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"H-Prize" Announced

samzenpus posted more than 8 years ago | from the homemade-hydrogen dept.

394

An anonymous reader writes " The House passed legislation to encourage research into hydrogen as an alternative fuel creating the "H-Prize",allowing scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs to vie for a grand prize of $10 million, and smaller prizes. The Department of Energy would put together a private foundation to set up guidelines and requirements for the prizes. Anyone can participate, as long as the research is performed in the United States and the person, if employed by the government or a national lab, does the research on his own time. Best political Quote: "If we can reinvent the car, imagine the jobs we can create." said bill sponsor Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C."

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Awesome! (5, Funny)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307011)

Its not everyday the government asks us to do dangerous things outside our work time especially doing things with hydrogen. I wonder if the other departments have been notified of this homework assignment?

Splitting the atom at work is fun, getting to take work home is just a bonus.

Now, where's my chisel?

Re:Awesome! (4, Funny)

DaHat (247651) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307035)

My thoughts exactly!

At last! I have an excuse should I "accidentally" blow something up in the cource of my "research".

"No officer, I'm not building weapons of mass destruction or meth... I'm simply exploring alternative fuel sources to help this country become less dependant on foreign oil."

Re:Awesome! (2, Interesting)

sgbett (739519) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307051)

A quote from Young Einstein [imdb.com] !?

You must have been the other person that saw it!

Re:Awesome! (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307077)

You must have been the other person that saw it!

No there were at least three of us. I was going to ask the GP the same question but you beat me to it. According to IMDb Young Einstein was an international hit.

I am so sorry... You can't do that. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307062)

That would be a direct violation of the DMCA's provisions on reverse engineering.

Maybe I'm just being cynical... (1, Funny)

the_mighty_$ (726261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307079)

...but only $10 million? They spend way more than that on saving owls and stuff.

Re:Maybe I'm just being cynical... (5, Funny)

LordOfTheNoobs (949080) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307152)

Of course they are spending more than this saving the owls. Do you know how combustable those things are? You can get back and forth to work for a week with the energy generated by burning just 2 gallons of owls. If oil bottoms out before some of these experimental technologies prove themselves, we'll still have our trusted spotted owls to fall back on.

In honour of Ian Dury (2, Informative)

jaweekes (938376) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307205)

In honour of Ian Dury.

Taken from "There Ain't Half Been Some Clever Bastards"

Einstein can't be classed as witless.
He claimed atoms were the littlest.
When you did a bit of splitting-em-ness
Frighten everybody shitless

A good start. (4, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307015)

That's good news - hopefully, it will spur private enterprises in a similar manner to the X-prize.

However, I really don't think this admistration seems too interested in ending dependance on foreign oil, when they electric and natural gas cars [lta.gov.sg] to the tune of $500+/year.

Hydrogen would be great & all, but what really needs to be done is to improve America's public transport infrastructure & encourage people to start using it. A gradual raising of gas taxes until pump prices are around $7/gallon, with the money raised being pumped into (free) public transport would achieve precisely that.

Re:A good start. (1, Funny)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307042)

After all, why try other energy sources when you can always invade oil producers searching for their weapons of mass destruction?

Re:A good start. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307146)

Yeah, because since the invasion of Iraq we sure have increased our supply of oil. You're a tool ....

Re:A good start. (3, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307046)

Oh please. I live in the only capital city in Australia that has decent public transport. It it good for precisely two reasons: it creates local jobs (we build our own buses) and not too many people use it. If it didn't create jobs there wouldn't be nearly as many buses as there are our now, so waiting times would be unacceptable. If more people used it you would have buses filling up real quick and apart from the unpleasant experience that would create in and of itself, you'd also soon have to wait for a bus that wasn't full before you could get on. Quite simply, no one can afford to provide transport for 100% of the population. Either you have a government that puts all its spending into public transport and neglects everything else or you have private individuals who take on cyclic debt to pay for cars. Simply put, driving across a city to go from home to work to the gym to your girlfriend's place is just not sensible. You should move closer to work. Go to a gym that is closer to where you live and ask your girlfriend to move in. But people accept the burden of debt and maintenance for a car for the convience of not doing all these things.

Re:A good start. (1, Insightful)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307082)

Oh please. I live in the only capital city in Australia that has decent public transport. It it good for precisely two reasons: it creates local jobs (we build our own buses) and not too many people use it.

Hmmmmn, my understanding of Australian cities is that they sprawl in a similar fashion to US West Coast cities. If they'd been planned properly (or at least had development & freeway building curbed a little), public transport could be much better.

But people accept the burden of debt and maintenance for a car for the convience of not doing all these things.

Well that explains why Australians are the worst greenhouse gas polluters per capita on the planet.

Re:A good start. (5, Informative)

Tx (96709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307078)

I have to disagree about public transport. Here in the UK, we already have massive taxation on fuel. Tony Blair's government came in with grand plans to channel funds into the public transport infrastructure, and vastly increase the number of people using it. The plan was an utter failure, and was abandoned after a several years. (OK, so we're not talking *free* public transport, but affordable, and as far as free goes, I think you need to do some math on that).

Why did it fail? There are areas where public transport is convenient - intra-urban commuters primarily - but in most such cases the public transport system is already there and utilized almost as heavily as it can be. Meanwhile for everyone else - those commuting between suburbs/outlying areas and cities - in many cases there is just no way public transport can be made attractive. For example at my previous job, I had an easy 30 minute commute by car. Public transport took 90 minutes, and cost three times as much. You couldn't really improve that much, you can only have so many stations, and you can only run your busses and trains so often. Even if you made it free, the extra hour makes it unviable. Not to talk of losing the ability to stop of at a shopping center on the way home, or run errands in my lunch break.

Since the USA has more of a car culture than the UK, I'm sure there are improvements to be made, but it is fantasy to believe that public transport is the transportation panacea that some make it out to be. Public transport has it's place, but the convenience and freedom that comes with personal transportation is not something many people want to part with, and nor should they in my opinion.

Re:A good start. (2, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307115)

It's been sometime since I visited the UK, and it was only London for a weekend, but IIRC, London's public transport infrastructure is long overdue for a massive upgrade.

The tube trains are unbelievably slow, they're hot all year round, to the point where there's warnings at the entrances.

In spite of this, it's still far more convenient then a car (even without factoring in the cogestion charge).

You don't mention what part of the UK you're from, but a 30 minute commute that's 90 minutes by public transport is an indication the PT is broken there too.

