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Hydrogen-Powered cars with Zero-Carbon-Emission?

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the look-up-in-the-sky-it's-some-sort-of-pastry dept.

Power 203

Roland Piquepaille writes "Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have a bright idea — at least at first sight. They want to create a sustainable transportation system by using hydrogen-powered cars. They would like to create an infrastructure where people could use a liquid fuel for driving while the carbon emission in their vehicles is trapped for later processing at a fueling station. 'The carbon would then be shuttled back to a processing plant where it could be transformed into liquid fuel.' Where will all this liquid carbon be stored? The researchers don't know. They suggest that it could be stored in geological formations or under the oceans."

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wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22426900)

like no one has ever thought of that before.

What, nobody's thought of the obvious? (4, Funny)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22426914)

The carbon-fibre industry's been taking off like a rocket, and we keep studying those nanotubes. The manufacturers are going to need carbon to make 'em. Why waste time and money burying it under the ocean or in the middle of a mountain?

Waste not, want not.

Or diamonds.... (2, Informative)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427112)

With all that surplus carbon you should be able to give your Valentine a diamond the size of a brick.

Folks, we have no shortage of C, that's why there's a disposal problem.

Hint to moderators: parent was hoping for funnies, not insightfuls.

Re:Or diamonds.... (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427170)

The Diamond Age, here we come.

Though it's going to be a bitch finding shampoo strong enough to get the toner out of your hair....

(Wasn't hoping for any particular moderation; was just amused at the lack of anything other than "hey, let's store it someplace" as a solution--why not start working on that space elevator?)

Re:What, nobody's thought of the obvious? (5, Interesting)

Zymergy (803632) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427592)

Combustion Carbon will be in the form of Carbon Monoxide (CO) and/or Carbon Dioxide (CO2). We do not have technology to create solid forms of carbon (quickly enough) to be useful on a passenger vehicle. (but that would be cool)
Both of these waste carbon gases (CO2 and CO) require significant refrigeration with high compression to store them in any significant quantity and that, my friends, *Requires tremendous Energy*. The work of "sequestering" the Carbon and storing it will eat away any profits in the manufacturing of and efficiency of the vehicle and it will add complexity to an already complex piece of machinery. Not to mention there will have to be one or more pressurized vessels (think explosion, frostbite, and suffocation hazards potentials too).
Carbon Sequestering is a pipe dream (thermodynamically) but it is great for getting venture capital from those investors who have not studied and understood the principles of thermodynamics and basic organic chemistry and who also want to claim that they are investing in "green" technology. (And there may just be tax breaks for such obvious non-competitive investments like 'Sequestering' to the 'Fossil Fuels Industries'??)
"Carbon Sequestering" is really only handy (though still very efficient) if you happen to be talking about a sessile terrestrial power installation over a suitable subterranean geological Carbon gas receiving reservoir. Like this one: http://science.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=08/02/03/1845204&from=rss [slashdot.org] (A budget increase from 1.0 Billion to 1.8 Billion proves its inefficiency alone, and that's before you consider how much more fuel is required to capture all of the HOT exhaust and cool it down to the point it could be compressed and injected into exhausted/abandoned Oil or gas 'injection' wells.

The "Oceans" basically make CaCO3 (Calcium Carbonate) out of CO2 and CO (with the help of Trillions of organisms) and it falls to the ocean floor and becomes rock eventually. This is the PRIMARY carbon "sink" on the planet. I would put more research into helping that process (oceanic Carbon capturing) and focus on Electric Cars powered by Hydrogen cells and NOT Hydrocarbons and not Hydrogen combustion engines... they are too inefficient. Carbon is simply not needed in the fuel cycle. (Unless you want fuel cells that run off of Natural Gas (Methane/Ethane AKA CH4/C2H5) or some form of Alcohol (Methanol/Ethanol AKA CH3OH/C2H5OH)).
Ultimately, using electricity to power the car's electric motor is the only truly efficient way to go (as of today)... It is only a matter of whether it is powered from a battery that is charged with electricity from the grid (preferably Nuclear and/or Hydroelectric), from an internal generator burning fuel (like modern diesel/electric Trains), and/or capacitors, solar cells, or small nuclear reactors... Burning Carbon-containing fuels (from whatever source...but note: they *WILL be from Fossil Fuels* as long as they are cheaper) is just more of the same since the invention of the combustion heat engine. It is business as usual.. Using Corn to make alcohol is a pretend market that will utterly fail without the heavy government subsidies it is seeing. (Research ADM and its lobbying efforts.)

Carbon Sequestering is really interesting, but it requires TOO MUCH energy to do.. Last time I checked, you use about 2 Watts of power to remove about 1 Watt of heat from your home/office using efficient air conditioning. What will it require in energy to remove the heat and to compress (compression releases MORE heat BYW) the exhaust of a car buring some Carbon-containing fuel? Exactly. Electric is the ONLY way to!

Re:What, nobody's thought of the obvious? (4, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428334)

and focus on Electric Cars powered by Hydrogen cells and NOT Hydrocarbons and not Hydrogen combustion engines... they are too inefficient.

You talk about efficiency and advocate hydrogen fuel cells in the same sentence? You do realize that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are extremely inefficient, right? At low loads, fuel cell vehicles are typically 46% efficient at turning hydrogen in the tank into wheel torque and 36% in the NEDC driving cycle [doi.org] . On top of that, you have generation losses (modern power plants are 40-50%, older ~30%, and possibly up to 60% in the future), transmission losses (7.2% average in the US), electrolysis losses (80-85% efficiency if done in the most efficient manner possible, regeneratively on hot steam). Which makes hydrogen worse than gasoline in terms of a carbon footprint. You can also make it from methane reforming, but that's no better. You can grow it from bacteria, but that costs an utter fortune. There are direct sunlight to hydrogen cells, but they are expensive, very inefficient, and break down quickly.

The hydrogen economy [daughtersoftiresias.org] is simply unrealistic. On the other hand, there is an awful lot of promise in electric vehicles [daughtersoftiresias.org] .

Only one deciding factor in this (1)

GlobalColding (1239712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427826)

Is there an influential senator behind this technology? Whoever got the most influence and bribe money can probably get us into cars powered by deep fryer grease.

