been pumped, the question is, does de-hydrogenating the oil render it useless for making plastics, fertilizers, medicines, and pretty much everything else? If so, then we can forget about this process immediately.

    Thanks for the description of problems of fighting the coal-fire!
     
  7. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Well, tar sands cost a lot to get out of the ground and to the point of being usable like petroleum. Barring the price per barrel shooting back up, using this process could be a way of keeping the fields working. If there is a market for the hydrogen.

    As for actual petroleum, the proposal is to use it on old wells after all the oil that can be profitably pumped out, has been. Nobody is suggesting using this on oil that can pumped out and sold. Doing so negates the the reason this would have any traction; the built in carbon sequestering.

    The basic process already happens, to a degree, in current oil refineries. The hydrogen there is a by-product that likely gets 'folded' back into the refinery stream for making other chemicals. If it had value, making more hydrogen from oil refining could happen.

    It also happens in a natural gas reformation plant. This is the cheapest way to get hydrogen once the stuff is out of the ground, if that is the primary product wanted. It might even be the cheapest to tack carbon sequestering onto.
     
  8. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Ah, I remember them mentioning that, but I guess I skimmed the article too quickly to understand that they *only* intended it for that use case. Cool then.

    I still think we’d have to first verify that the de-hydrogenated stuff left over in the well isn’t even more toxic than the original crude oil. Maybe they already did that?
     
  9. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Hydrogen is not a fuel. It's an energy storage system, and not a very efficient one.
     
  10. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Petroleum is already laced with benzene and other fun stuff. This process might actually neutralize some of the worse offenders. Or make more. Any heavy metals and other contaminates will still be there.

    Unless they manage to convert all the hydrocarbons into hydrogen and carbon oxides, a spill or leak will be bad news no matter what the relative toxicity of the before and after material.
     
    #50 Trollbait, Aug 24, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  11. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Them rockets flying so fast out of the atmosphere make me wonder if you could elaborate on what you're saying? I'm not quite clear on your point?
     
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  12. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    Well, it burns - either slowly or quickly depending how much oxygen is combined with it - so in that sense it's a fuel, mostly for rockets. But on a deeper level, hydrogen is derived from a primary source of energy, usually methane, then compressed and transported so the energy can be released elsewhere. In that sense, it's more like a battery, in that it simply stores energy. The energy inputs are greater than the energy output, and is a much less efficient process than creating and storing electricity in batteries.

    To quote Wikipedia, "Hydrogen is usually considered an energy carrier, like electricity, as it must be produced from a primary energy source such as solar energy, biomass, electricity (e.g. in the form of solar PV or via wind turbines), or hydrocarbons such as natural gas or coal.[2] Conventional hydrogen production using natural gas induces significant environmental impacts; as with the use of any hydrocarbon, carbon dioxide is emitted."

    The claim that hydrogen is clean-burning and produces nothing but water is also a fallacy that ignores the pollutants created in the overall process.
     
  13. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Burning hydrogen in an ICE can indeed produce other pollution, mostly because of the high temperatures (roughly similar issue with diesels). However, for whatever it’s worth, in a fuel cell, it really does ... burn (in essence, even though there’s no “flame” involved) ... cleanly.



    Hydrogen can be viewed as both ways — as an energy-storage means and as a fuel.

    The main reason to think of hydrogen just as an energy-storage means, rather than as a fuel, is that, unlike within the Universe as a whole, here on Earth, there exists essentially *no* elemental hydrogen (individual hydrogen atoms) nor molecular hydrogen (H2 — molecules of pairs of hydrogen atoms). Virtually all of the hydrogen on Earth is bound up either in water or hydrocarbon molecules (plus a little in minerals). So, that means that you have to *expend energy* to separate the hydrogen from “the other stuff,” so ultimately you’re just storing that energy in a different form — chemical potential energy. But still, as you are expending that stored energy, the hydrogen is functioning as a fuel, exactly like any other kind of fuel.

