Friday, November 22, 2013

Hydrogen Cars?

I just saw a report on CBS about hydrogen cars. They are touted as "green." Bill Whittaker presented them as "green." The auto manufacturer's spokesman said, "the only thing that comes out of the tailpipe is water vapor. Pretty cool."

That's fine but water vapor is a more efficient (i.e. better at trapping heat) greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide!

Of course, your average reporter, who has probably never been in a science classroom, wouldn't know that.

I say, the "more the merrier," let's try lots of things and see what works the best.

4 comments:

  1. That may be true Mike - but my understanding of the process is that what leaves the tailpipe is actually liquid - if I'm wrong the other question I have is... water vapor doesn't generally go up into the higher areas of the atmosphere and linger like CO2 - so on the whole still not quite as bad?

    My understanding of the hydrogen system is that essentially it's water - turned into hydrogen (using electricity) that is reformed into water (releasing energy) - the recent discoveries made using solar cells (covered in nickle) apparently make the converters as cheap as gas, thus making this a viable source of fuel - apparently due to the corrosive nature of water previous methods would die from corrosion so fast to make it too expensive.

    Regardless of the global warming impact - I personally am happy to see new fuel types being introduced that (look like) they have the ability to compete with gasoline for energy per unit and price, I'd also like to think that the idea of a spill (due to accident or whatnot) is better overall than when gas is spilled - I do see upsides to the tech outside of carbon :)

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  2. I'm taking the word of the representative who explicitly said, "water vapor."

    As I say, "the more the merrier." I'm not against this at all. I'm just amused they are trying to paint this as a step forward in eliminating CO2. Yes, it does do that, but it puts out a 'worse' greenhouse gas.

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  3. And...predictably...Tesla is blasting Hydrogen Cars.

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  4. Hydrogen (or methanol or whatever energy source is used by the fuel cell) must first be produced. That is, none of the sources exist free in nature, as do fossil fuels, which require only refining. And, of course, the distribution networks for hydrogen, et al, are so problematical as to be "pipe dreams" at the moment.

    I agree with commenters above, have at it! Just don't use taxpayer money to try to pick another "winner", a la Tesla.

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