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Why not hydrogen?

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Old 01-16-2014, 06:55 PM   #1
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Why not hydrogen?

I've always wondered why we don't just burn hydrogen in internal combustion engines. Its cleaner and out performs gas. I know you couldn't make hydrogen on board because it takes more power to make then it puts out. But we could just fill up with pure hydrogen at a station. BMW has a concept car called hydrogen7 with a v12. they have a video of it and they just went to a special hydrogen station and filled up. I think it can also run on petrol. I also think there is like 100 of them made so far.

Why can't we and what the disadvantages?
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:01 PM   #2
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Hydrogen, in a compressed state, is still highly explosive. As such the US safety standards are very specific. This is just one of the many reasons we do not have hydrogen powered cars.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:04 PM   #4
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Infrastructure.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:10 PM   #5
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Hydrogen is the most common atom in the universe, yet here on earth it is usually combined with something else. So to get it you typically have to break down fossil fuels or water. Breaking down water is energy intensive and breaking down fossil fuels still has all the problems of burning fossil fuels.
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Old 01-16-2014, 07:19 PM   #6
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It can be more dangerous than current types of fuel. it ignites a lot easier than gasoline does so something like static electricity would be a lot more likely to ignite hydrogen leaking from a tank or fueling station, hydrogen flames are also nearly invisible which would make approaching an accident scene more hazardous for emergency crews. Storing it would likely have to be in liquid form which would mean it would have to be really cold, and that could lead to severe burns to exposed skin.

I'm sure some day the storage and handling will improve and we might start seeing it out there more. Similar concerns popped up when natural gas was starting to become more popular as an alternative fuel and now its a very common and generally accepted to be a safe fuel. I guess we shall have to wait and see.
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:14 PM   #7
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Old 01-16-2014, 10:19 PM   #8
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the process by which we obtain pure hydrogen is still very inefficient.

partial oxidation, gasification, and seperation from water from methods like electrolysis don't provide enough for it to become an economic fuel source. not to mention all the intricacies of using it in a combustion engine
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Konaborne View Post
the process by which we obtain pure hydrogen is still very inefficient.

partial oxidation, gasification, and seperation from water from methods like electrolysis don't provide enough for it to become an economic fuel source. not to mention all the intricacies of using it in a combustion engine
So your saying it takes more energy to separate water to hydrogen and oxygen then to make gas.
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Old 01-17-2014, 08:27 AM   #10
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[QUOTE=Konaborne;8023778]the process by which we obtain pure hydrogen is still very inefficient.
/QUOTE]
This is the reason right there.
Hydrogen is not really any more dangerous than nat gas. There will have to be some adjustments such as how they add the smell to nat gas. Nat gas that is used in cars and trucks today is pretty much pure methane, which is 1 carbon atom attached to 4 hydrogen atoms or CH4. This is why i am so excited for the nat gas advancement that is going on right now because it will be very easy to switch the infrastructure over to hydrogen from nat gas vs gasoline to nat gas. I believe that hydrogen is the eventual answer but we just haven't cracked that scientific nut of how to produce it from seawater efficiently yet.
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Old 01-19-2014, 07:37 PM   #11
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And the natural gas infrastructure is still miniscue compared to gasoline. Try going across the USA from sea to sea with a natural gas car. You won't make it.

Based on current consumption projections, there's enough economically recoverable natural gas on Earth to last another 250 years.
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