Public transport has it's place, but the convenience and freedom that comes with personal transportation is not something many people want to part with, and nor should they in my opinion.

If this sort of attitude is typical, then its no wonder that the UK's greenhouse emissions are rising & you're not going to be able to meet your requirements under the kyoto treaty.

Re:A good start. (2, Insightful)

Tx (96709) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307189)

The tube trains are unbelievably slow, they're hot all year round, to the point where there's warnings at the entrances.

In spite of this, it's still far more convenient then a car (even without factoring in the cogestion charge).


As I said, there are places where public transport is convenient, travelling within central London is one.

You don't mention what part of the UK you're from, but a 30 minute commute that's 90 minutes by public transport is an indication the PT is broken there too.

I disagree. As I pointed out, not everyone can have a train station on their doorstep, or right next to their place of work. Not everyone can have a direct journey on a train or bus. And the trains or busses can only run so frequently. That doesn't make the system "broken", it's just reality.

If this sort of attitude is typical, then its no wonder that the UK's greenhouse emissions are rising & you're not going to be able to meet your requirements under the kyoto treaty.

Actually our greenhouse emissions are reducing, just not as fast as they should. In fact the UK is closer to meeting its Kyoto obligations than almost all other EU countries. And our emissions are around a quarter of the per person emissions in the USA.

And I support reducing our greenhouse emissions, but I happen to think that using means that are actually practical, and don't entail unnecessary inconvenience, can be found, in fact they already exist.

Re:A good start. (2, Interesting)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307225)

Actually our greenhouse emissions are reducing, just not as fast as they should. In fact the UK is closer to meeting its Kyoto obligations than almost all other EU countries. And our emissions are around a quarter of the per person emissions in the USA.

Do you believe everything your government tells you?

While quite a rosy picture [defra.gov.uk] is being painted by defra, it appears they have been forgetting [guardian.co.uk] to include boats and planes in their emmission counts. Oops.

I agree that the UK is generally better then the US. But that's not something I'd be particularly proud of.

Re:A good start. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307083)

So would executing every 3rd driver, and would most likely be as popular. Tax rises to re-educate the population into using politically correct transportation (as defined by the elite) isn't a particularly moral way to go about solving the issue.

Try tax breaks for cleaner transportation methods.

Re:A good start. (4, Insightful)

PeeAitchPee (712652) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307084)

A gradual raising of gas taxes until pump prices are around $7/gallon, with the money raised being pumped into (free) public transport would achieve precisely that.

Yeah, that's what we need -- more artificial controls by the government on commodities.

Your plan won't work for several reasons:

  • $7 a gallon gas will absolutely destroy the economic well-being of the lower and lower-middle class workers in our society, but upper-middle and upper class workers will continue to drive the same as they did before.
  • The US isn't Europe -- we're too spread out for public transportation to be a viable option for a significant portion of the population. Atlanta and LA are perfect examples of this.
  • You're assuming that the government will take the tax revenue from the gas tax and spend all of it on public transportation / alternative energy / whatever it was actually intended for. I guarantee such a new tax fund, much like social security and other well-meaning initiatives before it, will be raided to no end so that very little of our taxes actually end up going to the develpment of public transportation.
  • As much as they'd love the revenue, no elected official in their right mind would ever advocate such a tax. There's no faster way to commit political suicide.

Nope, this H-Prize approach is the best way, I think -- let our own greed be the catalyst for innovation. I think you'll only see true innovation in alternative energy when a) shortening supplies naturally cause current technology to no longer be a viable option and b) the economic carrot presented by a) becomes more attractive to big energy companies than their current oil business.

Re:A good start. (2, Insightful)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307209)

"Yeah, that's what we need -- more artificial controls by the government on commodities."

Why not? The govt already controls the prices of everything buy subsidising virtually every industry in the nation. Everything you eat has been subsidized, every piece of paper or scrap of wood, every mineral, everything. There is already a tax on gasoline too.

"Your plan won't work for several reasons:"

Seven reasons boil down to these two. Nobody is brave enough, nobody is selfless enough.

That's it.

Re:A good start. (2, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307092)

A gradual raising of gas taxes until pump prices are around $7/gallon, with the money raised being pumped into (free) public transport would achieve precisely that.

Right. Because the whole state-owned-rail-system-thing has such a glorious history of excellence.

Listen up, you urban childless wonder: Raise your own damn taxes, and stay away from gasoline. It fuels a whole lot more than those "e-e-e-e-e-vil" SUVs and Hummers, like interstate commerce for example.

But if we're going to play the game of frivolous agenda-forwarding wealth-redistribution, let's let everybody play, not just the sniffy erudites in the black turtlenecks. Here we go: I propose a $1,000 tax on every Mac puchase. I propose a $2 tax on every latte. I think the state should get a penny-a-ping for every SMS and IM sent. I suggest everyone who pays more than twelve dollars for a haircut should be taxed another eight dollars on that transaction: sort of a luxury/vanity/sin/stupidity tax, all rolled into one.

Gosh, that was exhilarating! Who knew angry socialism could be so much fun?

Re:A good start. (1, Funny)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307158)

Sounds like someone is an angry breeder stuck in the burbs with a minivan.

Re:A good start. (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307207)

Sounds like someone is an angry breeder stuck in the burbs with a minivan.

"Breeder?"

Breeder... breeder... Wait! I know!! That's, like, the meant-to-be-derogatory term gays call straight people when they're really, really so-o-o-o-o annoyed with us, right? RIGHT? I guessed it, didn't I? Tell me what I win! (I'm hoping it's a full tank of gas, but I'll settle for a new wardrobe, manicure, and having my house re-decorated...)

Re:A good start. (0)

Dance_Dance_Karnov (793804) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307223)

I wouldn't know, I'm not gay. I just use the term for people who do the whole 'family' thing.

Re:A good start. (0, Offtopic)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307167)

One of the best posts I've read on Slashdot in a while! Too bad it will probably get modded as a troll. The lefties run rampant around here.

Re:A good start. (1)

Whiney Mac Fanboy (963289) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307198)

Here we go: I propose a $1,000 tax on every Mac puchase. I propose a $2 tax on every latte. I think the state should get a penny-a-ping for every SMS and IM sent. I suggest everyone who pays more than twelve dollars for a haircut should be taxed another eight dollars on that transaction: sort of a luxury/vanity/sin/stupidity tax, all rolled into one.

The taxes you propose don't actually provide any social benefits - you should word it like:

I propose a $1,000 tax on every Computer puchase to pay for the cost of recycling the computer after its lifecycle.