Liquid carbon? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22426922)

6381 F according to http://www.webelements.com/webelements/elements/text/C/heat.html [webelements.com]

Crash and burn!

Re:Liquid carbon? (1)

Guinness2702 (840158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427154)

Good job then that the article later clarifies that it's referring to carbon dioxide [webelements.com] !

Not that that is gonna be easy to keep at the right temperature either.

Re:Liquid carbon? (2, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427298)

Not really an issue, actually. You'll just need to find a way to keep it at the right -pressure- that weighs less than the usual steel tank.

(Remember, phase changes can be accomplished with pressure changes, not only temperature changes. Your local fast food joint has a big ol' tank of liquid CO2 in back for the soft drinks)

Re:Liquid carbon? (1)

Guinness2702 (840158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427432)

Very true. I would be interesting to know how this is achieved though, since both reducing temperature and increasing pressure will take energy to achieve, as, I assume will the initial extraction process. I will be interesting to see, assuming that it can be done at all, what effect this will have on fuel efficiency (cf. the effect of air conditioning - which relies on compressing fluids to extract heat - on fuel efficiency [bankrate.com] ). Will the benefits of extracting and storing the carbon offset the cost of doing it?

Re:Liquid carbon? (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427516)

Presumably there will be a differential between the volume of the fuel and the volume of the waste product that is stored--the hydrogen gets to go off and become water, so it's not included in the compound that gets stored.

As such, it wouldn't waste as much in the way of energy as you might think.

Hydrogen? Carbon? (4, Insightful)

_merlin (160982) | more than 6 years ago | (#22426946)

First you say the cars are hydrogen-powered, then you say the carbon emissions will be trapped and disposed of when refuelling. Hydrogen doesn't contain carbon. Where do carbon emissions come from? This has to be the most contradictory Slashdot summary in a long time.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (4, Informative)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22426988)

That's one of the worse summaries I've seen on Slashdot, and as we all know, that's saying something. Basically, there are three parts to the plan. Instead of using an internal combustion engine, you use a reactor that changes the hydrocarbon chains into hydrogen and carbon. The hydrogen is used to power the car using the already developed fuel cells while the carbon is stored. You fuel at a station, but instead of just filling up with hydrocarbon (like we do now), you also give back the carbon that your car's been storing.

In the short term, this carbon would be taken and sequestered in a variety of methods that scientists have been studying for years, either under the ocean, in old oil wells, other underground locations, or in solid carbonate form. In the long term, the carbon would go back and be remade into hydrocarbon chains to be distributed back out. As someone else pointed out, you could also use the carbon for nanotubes.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

Kuukai (865890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427120)

In the short term, this carbon would be taken and sequestered in a variety of methods that scientists have been studying for years, either under the ocean, in old oil wells, other underground locations, or in solid carbonate form.
And this can in turn be used by the Hutts to freeze smugglers who owe them money. Yesss, it's all coming together perfectly...

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (2, Funny)

Guinness2702 (840158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427600)

"And this can in turn be used by the Hutts to freeze smugglers who owe them money."

Until some do-gooder bitch comes along and unfreezes them, thus fucking up the climate for us once again!

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

protolith (619345) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427740)

or in solid carbonate form


Hate to break it to you but that was carbonite not carbonate.
Carbonate is the CO3 ion that makes limestone (CaCO3) and dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2)

It would have been interesting if Han was turned to limestone but a marble statue of Han would have been a little too Clash of the Titans.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

Guinness2702 (840158) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427824)

"Hate to break it to you but that was carbonite not carbonate."

Hate to break it to you, but this is /. and we're all nerds. Accuracy is inconsequential to us, especially when we can get a Star Wars reference in!

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (4, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427216)

Step 1: Generate pure hydrogen in highly efficient processing plant
Step 2: Merge with carbon to create less stable and lower density hydrocarbon based fuel
Step 3: Using a vehicle based unit, crack the hydrocarbons back into hydrogen and carbon
Step 4: oxidize hydrogen to power fuel cell.
Step 5: return carbon to processing plant.

This would work amazingly if there were a shortage of carbon and an excess of easily accessible hydrogen. Unfortunately, our problem is the other way around. I can walk to any local gas station in the middle of summer and pick up a 20lbs bag of carbon for a few bucks. Getting my hands on 20lbs of hydrogen is a bit more challenging and expensive.

Not to mention there is no way they are going to get a vehicle based cracking unit to be more efficient than the factory unit. Not to mention that energy density is already an issue in pure hydrogen storage, turning it into hydro carbons isn't going to help on that issue if they are only using the hydrogen for energy generation.

The whole concept seems to fall on it's face as yet another attempt at a perpetual motion device.

-Rick

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (4, Informative)

Rostin (691447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427976)

You were doing more or less ok until you got to the energy density part.

According to Wikipedia, liquid hydrogen has a density of 70.8 kg/m^3. That sets a generous upper bound on the density we could hope to achieve in pure hydrogen storage.

Let's assume a density of 700 kg/m^3 for our liquid hydrocarbon. According to Wikipedia (again), gasoline is around 737 kg/m^3. Let's further assume that hydrogen makes up about 15.8% of the weight of our fuel. I arrived at that number by doing a straight average of the percentages for C5 to C12 linear alkanes. That means the part of the density we can attribute to usable hydrogen is around 111 kg/m^3.

So, in terms of effective hydrogen density, liquid hydrocarbons beat the pants off of even pure liquid hydrogen.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427002)

FTA:

Georgia Tech's near-future strategy involves capturing carbon emissions from conventional (fossil) liquid hydrocarbon-fueled vehicles with an on board fuel processor designed to separate the hydrogen in the fuel from the carbon. Hydrogen is then used to power the vehicle, while the carbon is stored on board the vehicle in a liquid form until it is disposed at a refueling station.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427236)

So, let me get this straight. We are going to exchange CO2 emissions (a greenhouse gas) for H2O emissions (another greenhouse gas). In the meantime, we are going to have to consume more energy to accomplish it. I'm sorry, something about this equation doesn't add up.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

g1zmo (315166) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427266)

How is water a greenhouse gas?

