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Nanoparticles Could Make Hydrogen Cheaper Than Gasoline

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the at-this-rate-gold-will-be-cheaper-soon dept.

Power 442

Roland Piquepaille writes "According to EE Times, a California-based company called QuantumSphere has developed nanoparticles that could make hydrogen cheaper than gasoline. The company says its reactive catalytic nanoparticle coatings can boost the efficiency of electrolysis (the technique that generates hydrogen from water) to 85% today, exceeding the Department of Energy's goal for 2010 by 10%. The company says its process could be improved to reach an efficiency of 96% in a few years. The most interesting part of the story is that the existing gas stations would not need to be modified to distribute hydrogen. With these nanoparticle coatings, car owners could make their own hydrogen, either in their garage or even when driving."

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Need those (2, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578206)

What do you think the odds are on getting some of this stuff for my hydrogen car [amazon.com] kit?

Re:Need those (1, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578318)

Speaking of odds, what are the odds that if this turns out to be viable the inventors will have unfortunate accidents and the patents bought up from their estates by either Exxon or Shell?

Re:Need those (5, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578420)

Exactly as likely as you having an unfortunate accident, because you're a crazy conspiracy nutcase.

Re:Need those (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578472)

low. those companies could buy it out without the added cost of a contract on a whole company.

Why can't Exxon/Shell sell hydrogen? (5, Insightful)

hackingbear (988354) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578684)

No to speak for any of those companies, but if this or other technologies are as good as they claimed to be and if Exxon/Shell/big-oil buy the technology, why would they shelf it in the basement of their lawyer's office? These are just for-profit companies. As such, they don't really care what they sell. If shits can power cars better/cheaper than gasoline, they will sell the shits because they have a competitive advantages compared to others in their business. Why would they pay the Saudi emirates if they can just monopolize the production of energy at home?

Re:Why can't Exxon/Shell sell hydrogen? (0, Flamebait)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578720)

If shits can power cars better/cheaper than gasoline

Finally, a chance for Cheney to contribute something USEFUL to national energy policy.....

What's that I smell? (5, Insightful)

Harik (4023) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578222)

*cough*bullshit*cough*

What's with all the science articles lately that are basically investor scams?

Re:What's that I smell? (5, Insightful)

bikerider7 (1085357) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578270)

What's with all the science articles lately that are basically investor scams?
This is a press release, not a science article. The EE Times last year fired most of its reporters, and now just regurgitates company press releases.

Re:What's that I smell? (3, Funny)

Botia (855350) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578586)

We're all going to need distilleries in our homes. Either that or distilled water will be sold out in stores and the price will skyrocket. This is just a scam to sell bottled water to us at exorbitant prices.

Re:What's that I smell? (4, Informative)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578666)

Distilleries aren't that expensive, though, and you don't -actually- need pure distilled water.

You'll just have to clean out the electrolysis chamber periodically if you don't, because all the stuff that isn't water will end up caked all over the insides. Those of you with particularly hard water will have issues.

Re:What's that I smell? (5, Informative)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578280)

What's with all the science articles lately that are basically investor scams?

This isn't necessarily a scam. The potential energy of the hydrogen gas on recombination with oxygen is claimed to be at best 96% of what it took to extract it from water in the first place. So they pass the first test: they obey the laws of thermodynamics. Which is a big plus, for a /. front-page science article.

Re:What's that I smell? (0, Flamebait)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578346)

Classic slashdot, the GP post is guessing, not even having RTFA (I actually did for once) that it's bullshit, your post actually imparts information, both are scored a 1 but yours is invisible. Mods, please mod parent up (and mod me down, this is offtopic)

Re:What's that I smell? (5, Insightful)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578508)

Which is a good thing, considering that I like to obey the laws of thermodynamics in my house.

But at any rate, the one thing that I keep wondering about is how this in-car conversion of water to hydrogen will work--as yet, it keeps looking like this is just going to be another electric car implementation or something. Where's the power to crack the water coming from? Onboard batteries? Some other power source?