I propose a $2 tax on every latte to pay for erosion & poor working conditions for 3rd world coffee farmers.

I think the state should get a penny-a-ping for every SMS and IM sent, this tax will be used to provide free wireless internet to the poor.

I suggest everyone who pays more than twelve dollars for a haircut is taxed an extra eight dollars. This tax will be used to pay for real haircuts for poor suv driving suburbanites (who currently look a bit scruffy).

Re:A good start. (1)

Professor_UNIX (867045) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307099)

However, I really don't think this admistration seems too interested in ending dependance on foreign oil, when they electric and natural gas cars to the tune of $500+/year.

I think you're missing a verb in this sentence. Is it "tax"? If so, why did you link to a site in Singapore!? What does that have to do with the US taxes?

Hydrogen would be great & all, but what really needs to be done is to improve America's public transport infrastructure & encourage people to start using it. A gradual raising of gas taxes until pump prices are around $7/gallon, with the money raised being pumped into (free) public transport would achieve precisely that.

Why don't you go move to Europe? They have higher gas prices than that and they STILL don't have decent public transportation either. The worst of both worlds... it's exactly what you'd get in the United States because we are far too sprawling to accomodate a public transportation system that reaches the vast majority of people where they live: suburbs. Besides, public transportation is totally impractical to average people.. how the fuck would you even get groceries or other items when you go shopping home? Drag 15-20 bags of groceries onto the bus? Who the hell can carry all that shit? You can have my car when you drag the keys from my cold dead hands.

Re:A good start. (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307240)

If your local grocery store isn't a short walking distance away, you have a different problem.

Raising gas taxes is just ignorant. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307160)

First and foremost is that the United States still enjoys large open areas with low population densities. No "public transportation" can be created that would be an effective use of resources. You would benefit only city populations at the expense of the rest of the country.

Besides, how can anyone actually suggest jacking taxes when politicians and other whiners bitch and moan about $3 gas prices? Get real, the government already puts more taxes on a gallon of gasoline than gas companies make in profit yet everyone focuses on the gas companies.

We have a great infrastructure, but too many people try to compare the United States to Europe and that is just wrong. It sounds good but falls apart once the numbers are played.

The best way to reduce our dependance on foreign oil is to permit the use of our own resources. Yet at every attempt someone blocks it. From building gas drilling rigs 15+ miles off the Florida coast to putting wind generators off of the Cape someone comes up with a doom and gloom scenario which forever keeps us dependant.

Either we use our backyard or pay for someone elses.

Re:A good start. (4, Insightful)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307177)

The limitations of the Hydrogen economy simply aren't technological in nature. They're fundemental. There are so many reasons why hydrogen won't work, and only pie in the sky ideas about how great it would be if it did.

In a nutshell there are two ways to get hydrogen commercially. The first is striping hydrocarbons. They're called hydrocarbons because it diverts your attention from the very obvious problem with this approach. Hydrocarbons are foriegn oil (more accurately natural gas, but it is the same problem.) Remind me again what the problem is that prompted us to look at alternative fuels.

The second way is electrolysis of water, the only problem is that pesky second law of thermodynamics. Yes, I know that stationary powerplants are more efficient than IC engines, and yes I know that we might be prepared to pay the energy penalty twice in order to get a transportable fuel, but the fact remains you are starting with a losing proposition.

If the senate is serious about spurring Hydrogen growth they should be approving new nuclear power plants with the express purpose of making hydrogen. That IMO is the only economically way to produce the stuff. (Sure solar is great, but I think that if we manage to improve solar technology to the point that we can mass produce hydrogen we've solved a bigger problem than foriegn oil. In other words solar power is a bigger problem independent from Hydrogen, and if we lick that we will be less concerned with Hyrdogen.)

So even if we do have hydrogen production plants you still have very serious storage and transporation issues. Not to mention prohibitively expensive fuel cells and batteries. I think the govenment is already dumping more than enough money into these fields as it is. Maybe the H-prize will help along research in storage, but I think the dozens of million dollar plus university grants are a bit more of an incentive than this prize.

All in all I view this as a public challenge to violate the laws of thermodynamics. Call me cynical, but I don't think it's going to work out.

Why hydrogen? (1)

pap3rw8 (962737) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307017)

Most current hydrogen comes from burning natural gas, so how is using hydrogen going to curb fossil fuel consumption or global warming?

Re:Why hydrogen? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307030)

There's a natural resource called Methane Hydrates that has been newly discovered in large deposits in US territory. So basically they're suggesting that we replace one fossil fuel with another. The other alternative, of course, is the creation of hydrogen using traditional methods (splitting water) at nuclear power facilities. Hydrogen is basically just a convenient way to transport electricity around then.

Re:Why hydrogen? (1)

Silver Sloth (770927) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307038)

Good point. It doesn't matter where you get your hydrogen from all realistic methods cost more energy than they produce.

Re:Why hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307120)

Economy of scale, dumbass. Burning fossil fuels in a huge central specialized power plant gives you far more Watt/Kg fuel than doing the same thing accross 10000 crappy car engines.

Re:Why hydrogen? (2, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307221)

It doesn't matter where you get your hydrogen from all realistic methods cost more energy than they produce.

Not entirely the case. You can obtain hydrogen from methane or other hydrocarbons, then burn it in oxygen for a net energy gain. But if you're doing that, then you might as well just burn the hydrocarbons, which is what we do anyway.

If you're extracting hydrogen from water, then all methods cost more energy than they produce - second law of thermodynamics. But this isn't necessarily a show-stopper. Suppose you have a nuclear breeder reactor. It's an very efficient source of energy, and can manufacture enormous quantities of hydrogen which can then be shipped around the country to fuel cars; or it can supply huge amounts of electricity to recharge hydrogen fuel cells, depending on which way we choose to run the hydrogen economy.

Despite the fact that you're wasting energy by electrolysing water to make hydrogen which you then burn back to water, there are benefits. All the pollution generated is in a single, probably remote location, rather than on the city streets. And if technology changes at some point, you can replace the nuclear reactors with new superefficient photovoltaics, or fusion, or microwave relay or whatever it may be, and you don't have to refit a quarter of a billion cars.

Re:Why hydrogen? (5, Insightful)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307043)

It wont. On Earth hydrogen is an energy storage and transport medium. Essentially, a battery. The energy has to be put into it first before it can be extracted. "Going Hydrogen" makes about as much sense from the energy saving standpoint as "Going Duracel."