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (3, Informative)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427442)

your comment is typical of all global warming idiots, you don't even understand your own imaginary problem.

water vapour is THE green house gas. the majority of the greenhouse effect comes from water vapour. hence why everyone is trying to tell you people CO2 doesn't drive climate change.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427536)

The argument is not that CO2 is causing global warming, it's that the increase in the amount of CO2 in the air is driving global warming. Yes, water vapor is the most abundant greenhouse gas, but the amount of water vapor in the air hasn't been steadily increasing over the past hundred years, while the amount of CO2 in the air has been. I suppose it's possible that a mass conversion from hydrocarbon fuel to hydrogen which emits water vapor as waste could end up being just as bad for the global climate as the CO2 it replaces, but I don't know of any studies that have been undertaken in that regard.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (2, Insightful)

cplusplus (782679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427888)

Water molecules also have a tendency to clump and fall to the ground. Carbon dioxide molecules don't. A massive increase in precipitation would probably affect things in detrimental ways.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1, Interesting)

Anarchitect_in_oz (771448) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427514)

Water is the one of the best green house gases.
It's absorption of IR is a lot higher then CO2.
Water vapour carries a lot of energy as well to drive extrem weather effects.

On the plus side clouds do help reflect sunlight.

handy link
http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/vibrat.html [lsbu.ac.uk]

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

wattrlz (1162603) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427550)

I guess it has something to do with water being a good absorber of long-wave infrared. Maybe our friends at the wikipedia [wikipedia.org] can help explain that.

Already is a way, and it's in development (3, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427084)

I think what they are after is a carbon source liquid that releases hydrogen and traps the carbon. THis is presumably to get around the low density of pure hydrogen storage. Perhaps some sort of fuel cell that liberates hydroggen from methane, keeps the carbon and burns the hydreogen. just a guess. low density is a problem both for the cars and for the fueling stations. to top it off liquid handling is easier than gas phase for consumers.

But there's an israeli company with an even better idea.

You use solid magnesium and water. the magnesium a spool of wire that is fed slowly into a bath of water. it reacts to produce hydrogen which bubbles out and into the engine, and also a solid magnesium oxide which sinks and is collected. THe solid magnesium waste is collected, and sent to a plant where it reproccessed back to magnesium metal electochemically, releasing oxygen in the process which itself could be collected for other uses.

Re:Already is a way, and it's in development (3, Informative)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427128)

Link [physorg.com] . also google for magnesium hydrogen car and you'll also find other companies.

Re:Already is a way, and it's in development (4, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427268)

And where do they get the electricity to reprocess the Mg02?

From an oil- or coal-burning power plant, of course.

Or a nuke plant.

These ideas of using renewable chemical fuels is all pretty silly, because they all use electricity to renew the fuel. But electric vehicles are efficient, viable, can be made attractive and fast, and they cut out the middle-man by allowing you to plug into a supply of electricity you already access. No infrastructure cost = lowest economic barrier to entry. And it's infrastructure that we have 150+ years of experience maintaining and improving.

Eventually all of our energy will be delivered from electrical utilities, generated from coal (the oil will run out soon but we have several hundred years' worth of coal left), nuclear processes (about a thousand years' worth), and the sun (several billion years, but it's terribly inefficient so far).

Re:Already is a way, and it's in development (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427392)

But electric cars need to run off of batteries, and batteries are very bad at storing energy. They also take too long to recharge. They've tried pushing electric cars on the market and they were pushed right back off. I take road trips of over 300 miles every couple of months, and there's no way that an electric car would be able to make it in the same time period that my gas car can.

Re:Already is a way, and it's in development (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427512)

Batteries are cheap and less inefficient than the Otto cycle engine in your car.

As for charging times, you can charge it when you're sleeping.

Long-distance travel will take a major hit when the oil runs out. There's nothing to use as jet fuel that's as good as jet fuel. That's why it's jet fuel.

Re:Already is a way, and it's in development (1)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427634)

As for charging times, you can charge it when you're sleeping
There are no convenient outlets near my apartment building.

Long-distance travel will take a major hit when the oil runs out
Which won't be for a long, long time, certainly not in the next few decades. Oil wells are still putting out a lot, when they're out there's a lot of shale laying around in Canada and the US, then there's the ability to extract it from coal. Oil's going to be around for a while.

Re:Already is a way, and it's in development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22428274)

And where do they get the electricity to reprocess the Mg02? From an oil- or coal-burning power plant, of course. Or a nuke plant.

So? Trading the emissions from millions of inefficient engines travelling all over the place for the efficiency of a few centralised nuclear power plants sounds like a good deal to me.

Re:Already is a way, and it's in development (2, Interesting)

UbuntuDupe (970646) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427474)

Well, here's my suggestion, which seems much more straightforward:

1) Take CO2 from the air and H2O from any source.
2) Generate energy from nuclear power and store it in octane (gasoline) molecules formed from the above. (Basically, reverse of combusion, though not necessarily through that path, and no, this doesn't violate the laws of thermodynamics.)
3) Use that gasoline to power cars as usual.

Benefits:

1) All vehicle carbon emissions are only returning to the atmosphere, what was taken from it to produce their fuel, so vehicles would be carbon-neutral.
2) No need to import oil.
3) Can be completely safe, since you can locate the plant arbitrarily far from populated areas.
4) No infrastructure or automobile changes except for different distribution route.

And, I recently found out that someone else has already thought of this [nytimes.com] and worked out the details, though it would only be able to produce the gasoline at $4.60/gallon. Still, it proves that all of Europe already "feels" the maximum externality cost on the demand side.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427150)

I was thinking the same thing. I thought burning Hydrogen and Oxygen produced primarily water.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

MikeDirnt69 (1105185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427270)

RTFA: Georgia Tech's near-future strategy involves capturing carbon emissions from conventional (fossil) liquid hydrocarbon-fueled vehicles with an onboard fuel processor designed to separate the hydrogen in the fuel from the carbon. Hydrogen is then used to power the vehicle, while the carbon is stored on board the vehicle in a liquid form until it is disposed at a refueling station.

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427352)

The car runs on hydrocarbons, but instead of burning them it pulls the hydrogen out and burns that, leaving carbon-rich goop. If the hydrocarbon was, for example, methane (CH4) this would seem to be pretty cool, because it would allow us to burn it without any CO or CO2 being fed off into the atmosphere.