Re:What's that I smell? (1)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578630)

Csll me an idiot, but isn't the whole idea that the car carries the hydrogen and converts it to water for energy ? The cracking happens on the supply side.

Re:What's that I smell? (1)

Rosy At Random (820255) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578678)

Also, feel free to call me an idiot for apparently not being able to type....

Re:What's that I smell? (1)

ypps (1106881) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578696)

No, you don't get it. The summary says that drivers can make hydrogen from water while driving. That hydrogen can then presumably be used to drive the car and make more hydrogen. What's up with that "law" you guys were talking about earlier? :)

Re:What's that I smell? (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578704)

That's the way it's supposed to work, but in the press release they say that they want to use water to convert to hydrogen for on-board fuel cell, and have said electrolysis being also installed on the car so that fuel stations wouldn't need to reformat, but would be able to dispense water.

The problem is that it just doesn't work that way. Yes, radically increased electrolysis efficiency -is- a good thing, but it's just not going to work in a car.

Re:What's that I smell? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578694)

Easy from the Car Battery That gets continusly charged by the alternator, while the car is moving... (yes I kid). They can probably use something simular to todays hybrid cars to prolong the amount of energy produced in the car. By getting back some of the energy loss in acceleration from deceleration. Perhaps some Solar Panels may help too, but to less of an extend. I think the bulk of the power will come off your homes powergrid plugged into your car. What Fuel Cells cars are really are just a differnt more effecient type of battery that can safely and reliably be recharged.

Re:What's that I smell? (1)

Cedric Tsui (890887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578750)

No no.

They're saying that rather than taking your car to a fueling station, you would have the electrolizer either in your car, or in your house.

So you'd drive your car home and swap fuel cells, or plug it into the household outlet for recharging.

Re:What's that I smell? (2, Interesting)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578764)

Ah, see, that makes a -lot- more sense. The way the damn thing's worded makes it look like some kind of magic fairydust driven water->hydrogen->water cycle, which is, of course, ridiculous.

Re:What's that I smell? (4, Funny)

pilgrim23 (716938) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578758)

This process only needs water to make the fuel right? Sounds like this is Just the complimentary package we need to accompany MY new invention:
    Dehydrated Water!
  It comes in this special little pill you see. you just stick it in any tank and add water...

Re:What's that I smell? (2, Insightful)

rs79 (71822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578608)

Go rent a copy of "Who killed the electric car" then figure out what role the oil companies have in a hydrogen based economy.

Then understand why the Bush administration dumped millions into hydrogren resarch and never mind any running car is ten years off from whenever you ask.

We *might* be able to make hydrogen at home? Great. I *am* getting a lot of sunlight right now, and don't drive that much.

Where's my electric option to cut me loose from the oil infrastructure? You know, the one that's actually technically possible and even feasable right now?

Re:What's that I smell? (0, Offtopic)

fib11235 (536873) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578774)

I was about to post the same BS comment as you. The story starts out bad, and goes from there to tin-fil cap land.

Vaporware? (4, Funny)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578230)

Sounds like vaporware to me!

Re:Vaporware? (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578436)

the body is mostly retained of water too, I say we use people who make bad puns as the source of energy :)

But it's a hardware problem (5, Funny)

jabber (13196) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578262)

I already make my own combustible gas while I drive. I just need a motor that will work with it.

Re:But it's a hardware problem (1)

repapetilto (1219852) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578718)

Unfortunately you'd fail the emissions test.

more importantly (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578310)

The first commenter, on the linked article's page, has a bridge for sale!

I'm confused (4, Interesting)

PatentMagus (1083289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578316)

So I can make hydrogen while driving. At an efficiency of perhaps 96%. So, 100 units of energy in resulting in 96 units of energy in the form of hydrogen. Those 96 units then pwoer the car.

Why wouldn't I cut the middle step out and simply use 100% of the energy to make the wheels go round and round?

Re:I'm confused (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578382)

simple: heat is always wasted somewhere (especially friction), as is any water that is simply evaporated before it can be utilized

Re:I'm confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578486)

and how do you plan to store that energy?