Because of the Second Law, for the time being there will be a net increase in the use of fossil fuels by using hydrogen as a fuel, just as there would be a net increase in fossil fuel use if everything were run by batteries.

When the fossil fuels get expensive, hydrogen will get expensive. When the fossil fuel runs out hydrogen will be forced to become things like solar power and be in as short supply as all other forms of solar power.

The power of the power of fossil fuels is that they are the stored and concentrated solar energy of centuries, which you can use all up in a single trip to the mall. When they're gone you'll need to learn to walk again, i.e. use only as much stored solar energy (in the form of liver glycogen) as can be reasonably concentrated in a timespan relevant to the human lifetime.

KFG

Re:Why hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307168)

I'm not sure what robots doing what people tell them has to do with this, but I don't see it as that hard to obtain hydrogen.

Think of it like an electric car, each night you plug your car into an outlet. Electric current surges through the water stroage system, dividing hydrogen and oxygen, these are sorted into the appropriate containers, injected into the engine in the proper proportions, the exhaust flows back into the water storage containers, electricity from the altenator continually flows through the water to provide longer run time, and when you're done driving, you plug the car back in. No different than charging electric cars, but more power when driving.

Re:Why hydrogen? (1)

Otis2222222 (581406) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307215)

The problem with this line of reasoning is that you are conveniently forgetting where the electricity is coming from. When you "plug your car into an outlet", as you say, you are drawing energy from the electrical grid. The power for the grid comes from, generally, coal-fired power plants. So at the end of the day, what you have done is caused more coal to have been burned to produce the hydrogen that powers your car. Why not eliminate the middleman and manufacture a car that runs on coal?

You are right about one thing though: it really isn't that hard to obtain hydrogen. The way you go about it, however, is. If there were "hydrogen mines" that you could pull the stuff out of the ground you'd be on to something. That's the beauty of oil and other fossil fuels.

Re:Why hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307234)

Dang, you're right. If solar panels were cheaper and everyone could afford them, that'd solve it. But I don't know jack about why they cost what they do.

I just saw that link for the BMW car, that's pretty freaking cool.

Re:Why hydrogen? (1)

polar red (215081) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307050)

A combination with windpower would make it a very fine solution ecology-wise.

The same stupid question over and over (1, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307076)

Hydrogen is a transport medium for energy. You produce energy at location A, convert it into hydrogen and then use it at location B.

Why?

Well first, the resource may be impractical to transport to B. Simple example, coal gassing plant generates hydrogen for cars. This would be far far far cleaner then running cars on coal, less hassle and you can do the coal burning on a huge scale with highly tuned filtration. Oh and you won't be burning the coals in busy city centers.

Then there are natural resources. Hydrogen can be easily used as a battery. Just hook an installation up to some remote windmill farm or hydro dam or whatever and collect your tanker full of energy when it is full. Kinda hard to do that with other tech.

This would work great with countries like greenland that have an abundance of clean energy but wich you can't easily put on the grid of other nations.

So the basic answer that has been given time and time again and that every person with a brain by now understands. You can use more efficient and alternative sources of energy production by transforming energy into hydrogen and then using the hydrogen.

It is not just that you apparently haven't yet caught onto this, that can be excused, stupid people have a right to live too. What is really bad is that with your lack of intelligence you still dare to question people who are smarter then you (everyone else in case you are wondering).

Oh and mods, Bite me.

BMW has a nice car already (4, Informative)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307031)

BMW has been doing research [bmwworld.com] on hydrogen powersince the 1970s, and they even have a nice 7-series sedan [bmwworld.com] ready to drive.

Does BMW win anything for its ingenuity?

sweet jobs (4, Funny)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307037)

"If we can reinvent the car, imagine the jobs we can create."

oh and uh, it might help the environment or something too.

The environment doesn't vote (n/t) (0, Redundant)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307073)

n/t

Re:sweet jobs (1)

GoatMonkey2112 (875417) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307103)

Imagine the jobs we can move from one industry to another.

UAW guys and auto manufacturers better study up on alternative fuel cars.

Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (4, Informative)

gevmage (213603) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307044)

As far as I can tell so far, the Hydrogen car thing is the political equivalent of "Look, it's the GoodYear Blimp!"

Do people not realize that Hydrogen is like electricity, it's only an energy delivery mechanism? There are NO free sources of hydrogen around to tap, to the best of my knowledge. You have to generate the hydrogen somehow...from oil, coal, or some other energy source In the amount of time that this idea has been bantered about, I have come to the conclusion that no one understands this point, including the President and the Secretary of Energy.

The reason that things like solar, wind power, or geothermal and the like have ben discussed as energy SOURCES is that they are just that; ways of extracting energy from processes on the earth. Hydrogen is an energy TRANSFER MECHANISM, not a source.

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (4, Insightful)

rbanffy (584143) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307065)

Right on the spot.

You can't grow hydrogen trees or dig the ground looking for it. Just about all the hydrogen around us (and yes, there is a lot of it) is combined to Oxygen or Carbon. In order to burn it (a fuel-cell is sort of like burning, without flames) we must first apply energy to get it loose (and, probably, release some carbon to the atmosphere in the process).

Unless they are talking table top (or "under hood") fusion, this is only an act of "look, we are concerned with the environmental"-type misdirection.

And a remarkably dumb one.

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307210)

It's also "Look, we're concered about jobs" misdirection.

Cars aren't built by people anymore; "reinventing" the car simply maintains the car culture status quo. A "reinvented" car is still a car.

In contrast think of all the jobs that would be created by eliminating the car and requiring people to do the work.

Yes, that's the Luddite point of view, but just because they were Luddites doesn't mean they were entirely wrong.

Jobs are damned easy to create. Every Congress Critter is well versed in creating mere jobs. Creating useful jobs. . . aye, there's the rub!

I wonder what sort of job the average mouse has?

KFG

Get it from nukes (1)

amightywind (691887) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307229)

You can't grow hydrogen trees or dig the ground looking for it. Just about all the hydrogen around us (and yes, there is a lot of it) is combined to Oxygen or Carbon. In order to burn it (a fuel-cell is sort of like burning, without flames) we must first apply energy to get it loose (and, probably, release some carbon to the atmosphere in the process).

Very true. Hydrogen used by NASA for rocket propellant is derived from natural gas! The process does not result in the release of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbons that result from the process (butane, acetylene) are useful themselves. I have always thought a smart application of nuclear power would be the production of hydrogen through electolysis of water - unlimited hydrogen. Cheap? I have no idea.