They're probably not thinking methane though, because methane is annoying to transport, same as Hydrogen.

As you move down the scale toward bigger, more likely to be liquid molecules, however, you move toward the stuff that most of us put in our cars already, which makes it a little weird. You could run Octane through this sort of process, but...why?

Re:Hydrogen? Carbon? (1)

oldsaint (736226) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427682)

It seems obvious. Steam is introduced to the hydrocarbon fuel, and the oxygen is stripped from the steam, combining with the carbon and leaving hydrogen. The oxygen stripping process creates the carbon dioxide. Old technology, although not for very small scale devices like cars. Capture of the newly created carbon dioxide can be done, although the scheme seems to be to compress it to a liquid. What, dry ice? The energy balance is questionable.

So how much (1)

Sylos (1073710) | more than 6 years ago | (#22426954)

you wanna bet that the dinosaurs were actually as advanced as we are and all the oil was their same exact idea!

I thought (3, Insightful)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22426964)

There were already some pretty good ways of storing hydrogen for cars and the issue was just creating the hydrogen in the first place.

Seems like using hydrocarbons and storing liquid carbon in the car for later processing would be a real pain for very little gain. Though maybe this would be a good way to get hydrogen to the "gas station."

Re:I thought (5, Informative)

ciggieposeur (715798) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427186)

There were already some pretty good ways of storing hydrogen for cars and the issue was just creating the hydrogen in the first place.

Not really. The Department of Energy has estimated that one would need at least a device capable of storing up to 0.6 kg of hydrogen per kg (e.g. a 100kg storage tank has 6kg of raw hydrogen in it) before hydrogen is just barely usable as a transportation fuel source. Ideally, 12% wt/wt storage is necessary to achieve the 300 miles per tank that most cars get today on gasoline. The best storage systems (circa 2004 when the report came out) topped out around 8% for liquified hydrogen tanks, but those are very difficult to use in practice because the hydrogen leaks out quickly. All other systems topped out around 4% and required either high temperature (metal hybrides) or very high pressures (700bar, approximately 10000 psi), again making them not yet ready for widespread use.

Hydrogen production is still an issue too though. Most of what we get now is a byproduct from natural gas processing, so it's still not carbon-neutral.

(Disclaimer: This topic is actually part of my master's thesis.)

Re:I thought (1)

Altus (1034) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427398)


I remember something about tiny ceramic beads... with micro perforations, helping to hold more hydrogen without leakage. It was a while ago that I saw this though.

Clearly production is the big issue, but these guys are talking about harvesting hydrogen from a hydro carbon right in your car. If you can do that, why not do it somewhere else where you can more easily store, or reprocess the carbon.

I'm certainly no expert on this topic but the articles description makes this seem like an excessively complicated system.

nonsense (1, Informative)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22426968)

This article doesn't make any sense. Hydrogen + burning = water. Hydrogen contains hydrogen atoms and no carbon at all. And if I assume they mean how engine lubricant oil burns off a bit and that's the carbon emissions, they said they're going to trap the carbon emissions and ship it back to be made into fuel. Besides such a system having to use more energy than it generates, why would you do that when you have hydrogen powered cars? You wouldn't need to make hydrocarbon fuels from emissions if cars don't run on it anymore. And then they say they're going to dump the liquified carbon emissions somewhere under the ocean or in a mountain or whatever.
So in summary, they're going to trap non-existant carbon from cars, process it into useless fuel, and dump that fuel in a mountain...wtf?

Re:nonsense (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427016)

I think this is part of the solution to the problem of obtaining the hydrogen in the first place. Specifically, I suspect this is talking about storing the waste carbon that is a byproduct of splitting hydrocarbon chains into hydrogen using a gasoline reformer.

Re:nonsense (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427080)

can't we just go out to a nebula and get some? lol jk. But seriously, then we're still relying on hydrycarbons to make our fuel, just adding a step. Kinda dumb. Now if we could figure out how to make diamonds out of all the spare carbon, then we've got something!

Re:nonsense (1)

Damarkus13 (1000963) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428092)

Now if we could figure out how to make diamonds out of all the spare carbon, then we've got something!
You're right! We would have a bankrupt diamond industry.

Re:nonsense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22427060)

...and dump that fuel in a mountain...

Anyone else waiting for the estate of L. Ron Blubber to claim prior art?

Re:nonsense (1)

heinzkunz (1002570) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427076)

That was a much better summary, and it was funny, too.

Slashdot, please hire this man as an editor.

Re:nonsense (1)

Chuckstar (799005) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427100)

The proposal is that the hydrogen is delivered to the car in the form of a liquid fuel which contains carbon. The fuel is broken down into hydrogen and carbon (carbon dioxide?). The hydrogen goes into the fuel cell, powering the car. The carbon is stored in the car, to be returned to the gas station the next time the car is refilled.

I never want to hear "zero emissions" again (2, Interesting)

victorvodka (597971) | more than 6 years ago | (#22426992)

Here's why: hydrogen takes enormous amounts of energy to make. Stop saying that when you burn it all you get is water; in the case of a hydrogen economy, all the polluting happens in the supply chain, although it can also manifest in more direct forms such as a hydrogen car plowing into a container full of pesticides. Another thing: hydrogen cars are just a distraction to allow car manufacturers to keep kicking the ball down the road on producing a truly fuel-efficient car, one far more modest than the one you're presently driving. Get used to it people; when peak oil rolls through, that moped that was "fun to ride until your friends saw you" (much like a fat chick) is going to look like Fonzie cool. Rent "Who Killed the Electric Car" to learn more. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Who_Killed_the_Electric_Car%3F [wikipedia.org]

Re:I never want to hear "zero emissions" again (1)

lachlan76 (770870) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427334)

There are plans to produce hydrogen directly from the thermal output of a nuclear reactor using the sulphur-iodine process, so if you want no carbon emissions, it will be possible. It's possible now, just more expensive than using natural gas.

