Ming the Mechanic:
Hydrogen Economy

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Hydrogen Economy2002-11-27 17:42
3 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

Joi Ito talks about the Hydrogen Economy: "The picture above is ECD's vision of the Hydrogen Economy. Get Carbon out of the picture. Reduce the cycle to the basic elements of the universe. Photons creating energy to break H2O into Hydrogen and Oxygen. Oxygen goes back to the atmosphere and the Hydrogen is stored and transported in the Hydride material. The Hydrogen is later extracted to create energy through combustion or through the creation of electrical energy with a fuel cell. This electricity can be stored in a Hydride battery which is also based on Hydrogen. The electricity obviously can be used for propulsion or be converted into meta-energy, or information. Photons->Hydrogen->Electrons->Bits thatÂ’s all we need. No CO2, fossil fuels, Uranium or any of the non-big-bang stuff please. Oh and by the way, the basic material and the phenomenon used to store hydrogen in a solid, the convert hydrogen in to electricity and the store electricity in hydride batteries is the based on the same basic science."


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3 comments

28 Nov 2002 @ 16:31 by craiglang : One question
A friend of mine asked me a short time ago - as the hydrogen and oxygen are combined in a fuel cell, where does the water go? Is it vented as vapor to the atmosphere? Or is it stored within the cell?

If it is vented, my friend pointed out that we could at some point, end up with a water-smog. A large amount of water vapor couldn't help but affect weather patterns. In additon, water vapor is a powerful greenhouse gas, with obvious consequences.

So, these side effects of the hydrogen life-cyle economy need to be modeled, as well as the economics.

My $0.02.
Thanx,
-Craig  



28 Nov 2002 @ 21:11 by ming : Fuel cells
That's a good point. I think, however, that the plan is to use regenerative, or reversible, fuel cells, where it is a closed circuit. When you use the electricity, the hydrogen and oxygen turn into water, but you keep it in the system. Then, later on, you charge it up, by a process of electrolysis that turns the water back into oxygen and hydrogen. Otherwise I can't really see how they can plan to use it in laptop computers and that kind of thing. See, for example, here.  


29 Nov 2002 @ 11:47 by bushman : Hmm,
You can use a condencer to reclaim the water exaust and put the majority back into your tank. I mean if you really looked at all the steam this planet makes daily, you'd see that even if you didn't reclaim it, it would be such a small amount, I mean all the lava that pours into the oceans around the planet, old faithfull in yellow stone produces more steam in 3 mins than could posably be produced from hydrogen fuel, water emissions. I do however know that there would have to be a solids filter on the exaust, since most engines will be inhaling outside air that has pollutants in it. The oxygen is vented to the outside air, in its simplest design, since recombining the hydrogen and oxygen in the engine would be way too hot and fast to run it. As for the fuel cell, there is no release other than heat, as waste product, they are a closed system, and don't need but a few drops of water to add, over a long pieriod of time. I was reading that they are using that mesh stuff, like scotch brite soft scrub pads between everything so there is no vapor space in the cell.  


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