[extropy-chat] Hydrogen cars

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Sat Mar 11 00:57:25 UTC 2006


I have not read all of the URLs you posted.  But my research suggests that
the two major barriers are:

1) Hydrogen production is not "sustainable" if they are producing it from
"natural" gas.
2) There is no transportation infrastructure for hydrogen.

Because of (1) & (2) there is no way that hydrogen can compete with gasoline
as a fuel source unless you impose a large tax on gasoline (or subsidize the
hydrogen).  (This is ignoring what I would expect to be higher costs for
fuel cell based vehicles at least until such time as they are manufactured
in quantitites equal to vehicles using current internal combustion engines.)

If you have some enlightening facts related to (1 & 2) as to where we are
going to get sustainable low cost hydrogen (or how we are going to produce
the electric power to separate the H2 from H2O) then please share them.  I
have thought at some length about this and from my perspective the only good
solution which can be implemented relatively quickly without a lot of
government intervention is solar ponds using engineered microorganisms that
produce methane.

The government's hydrogen emphasis is entirely ill-conceived unless either
(a) someone comes up with a nanocatalyst that can produce hydrogen from
water  at significantly lower energy costs than electrolysis requires or (b)
the government intends to foot the bill to produce a national hydrogen
pipeline system and/or builds the nuclear power plants to supply the
required electricity.

Brazil has this right -- there is nothing wrong with carbon based fuel
sources so long as you are pulling the carbon out of the atmosphere and
using solar energy to reduce it and not pulling the already reduced
hydrocarbons out of the ground.

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