Oh, they understand alright (3, Interesting)

plehmuffin (846742) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307102)

You have to generate the hydrogen somehow...from oil, coal ... no one understands this point, including the President and the Secretary of Energy

Oh, I think they understand it just fine. The Whitehouse administration has been in bed with the oil industry from the beginning. The whole 'hydrogen economy' promotion is just an attempt to make it look like they are taking action towards energy independance and alternative energy source development, as to divert interest/funds for alternative energy research towards their fossil-fuel industry cronies.

The most tragic thing about this whole scenario is that it diverts resources away from alternative energy source developments which could have an impact in the immediate to short term future (like wind, solar and hydro-electric power, gas electric hybrid cars, and energy conservation) in favour of a pipe-dream that even the proponents admit is decades away.

The administration is shameless

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (4, Interesting)

qbzzt (11136) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307122)

A well maintained, large capacity power plant, even if it uses gasoline, can be a lot more efficient than a car's engine which has to be small, light weight, and low maintainance. Hydrogen is a transfer mechanism, but a better transfer mechanism will let us use gasoline for efficiently.

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307139)

Where you get the hydrogen, is Iceland. Unknown to most, Iceland has an abundance of a very renewable energy, hot springs. Sitting on top of one of the largest, hottest springs, is one of the worlds largest hydrogen producing factories. They take natural water, and using a chemical/electrical process, split it, and the resulting byproducts are Hydrogen, and Carbondyoxide. Now, some might say - "Ok, but now we are dumping CO2 into the atmosphere, that can't be good" - well, Coke thought of that, and placed one of their largest botteling factories right beside it. They hydrogen plant sends the CO2 over to Coke, who then ships it to you. Iceland is banking on H2 power becomming the next oil, which would place them at the forefront of the hydrogen producing community.

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307147)

At last someone who understands the Hydrogen dilema. Apart from all the problems associated with delivery and storage, without oil we can only generate hydrogen "efficiently" by electrolysis. To generate/store/deliver/use the equivelent of 1KWh of energy this way requires about 4 KWh of electricity making it about the most inefficient battery around. Just like with our "Corn" ethanol which takes .8 - 1.2 KWh of energy to produce 1 KWh of car fuel this is a political pork barrel project to fool the public. Are our politicans as scientifically challenged as they seem to be ?

That's the whole point! (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307155)

Right now we have several efficient green energy sources for massproduction - wind power, solar power, nuclear power. None of these emit harmful greenhouse gas emissions. But we have *no* efficient green energy delivery mechanisms.

You use wind or nuclear power to generate the hydrogen, simple as that.

And before anyone starts going off about nuclear waste - who gives a crap. We can bury enough of it to power a generation in any of the current storage facilities. And I am willing to be by that time ion propulsion and other technologies will have made launches so cheap and efficient we can just hurdle it all into the sun at that point.

Re:That's the whole point! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307196)

The greens killed nuclear power in the 70's. Thanks a lot! That one has really come back to bite them in the ass hasn't it? I'm just glad that there are enough conservatives in the USA today to stop them from chocking our economy with Koyoto or some other overly restrictive treaty or set of laws aimed at stopping global warming that would only end up killing our economy while allowing China and India to cotninue to do whatever the hell they please and thus, not really solve the problem at all.

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307173)

The parent makes a good point. What we really need now, as discussed in other posts, is a bountiful, renewable energy source that is easily harnessed. For this I would personally choose idiocy. As we all know, idiocy is a powerful force to contend with in the world today. It has even been known to spontaneously combust, proving that it is volatile too. The perfect fuel for the next century.

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307185)

The main benefit of hydrogen as a fuel is that it's clean. That alone makes it worthwhile to pursue.

You can also think of it as a battery of sorts. You can use solar enerygy, geothermal energy, and yes even oil, nuclear, or coal energy and use it to make hydrogen that you can put into a fuel cell and power a car. It's more convenient then an electrib motor and lots of batteries.

Iceland for example is planning on making use of all their geothermal energy to create a hydrogen economy. Sunny countries can do the same thing with solar enegery.

Is it perfect? Of course not. Is it worth pursuing? Damned right.

The only solution is Nuclear Power (1)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307216)

Look at Iceland. They are running on hydrogen. But they are using their geothermal to generate all of their hydrogen. Our only solution is to build nuclear plants that will provide us with low cost energy to generate hydrogen products. It is the future and someone needs to make it happen!

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (1)

Lord Crc (151920) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307220)

There are NO free sources of hydrogen around to tap, to the best of my knowledge.

It's so big you've missed the obvious: The sun! A huge ball of hydrogen just sitting there just waiting to be tapped. All we need is a rather lenghty piece of heat resistent pipe and we could just pump all the hydrogen we'll ever need. Brilliant I tell you.

Re:Where do you GET the Hydrogen? (1)

nharmon (97591) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307222)

This research is not about making cars energy-self-sufficient. It is more about making a better electric car. Once we do that, we can worry about the upstream power generation and having it come from renewable sources (solar, geothermal, tidal, etc). We can use nuclear power generation as a crutch until renewable technologies are available, but our uranium supply is limited just like oil.

Idiocy never fails. (2, Insightful)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307048)

Everyone is focused on everything except one. WHY is the government not looking at NON centralized NON corporatist methods of achieving alternative energy sources?

Hydrogen would require plants, specialized chargers, etc. Keeping control for ourselves are we?

Some "we the people" eh?

I wish some more of us would wake the hell up. The Matrix has you, boys and girls, and you're loving every moment of vying for a few scraps from its table.

Enjoy yourselves, oh mindless slaves, and keep vying for what they tell you to vie for. After all, you're free to decide for yourselves, not free to think for yourselves.

~DaedalusHKX

Re:Idiocy never fails. (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307096)

You convinced me. I'm staying the hell away from these "alternative fuels" The Man (tm) wants me to use. More gasoline for me, please!

I don't mind tinfoil hats, but the melodrama was a bit much.

I agree - why no decentralization of energy? (3, Interesting)

maillemaker (924053) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307106)

>Everyone is focused on everything except one. WHY is the government not looking
>at NON centralized NON corporatist methods of achieving alternative energy sources?

I think you hit the nail on the head, and I have long suspected that the fear of losing their deathgrip on the control of scarce energy resources has been driving huge government and business interests to make sure other, less centralized options are kept off the table.

Energy is a multi-billion dollar industry. What would happen to that industry if anyone could make their own fuel?