Re:I'm confused (1)

Cedric Tsui (890887) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578692)

You misread the article.

The nano-particles promise to create an electrolyzer which is 96% efficient at making hydrogen and oxygen from water. Next, you could put the oxygen and hydrogen into a car's fuel cell and turn it back into electricity at some efficiency.

You can indeed cut out the middle man and have a car that uses 100% of the electrical energy available. This would mean skipping the whole hydrogen step, and having your car directly connected to the grid, just like the electric trains are today.

Problem with storage (4, Informative)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578326)

As someone pointed out in the comments on the last hydrogen story, the problem isn't so much making the stuff as it is storing it. Hydrogen cars are a pain because it's incredibly difficult to store hydrogen in such a way that it doesn't leak out. They mention in TFA that this process is so efficient that cars could do the electrolysis on the go with a tank of distilled water, but unless it's efficient enough to be self sustaining that won't work.

Re:Problem with storage (0)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578454)

RTFA:

"Our nanoparticle-coated electrodes make electrolysers efficient enough to provide hydrogen on demand from a tank of distilled water in your car."

So instead of a tank of pressurized hydrogen gas you have a tank of distilled water in your car and it's broken down into hydrogen on demand. No need to store/transport/etc. hydrogen at all if this is really the case.

Re:Problem with storage (4, Insightful)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578540)

RTFA:

"Our nanoparticle-coated electrodes make electrolysers efficient enough to provide hydrogen on demand from a tank of distilled water in your car."

So instead of a tank of pressurized hydrogen gas you have a tank of distilled water in your car and it's broken down into hydrogen on demand. No need to store/transport/etc. hydrogen at all if this is really the case.
Yes, I read it, but it seems you didn't comprehend it. You need energy to perform electrolysis, which in turn releases hydrogen. If the car is powered by hydrogen, and you propose extracting it on the go via electrolysis, where is the power for the electrolysis coming from? Unless you get more energy out of the hydrogen powered engine per unit of hydrogen, then it takes to extract that hydrogen via electrolysis, then it won't work, you have an energy deficit in the system. That was my point, but you totally missed it.

Re:Problem with storage (1)

sunking2 (521698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578778)

My guess is that instead of current hybrids recapturing energy to charge batteries they would be recaptured to produce hydrogen. At some point you still run out of hydrogen before you run out of water, but at least you refill a little less often. The big advantage of doing it this way is that you simply plug your car in and make sure it has water in it and overnight it fills its own hydrogen tank from power from the grid. For most people you'd always have a full tank each morning.

still think it's all bs, but I like the idea.

Re:Problem with storage (4, Insightful)

tilandal (1004811) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578576)

Thats stupid. Why would you use energy to make hydrogen to make electricity in a fuel cell to run an electric motor when you could of just used that same energy to run the motor in the first place?

Re:Problem with storage (1)

KublaiKhan (522918) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578620)

OK, so, what energy are you using to run the process? The water's not going to spontaneously fall apart into hydrogen and oxygen, after all, even if you have a super duper catalyst--what's the -real- fuel for this process?

Re:Problem with storage (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578654)

And.. what is the energy source for this "on-demand" electrolysis? If it's any definition of electrolysis that I'm aware of, whatever the energy source is, it's converted to electricity to perform the electrolysis. But if you have it in the form of electricity, why not just skip that step and drive electric motors directly? You wouldn't have to worry about an extra Carnot efficiency loss that way, since you wouldn't be adding an additional combustion step.

Re:Problem with storage (1)

smoot123 (1027084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578468)

I don't get it. I can burn gas to run a generator to produce electricity to crack water so the hydrogen can run a fuel cell to make electricity to turn the wheels. Or I can skip the whole hydrogen step and just drive the wheels directly (either from the engine or using electric motors). It seems doubtful to me that producing hydrogen from water in a car is has a point.

Now, producing hydrogen from either gasoline or ethanol and using that to drive the wheels, that's a different story. You'd have to run the numbers to see if that's more or less efficient than internal combustion.

