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Wed Jun 25, 2014, 08:04 PM

Solar Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future

by Mario Pagliaro and Athanasios G Konstandopoulos

Here's the technical case presented by experts

Renewable hydrogen produced using solar energy to split water is the energy fuel of the future. Accelerated innovation in both major domains of solar energy (photovoltaics and concentrated solar power) has resulted in the rapid fall of the solar electricity price, opening the route to a number of practical applications using solar H2.

[center]
Price: $121.60 new (Amazon)[/center]

New thermochemical water splitting using concentrated solar power (CSP) as well as CSP coupled to electrolysis has the potential to convert and store solar energy into clean hydrogen using a tiny fraction of the world's desert area to meet our present and future global energy needs. Photovoltaics, in turn, has the versatility required for supporting the creation of a distributed energy generation infrastructure in developing countries especially now that the price of PV solar electricity has fallen to unprecedented low levels.

In all these cases, solar H2 will be used to store energy and release it on demand either for fuel cells (to power homes and boats) or internal combustion engines and turbines (for powering cars, trucks and in thermoelectric power units). This book on solar hydrogen is unique in its field and is a timely treatment of a hot topic in industry, academic, political and environmental circles. With reference to many examples as well as to new technologies, this accessible book provides insight into a crucial technology for our common future and numerous colour pictures contribute to the book's readability.

Written by experts in the field who are engaged at the forefront of research, the book supplies readers with last minute insight from the frontiers of research. The book will be of interest to Politicians, solar PV companies, hydrogen and sustainability researchers, environmentalists, managers in the automotive and nautical industries, undergraduate and graduate students in physics, chemistry, energy and materials science.
http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Hydrogen-Future-Mario-Pagliaro/dp/1849731950/

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Arrow 28 replies Author Time Post
Reply Solar Hydrogen: Fuel of the Future (Original post)
nationalize the fed Jun 2014 OP
SidDithers Jun 2014 #1
Anansi1171 Jun 2014 #2
kristopher Jun 2014 #3
DLnyc Jun 2014 #4
kristopher Jun 2014 #6
Benton D Struckcheon Jun 2014 #8
nationalize the fed Jun 2014 #11
kristopher Jun 2014 #12
nationalize the fed Jun 2014 #5
kristopher Jun 2014 #7
nationalize the fed Jun 2014 #9
kristopher Jun 2014 #10
DetlefK Jun 2014 #22
StevieM Jun 2014 #13
caraher Jun 2014 #14
StevieM Jun 2014 #15
caraher Jun 2014 #16
oldhippie Jun 2014 #17
StevieM Jun 2014 #18
oldhippie Jun 2014 #19
StevieM Jun 2014 #20
nationalize the fed Jun 2014 #21
caraher Jun 2014 #23
FogerRox Jun 2014 #24
FogerRox Jun 2014 #25
jeff47 Jun 2014 #26
genwah Jun 2014 #27
genwah Jun 2014 #28

Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 10:45 PM

1. Solar Hydro can!...nt

Sid

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Wed Jun 25, 2014, 11:27 PM

2. K&R. over here folks! A new world is possible...

...if we are willing to flush the petrogarchs down history's toilet. Lets not lose another decade to them, and lets build our future. Its doable if we stop settling, let go and are Willing, Able and Ready!

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 12:45 AM

3. Not really. H2 is more hype than hope.

It is, at best, a small part of the solution to energy storage demands.

Here are the alternatives, followed by their defining operational characteristics.