What if anyone could buy a bottle of Iogen's ( http://www.iogen.ca/ [iogen.ca] ) new cellulase enzymes at the grocery store, just like we buy Rid-X enzymes for our septic tanks, throw it in a trashcan in the backyard full of water and lawnmower clippings, and make their own ethanol?

What if anyone really could easily and rapidly convert water into hydrogen? (spare me the jabs on how easy electrolysis already is, please)

I'm no tinfoil-hat guy, but there are huge, huge interests that would be massively hurt by such innovations.

Lately I've been doing a lot of googling on biodiesel ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiesel [wikipedia.org] ), ethanol ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethanol [wikipedia.org] ), and even wood gas generators (pyrolysis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrolysis [wikipedia.org] )

From what I've seen, most of these processes are fairly simple to do, even at home. I don't think these processes would take much more technical innovation to make simple, practical, cheap decentralized fuel production a reality.

Steve

Re:Idiocy never fails. (1)

Lodragandraoidh (639696) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307154)

The refinery cartel could have done something about this long ago. Only one oil company, that I am aware of, has retooled their refineries to allow them to switch to generating alternative fuels - Shell.

It is now the 11th hour, and they are grabbing at straws to keep their bloated profits.

I wonder how many jobs would really be created if we opened up this so-called 'H' prize to all forms of alternative energy. My guess is it would create even more jobs than are employed at refineries today; of course the profits would be distributed among a larger number of small players - not good for the money bags.

If you really don't like what is (and has always been) going on - build it yourself, or if you can't gain the skills or know someone who has them, buy a bicycle and/or use public transportation. We can think and act for ourselves - if we let others do the thinking we only have ourselves to blame.

Work With Bountiful Source (4, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307049)

So initially we used coal to power steam engines. Why? Because there were literally tons of it laying underground. So we strip mined America for a couple centuries.

It's long been known that oil (petroleum or organic) would fuel fire. And it was discovered that refining it lowered it stability and made it explosive. But where was an abundance of oil? Why, also underneath the ground.

The fact of the matter is that our energy concerns can't be solved by anything that requires more energy to make (insert corn ethanol reference here) than it produces.

So now we need to figure out how to use hydrogen and many car companies have done that but the form that hydrogen abounds in is gas--not liquid. And most hydrogen powered cars require refilling a compressed hydrogen tank. But to make this hydrogen requires electricity and this electricity requires some fuel or energy to make in the beginning ...

I think the real challenge here should be "just hydrogen" as an alternative fuel but instead "anything we got a lot of lying around in a ready form."

Re:Work With Bountiful Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307201)

The biggest untapped 'resource' in America today is fat people.

Think big treadmills, guys! Think really big treadmills!

H... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307055)

Hentai?

Good Idea but (5, Insightful)

neuromancer2701 (875843) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307056)

I think this is a good idea, but in the end the H2 has to come from some where and Nuclear power is the only real answer. I just love to hear about the genuis's that build a town around driving around in Electric Golf cart so they don't have to have cars, but the forget that the whole town gets their power from the Coal plant down the road. If we did not have the 70s/80s scare tactics about Nuclear power, the power grid would be better and we could make a conversion to Hydrogen easier. I really have no true love for Nuclear power but it is the better option to get away from foreign oil. Personally I think getting away from foreign oil, whether it be with ANWAR or alternative energy, is the best for this country. OPEC could destroy this country in one move and that has nothing to do with Oil companies gouging us.

Re:Good Idea but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307080)

Actually there was a little incident in the Ukraine that may ahve some impact on your theory - http://www.chernobyl.co.uk/ [chernobyl.co.uk]

Bullshit! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307211)

Actually there was a little incident in the Ukraine that may ahve some impact on your theory - http://www.chernobyl.co.uk/ [chernobyl.co.uk]

First of all, the SOVIETS took MANY shortcuts in making that reactor using 50's technology.

Two, Look into Pebbel Bed Reactors [wikipedia.org] . This newer technology is much, much safer.

Three, compared to the radioactive, carcinegenic, poisonous shit spewed by coal, oil, and Natrual Gas plants, I'll take nuclear anyday!

And four, I'm also for Solar, Wind, and other sources of non-poluting energy energy that's out there. I think we're going to need a mix. Folks in Seattle would laugh at the thought of a solar farm as folks in the Midwest wouldn't be able to use energy from tidal movements.

The only problem with Nuclear is the NIMBYs (Not In My Back Yard). They don't want the waste in their neighbor...and with pebbelbed, that's going to be a much smaller issue.

Re:Good Idea but (1)

AGMW (594303) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307230)

Actually there was a little incident in the Ukraine that may ahve some impact on your theory

I think that is the point he is trying to make when he says ...
if we did not have the 70s/80s scare tactics about Nuclear power

Sure, there have been some bad events like Three Mile Island, and obviously, Chernobyl, but the technology has moved on since then. No one wants to have a Nuke plant down the road, regardless of how safe it might be, hell, most people wouldn't want a Coal power station next door! This doesn't mean that nuclear power stations can't be built in more isolated locations though!

Many of the old designs (Chernobyl included) would go critical if something went wrong, but new designs usually don't, making them inherently safer (though I guess you couldn't ever say "safe"!).

The best advice would be to not farm out the design and construction of any new nuclear power stations to the lowest bidder.

Re:Good Idea but (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307166)

"If we did not have the 70s/80s scare tactics about Nuclear power..."
 
What, you mean like Three Mile Island and Chernobyl? I think they would be more accurately termed 'accidents', rather than scare tactics...

Scare tactics? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307171)

Scare tactics like 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl?

Just how many deaths, long term illnesses, birth defects, and acres of land contaminated for thousands of years does it take to cross over from "scare tactic" to reality?

Gov is nice (1)

BadassJesus (939844) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307057)

...federal hydrogen programs, including the $1.7 billion hydrogen research program ... ...to $1 million every other year for technological advances in hydrogen production ...

Goverment is securing $1.7 billion for their research (and you can bet it will produce big nothing) and they are willing to award private interests with only $1 million every other year ? Thx big bro.

Yay for Socialism! (2, Insightful)

Ulrich Hobelmann (861309) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307059)

Now that we have loads of federal money, we can finally create thousands of jobs, we can create new technology that wouldn't be possible without the wisdom of central government, we can be more environment-friendly, and of course we have already chosen the One Good new fuel that deserves to be funded. This is our new three-year-plan.

For just $10M we get a guaranteed great technology, and if it doesn't work out as well, we can do as with public schools and other government programs: just increase funding incredibly, so the darn thing will get done!