Re:Problem with storage (1)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578626)

Now, producing hydrogen from either gasoline or ethanol and using that to drive the wheels, that's a different story. You'd have to run the numbers to see if that's more or less efficient than internal combustion.
Less. Definitely less. The only way I see this working is if you magically get more energy out of the hydrogen then it takes to crack it, but because the hydrogen -> energy process is essentially the reverse of the water -> hydrogen process that will never happen due to the laws of thermodynamics. Where this might be useful is in producing hydrogen at home or at stations using power off the grid (with something like geothermal, nuclear, or wind feeding it), and then powering the cars with it, but that leads to the very mess problem of how to store and transport the hydrogen.

question (0, Troll)

a whoabot (706122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578328)

"...car owners could make their own hydrogen, either in their garage or even when driving."

What does "even when driving" mean? On the car while driving? What would be the advantage of that?

Advantage (1)

tenchiken (22661) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578538)

It's not exactly clear, but it sounds like the nano-particles make the electrolysis process more effective. The idea is that you would fill the car with distilled water, and get hydrogen from a self sustaining hydrogen burn.

Re:Advantage (2, Funny)

snarkh (118018) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578708)


> The idea is that you would fill the car with distilled water, and get hydrogen from a self sustaining > hydrogen burn.

How about a self-sustaining crack pipe?

Re:question (4, Funny)

Random BedHead Ed (602081) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578682)

Dude, do you need everything spelled out? Just start your car, drive around, and after a while you'll generate enough hydrogen to start your car.

Re:question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578730)

regenerative breaking.

Use the power coming off the wheel engines/generators to turn water back into hydrogen. Run said hydrogen through the fuel cell to produce electricity and water. Lather, Rinse, Repeat. It would turn into a power multiplier for hydrogen cars, not a fuel source in and of itself.

Another way to charge for water...yay! (2, Interesting)

Zebraheaded (1229302) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578336)

"Our nanoparticle-coated electrodes make electrolysers efficient enough to provide hydrogen on demand from a tank of distilled water in your car."


I can't decide whether using bottled water as a fuel source would end up making it more expensive, or less. On one hand, someone would try to make even more money off it...but on the other, it's already the most ludicrously priced product out there.

disclaimer: yes, I know bottle water isn't distilled...or even filtered, often.

Re:Another way to charge for water...yay! (2, Interesting)

techpawn (969834) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578584)

I can't decide whether using bottled water as a fuel source would end up making it more expensive, or less
BP Gas: 3.17 per Gal
Deer Park Water: 1.19 per 16 oz
That would be about .08 an oz... so 9.52 a gallon?

Come on! (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578350)

Why post articles like this? It's just an advertisement for a non-existent technology. There are tons of crap like this out there, why single this one out?

Let us know when someone actually develops something real and working, then it might be news.

Re:Come on! (2, Interesting)

orclevegam (940336) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578434)

Why post articles like this? It's just an advertisement for a non-existent technology. There are tons of crap like this out there, why single this one out?

Let us know when someone actually develops something real and working, then it might be news.
TFA says it is working, and at 85% efficiency. They speculate that by 2010 they could get up to 96% efficiency. Also TFA says they partnered with one of the major battery manufacturers and will be releasing a product later this year that uses their technology.

Hear that sound? (1)

SilverBlade2k (1005695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578354)

That's the sound of Chevron or Exxon putting money on the table to buy this technology.

Re:Hear that sound? (1)

skeletor935 (790212) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578430)

except every article or mentioning or story of "Amazing and Efficient Hydryogen Power is Just Around the Corner" has never, ever become a reality

Re:Hear that sound? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578470)

They don't need to bother - this is total and complete BS here to take investor money. I love the idea of a hydrogen economy, and hydrogen as a fuel - but this 'technology' won't be anymore useful than an 'ionized' bracelet is going to help reduce pain and make you feel better... :)

Hydrogen in the home (2, Funny)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578358)

Excellent--now everyone will have tanks of hydrogen gas in their homes.