(from http://cleantechnica.com/2014/04/27/taking-deep-dive-hydrogen/ )
Note well the bar with efficiency numbers in the lower right. That means for any given use hydrogen requires proportionally more renewable energy generating infrastructure than the alternatives.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>


See also: "Time To Come Clean About Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles"

This is a comprehensive and detailed refutation of the "clean energy" claims made by proponents of hydrogen and hydrogen fuel cells (such as the author of the OP, who routinely shares with DU information on the wonders of H technology). It is from Clean Technica, a publication that allows reprinting with attribution. However since the piece is so long and includes a number of detailed large graphics, I've included only enough to cover the essential message.
(About the graph below - you'll want to start your review with the yellow box in the bottom right.)
___________________________________________________________

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/06/04/hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-about-not-clean/

Time To Come Clean About Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles

This letter deals with the three fundamental flaws in the promotion of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Vehicles that seeks to exploit public concern for the environment and to trigger a profoundly counterproductive use of public funds in paving the way for carbon-intensive fossil fuels to enter the market for renewable energy:

That there may be some environmental benefit in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (tackling green house gas emissions) regardless of the use of natural gas.
That the short term use of natural gas to produce hydrogen may be a bridge to the emergence of economically viable renewable hydrogen production to displace natural gas long term.
That hydrogen for fuel cells in transportation is a relatively benign and economically constructive use of US natural gas that serves the interests of US energy independence from foreign oil.



Real World Comparison of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicle Environmental Performance



A crash course in self-defense for the environmentally conscious.

If you have not yet been exposed to authoritative-looking green marketing for hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles, you will be.
Here is a heads-up on some representative samples:

California Fuel Cell Partnership.
“The well-to-wheels reports show that hydrogen made from natural gas and used in a fuel cell vehicle reduces greenhouse gases (GHGs) by 55%-65% compared to gasoline used in a conventional vehicle, and by about 40% compared to gasoline in a hybrid engine.”

California Air Resources Board
“As zero emission vehicles (ZEVs), hydrogen fuel cells play a significant role in reducing California’s greenhouse gas and smog emissions. The California Air Resources Board’s most recent Advanced Clean Cars Program builds upon the ZEV Regulation in place since 1990, and rapidly increases numbers of ZEV technologies, such as hydrogen fuel cell and battery electric vehicles. By mid-century, 87% of cars on the road will need to be full ZEVs. This will place California on a path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050, a goal adopted by many nations and believed necessary to stabilize climate temperature.”

US Environmental Protection Agency
“Producing the hydrogen to power FCVs can generate GHGs, depending on the production method, but much less than that emitted by conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles.”

Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A, Inc.
“Be a part of the next revolution in sustainable mobility: The Toyota Fuel Cell Vehicle (FCV). A driving experience that’s on par with a gasoline engine, but without any CO2 emissions.”

Hyundai Motor America, marketers of the Tucson Fuel Cell
“Well-to-wheel emissions for hydrogen vehicles sourced from natural gas are lower than battery electric vehicles, and less than half of equivalent gasoline vehicle emissions.”

Mercedes Benz, marketers of the B-Class F-Cell
“Mercedes-Benz is working hard to harness the power of the most abundant element in the known universe. In other words, zero-emission hydrogen power.” “0.0 emissions that means it is invisible to the environment.”

American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
“And make no mistake—the FCX Clarity FCEV is an electric car. The fuel cell combines hydrogen with oxygen to make electricity. The electricity then powers the electric motor, which in turn propels the vehicle. Water is the only byproduct the FCX Clarity FCEV leaves behind.”


Any problem with these statements?

Yes. They are categorically and unequivocally false.

There are no such environmental benefits attributable to hydrogen either now or in any foreseeable future economic reality. On the contrary, hydrogen is a gross threat to efforts to tackle emissions as a result of public policies based on a false environmental premise and by grossly misleading advertising combined with incentives targeting consumers most at risk of deception by messaging citing the alleviation of environmental concerns as a value proposition.


It would be wrong to proceed without acknowledging the following exceptions to the rule:

The Ford Motor Company Inc.
“Currently, the most state-of-the-art procedure is a distributed [on-site] natural gas steam reforming process. However, when FCVs are run on hydrogen reformed from natural gas using this process, they do not provide significant environmental benefits on a well-to-wheels basis (due to GHG emissions from the natural gas reformation process).”