LHC? (1)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307063)

So instead of building something like a $1.000.000.000 LHC [web.cern.ch] an $10.000.000 award is offered?

That sounds like an excellent idea, to save budget atleast.

Re:LHC? (1)

tetabiate (55848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307190)

A lot of german scientists use to say "research is expensive" when asked about saving budget. Perhaps the short term impact of hydrogen-based fuel on society would be a lot higher (but dangerous) than the discovery of the Higgs boson. Anyway, it is funny since the involved energy regimes are so different, eighty years after the birth of quantum mechanics we still don't know how to control chemical reactions.

  - Immigration choisi: Sarkozy polonais, qu'est ce que tu fais encore ici? - Anonymous

Re:LHC? (1)

tetabiate (55848) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307212)

Before anybody corrects me, the sig should say: "Immigration choisie: Sarkozy polonais, qu'est-ce que tu fais encore ici? - Anonymous

"H-Prize" eh? (2, Funny)

InsaneLampshade (890845) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307070)

Did anyone else instantly think this was some sort of prize for creating outstanding Hentai? =/

Re:"H-Prize" eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307086)

Me >_>

Hydrogen is Just an Energy Storage Medium (4, Insightful)

BoRegardless (721219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307075)

Hydrogen is not a solution unto itself, as it is an energy storage medium, much as a battery is an energy storage medium. Hydrogen still has to be procured from: 1. Natural gas 2. Bio-mass 3. Electrolysis of water 4. Ethanol, etc. Hydrogen then has to be stored or transported & then stored: 1. At high pressure inside of highly stressed tanks (many thousands of psi) or 2. In tanks with metal hydride structures or similar at lower pressures Hydrogen then has to be transported in a system we don't currently have in place: 1. In underground moderate pressure pipes 2. In higher pressure tank trucks in some areas The cost and time necessary to implement the whole building project to store and deliver the Hydrogen system above is immense, as none of it is in place NOW. The cost of delivering equivalent amounts of energy to EVERY CITY in the U.S. right now is already in place. It is called the electric grid. Power Plants (regardless of the type of basic fuel or energy source, coal, hydro, nuclear) are not only large but thermally VERY efficient (about 3 times as efficent at "burning" fuel as an internal combustion engine). Thus in the end there are lots of tradeoffs, and these have been endlessly analyzed in the private & public and university sectors. Hydrogen does not seem like a cost effective method when the infrastructure costs and times are looked at realistically, otherwise a company would have started doing it to make money already. Politically it looks interesting for votes. Super efficient, cost effective batteries may be the only reasonable way to tap into the power of the national electric grid and provide effectively delivered "power" to automobiles of the future. That may be why there are so many dozens of labs in the U.S. alone attempting to perfect more efficient more cost effective batteries. Politics rarely leads the pack in inventive matters.

Re:Hydrogen is Just an Energy Storage Medium (1)

daBass (56811) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307241)

Politics rarely leads the pack in inventive matters.

Well duh, politicians aren't scientists. The best politics can do is create a need for technology through legislation. One great way of doing this is to start wars, that has given us lots of technological enhancements, though it is a bit messy.

In this case politcians can pass legislation to cut polution. They don't have to have the answers, but at least they can set emission targets and stick to them. That will get industry into action in coming up with the solutions.

Unfortunately, that takes more than 4 years of an election cycle, so nobody will ever get serious about it. Let's hope a $10M H-prize will do the job, but I doubt it as it will take much more money that and without legislation requiring the use of the technology by all, it's simply not a profitable proposition for most companies, as you stated above. At least X-prize contestants knew that there could well be a market for their services...

Source of Hydrogen (1)

Nibjib_2 (912662) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307088)

A lot of people are complaining that most current hydrogen is sourced from hydrocarbons, etc. This is true, but it doesn't always have to be that way. Wind, tide and hydro-dam power is all harnessed (albeit on a small scale at the moment, but this may change) to produce electricity, and hydrogen can be obtained using electrolysis of water. Water will always be readily available, as using the hydrogen will combine with the oxygen in the atmosphere back into water, there is the infrastructure available to transport the hydrogen (at the moment transporting natural gas, but again probably convertible), and there is never a shortage of weather! My two pennies.

research refueling stations, not engines (1)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307100)

I seem to recall the hydrogen burning engine has already been proven. The real prize should go to the that can get refueling stations put in every city of your country without the oil mafia breaking everyone's legs.

Prizes not Patents? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307113)

Best political Quote: "If we can reinvent the car, imagine the jobs we can create." said bill sponsor Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C.

Well Republican Bob, you seem to know that the patent system is so corrupted that it will no longer drive innovative research, elsewise why the prize? How about fixing that little problem for us instead of hamming it up for the press with stupid quotes about job creation (which by the way has been the slowest under this administration than anytime in the last 70 years.)

And the winner is... (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307116)

"allowing scientists, inventors and entrepreneurs to vie for a grand prize of $10 million, and smaller prizes."

Considering this is Congress, does anybody believe they'll actually be able to give this "prize" money to somebody that isn't Ford or GM? I wouldn't be surprised if the rules were tailor made for Detroit.

diversity and decentralization (2, Interesting)

Twillerror (536681) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307124)

I think the answer to our energy issues is to have as many distributed forms of energy production as we can. Right now we are very depedent on one. If we have supply problems it causes issues. As well it causes a type of monopoly. There are many oil companies, but they all kind of work in concert given that they sell the exact same thing.

We need electrical cars, fuel cell cars, hyrodgen cars, ethanol cars, and a whole slew of others so that the open market can thrive. Cars themselves should run off different sources as well. Charge themselves with solar when available. If they sit outside have some small wind turbines. I'm sure there is a way to convert the energy of falling rain drops if we think about it hard enough.

The first argument is always that we have to retro fit all our gas stations. I don't understand why this is such a big deal. I think we have gotten so used to the centralized controlled gas industry that we have lost touch. If a new stick of gum comes out the stores put it on the shelf. I'm hoping alternate energies will start up a grass root movement of new gas stations that off all sorts of fuel alternatives. A little push from the goverment wouldn't help either.

What we end up with is like the coke\pepsi model. Coke produces the recipe, and then individual bottlers make it throughout the country. When you buy a coke it was probably made pretty close to you.

Lastly we need to think about ways to generate things like ethanol by using renweable sources like solar panels. They can collect solor energy slowing, but then use it to produce more explosive energy sources. Fuel cells can run off natural gas which is plentiful and then use that electricity to create the ethenol. For instance there are self running sewage plants that extract the methane gas and run it through fuel cells to power the plant.