Is there some way I can invest in firehouses?

Re:Hydrogen in the home (1)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578492)

Actually they'll have tanks of distilled water in their homes if you bothered to RTFA:

"Our nanoparticle-coated electrodes make electrolysers efficient enough to provide hydrogen on demand from a tank of distilled water in your car."

Re:Hydrogen in the home (1)

wile_e_wonka (934864) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578580)

People can produce the H2 "either in their garage or even when driving" is what the article says.

Not only in the car. If you bothered to comprehend TFA.

Re:Hydrogen in the home (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578496)

Just stick it in your garage, next to the 20 gallons of gasoline under your car.

rj

Re:Hydrogen in the home (1)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578622)

You already have a very combustable gas in your home, natural gas. If you don't then even worse, you have a tank of propane in your yard.

I saw a thing on one of the educational channels a bunch of years ago where some guy shot first a tank of hydrogen with a thirty ought six, then a tank of gasoline with supposedly the same energy density.

The hydrogen looked a lot safer to me. Once when I was in 7th grade I manufactured some hydrogen, took it to school, and almost got expelled [slashdot.org] . These days I'd probably have gone to jail, or gitmo.

The hydrogen was far less dangerous than another of my childish experiments, which involved melting concrete blocks with a mixture of saltpeter and sugar.

H2O (1)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578364)

2 hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atom... shouldn't the maximum efficiency be 66%? :)

Re:H2O (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578442)

stick to computers. you FAIL at chemistry

if it isnt vaporware... (1)

Coraon (1080675) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578376)

then the gas companies will hush this up fast. There is no way they want people making fuel.

Where does the energy come from? (3, Informative)

gvc (167165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578378)

You can't just extract hydrogen from water. You need energy. When you're driving along, what source? An internal combustion motor? Solar panels?

Hydrogen is a method for transmission and storage of energy. It is not a source of energy. At least not until they figure out controlled fusion.

Re:Where does the energy come from? (1)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578560)

Or have a source of raw hydrogen, as opposed to extracting it from chemicals that happen to contain hydrogen. Some types of nuclear reactors already give off H2 as a byproduct. Though in that case, the right way to use it is to pump it directly to fuel cells on site and dump the resulting energy onto the grid. Don't bother setting up infrastructure to transport the stuff and for use in cars.

Re:Where does the energy come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578574)

This is true and most likely they will use the electric grid to power electrolysis to generate hydrogen. The big thing is that usually electrolysis is energy prohibitive (pure water actually has a very high resistance, its only conductive when you have ions in it), this nanocoating could drive the cost of production down to the point that you could feasibly do this in your home.

Re:Where does the energy come from? (1)

IdeaMan (216340) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578782)

You get the energy to split the hydrogen from radio waves like Nikola Tesla suggested. However you gotta get that energy from somewhere, and that's an easy fix: just truck in coal from somewhere in Africa where they don't care about strip-mining. But the ships will be out of range of the radio, so run those on satellite microwave power. But the satellites need to be pushed up, cuz they keep falling see, so use a laser to hold them up. BUT, don't forget the laser needs power, so run it on that new clear power. The nuclear plant needs to keep its lights running so the operators can read the controls, so like burn fat from liposuction operations. Hah! two birds with one stone, we can get rid of all that ugly fat: Mandate only liposuction fat for new clear operations and it raises the price of it so high that EVERYONE will get liposuction. BUT, people will get so fat on the new McWendy Bell Tacoburgers that the cars will get less MPG, so oh heck I dunno add in like pedals or something... no that wouldn't work because that would mean people would get skinnier and the new clear operators would haveta run things in the dark.

Hm I dunno... Naw I don't think it'll work at all.

How long.. (1)

BadHaggis (1179673) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578380)

before an oil company buys the rights to the patent and buries this technology?

My guess is that a big oil company is already getting a team of lawyers together to stop this research due to some existing patent, or if there is no existing patent, the lawyers will figure out a way to sue the technology out of existence.

Big Oil will never let something like this see the light of day.