Tesla Motors Inc, Elon Musk
Transcript from minute 29:20: “Fuel Cell is so bullshit, it’s a load of rubbish. The only reason they do fuel cell is because…, they don’t really believe it, it’s something that they can…, it is like a marketing thing – but the reality is that if you took a fuel cell vehicle and you take the best case for a fuel cell vehicle in terms of the mass and volume required to go a particular range as well as the cost of the fuel cell system, and then you know, if you took the best case of that, it does not even equal the current state of the art of lithium ion batteries and so there is no way for it to become a workable technology.”


Technically and despite the unguarded language, Musk is correct. FCVs cannot be expected to offer compelling cost or performance benefits to consumers. Nevertheless Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles are without equal when it comes to misdirection and as a tool for extracting public funds from officials only too ready to be blind-sided by pseudo-science and the lobbying of vested interests in a nation struggling to triage the cost of foreign oil and consumer environmental concerns while newly awash with abundant cheap Natural Gas from hydraulic fracturing of shales. It is just that the false promise of hydrogen is such a dangerous deception in environmental terms that it cannot be allowed to go undetected at the eleventh hour for the environment and on the eve of genuine progress with simultaneous break throughs in solar energy costs and Electric Vehicles capable of addressing the mid market.


<<<Large Snip>>>

To conclude and to summarise

It is important for any person concerned with environmental protection or simply wishing to avoid being mislead as a consumer, an investor, an editor or a public servant, to be mindful of well funded and extremely widespread misuse of publicly available data regarding Hydrogen production and Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles. Misrepresentation exists across vested interests and government agencies to paint a picture of this technology as an asset to global efforts to reduce green house gas emissions. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hydrogen is locked by the force of economics to natural gas and natural gas is increasingly locked by the same force to the practice of on-shore hydraulic fracturing of shales. Hydrogen is the Hydro in fossil HydroCarbons and hence hydrogen cannot be extracted from the ground without simultaneously extracting and disposing of carbon as CO2. Re-Capturing the carbon (sequestering CO2) costs about the same as the resulting hydrogen fuel and hence it is simply released to the atmosphere.

Hydrogen represents the limit of fossil fuel refining which results in the maximum hidden well to tank emissions of any fossil fuel and the maximum overall GHG emissions per unit of useful energy. The process is significantly more carbon intensive per unit of energy than coal. Mistaking fossil hydrogen from the hydraulic fracturing of shales for an environmentally sustainable energy pathway threatens to encourage energy policies that will dilute and potentially derail global efforts to head-off climate change due to the risk of diverting investment and focus from vehicle technologies that are economically compatible with renewable energy. Toyota for example, currently the world’s largest auto maker is the most active supporter of lobby groups in the US and world-wide in pushing for hydrogen while it has tragically sidelined its own efforts to produce EVs.

In California, the CARB ZEV mandate permits fossil fuel vehicles (if the fossil fuel is hydrogen) to qualify instead of EVs while the copious green house gas emissions to produce hydrogen for them are released in California just down the road at Air Products Inc., or at the gas station instead of on the street. It is therefore urgent from an environmental perspective that confusion on this topic is brought rapidly to a full stop. There is no reason to imagine that a future 306hp FCV will not pollute far more than the current 306hp gasoline V6 Lexus when the average FCV tested by NREL already produces 73.5% of the emissions with less than half of the power.

This document contains minimal interpretation (the data is derived wherever available directly from official EPA and NREL records). It is intended to provide a clear and directly accessible view of that data to serve a public right to know it (and to understand it) unmasked from false comparisons and pseudo-science and from political or marketing spin intent on forcing natural gas into the green energy economy.

