[extropy-chat] Nuke 'em

Greg Burch gregburch at gregburch.net
Sun Oct 23 22:55:10 UTC 2005

I can second this.  Having done tort work (i.e. legalese for "things that go "boom!") in the hydrocarbon energy industry for 18 years, I've encountered hydrogen embrittlement accidents every few years -- most recently within the last couple of months.  As 'gene points out, it's just a matter of using the right materials.  There are spiderwebs of hydrogen pipeline in all the refineries down here on the Gulf.  Something Bad happens only when someone doesn't use the right kind of material to handle it.  But it does require a consciousness of the proper materials regime and a long-distance hydrogen pipeline system *would* be a Big Deal, as others have pointed out.

> -----Original Message-----
> From: extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org
> [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org]On Behalf Of Eugen Leitl
> Sent: Sunday, October 23, 2005 3:03 PM
> To: ExI chat list
> Subject: Re: [extropy-chat] Nuke 'em
> On Sun, Oct 23, 2005 at 09:44:11PM +0200, Alfio Puglisi wrote:
> > On Sun, 23 Oct 2005, Robert J. Bradbury wrote:
> > 
> > >
> > >There are *real* problems with an electricity to hydrogen scheme (which
> > >can obviously be done through the electrolysis of water).  The problem
> > >is that hydrogen embrittles metal [1,2].  The entire current natural
> This is an issue only for refitting existing pipelines 
> http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review05/pdp_48_sofronis.pdf
> http://www.hydrogen.energy.gov/pdfs/review05/pdp_52_adams.pdf
> it is not obvious it's an issue but for high-temperature/high-pressure
> regime, and in selected materials.
> Hydrogen pipelines have been operated by chemical industry for decades
> and large distances. It's a safe technology fundamentally.
> Domestic and vehicular use is new-installation, and largely composite
> materials with no risk of embrittlement. Production by electrolysis
> and consumption by fuel cell are all local.
> > >gas pipeline system could probably *not* carry hydrogen 
> without significant
> > >safety risks and would have to be rebuilt/duplicated with 
> pipes designed
> > >to carry hydrogen.  The last number I saw for that, and I think it was
> > >a significant underestimate, was $100 billion.
> > 
> > That's cheap. Less than half the cost of the Iraq war so far. 
> So if the US 
> > wanted it could convert to hydrogen tomorrow, at least from a cost 
> > perspective.
> Building things takes longer than blowing up things, but I agree 
> in principle.
> -- 
> Eugen* Leitl <a href="http://leitl.org">leitl</a>
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