20 October 2005

Hydrogen Debunked

Ulf Bossel, who is one of the leaders of the anti-hydrogen, pro-electricity and limited biomass lobby (of which I am a de facto member) has published a revised and more comprehensive version of his original 2003 study:



I made a PDF version of E16 for those of you without the latest version of Powerpoint.


Engineer-Poet said...

If I didn't slip a decimal point, Bossel's numbers are way off:

50 t/day of H2 = 5e4 kg/day H2 = 2.5e7 mol/day.
ΔHf(water) = 70600 cal/mol
Power = 7.38e12 J/day = 8.55e7 W = 85.5 megawatts.  That's a long way from 8 GW.

Robert McLeod said...

50 tons of hydrogen per plane times fifty Jumbo jet planes.

2,500,000 kg of hydrogen is 2.5E6kg * 142 MJ/kg * 1.3 J(e)/J(H2)
460 Terrajoules per day. 86400 seconds in a day yields a continious power input of 5.3 GW.

Add liquefaction and you can get his 8 GW pretty fast. Thermodynamic ideal for liquefaction of hydrogen is 12 MJ/kg -- best I have ever seen is about four times that.

Anonymous said...

While he's talking about how hydrogen isn't as great as electricity he hasn't dealt with the fact that you can't store electricity. Super-capacitors aren't yet at the point where they can store meaningful amounts and batteries also have too low of a storage capacity to be useful. The point of hydrogen is that it can be stored so it does not have to be used immediately unlike electricity. If electric storage media get to the point where they can deal with our energy demands then it does seem pretty obvious that we would skip the hydrogen route but they are nowhere near that point yet (that I know of anyways).

Anonymous said...

Could someone please help me out here?

Why aren't we harvesting the energy in more remote and hostile areas of our globe?

If there was a market for hydrogen, couldn't we be using hydro-electric in remote areas of Alaska, Canada, Siberia to crack water into hydrogen?

Couldn't we be harvesting the energy from the typhoon like winds in the arctic/antarctic (and Greenland) using wind turbines that crack water into hydrogen.

If you can generate electricity in these remote areas for 2 cents/kwh then the hydrogen can be generated for 3 or 4 cents/kwh equivilent while being pollution free?

What am I missing here?

Jim said...

Just a couple of gueses but here goes:
1. 2Cents per kWh in the boonies is unlikely. Building, installing and maintaining sophisticated hardware in these remote locations is not cheap.
2. Transporting and storing h2 is not trivial. It likes to leak, it is incredibly easy to ignite and it takes multiple times the energy to pump as does natural gas.

Anonymous said...

The only advantage to hydrogen production that I can see is that it can be used to upgrade biomass to high grade biofuels.

I am curious as to what the energy calculations are on hydrogen-to-methanol vs hydrogen to liquid-hydrogen. I understand that methanol is toxic but it is storable at standard pressures and temps and easily converts to a variety of usefull chemical products.

Is there anyone who would be willing to do the math or provide a link?