The data demonstrates that unless a consumer wishes to purchase a low performance vehicle to replace a very old, a very large or very a high performance vehicle, Hydrogen FCVs offer no net Green House Gas reductions versus any other low performance vehicle. In fact the worst environmental performance of any low performance vehicle under 200 hp discussed here was and is the average official Fuel Cell Vehicle NREL test subject at 356g CO2e/mile. Replacing an EV, PHEV, HEV (or even a small-engined diesel or gasoline vehicle) with this FCV will represent an environmental set-back. This is a fact that cannot have escaped either Mercedes (Daimler) and Hyundai-Kia who were both NREL test subjects alongside Ford and GM, BP, Shell and Chevron. Of this group, only Ford, to their credit, has publicly stated that there is no significant environmental benefit to Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology – all be it at the bottom of a web page discussing the merits of tackling climate change.

The economically inescapable reason why hydrogen is of no benefit in tackling GHG emissions is that Hydrogen produced by the most efficient commercial route emits a minimum of 14.34Kg CO2e versus 11.13Kg CO2e for a US gallon of Gasoline (of which 13.2Kg is actual CO2 gas in the case of Hydrogen). This best case is not even the typical case owing to difficulties in transporting hydrogen in bulk. Hence the on-site (distributed) production from natural gas at fueling stations that suffers lowered efficiencies of scale. The real-world data attests to the fact that when installed in a hybrid electric vehicle the real-world energy conversion efficiency is insufficient to overcome the added GHG emission intensity of hydrogen production.

Unlike the optimal economic synergy of plug-in EVs and Renewables, the economics of hydrogen strongly prevents renewables from competing to power an FCV fleet either now or in the future. Natural gas is no bridge to a better future. In the case of FCVs it is an economic barrier to renewables.

Hydrogen from Natural Gas is currently posing a considerable threat in terms of diverting State and Federal budgets ostensibly intended for environmental improvement to fossil fuel based hydrogen infrastructure where at best very large amounts of public funds are at risk of going to waste assuming consumers do reject low-performance FCVs. At worst public funds will embolden the Natural Gas industry and Auto Industry to press for far-reaching delays in EV developments and even lobby for effectively the society-wide derailment of progress towards renewable energy in transportation. 90% of the Californian Energy Commission hydrogen infrastructure budget has been earmarked for non-sequestered fossil fuel production of Hydrogen in return for lip service of future environmental benefits that can never be forthcoming. Meanwhile marketers of FCVs actively and openly target Electric Vehicles (not gasoline or diesel vehicles) with claims of convenient access to lowered green house gas emissions similar to a pure Electric Vehicle. Claims that are simply not true.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles and their infrastructure are a case in which the cost to the many should perhaps be considered to outweigh the benefit to the few. With some considerable urgency.

Naturally there is unlikely to be a market for Fuel Cell Vehicles outside the demographic of environmentally conscious consumers targeted and duped by false advertising. In that regard I trust this document comes to the defence of the widest possible audience as it contains vital consumer education.

Of course the most decisive action environmentally concerned consumers can and must take in order to prevent the displacement of solar and wind energy in transportation by fracked natural gas is simply to refuse to lease or to buy a Fuel Cell Vehicle regardless of incentives or public funds wasted on hydrogen infrastructure. Naturally it would be preferable for CARB to anticipate such a response and to resume the role of forcing the focus of auto makers in the direction of more constructive instead of destructive approaches to the environment.



Julian Cox.

<<<Another Large Snip of Supporting Material>>>

http://cleantechnica.com/2014/06/04/hydrogen-fuel-cell-vehicles-about-not-clean/

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Response to kristopher (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 07:20 AM

4. This post doesn't seem to belong here.

You make a good point that hydrogen from natural gas does not have a good carbon profile. But the OP is about using solar-generated electricity to get hydrogen from water:

From the OP:
Renewable hydrogen produced using solar energy to split water is the energy fuel of the future


Your post seems to rely heavily on discrediting an entirely different technology, that gets hydrogen from natural gas possibly using electricity from conventional sources:

From your post:
That there may be some environmental benefit in Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles (tackling green house gas emissions) regardless of the use of natural gas.
That the short term use of natural gas to produce hydrogen may be a bridge to the emergence of economically viable renewable hydrogen production to displace natural gas long term.
That hydrogen for fuel cells in transportation is a relatively benign and economically constructive use of US natural gas that serves the interests of US energy independence from foreign oil.