Products just lying around are really easy to work with sure, but they are rarely clean and renewable.
If we team up different energy sources and create a more diverse "energy ecosystem" then we'll be better off.

Reinventing the Car (2, Funny)

amitofu (705703) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307136)

"If we can reinvent the car, imagine the jobs we can create."

Imagine what it'd do for the economy if they reinvented the wheel!

We did reinvent the wheel three times all ready (1)

technoextreme (885694) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307208)

Imagine what it'd do for the economy if they reinvented the wheel!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mecanum_wheel [wikipedia.org]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tri-star [wikipedia.org]
http://www.acroname.com/robotics/parts/R130-8CM-PO LY-ROLLER.html [acroname.com]
Note the first wheel and the third wheel are not the same despite looking similar. I get what you are trying to say though. The ICE is capable of running off hydrogen gas if designed correctly. Even the mythbusters managed to get a car running by only using hydrogen gas. Why we need fuel cells a bit confusing.

Why would we align ourselves with Nazis? (0, Troll)

Hamster Lover (558288) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307156)

I understand the push to use Hydrogen, but we do realize that one of the most tyrannical and corrupt empires to employ Hydrogen was, yes you guessed it, Nazi Germany in their ill fated Zeppelin program. Why would ever want to follow in the footsteps of Nazi Germany?

(with apologies to Stephen Colbert)

Does the hydrino count? (1)

paiute (550198) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307161)

According to these guys http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_Quantum_Mec hanics [wikipedia.org] , it's in the bag. All they require is a couple more years and just a bit more money, then you will all have hydrino generating plants in your basement. Electricity too cheap to meter; Doc Brown cars for everyone. Got your checkbook on you?

sounds worse than it is (1)

jdwclemson (953895) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307179)

"If we can reinvent the car, imagine the jobs we can create." said bill sponsor Rep. Bob Inglis, R-S.C. This sounded like an attrocity at first, since the idea of reworking problems to create jobs is a total economic fallacy. If you think about it though, if America could create a new kind of car that ran on hydrogen fuel and had massive economic and environmental benefits, this would in fact revitalize the car industry in America and provide lots more jobs to Americans to provide his new service, especially considering how these cars could be sold across the world, this would have a similar effect as the car industry had back in the first days of Ford. The quote sounded pretty thick headed, but I think he was going for something that actually makes sense.

Re:sounds worse than it is (1)

drspliff (652992) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307231)

Oh, small problem there. With American workers wanting to be paid reasonable wages for menial work (such as producing these cars) it'd be cheaper for them to be produced overseas (such as in China and Eastern Europe, where a lot of high-tech and auto companies are re-locating).

Not just that but the oil industry execs would 'do a Balmer', and probably kill some poor sod in the carpark below with a chair.

Even if we have these wonderful new cars, who says the major Opec players won't get into mass hydrogen production and charge equivilent prices (or even higher prices) to subsidise the dying oil industry.

I fucking love change and would love to see something like this happen in my lifetime (born in the 1980s.. no invention of air-planes, no moon landing etc.), but there are a lot of people who'd do everything they can to hold onto *oil* power.

Just my 2c!

The H Prize (1)

BigJake4589 (953700) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307188)

I find the H prize a great idea to create the drive to invent and solve the alternative fuel problem. Since hydrogen must be produced from other sources of energy we must first increase the use of nuclear power for the production of cheap electricity. Once we have cheap electricity then we can have a cheap supply of hydrogen.

Could COLD FUSION research... (1)

Zdzicho00 (912806) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307191)

be awarded with such prize??
Isn't it based on Hydrogen isotope (Deuterium)??

Lenr-Canr [lenr-canr.org]
Cold Fusion wiki [wikipedia.org]

/Z

Hydrogen go BOOM! (1)

kg4giy (970566) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307202)

Um, at the risk of sounding defeatest, does anyone remember the Hindenburg? Big air ship, early 1900s, cover of a Led Zepplin album, going up IN FLAMES? Now, imagine you are on a busy road and you rear end the hydrogen car ahead of you...might just as well close the road for the year while they identify the body parts three counties away, fill in the hole and repave. Or, even better, the tanker, carrying the hydrogen to the station has an accident. You thought the collapse of the Twin Towers created a mess? Hydrogen is NOT the answer. Perhaps we can find someway to harness the atom, but if I were you, I would start working on my aerobic capacity. Bicycles will be making a comeback.

Inheerently evil to use energy? (4, Interesting)

gsfprez (27403) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307204)

I'm not that old, but i just don't understand when morality became part of the equation when it comes to using energy? Is someone in Botswana that lives in a hut a better person than a bloke in Surrey who mows a lawn with an electric lawn mower? If so, i don't seem to understand it.

And honestly, I don't understand - well maybe i do - why it is that people get all flummoxed at the idea of removing human transport devices from the global warming equation. Yes, yes, for now, it is just pushing the problem up the chain, but is that the job of the car makers?

If a car is fairly efficient, and it is no longer spewing out global warming gasses - what the hell else do you expect car makers to do? Not everyone - some could - but not everyone could survive driving a euro golf cart around because it wouldn't hold kids or baggage, etc.

If the car manufacturers are going to make devices that can run 100% clean and are saleable to the public meeting demand, then if you ask me, its high time we start coming up with energy solutions that are not dependent upon unstable thocracies and kingdoms in the middle east, hockey playing blue-nosers in north america, or corrupt countires like Mexico and the rest of central America. The car makers hold up their end, its someone else's responsibility to hold up the other end.

And honestly, we see that China is - amazingly enough - going to lead the way with pebble-bed reactors... 1 for each city or more. It is utterly remarkable to me that a communist county has the stones to get this problem figured out while a country like the US is handcuffed by granola munching tree huggers... except for the founder of the Sierra Club... he gets it.

Left hand doesn't know about the right hand. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15307224)

fark.com listed these guys a few days ago.

http://www.switch2hydrogen.com/ [switch2hydrogen.com]
http://www.unitednuclear.com/legalaction.htm [unitednuclear.com]

Seems that some of the feds are worried that someone could make a bomb with the same fine metal particles that are needed to store hydrogen with any practicality.

Compressed hydrogen, liquid hydrogen, and hydrogen slush are just not going to cut it for a practical street vehicle.

ride a bike (0)

allgoodnamesaretaken (689728) | more than 8 years ago | (#15307238)

not only will you be fitter and healthier, you can act like your better than everyone else!
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