Bill Babcock wrote :
> A hydrogen transportation economy is actually technically sound. The
> gasoline you burn in cars is NOT oil, it's petroleum based, a relatively
> small component that is fractioned from the feedstock.
Well, OK, if you call 46% a small fraction. Plus another 33% for heating
oil, diesel and jet fuel.
In other words, petroleum is converted into fuel with nearly 80% efficiency,
and lots of useful byproducts (asphalt, etc.)
> The process of
> making gasoline requires a lot of energy, transportation and loss.
As compared to electricity, or hydrogen ? Power lines are quite lossy
compared to oil pipelines; and no one quite knows how to safely transport
large volumes of hydrogen yet.
> Hydrogen can be generated from any electrical source and electrical
> generation is rarely oil-fired.
True, only 2% in 2000. Plus 19% natural gas, a related product. Coal was
#1 (at 49% in 2000) mostly because it's currently far cheaper than gas or
> Western coal is not scarce
So why did the price of coal go up by over 30% between 1990 and 1999 ?
And what will happen to coal prices and supply if we start effectively
burning it instead of petroleum ?
> and generation plants can be mine-mouth.
Meaning it has to be transported and high tension lines are less efficient
than pipelines. There's also the little problem that no one has figured out
how to load it into a truck, or a tanker ...
> We also generate (and can generate more)
> electricity from hydro, nuclear, wind, geothermal, and even photovoltaic.
> Of all those choices I prefer Nuclear
Which is also the only one of those that can be significantly expanded. But
somehow, producing nuclear waste that has to be stored for millions of years
doesn't seem a whole lot preferable to producing CO2 that is naturally
processed back into food.
> It's a good direction to take, has been well analyzed, and really does
> require a national initiative by a leading power to undertake. The exhaust
> is water vapor, no greenhouse gases.
No, all burning hydrogen does is sweep the problem under a different rug.
To get the electricity that produces the hydrogen, we must either generate
nuclear waste or greenhouse gases. Stopping every breeze that blows,
trapping every wasted ray of sunlight (as if there was such a thing),
stopping every geyser and every river will not generate enough electricity
to meet even today's need.
BTW, electrolysis of sea water produces sodium hydroxide (aka lye) as a
byproduct. Warm, steamy CO2 seems like a better thing to breathe to me ...
And as far as the supposed problem we are trying to solve ... when do we get
to grow wheat in Greenland again ? The planet is already far cooler than it
was in the past ... there is evidence that man's use of fossil fuels is the
only reason we aren't entering another Ice Age ...
Ok, this doesn't belong on the FOT list, and I apologize. I'll put the soap
box away now, and say no more.