. . .

“Well-to-wheel emissions for hydrogen vehicles sourced from natural gas are lower than battery electric vehicles, and less than half of equivalent gasoline vehicle emissions.”


. . .

“Currently, the most state-of-the-art procedure is a distributed natural gas steam reforming process. However, when FCVs are run on hydrogen reformed from natural gas using this process, they do not provide significant environmental benefits on a well-to-wheels basis (due to GHG emissions from the natural gas reformation process).”


. . .

etc.

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Response to DLnyc (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 01:39 PM

6. It is the difference between hype and reality - AKA "Greenwashing"

If you take the time to read the entire offering (I realize it is long) you'll see that the overarching point is that due to the low efficiency of the storage process involving hydrogen, there is very little use for it in a system that seeks to maximize efficiency. While the claim is that we *could* use renewable sources, that amounts to little more than greenwashing because of the massive increase in the required amount of renewable generating capacity that would entail.

The economics tell us that the more probable route for utilizing the various hydrogen strategies involves integrating it with large-scale centralized generating plant such as coal or nuclear for load shifting and using natural gas reforming for transportation. It provides absolutely no incentive for moving away from those technologies.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 03:38 PM

8. You know, I never thought about flywheels.

Has anyone seriously looked at using that for storage of energy created from solar/wind?

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Response to Benton D Struckcheon (Reply #8)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 08:47 PM

11. Europeans are way ahead of the US

That's not surprising considering the priorities of the US lie in world hegemony, wiretapping the net and developing the next tools of war.

Here are 2 examples:

Hydrogen energy storage: power ramp-up at the MYRTE test platform. "Since 1/2012, this platform has connected photovoltaic solar panels to a hydrogen-based storage system. By joining the power grid, this provides a solution to the problem of intermittency & makes it one of the rare installations.." http://www.pennenergy.com/articles/pennenergy/2014/05/hydrogen-energy-storage-power-ramp-up-at-the-myrte-test-platform.html

Siemens plans electrolyzer system to store wind power as hydrogen. The system, equipped with an electrolyzer from Siemens, will convert surplus electricity from wind farms to hydrogen. The hydrogen will then be stored locally in tankers or fed directly into the natural gas grid or used for fuel cell vehicles. http://www.elp.com/articles/2014/05/siemens-plans-electrolyzer-system-to-store-wind-power-as-hydrogen.html


The trillions stolen from the people of the US and spent on Iraq and Afghanistan etc could have been put to good use. Instead, future generations will pay interest on this borrowed money and be lucky to have any free time at all.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #11)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 08:51 PM

12. The large entrenched energy providers trying to preserve their relevance.

They are fighting a losing battle trying to preserve their centralized position in a world moving to distributed generation.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 08:15 AM

5. Julian Cox

Is not the most credible person when it comes to H2.

First, as DLnyc points out his entire argument is based on hydrogen from natural gas. The argument for Solar hydrogen is completely different.

And a look at his seeking alpha profile is enlightening:

ABOUT: Julian Cox Seekingalpha.com

I lead the first example of a market wide conversion from fuel to lithium battery power as the CEO of a company that I founded and took from an idea to a global leader in its niche with offices in Europe and the US with wholly owned factories in Asia and major customers in over 30 countries.

With Seeking Alpha I have set out contribute the closest thing possible to an insider perspective and a visionary outlook on developments in and relating to the electrification of transport, in particular my commentary has focused on Tesla Motors Inc,. (TSLA)

(NTF: Does Julian own stock in TSLA and see fuel cells hurting his bottom line? He doesn't say)


My interest in Tesla stems firstly because this is a company I understand as its behavior matches my own experience in business to an extraordinary degree. Also owing to what I believe is its pivotal importance. I am keen to understand its interactions with the market still further through discussion and debate with others with varying views and expectations...snip more
http://seekingalpha.com/author/julian-cox


He doesn't name his company which is (or was- he might have sold it)-
flightpowerbatteries.com. http://flightpowerbatteries.com/ And that might be because he has or had a severe customer service problem- some might call him a scam artist.