Re:I never want to hear "zero emissions" again (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427354)

Hydrogen cars are just a distraction to keep people from noticing how absolutely horrible auto manufacturers' electric concept cars are. Case in point: the Chevy Volt. I saw an ad for this last night. Up to 40 miles without using gasoline. Oh, yeah. That will barely get me to work and back, and I live one town away. Want to go on a longer trip? You're back to gas guzzling. Worse, you have all the weight disadvantages of hauling around a gasoline powered engine, which means you're far less efficient than you would be if you did an all-electric design. Basically, their idea of the perfect electric vehicle is just another damn hybrid. The sad thing is how far behind the major automakers are compared with minor companies like Tesla motors (whose vehicles get 220 miles on a charge) and even many homebrew cars.

To make a long story short, the major automobile manufacturers are so scared of change that they are basically going to drive themselves out of business and be replaced by new manufacturers that actually understand where technology is heading. If history is any indication, this process will repeat itself every twenty years or so. The last time this happened was when the Japanese auto manufacturers killed off/forced consolidation of most of the American car companies in the 80s. Same old story....

Re:I never want to hear "zero emissions" again (2, Insightful)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427858)

I've been looking at the Volt too. The thing with it it seems that technically it's a hybrid, but the motor they're talking about putting in it would be far too small to be able to drive around on. It would be more like a gas powered battery charger, you'd have to let it sit for a while in the parking lot running to get you enough battery power to make it home, if in the city, or to be able to get up to speed on the highway and then it could keep up once the load dropped and you were cruising.

Personally I like the idea alot. As a daily commuter a car like that would be perfect for me (6 miles - I would bike to work, but where I'm at between the weather and the crapy roads it would be a death sentence there's no way for anything but a few months out of the year.). Give it some black thin-film solar cell racing stripes and paint the rest of it blue and I'll take one.

I'm interested in anything that can do it completely without petrolium based fuel. As a back-up source like the Volt I can deal with. I want to be able to collect it myself and give the oil companies and countries the big double middle finger.

Re:I never want to hear "zero emissions" again (1)

cheier (790875) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427616)

One thing to keep in mind is that more interest in hydrogen vehicles is stemming from greater advancement in production technologies. Hydrogen can be easily produced today from various forms of feedstock in a plasma gasification process. The main advantage in the process today is that newer gasification processes now produce near zero emissions, and can still produce various types of fuels and chemicals.

Re:I never want to hear "zero emissions" again (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427920)

Rent "Who Killed the Electric Car" to learn more.
Or, if you want a more productive way to spend an hour and a half of your life, go run head first into a wall.

Market demand killed the electric car. These conspiracy theories are no better than the claims that "big oil" is suppressing conventional engines which could get 100 miles per gallon (and violate the laws of thermodynamics, all in one stroke!).

The rest of your comment was actually quite insightful, it's just too bad you had to end it with that particular bit of lunacy.

Re:I never want to hear "zero emissions" again (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427986)

hydrogen cars are just a distraction to allow car manufacturers to keep kicking the ball down the road on producing a truly fuel-efficient car, one far more modest than the one you're presently driving. Get used to it people;

Guess what? I don't want a car far more modest than the one I'm driving. I don't have a massive SUV but you damn well better believe I don't want a Smart. You get used to it.

when peak oil rolls through, that moped that was "fun to ride until your friends saw you" (much like a fat chick) is going to look like Fonzie cool.

Peak oil? Sigh... It's a non-issue. If peak oil happens, oil will not dry up overnight. Supplies will get tighter and tighter driving prices of gasoline higher and higher. This will lead to incentives to find alternative energies. The market will do this all by itself, with no government action, as soon as it makes sense to do so. Meanwhile, trying to force something that the market doesn't want and the technology isn't ready for isn't going to help anyone.

My friggin' laptop can only last a couple hours and all it's doing is lighting up a screen and driving a hard drive. And you expect me to believe some killed the electric car? The technology isn't ready yet! It will become mature as the market demands it all by itself as gas prices go up.

Re:I never want to hear "zero emissions" again (1)

neumayr (819083) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428240)

It's not neccessarily about more modest cars - even though many environmentalists would claim otherwise. It's about fuel-efficiency. Drive your car of choice on less gas.

Government does have a say in the matter, ever since that big oil crisis a few decades back it was generally accepted as a wise move for the gov't to make sure the economy doesn't run out of fuel.
Besides, they're using a lot of that stuff on their own - so of course they're interested in its supply/demand situation.

Liquid CO2 storage in your car? (3, Informative)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427052)

From TFA:

The Georgia Tech team has already created a fuel processor, called CO2/H2 Active Membrane Piston (CHAMP) reactor, capable of efficiently producing hydrogen and separating and liquefying CO2 from a liquid hydrocarbon or synthetic fuel used by an internal combustion engine or fuel cell. After the carbon dioxide is separated from the hydrogen, it can then be stored in liquefied state on-board the vehicle. The liquid state provides a much more stable and dense form of carbon, which is easy to store and transport.

I don't know what planet they were planning to use these vehicles on, but on *this* one, CO2 is a GAS. You've got to have some serious refrigeration (requiring, uh oh, ENERGY) and some darned high pressure to store liquid CO2. Laws of thermodynamics aside, I'd rather not be sitting on a mobile dry ice bomb [dryiceinfo.com] , thankyouverymuch.

A side note: the original tag for Roland articles was "pigpile", not "ohnoitsroland" (or any of the cruder variants). Piquepaille = Pigpile, get it? And it's usually an apt description of the science behind the "discovery".

Re:Liquid CO2 storage in your car? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427242)

I believe the plan is to combine the CO2 with the Hydrogen's steam emissions and a box of concentrated syrup of Mountain Dew.

Re:Liquid CO2 storage in your car? (1)

RajivSLK (398494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427456)

Piquepaille = Pigpile, get it?

Yes, originally it did. But it was deemed offensive to pigs everywhere and is, therefore, no longer in common use.

Re:Liquid CO2 storage in your car? (1)

pclminion (145572) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427670)

You've got to have some serious refrigeration (requiring, uh oh, ENERGY) and some darned high pressure to store liquid CO2.

Refrigeration has nothing to do with it. At standard pressure, cooling CO2 just causes it to solidify. To get liquid CO2 you must increase the pressure by quite a bit, but again, no refrigeration is required.

Laws of thermodynamics aside, I'd rather not be sitting on a mobile dry ice bomb, thankyouverymuch.