Re:How long.. (2, Insightful)

Bartab (233395) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578474)

You're just simply... nuts.

"Big oil" are energy companies. They really don't give a rats ass if they sell you oil or nuclear fusion. "You" arn't even their real customer, but rather the power plants are.

perpetuum mobile? (1)

agge (1244568) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578388)

so you make hydrogen and oxygen from water den make water from hydrogen and oxygen and all start over?

Article Summary (5, Interesting)

kryptKnight (698857) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578390)

Here's a two sentence summary for the people who don't read articles:

Instead of using a really good conductor to make the electrodes used for electrolysis, these people propose increasing the electrode's surface area 8,000 times by coating an ordinary steel electrode with butt loads of nanoparticles that are optimized for surface area and conductivity.

That sounds feasible to me.

Suddenly, My Arguments Against Hydrogen Disappeare (1, Informative)

hardburn (141468) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578392)

The problems I had with hydrogen is that electrolysis isn't efficient enough, you need expensive platinum or palladium catalysts in the fuel cells, and you either need some exotic storage/transport mechanism made of unobtainium, or you have individual users make their own hydrogen (which makes it even less efficient).

Looks like this solves most of those problems. As long as this nanoparticle catalyst is cheaper than platinum (not terribly difficult [kitco.com] ), the hydrogen economy might actually have a future.

Re:Suddenly, My Arguments Against Hydrogen Disappe (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578566)

I already have the technology for making my own methane. Plus there are McDonald's everywhere.

Re:Suddenly, My Arguments Against Hydrogen Disappe (1)

Bombula (670389) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578752)

Looks like this solves most of those problems.

Huh? Even if you can produce hydrogen efficiently, you're still left with two other large problems: 1) where do you get the energy to produce it? And 2) how do you utilize it?

For the first question, presumably the energy comes out of your wall socket. That's great, since that can include green sources such as wind and solar. No problem there unless ... you're not at home.

For the second problem, well, now you're bubbling out all this hydrogen gas from water. How, exactly, are you going to convert that into a usable form? It doesn't do any good as a gas, unless you're in the 1920s airship business. So you're going to have a compressor or cryogenic liquifier system in your home that then transfers liquid hydrogen to your car? Well, maybe. And then there's the whole matter of getting cars to run on hydrogen. I'm not saying these are insurmountable problems. I'm just saying you've still got 90% of your problems ahead of you.

Nanoparticles Could Make Hydrogen Cheaper Than Gas (5, Funny)

sm62704 (957197) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578404)

Related post: Nano particles could make hydrogen cheaper than [some other very expensive commodity whose price has been driven up artificially]

I want a wind powered car! A flying wind powered car. A flying wind powered car that drives itself.

And a pony.

Ponies and gasoline... (0, Offtopic)

argent (18001) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578594)

And a pony.

With fricken laser beams on its head. Is that too much to fricken ask?

Related post: Nano particles could make hydrogen cheaper than [some other very expensive commodity whose price has been driven up artificially]

It has been argued that gasoline in the US has been kept artificially low... in the UK it's close to twice the price in the US, and prices in the rest of Europe are similar.

Re:Nanoparticles Could Make Hydrogen Cheaper Than (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578728)

Once it's flying it's no longer a car. Once you strap wings on it's an airplane. Go buy a glider and ride those thermals. Just need a tow to get up there and then it runs on wind.

Where does the energy come from? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578406)

With these nanoparticle coatings, car owners could make their own hydrogen, either in their garage or even when driving.
So where is the energy coming from to generate hydrogen while driving?

Re:Where does the energy come from? (1)

CTilluma (1046002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578500)

There is plenty of wasted energy while driving that could be converted from heat back to something more usable.. Some electric cars are beginning to maximize the return of energy rather than just wasting is.

next obstacle (1)

losethisurl (980326) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578416)

so I'm sure the oil industry is very supportive.

Even while driving? (2, Funny)

ProppaT (557551) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578426)

Sounds like this one will kill two birds with one stone. Where do I sign up to get a pee tube installed in my car?