    So, you can think of it either way...
     
    #53 mr88cet, Aug 24, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  14. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    Hello mr88cet,

    After reading all of these threads, the message I am reading is that hydrogen is a mistake to attempt as an alternative fuel for a car. That we would be using hydrogen incorrectly and that we will poison our underground beyond repair and that we will cause underground fires that we will not be able to extinguish ever! Wow! Didn't realize all the implications and negative consequences. On a side note, here in So Cal, hydrogen fuel stations have been growing in numbers, giving one the suggestion that it is getting cheaper to manufacture and distribute. Only time can tell. One thing for sure, the Mirai is the first of its kind (currently, not speaking about historical attempts), and if successful, many improvements, just like with any car will be made, if the Mirai is given a chance.
     
  15. noonm

    noonm Senior Member

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    That's not quite accurate. Hydrogen FCVs are still far superior to gas/diesel ICE vehicles. However, there just happens to be an even better technology called BEVs that are 1) cheaper, 2) easier to scale and 3) can plausibly be from 100% renewable sources than FCVs. The competition has already been decided. BEVs won and money spent on FCVs are generally wasted.
     
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  16. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    With the amount of tax dollars spent on hydrogen stations in California, there should be more stations going in. This process could make hydrogen cheaper, as I can see government defining it as a renewable for meeting any of those requirements. If transportation doesn't eat up all the savings.

    I could see this working to fuel a nearby power plant. We are going to have a lot of non producing, fracked wells in the near future.
     
  17. Montgomery

    Montgomery Senior Member

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    I agree with what you said, but again, it's the thread that I am responding to.
     
  18. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    hydrogen Stations don't have to get cheaper. They're built with our tax dollars. The price could double? And if the hydrogen lobby greases enough politician's hands? We just keep building them & building them. Who hasn't heard of politicians Building Bridges to nowhere. After a handful of hydrogen stations have had fires, they WILL in fact likely get more expensive due to having to implement more safety features. Toyota Mirai, believe it or not, is not the only game in town. Even more practical, although still impractical, is Honda's fuel-cell Clarity. It can actually go further, and hold 5 people.
    'fuel' for thought ... see what I did there?

    .
     
    #58 hill, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
  19. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Using natural gas for the hydrogen source, the Mirai and a CNG Camry hybrid will go about the same distance. So about the same amount of carbon emissions with a well proven technology, and an existing distribution infrastructure. It's a rough estimate looking at just the natural gas. It ignores the energy needed to get the fuel to and into the car. That likely favors CNG.

    As for renewable hydrogen, we can also make renewable methane. NG is a proven cleaner fuel in other emissions than gasoline or diesel, before optimizing an engine design for it. It isn't going to be zero like an hydrogen FCEV or BEV though, but we might be at the point that tire and brake dust is worse offenders.

    So hydroFCEV are better than gasoline ICE; a 54% reduction in carbon emissions. It is just that hybrid gas can get over half that with 35% reduction before we add a plug.
    https://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/attach/2014/10/How-Clean-Are-Hydrogen-Fuel-Cells-Fact-Sheet.pdf
     
  20. mr88cet

    mr88cet Senior Member

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    Yes, I agree, at least with respect to ordinary passenger cars, SUVs and light trucks. The amount of technological improvements needed to get FCEVs to the price and level of efficiency of a BEV are enormous — to the point where it’s pretty dubious that they can be accomplished, *ever*.

    The only real advantage FCEV has is that you can add ~400 miles of range in about 5 minutes. That’s really only a substantial advantage in the comparatively-infrequent context of “road tripping.” So far in the US, you can only do that road tripping within CA.

    Also, with 350KW BEV chargers (~200 miles added in 10 minutes) starting to come on-line now, that advantage is starting to become pretty insignificant. After driving 200 miles, it’s probably *better* to take a 10-minute break than not to.
     
    #60 mr88cet, Aug 25, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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