I have several CO2 tanks sitting in my garage for serving beer. These contain liquid CO2. I hardly consider them dangerous objects. If a CO2 storage tank got punctured during a crash, a lot of gas would vent rather quickly but the tank isn't going to just peel apart. I've seen tanks shot with high power rifles, and they don't explode. You get a jet of CO2 "snow flakes" like out of a fire extinguisher. Is it dangerous? Yeah. But so is a car crash.

Interesting that you are concerned about a little liquid CO2, but apparently not concerned about driving a vehicle carrying gallons of highly flammable liquid? You do realize that people burn to death in car fires... a lot.

Re:Liquid CO2 storage in your car? (1)

pla (258480) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428364)

I don't know what planet they were planning to use these vehicles on, but on *this* one, CO2 is a GAS.

Ever seen dry ice?

Or, for that matter, a fire extinguisher? CO2 has a liquid phase at pressures above 5.1 atmospheres - A fact that some of the earliest fire extinguishers (and a few modern ones) made use of to store their charge at ordinary ol' room temperature.



You've got to have some serious refrigeration (requiring, uh oh, ENERGY) and some darned high pressure to store liquid CO2.

No, pressure alone will suffice - And internal combustion engines excel at producing just that. In fact, every other form of energy they produce requires the conversion of pressure into something else.

Hydrogen is a code-word (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22427056)

It means "government subsidy for stuff that will never ever work". Renewable energy sources are more expensive than all current non-renewables. Hydrogen has the joy of being such an energy inefficient thing to work with, with huge inherent costs, that it would be unaffordable even if the energy were free. Well, add on the requirement of renewable energy and you get double-unaffordable.

Before any hydrogen vehicle ever hits the road, lithium batteries will be good enough and cheap enough that hydrogen will be irrelevant. But taxpayers will keep on paying the bills for this nonsense research!

Re:Hydrogen is a code-word (1)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428054)

But taxpayers will keep on paying the bills for this nonsense research!

Did the conversation just change to global warming?

Crappy summary, had to RTFM (1)

dmatos (232892) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427064)

For those of you who scratched your head at the summary and title:

The car _is_ hydrogen powered, sorta. However, it generates the hydrogen on-board from a hydrocarbon fuel. The hydrogen is then used to power the vehicle, and the leftover carbon remains in the car, and is taken back to a central location for disposal.

Apparently, they are able to create H2 + liquid CO2 using a special CO2/H2 Active Membrane Piston (CHAMP) reactor. The liquid CO2 is never released to the atmosphere.

Hydrocarbon powered cars (1)

abigsmurf (919188) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427068)

The summary is incredibly poorly written. Essentially the cars extract the hydrogen from hydrocarbons and store the carbon leftovers in a tank. This is a poor idea as not only is extracting the hydrogen inefficient, you're only using a minority of the mass of the fuel to power the car and worse, you're transporting the waste around with you, then shipping it back to a processing plant where more energy will be spent making it usable. You waste so much energy throughout this process and you're using non-renewable resources doing it. Can't see anything coming from this.

ohnoitsroland (2, Informative)

Aaron Isotton (958761) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427096)

Roland obviously botched the summary. It's not about hydrogen powered cars as in "cars in whose tanks you put hydrogen", but about hydrogen powered cars as in "cars with conventional fuel in the tank, which then gets split into hydrogen and carbon, and the hydrogen is used in the engine". TFA is actually interesting.

Here's are two brighter ideas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22427104)

These requires no pie-in-the-sky technology:

1. Real public transit. In the majority of the USA, public transit is so bad your really have no choice except to drive if you want to get to work in a reasonable time.

2. Real fuel economy standards for cars and SUVs (so-called "light trucks"). Average vehicle fuel economy peaked in the late 1980s. A typical family sedan has over 250 horsepower. Not long ago, that was a sports car. In 1989 I drove a Honda Civic with better mileage than some modern hybrids.

This is entirely feasible with off-the-shelf technology, with reasonable cost.

Re:Here's are two brighter ideas! (2, Informative)

letxa2000 (215841) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428116)

Real public transit. In the majority of the USA, public transit is so bad your really have no choice except to drive if you want to get to work in a reasonable time.

Won't happen. Our sprawl won't allow efficient public transit except in concentrated downtown areas. And malign sprawl as much as you'd like, but I lived in another country where there wasn't as much sprawl. No thank you. I'll take the sprawl any day of the week. Not everyone wants to live in a crowded city.

For what it's worth, I'm self-employed and work from my home 99% of the time so my contribution to the "problem" is less than that of most tree-huggers, including those that take the bus or train.

whatcouldpossiblygowrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22427116)

Tag this and every other story with 'whatcouldpossiblygowrong'.

It is your duty as a slashbot.

mod doKwn (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22427156)

similarly grisly nstand anymore, Enjoy the loud

Red Herring Alert!!! (1)

t33jster (1239616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427162)

On one day in 1980, Mount St. Hellens released more carbon into the atmosphere than human beings have in our collective history. This carbon-footprint obsession must be stopped. If you want pollution-free transportation, try bolting a mast with some sales to your car. You can head back home when the wind shifts. Be careful around power lines & overpasses.

Re:Red Herring Alert!!! (1)

milsoRgen (1016505) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427198)

Why would you have to wait for the wind to shift [wikipedia.org] ?

Re:Red Herring Alert!!! (1)

t33jster (1239616) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427348)

I, for one, am not an avid sailor. I lack the skills necessary to take a headwind and turn it into forward momentum. Besides, tacking wouldn't be practical in gridlock.

Re:Red Herring Alert!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22427870)

Bullshit.

Pure, unadulterated, ignorant, bullshit.

I won't even get into the fact that you haven't proven anything with this statement. Did the earth warm overnight as a result of this blast? If so, you might have an argument...instead, the global temperature raised more or less hand-in-hand with the carbon/pollution output of mankind over the last hundred years. Proof? Maybe not, but more than a preponderance of scientific evidence? Yes. But I give you too much credit.

For one thing, when you claim to have a fact, you might try backing it up with a reputable scientific source. Here's one by Terry Gerlach, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist who studies volcanic gases:

"Worldwide, people and their activities pump 26 billion tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The total from volcanoes is about 200 million tons a year -- or less than 1 percent of the man-made emissions."

