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Old 12-06-07, 01:38 AM   #1
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New form of compound stimulates research on hydrogen storage

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-nfo120407.php

Research on hydrogen-fueled cars may be one step closer to application thanks to a new form of hydride discovered by scientists at the ESRF. The material, lithium borohydride, is a promising energy storage system: it contains 18 weight percents of hydrogen, which makes it attractive for use in hydrogen-fueled cars. Its drawback is that it only releases hydrogen at quite high temperatures (above 300C). The team has found a new form of the compound that could possibly release hydrogen in mild conditions. This discovery was completely unexpected from the point of view of theoretical predictions.

Automotive industry regards hydrogen as a perspective energy carrier. If a good hydrogen storage material will be developed, the petrol in cars can be replaced by clean hydrogen energy. Five kilograms of hydrogen would take you as far as twenty liters of petrol.

[...]

The rest of the article is pretty technical and over my head, but it seems that this discovery defies limitations on hydrogen as a fuel source that were previously accepted as conventional wisdom.
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Old 12-06-07, 01:53 AM   #2
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Old 12-06-07, 06:27 AM   #3
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Sure hydrogen fuel cells are "clean" at the point of generating energy in the car. But, how do you create the hydrogen cleanly? Aren't we talking coal-fired electricity generating power plants? Or, possibly natural gas that will cause the price to skyrocket?
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Old 12-06-07, 06:57 AM   #4
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Sure hydrogen fuel cells are "clean" at the point of generating energy in the car. But, how do you create the hydrogen cleanly? Aren't we talking coal-fired electricity generating power plants? Or, possibly natural gas that will cause the price to skyrocket?
Let's not confuse people with facts.

Yes, hydrogen would be great if we could find a way to generate it efficiently.
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Old 12-06-07, 10:28 AM   #5
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Umm, they took something commercial but not exactly cheap enough to be fuel, and then had to compress it at crazy high pressures in order to generate fuel. And what do they plan to do with the 82% that isn't hydrogen? Trendy press release, interesting science, but I fail to see the utility. Sure, their hydrogen percentage is way higher than the carrying capacity of many other materials, but the difference is that others are trying to make materials that actually can be refilled with hydrogen. This is a one time burn, more akin to a disposable battery than a fuel tank. Imagine how incredibly efficient our current transportation would be if every time we bought a gallon of gas, we had to lug 4 gallons of waste with it!
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Old 12-06-07, 10:38 AM   #6
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Hydrogen is a very bad idea for fuel in almost all cases. The only decent option would be to get hydrogen out of seawater with geothermal energy in Iceland and other areas with magma close to the surface.

Any other hydrogen production is bad and should be avoided.
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Old 12-06-07, 10:55 AM   #7
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I do applaud the research being done to find alternative fuels. Because the recent price of oil sourced fuel has gotten people to complain there has been more attention given to research. Imagine where we would be had the gov't placed a hefty tax on fuel years ago when gas was very cheap. Perhaps we would have environmentally friendly alternatives by now.
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Old 12-06-07, 12:52 PM   #8
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Long term, a hydrogen economy is more of the same, and making hydrogen is an energy intensive process, which is pretty inefficient. What is needed isn't a different type of "juice" that you fill your vehicle with, long term.

What is the real promising research are supercap based batteries, which just require DC to charge, and it uses a physical process, not a chemical one, so more energy is usable that is put in. Instead of filling up a tank, you plug the batteries in for 60-90 seconds, and they are fully charged, ready for another trip.
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Old 12-06-07, 01:05 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by CdCf View Post
Any other hydrogen production is bad and should be avoided.
Although there are vastly better and more efficient means to store energy than compressed hydrogen, I've always thought it would be neat to have the facilities to make hydrogen compressed to 10,000 psi or so at home using electrolysis powered by solar panels.

But what I want to see happen is the production of diesel/electric hybrid cars that harness the power of wasted exhaust pressure with hydrolic accumulators.
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Old 12-07-07, 12:29 PM   #10
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I like the idea of solar energy better than anything else, too. Wouldn't it be great if every house was solar powered? You could just go home, plug in your car, and recharge it overnight or something.

Here's some more stuff on hydrogen. A lot of it's over my head as well but some of you guys might be able to pick up more from it...

A new electrode for cutting the price of making hydrogen

[...] QuantumSphere says it has a way around this problem.

It has devised an iron-nickel power for coating an electrode that speeds up the electrolysis process, according to CEO Kevin Maloney. It's a classic nano play. Coating a surface with small, independent particles increases the reactive surface area, which means more simultaneous reactions between molecules. Quantum's Stingray electrodes have more than 2,000 times more catalytic surface area than standard electrodes coated with standard sized particles, he said.
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Old 12-07-07, 12:50 PM   #11
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for solar energy, we need microwave power satellites. 'cause then we'd all have free 'lectricity!

at least, that's what i've been told.
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