Proof: Search google- "Julian Cox" flightpower and read a few entries:

http://www.google.com/search?client=opera&rls=en&q=%22julian+cox%22+flightpower

I have an issue with Flightpower in Hong Kong. Once they got the cash, the so called CEO, Julian Cox, has been hiding from phone call and...

Julian Cox owner of UK Flight Power has screwed a very good friend of Dennis Berube, his name is Zachary Vex. Zachary wired over...

I have ordered several packs of 5s lipo from Julian Cox ( Order Confirmation No: 128926) . Once I settle the amount, he just disappear and...


Note that he does not disclose any of this in his article. Does Julian Cox seem like a trustworthy person? Maybe he left Solar Hydrogen out of his calculations for a reason.

Here is a good non biased look at Hydrogen by a well respected environmentalist- Amory Lovins.



Twenty Hydrogen Myths
http://www.rmi.org/Knowledge-Center/Library/E03-05_TwentyHydrogenMyths


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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 01:44 PM

7. Going back to character assassination again?

You have cause and effect reversed - lots of people are promoting the new battery technologies precisely because of the reasons laid out by Cox. There aren't any false statements involved in that analysis other than the half truths of the H2 proponents that are identified and explained.

A lot has changed in 11 years and Lovins has, since the 2003 piece you cite, embraced batteries.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 08:24 PM

9. The only character assassination involved

was done by Julian to himself when he failed to include the calculations involving renewables, failed to disclose his emotional investment in Tesla, and, when he was CEO of his little lithium battery company and apparently scammed people out of cash. Why do you think writers at Motley Fool are required to list their investments at the bottom of the articles they write?

because of the reasons laid out by Cox.


He left out the whole renewable thing. But maybe that's because he is both emotionally (by his own admission) and maybe financially (he doesn't say) committed to Tesla, and fuel cells are a direct threat to that company.

You're welcome to believe the con artist but others should know how and why he comes to his "conclusions" about hydrogen.

A lot has changed in 11 years and Lovins has, since the 2003 piece you cite, embraced batteries.


You are so right- The Hydrogen economy is much closer and hydrogen tech is much much better than 11 years ago. The Hydrogen energy revolution has begun.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #9)

Thu Jun 26, 2014, 08:45 PM

10. Renewables are impacted by the performance of hydrogen, not the other way around.

In other words you are peddling another half-truth of the kind highlighted by Cox.

The efficiency of hydrogen as a storage medium (for either mobile or stationary applications) doesn't suddenly improve when your input is derived from renewable sources. It is this extremely low round trip efficiency of hydrogen that the entrenched energy industries have to hide in order to mislead an under-informed public and promote adoption of a technology that has a very limited role to play in our energy future.









You can try to greenwash it all you want by saying that we are going to use it with renewables, but the economics say that the only applications we are going to find anywhere in the foreseeable future are going to be tied to fossil fuels or nuclear.

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Response to kristopher (Reply #3)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 06:10 AM

22. H2 doesn't have to be stored as gas.

Chemicists found a reversible process to capture H2 in a liquid chemical (forgot details) with a catalyst (something metallo-organic). When needed, the chemical is again subjected to the catalyst and releases the H2.

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Fri Jun 27, 2014, 03:29 PM

13. I am interested in the prospect of using hydrogen for industrial manufacturing

Last edited Fri Jun 27, 2014, 07:51 PM - Edit history (1)

I am not sure what the potential is there. It doesn't get nearly as much discussion as electricity or transportation. But I wonder whether it could supplant fossil fuels in that sector of the energy economy.