I leave it up to you to do a better job convincing me or anyone else of that bullshit you're trying to sell. In the meantime, consider this:

Even if the Mount St. Helens blast released TWENTY SIX MILLION TIMES more carbon dioxide in that blast than the maximum it does in a normal year (500-1,000 tons), it would still only add up to ONE YEAR'S worth of human activities.

So don't break your arm patting yourself on the back as armchair skeptic. Instead, why don't you tell us how much carbon dioxide is up your ass, since that seem to be where your head is located.

Are these people idiots? Or are the editors? (1)

HEbGb (6544) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427172)

I can't believe this kind of schlock is getting any attention at all. This is so stupid and impractical that I don't even know where to start.

Here is what they are proposing:

1. Capture the exhaust
2. Pull the hydrogen (?) out of the exhaust
3. Run the car from the hydrogen
4. Dispose of the carbon somewhere.
5. Eventually re-use that carbon somehow to make new fuel.

These people are morons. How much hydrogen is there in emissions? I doubt enough to run a car.

I swear, the public press is so desperate for free "green" energy they're willing to pay attention to any sort of nutty idea that comes along, no matter how ridiculous it is. And from GA Tech, no less. They really should know better.

I'm with stupid. (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427738)


No, what they are proposing is:

"The Georgia Tech team has already created a fuel processor, called CO2/H2 Active Membrane Piston (CHAMP) reactor, capable of efficiently producing hydrogen and separating and liquefying CO2 from a liquid hydrocarbon or synthetic fuel used by an internal combustion engine or fuel cell. After the carbon dioxide is separated from the hydrogen, it can then be stored in liquefied state on-board the vehicle. The liquid state provides a much more stable and dense form of carbon, which is easy to store and transport."

The problem with hydrogen is the "easy to store and transport" part. Basically, CO2 is a big molecule that is easy and safe to store for long periods of time. H2 shares none of these properties. It's a small molecule that is extremely difficult to store for extended periods and inevitably brings up images of Shuttle launches and Hindenburg crashes. Besides, it is more efficient to crack H2 out of hydrocarbons than to pull it out of, say, water through electrolysis. Though, if you're a country like Iceland with lots of renewable, practically free and non-polluting geothermal energy and water lying around everywhere, suddenly electrolysis starts to make a whole lot of sense despite being otherwise horribly inefficient, but that still doesn't solve the whole storage and transport problem.

why? (1)

TheDawgLives (546565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427196)

I love to be captain obvious, so why are the cars separating the hydrogen from the carbon and storing the carbon? Why don't they separate it at a central plant, then ship the hydrogen to the fueling stations? Then the car wouldn't have to carry all that extra carbon around and they fueling stations wouldn't have to send the carbon back to be stored somewhere. - SuckItDown!

Re:why? (2, Insightful)

Nodamnnicknamesavial (1095665) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427778)

Because transporting and storing hydrogen is a lot more difficult than storing and transporting a liquid hydrocarbon.

Can we make this any more inefficient? (5, Insightful)

Radon360 (951529) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427224)

  1. Fill up with regular gasoline
  2. Instead of burning it outright, let's strip the hydrogen off the hydrocarbons and just burn that.
  3. Somehow sequester the leftover carbon from the breakdown (this is the ???? step)
  4. Return the carbon (somehow stored in liquid form) for recycling >>> Profit!

First, let's ignore how much energy we're throwing away in step 2 by not utilizing the full energy potential stored in the hydrocarbon molecules. Second, somehow we'll expend more energy to liberate the hydrogen and capture the carbon, both without oxidizing them. Third, we're going to tote around another 75 - 100 pounds of weight with the stored (and somehow liquefied) carbon that will be returned. Less energy potential that ever reaches the engine/fuel cell, and even more expended to refine something fairly energy dense into something that's a fair amount less energy dense.

The problem with this idea is there's too much fixation on sequestering every last bit of carbon, rather than focusing on a bigger, more important concept called energy efficiency. Work on improving that and the carbon emission reductions usually follow.

Sure it's inefficient, but it's free carbon! (1)

StaticEngine (135635) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427792)

You're missing the best part! We can build some pressure cookers into these cars to compress the released carbon into diamonds, and then we can win girls hearts, or sell them off at a profit to buy more gasoline! Even it we don't get diamonds out of it, maybe we can make graphite pencils and then drop a load off at the nearest school. Think of the Children! Sure, maybe the four-wheeled diamond manufacturers will drive nice companies like DeBeers out of business and destablize the paradise that is South Africa, and perhaps the pencil-making lobbies will shake their splintered fists at us, but this is innovation, man!

What else could 'they' use it for? (2, Informative)

florewacks (692194) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427234)

A commenter on Greentech Media points out that this research is mostly NASA and DOD funded [greentechmedia.com] .

Not the first company to try this (2, Insightful)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427308)

There's a British company trying the same thing the article is confusing but the system essentially spilts off the hydrogen inside the vehicle then stores the carbon from hydrocarbon fuel. They reprocess the stored CO2 back into a hydrocarbon fuel so it's a closed loop system. It's more a way to store hydrogen as a hydrocarbon then recycle the storage medium, the carbon. It's in no way a fuel source it's a storage medium. ALL hydrogen based systems are storage mediums not fuel sources. Hydrogen is too friendly about combining with other elements so the hydrogen always needs to be spilt off to use as fuel. I take it you can store a lot of hydrogen safely this way if the system can ever be perfected but the real point is there's little difference from an electric vehicle other than faster refueling. Because of transfer losses I have to believe it's less efficent than straight electric. Even hydrogen cars are generally all electric so the hydrogen largely replaces batteries. Because of all the technical problems it seems focusing on improving batteries would be a better solution. There's no proof this system is in anyway practical let alone the technology still doesn't exist.

A better cleaner choice (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427320)

Finally something good to come out of France in awhile.

A better and cleaner solution is the "Air Car" [theaircar.com] . Powered by compressed air.

The prototype [businessweek.com] is supposed to travel up to 150 miles off one fill up with a top speed of 60 mph.

When they hit final production, I think I'll be buying one just so I can laugh my ass off as I pass every gas station.