Re:Even while driving? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578606)

Ya know, it's as obvious to the rest of us that this will work just as well as you just drinking it.

Dead "Nano" buzzword is dead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578452)

"Nano" is dead from overuse. Finding a new catalyst is nice, but using the word "Nano" rarely adds any extra descriptive meaning. Time to relegate "Nano" to buzzword bingo boards.

For example, take this sentence: "I have been nano-splitting nano-particles of H2O into nano molecules of O2 and Helium ever since I've been a cub." and remove nano. There's no difference in meaning.

Re:Dead "Nano" buzzword is dead (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578698)

You're right. They should call their technology "eHydrogen".

Nano ISN"T dead! (1)

clonan (64380) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578700)

Wow!!!! Making Helium from water.

Lets hear it for Nano!

Neighborhoods.. (1)

CTilluma (1046002) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578460)

I can completely picture one guy in his garage puffing his smoke around a system that leaks and causes a chain reaction between homes taking the whole neighborhood out like the hindenburg.

Re:Neighborhoods.. (1)

zorkmid (115464) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578686)

I wish idiots would stop yammering about the Hindenburg every time they see the word "hydrogen". Do you spout off "Oh noes!! Remember teh Titanic!!" every time you read about coal or ice? You're way more likely to blow yourself up smoking around gasoline vapors than you would around hydrogen.

Not the end of big oil (5, Insightful)

rossz (67331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578462)

Everybody giggling about this would mean the end of "Big Oil" forgets that gasoline is only one of many petroleum based products. Plastics are still going to be a huge market, for example. The oil companies still won't like it, as their profits will no doubt go down. On the plus side, the profits for terrorist funders (Saudi Arabia) would go down, too.

Re:Not the end of big oil (1)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578780)

Everybody giggling about this would mean the end of "Big Oil" forgets that gasoline is only one of many petroleum based products. Plastics are still going to be a huge market, for example. The oil companies still won't like it, as their profits will no doubt go down. On the plus side, the profits for terrorist funders (Saudi Arabia) would go down, too.
Plastics are recyclable, and aren't produced from the same hydrocarbons as gasoline IIRC.

Likewise, we've already come up with a few ways to make bio-plastics (some of them even being economically on-par with petroleum-based plastics). I imagine that more alternative materials will surface as time goes on. Conserving and reusing plastics will take some getting used to, but also won't be a huge issue.

Perhaps we might even be able to do away with the "disposable" consumer culture we live in.

cheaper? (1)

sl0ppy (454532) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578482)

not after the patent licensing kicks in.

Wow. . .who wrote this? (0, Redundant)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578498)

The most interesting part of the story is that the existing gas stations would not need to be modified to distribute hydrogen. With these nanoparticle coatings, car owners could make their own hydrogen, either in their garage or even when driving.

Ok, so gas stations don't need to be modified because they will be deprecated? Thats the worst (or best. . . largest in magnitude) spin I've seen in a while. Might as well just omit anything about gas stations or just say "technology would be independent of current gasoline infrastructure".

Also, I don't see anything that mentions storage. To my knowledge, storage of hydrogen is a tricky business. What good is making fuel at home if it'll only last you 10 miles? I'm sure there are plenty of advances in the storage of hydrogen, but lets try to keep the summary relevant to the article. What is described (yes I read TFA) is a way to make metal with loads of surface area, that has applications in electrolyzing water. Also, TFA mentions the other applications of this new technology such as better chemical batteries. Non rechargables that perform 5x better than standard alkaline batteries and NiMH that perform better than current lithium batteries. One could argue that the battery technology application is more important due to the immediate applications, yet it was absent in the summary.

Re:Wow. . .who wrote this? (1)

ookabooka (731013) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578582)

HAHA. I ofcourse wanted to make sure some wise-ass AC couldn't just reply "TFS said xxx wrote it, dumbass" and decided to reply to my own post as a karma whoring and face saving measure. Ofcourse I was elated to see it was written by Roland Piquepaille. If that name doesn't ring a bell you might want to research slashdot memes, or at the very least, consult tinfoil hat wearing slashdotters who are concerned with the story approval process.