Does anyone have any ideas about that?

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 09:41 AM

14. I really have a hard time seeing how this wins over regular EVs

Step 1: create zero-emission electricity from wind/solar/whatever

From here we either

A. Use the electricity for electrolysis to store the energy in hydrogen
B. Use the electricity to charge a battery

So whether hydrogen makes more sense than conventional EVs for transportation depends, in an energy efficiency sense, on which chain has lower losses: electricity --> H2--> electricity or electricity -->battery --> electricity

For chain A, the most optimistic numbers I've run across put electrolysis at 70% efficiency and the subsequent efficiency of the fuel cell in extracting the energy in hydrogen at not quite 70%. So overall you're talking about a bit less than half your original electrical energy being available to your vehicle.

For chain B, both numbers are higher. Charging can be about 80% efficient while extraction of energy from the battery can be 90% efficient, so you're talking 70% overall efficiency, or about 50% better than with hydrogen.

Yes, let's get a transportation infrastructure run on solar PV. But let's be sure not to squander a big chunk of that low/no carbon energy by running it through a less efficient system than present technology already gives us.

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Response to caraher (Reply #14)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:09 PM

15. But what about using hydrogen for other purposes?

Like industry and manufacturing. What do you think the potential is for that?

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Response to StevieM (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 01:27 PM

16. I can certainly imagine other uses

Most of the hype is about basically replacing cars with fuel cell vehicles, and that part doesn't seem to add up. I don't really know enough to comment on what other uses might make most sense.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #15)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 04:33 PM

17. What do you mean by industry and manufacturing?

 

Do you mean using hydrogen as a source chemical for some chemical process? Or burning it to create heat for an industrial process, like smelting steel? You can burn it in an internal combustion engine, or you can run it through a fuel cell to make electricity, but there are already more efficient ways to do that. What other uses for hydrogen in manufacturing are you thinking about?

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #17)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 05:29 PM

18. I'm not totally certain myself, which is why I was asking. I think the best examples

of what I was considering are what you wrote about an industrial process, like smelting steel, or some type of chemical process.

But that also raises a larger question: What are some really good green solutions for industry? My main interest was not so much in hydrogen, but in manufacturing in general. I asked a question about this a couple months ago, but I paired it with a question about space and water heating. The replies only covered space and water heating solutions.

The reason I was thinking about this is because we talk so much about solutions for electricity and transportation, but not so much for those other two areas of the energy economy.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #18)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 06:33 PM

19. When I think of industrial processes ...

 

just off the top of my head I think of heat, heat transfer, and motion. Those things are now pretty well handled at the least cost by fossil fuels making heat and electricity. Yes, both of them could be done using H2 in the process, but at added cost and complexity, so why bother if not mandated by some law?

I don't know much about chemical processes that use pure hydrogen as an input, but I suspect there must be some. Currently hydrogen is most cheaply made by reforming natural gas. You can make it from electrolysis, but why bother if it is less efficient and more expensive? Again, unless there is some law forcing it.

At some price of natural gas electrolysis will be competitive with steam reforming, but I don't know what point that is. And still, nat gas will always be easier to transport than H2. which affects price in different places.

I don't know, just stream of consciousness on my part.

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Response to oldhippie (Reply #19)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 09:27 PM

20. Your points about hydrogen are very good ones. But that brings me back to my original question.

What are some green solutions for the industrial sector? What can be used in manufacturing in lieu of oil and natural gas?

Biofuels? Algae to produce natural gas? Green methods of producing steam?

I am interested in other people's ideas about this, especially since this part of the energy economy doesn't garner as much discussion.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #20)

Sun Jun 29, 2014, 11:10 PM

21. The book lays it out

I didn't expect anyone to cough up $120 bucks for this but it's an EXCELLENT book and I'm about half way through it.

The case is made with oodles of footnotes and sources.