Re:A better cleaner choice (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428078)

And I'll be laughing when your car gets turned into free-floating molecules by a collision with some guy's family Van.

Seriously, that vehicle has such low mass, low cargo carrying capacity, and poor performance, that you may as well go buy yourself a scooter instead. It might be an ok vehicle for booting around the downtown core of a major metropolis (in which case you could make a decent business using them as taxi-cabs, or renting them to tourists) but you wouldn't catch me trying to take one of those death-traps on the highway.

Oh, wow (1)

Sciros (986030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427366)

Is this a study to see how energy *inefficient* a vehicle can be over its lifespan? From manufacturing these vehicles, to the fact that they still take in fossil fuels, to hydrogen giving you not "zero emissions" but water vapor (which functions as a greenhouse gas), to liquid CO2 being stored on-board and then... under an ocean hahah. Car manufacturers would have to be out of their freaking mind to ever go along with this ridiculous idea.

This is all such a BAD IDEA that I'd probably have been happier to read a "researchers develop 30hp 5mpg engine" headline. They may as well spend tax money developing a car that runs on farts, so you gotta eat them "popcorn jellybeans" from Jelly Belly while you're on the move. At least it'd be funny. Plus you'll be using that methane on something useful, like powering your car, instead of warming the planet!

Actually it's pretty freaking cold right now. Excuse me while I buy 100 Hummers.

Hydrogen is not an energy source (1)

MountainLogic (92466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427414)

In this case hydrogen is not an energy source, it is an energy storage medium. Just a high density "battery". You still need to generate massive energy to make the hydrogen and you've added yet one more step that makes they whole precess a looser (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EROEI). Furthermore, no one is sure if carbon sequesteration will really work and if it does work it will generate more green house gases go move the carbon and and ram it into the earth than it will sequester.

The solution is to dump the big fat cars, trucks and SUVs. Redesign our cities where we can enjoy walking to work. Build efficient, fast and luxurious rail transport. Stop air freighting fruit half-way around the world. Wall street is already making bets on oil prices to more than doubling to over $200/barrel in the near term. Our economy is going to restructure itself - plan on how you are going to fit into the new economy.

Also needs a pure O2 source (1)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427430)

Although the article claims it does not mix the hydrocarbon fuel with air, it must do so to produce the hydrogen. Oxygen is a key ingredient to converting a hydrocarbon fuel into hydrogen and carbon diOXIDE. Where's the oxygen coming from in this system?

a sound understanding of thermodynamics (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427434)

is apparently not a precursor for babbling on about energy schemes

all hydrogen fuel schemes are idiotic

it takes more energy to convert any fuel source to hydrogen. unless the hydrogen is found naturally, or is the byproduct of some other industrial chemical process, there is zero sense in converting any energy source to hydrogen, simply because you waste so much energy doing that. translated: hydrogen isn't green

solution: more nuclear plants, electric cars. get with the f***ing program

Carbonated Ocean Water (1)

probityrules (971026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427492)

Under the ocean? Why not store it *in* the ocean! Imagine all the possibilities: oceans filled with Club Soda. Yum!

Oh Nos! Wait till Al Gore hears about this! (1)

GlobalColding (1239712) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427568)

With all that liquid carbon dioxide we will slip into GLOBAL COLDING!!! Jump ahead of the curve and start lobbying for zero HYDROGEN footprint initiatives!

"Wells-to-Wheels" vs Tesla has shipped p1 (1)

pg--az (650777) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427580)

"Wells-to-wheels" is a nice Google query. (( "Wells-to-wheels" Tesla )) surprisingly does not bring Martin Eberhard's blog entry of several months ago to the top, I thought that he really explained it nicely. Anyway www.teslamotors.com reports that they have received the first production-line car now, although since it was delivered to Elon this does not count for so much as the first one delivered to an end-user, THAT will be a milestone !

Still a waste of time and money! (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427710)

Hydrogen, Bio-Fuel, etc. are all a waste of time, money, energy, and a blind alley. We have the solution to our energy crisis. It's called Solar Power. Solar panels continue to get more efficient and fall in price. This is a process that would accelerate if we bought more of them. This coupled with cars modeled on the Tesla design would be the fastest and easiest way to upend are oil based economy, and then eventually driving would drop much nearer to the price of free as well.

Of course automakers, oil companies, and other large corporations stand to lose, but that's no barrier to adoption. Oh wait, they own the media companies, too?!? Damn.....

Give me fuel, give me fire, give me that which I.. (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427880)

...desire.

There's an even better way to separate the hydrogen and carbon. Burn it. :-)

Eample: C7H16 + 22 O2 = 7 CO2 + 8 H20

Yeah, your C and H gets all mucked up with that nasty O, but there ya go.

Cars not sustainable (1)

trainman (6872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22427970)

It doesn't matter what you put in the fuel tank, a world of car dependence is not sustainable. Where will you put the roads needed for these cars? The parking spaces for these cars? You can't build your way out of congestion.

We have to smarten up and move away from the car. That doesn't mean there won't be a place for cars in the future, but for the majority of trips, people will have to use some kind of mass transit.

Trying to build your way out of congestion is like trying to lose weight by loosening your belt.

Cousin Eddie in Xmas Vacation: "Shitter was full!" (2, Funny)

BUL2294 (1081735) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428094)

Seriously, with this plan, we will have cars that shit!!! I can see the "Cousin Eddie"s of the world standing in the cold with hoses, dumping the carbon sludge down the local storm sewer--while smoking cigars. "Car wouldn't go--shitter was full!"

Where do we get the hydrogen from? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428238)

The answer: Fossil fuels.

Now,you could actually get these from electrolysis of water but that requires electricity. It would be more efficient to simply redirect the electricity to base load and cut down on the fossil fuels used for power generation. Then refine the fossil fuels to diesel or something.

The best place to get hydrogen at the moment, is from oil and gas.

Hydrogen... bah! Automotive X Prize! (3, Interesting)

EricBoyd (532608) | more than 6 years ago | (#22428478)

I've had enough of all the hydrogen hype, slashdot should run more stories on the Autmotive X Prize. For which hydrogen is not an acceptable fuel. Check out the X Prize Cars [xprizecars.com] - and we're still 2 years from the race yet!
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