Re:Wow. . .who wrote this? (1)

coredog64 (1001648) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578668)

It's tricky in that you're always going to have some leakage. It's not tricky in that it can't be allowed to escape because it's
radioactive.

Honda seems pretty optimistic [honda.com] that it's not an unsolvable problem.

"Right in your car..." using WHAT as energy? (5, Insightful)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578504)

The article says "Our nanoparticle-coated electrodes make electrolysers efficient enough to provide hydrogen on demand from a tank of distilled water in your car."

That's a completely baffling statement to me. So baffling as to trigger my BS detector.

Presumably the point of producing it in the car is to avoid the need to store the gaseous hydrogen. But electrolysing hydrogen requires energy--the hydrogen is not a source of energy so much as it is a storage medium for energy. So where would that energy come from?

From a gasoline-powered generator in your car? Or what?

Sounds like a smooth-talking snake-oil salesman who's answer to everything is "yes, we've solved that problem too."

 

Makes no sense, until you check the link (5, Informative)

Geoffrey.landis (926948) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578706)

The article as written makes no sense. You need energy to electrolyze the water to produce hydrogen, so you can't just carry a tank of water in your car instead of a tank of hydrogen; you still need to carry around energy in some form.

The commentary on the original article, though, links to the the press release [qsinano.com] which clarifies it. The application they're talking about is a plug-in rechargable car. When you're at home, you plug it in, the car electrolyzes water to produce hydrogen, and then, when you unplug it, you run the car on the hydrogen.

The application, then, doesn't address the problem of how to store hydrogen, only the problem of how to produce it.

In Soviet Russia.... (1)

prestomation (583502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578516)

hydrogen is cheaper then gasoline.. oh wait..

One problem with its efficiency rating (1)

Jivecat (836356) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578520)

Trouble is, it's still stuck using distilled water. I'm waiting for a hydrogen converter that can handle rainwater, or household greywater, or the aforementioned on-board pee tube.

Next they'll be patenting ... (1)

hAckz0r (989977) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578530)

Next they'll be patenting 'surface area' as intellectual property and we will have to revise all the high school math books to deprecate that section. Who would have ever thought that antiparticles could ever increase surface area? </sarcasm>


I have news for them. Increasing the surface area on an electrode does noting to increase the efficiency of the process, only that it makes the equipment able to be made a little smaller. What we need is to make more hydrogen with even less electricity. I don't care if the equipment is so large I can't put my car in the garage anymore, it just has to make enough hydrogen to get me to work and back everyday.

Pump and Dump (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22578542)

From TFA:
QuantumSphere was founded in 2002 with just $100,000 of private funding and still has not taken in any venture capital, although it did have a public funding round last year.

There already public, so I bet this is part of a pink sheet pump and dump scam. I think they are sending out press releases to build up the price so they can sell. I read TFA and I saw nothing to overcome the perpetual motion aspects of this.

NREL's predictions (1)

WindBourne (631190) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578614)

ABout 4 years ago, I was talking to a guy from NREL. He told me that the best ppl in NREL were predicting that fuel cell technology would be commericial feasible in about 15-20 years. Even today, fuel cells are still expensive and prone to issues with dirt. We still have a lousy storage mechanism efficiency. Even with this conversion, it has at best a 15% (does not include ANY other loses). Considering that Tesla and a number of other companies are introducing the electric cars with far less loses over the next few years, I would guess that fuel cells have lost their chance. I will say that we should not give up on them. They may prove useful in other areas, and it is probably better to have differing mechanisms for energy storage.

Homebrew Hindenberg (1)

cryptomancer (158526) | more than 6 years ago | (#22578658)

Hydrogen in our own garage? Fantastic idea! Just needs the right spark of an idea to set off a firestorm of homemade invention.

It might not be Jetsons, but I could see making a 30's styled "flying car" this way. Might lose bouyancy as you run out of fuel though.
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