CHAPTER 4
Solar Hydrogen Utilization

4.4 Hydrogen Fueled Power Plants

Hydrogen can be used efficiently as fuel for thermoelectric power
plants. In 2010, Italy’s largest electricity utility (Enel) opened the world’s first hydrogen power combined cycle plant near Venice (Figure 4.15). Hydrogen is supplied using specially built pipelines from the nearby Polimeri Europa petrochemical plant, where ethylene-cracking is carried out.

The 12MW power plant comprises a hydrogen-fueled combined cycle plant and burns hydrogen gas in a turbine capable of resisting hydrogen embrittlement, which was developed in partnership with General Electric and generates both electricity and heat. The plant uses 1.3 tonnes of hydrogen per hour, has an overall efficiency of about 42%, and is essentially free of emissions. The efficiency of the process is increased by using the heat from the emissions to generate high-temperature steam, which is sent to the nearby coal-fired plant to generate an additional 4MW of power capacity. Overall, the electricity generated, equal to about 60 million kWh per year, will be sufficient to meet the needs of
20 000 households, avoiding more than 17 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions a
year...



Figure 4.15 The first industrial-size power plant fueled by hydrogen in the world
opened in 2010 in Fusina, near Venice, Italy.
(Reproduced from www.demotix.com/photo/388950/enel-first-powerplant-
fuelled-hydrogen-world, with kind permission.)

Trivia: Did you know there are ~22 LITRES of Hydrogen Gas in ~1 Tablespoon of water? (1.2 tablespoons (one mole of water) makes 22.42 litres of H2 gas and 11.21 litres of O2 gas)

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Response to nationalize the fed (Reply #21)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 09:32 AM

23. Again, this is at best a small niche application

That 42% efficiency is just for hydrogen to electricity. Ultimately this pant is fueled by petrochemicals ("Hydrogen is supplied using specially built pipelines from the nearby Polimeri Europa petrochemical plant, where ethylene-cracking is carried out.". The technology as demonstrated mainly supports further consumption of petroleum and natural gas.

Now of course one could use electricity from solar or wind to generate the hydrogen, but now we're back to how efficient hydrogen is in an energy storage role compared to alternatives. If we're generous we say 70% of the energy in the original electricity gets stored in hydrogen, and then we get back 42% of that with this combined cycle plant, for an unimpressive overall 30% efficiency.

An industry web site acknowledges the low efficiency problem, and suggests that hydrogen energy storage is mainly useful in applications where more efficient alternatives like pumped storage create bottlenecks in the rate of re-extraction of energy.

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Response to StevieM (Reply #15)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 05:08 PM

24. Hydrogen leaks slowly from any material

used to contain it, thats why many hydrogen fuel stations for vehicles use onsite electrolysis. I dont think there are more than 900 miles of hydrogen pipeline in the US, even though its widely used in the oil industry.

An OP I posted about 2 weeks ago:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/112770808

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Response to caraher (Reply #14)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 05:13 PM

25. Fuel cells have a long way to go before they can be as efficient as todays EV.

But hey, in 10 or 15 years R&D could change that picture. But then what will battery tech look like in 2025?

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 05:23 PM

26. No, it really isn't.

At least, not until they solve the storage issue.

Hydrogen is so small it leaks through any container. Being able to fill your car quickly at the "gas station" doesn't do you much good when the fuel evaporates through your tank overnight. And that's also ignoring all the hydrogen lost shipping it to the "gas station".

The book proposes shipping hydrogen thousands of miles from where it's created. That's utterly unworkable, because most of the hydrogen would be lost en route. Which means they really aren't "experts in the field who are engaged at the forefront of research".

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Response to nationalize the fed (Original post)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 06:29 PM

27. Well, you could put a whole bunch of solar cells on the roof of the gas station after this...

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/kjGaNGhz1pE" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

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Response to genwah (Reply #27)

Mon Jun 30, 2014, 06:30 PM

28. Hmm...didn't seem to embed. Here you go.

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