fuel cells

Submitted: Sunday, Apr 24, 2005 at 11:07
ThreadID: 22322 Views:1800 Replies:9 FollowUps:11
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in a few years,,fuel cells (www.cfcl.com.au) will be the go,
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Reply By: Exploder - Sunday, Apr 24, 2005 at 11:32

Sunday, Apr 24, 2005 at 11:32

From what I have heard they want to have hydrogen fuel cell car’s available by 2015.

Like any new fuel source be it hybrid gas/electric, hydrogen cell, solid fuel cell, the spent cell still leaves behind some potent sh*t that you have to dispose of or store for umpteen years.

That’s from my understanding and what I have heard correct me if I am wrong.

No synthetic chemical (man made energy) will be 100% clean there is always a wast product.

That’s the spirit you’ve always got to look at the negatives and not the positives

Oh yeah I am sure the government will find a way to tax us as for it well.

AnswerID: 107992

Reply By: Groove - Sunday, Apr 24, 2005 at 15:52

Sunday, Apr 24, 2005 at 15:52
Fuel cells arent really new they were used in the apollo space missions.

The main problem is that Hydrogen requires a great deal of electricity to produce and in most of Australia this means burning more coal, for now anyway.
AnswerID: 108009

Follow Up By: turbopete - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 12:04

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 12:04
you need to reacquaint yourself with the newer technology have a look at the website www.cfcl.com.au waht you are saying passed on with the dinousars apollo has come a long way since those fuel cells
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Reply By: Nudenut - Sunday, Apr 24, 2005 at 17:09

Sunday, Apr 24, 2005 at 17:09
we will have to go nuc sooner or later....solar and wind is just too expensivenad dependent on sun and wind...
coal, gas and oil is contributing to hothouse gases

Nuc is cleanest of all except for waste....we could always export it to tasy or NZ hehehe
no offence meant for you tassies out there
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Follow Up By: turbopete - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 12:06

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 12:06
there is no waste with the fuel cells in that site i put up
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Follow Up By: Nudenut - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:22

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:22
but fuel cells are just to expensive to contemplate setting up to power up a city.....
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Follow Up By: Nudenut - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:29

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:29
must be waste of some sort.....
from their web site.."and low on emissions, fuel cells" etc etc
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Follow Up By: Nudenut - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:39

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:39
turbopete...did you read or even take notice
isnt CO2 a global warming (greenhouse) pollutant

although co2 is can be environmental substance, manmade co2 is a pollutant....
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Follow Up By: Nudenut - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:47

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:47
check out the efficiency also.....

seems to me that they have a long way to go get anywhere near nuc
the only bad thing about nuc is the radioactive waste...all emmision to atmosphere are non polluting ...so far at least....we didnt know about refrigerants till 1--15 yrs ago either.....so this could change in time...
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Follow Up By: Exploder - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:50

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 17:50
Nuclear wast pah. Just sling it up into space at Jupiter or into a black hole.
What’s the worst that could happen?

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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (WA) - Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 02:40

Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 02:40
As A western Australian I say bring on the neclear power, More jobs alround for the mining industry and as for waste disposal the proposal to create a huge underground dump laverton way makes sense. To us West Aussies anyrhing that involves putting big holes in the ground has to be good
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Reply By: phil - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 14:15

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 14:15
The most promising fuel cells for near term transportation are the Ethanol fuel cell and Methanol fuel cell. Both ethanol and methanol can be produced from material which is grown and they are liquids which can be handled using the current fuel distribution system and could be introduced gradually. A hydrogen fuel cells , although more efficient in theory, requires a completely new type of distribution.
There is quite a bit of information about this subjuct just waiting for your search.

Phil I
AnswerID: 108089

Reply By: Member - Hugh (WA) - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 21:44

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 21:44
Hi Pete,

There certainly is a lot of work being done on fuel cells. The CFCL fuel cells are aimed at gensets, etc and not vehicle based application.

Vehicles require fuel cells that operate on hydrogen. One of the biggest issues facing wide spread introduction is the logistics of hydrogen supply. Iceland has been the first country to move to a hydrogen economy. An internet search on "hydrogen economy" will provide you with plenty of reading material.

As well as work on fuel cells, there is also a lot of work on reformer technology whereby Hydrogen is produced by reforming gasoline. Giving the existing infrastructure this is considered to be a more near term solution to introduction of fuel cell vehicles.

There has been a lot of discussion on the application of this technology in the near term, however most people we are doing business with consider this won't occur until ~ 2025.

A very intersisting topic none the less. Happy researching.

AnswerID: 108138

Reply By: Steerpike - Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 23:37

Monday, Apr 25, 2005 at 23:37
I work in the field, and have some modest background. Once you have pure hydrogen, then a fuel cell running on hydrogen will exhaust pure water only (the hydrogen combines with oxygen in the fuel cell, and good ol' H2O results). The astronauts actually drank the water exhausted from the fuel cells after they had generated the power for the spacecraft.
The problem is in how you get the hydrogen in the first place. There are two routes
- you can get it from refining hydrocarbons (crude oil or alcohols), and this produces carbon dioxide. A fuel cell running on methanol or ethanol does this and exhausts carbon dioxide as well as water.
- you can get it from the electolysis of water (splitting the hydrogen and oxygen using electricity). You need an energy source to do this- a power station is needed (in Australia, a coal fired device. Overseas, could be a nuclear one).

A better way to think of hydrogen is as the "energy reticulation system", a bit like electricity. The problem is in how to make the hydrogen (or electricity) in an environmentally friendly manner, rather than in the nature of hydrogen itself.
Hope this allows you to get a better handle on the idea.
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Follow Up By: Nudenut - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 07:51

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 07:51
Steerpike...do both forms of fuel cells one for power generation and vehicles ...require hydrogen?

cant you get hydrogen from acid and zinc, and i recall hydrogen can also be a byproduct inside an absorber refrigeration chiller using lithium bromide, lithium chromate and water....(the lithium chromate is supposed to protect the steel shell from corrosion) ...hydrogen is created when internal corrosion eg rust is taking place....the hydrogen stoppped the operation of the machine.....it could be removed by vacuum pump as it always went to top of system nad vac pump removed it along with any other non condensables such as air.....

whats wrong with these methods...i have no idea of what the pollutants are or what other environmental problems there could be with this way
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Follow Up By: Nudenut - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 07:52

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 07:52
pss i know Just enough to ask dumb questions...hahaha
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Follow Up By: Exploder - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 20:03

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 20:03
Yes I do have a basic understanding of how the hydrogen fuel cell works and thank you for the fist hand professional info on how the hydrogen is produced.

My intent was not to bag it out. But like you say it’s getting the hydrogen without producing greenhouse gasses that is the problem.

P.S. A family friend is one of the guys supporting this technology and trying to get it more readily used in the automotive industry I will have to discuss it with him next time he is in WA.
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Reply By: western mudrat - Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 15:43

Tuesday, Apr 26, 2005 at 15:43
Hmmm, sounds like once again as it happened ~150 years ago we're going to miss the boat on renewable and green energy.

DIESEL PEOPLE - the original design was based on - vegetable oil. As biodiesel has proved around the world, minimal alteration is required on current engines and if car companies weren't so hung up on petrol/electric/hybrid/fuel cells (controlling interest?) diesel technology could advance further.

Biodiesel has nealy ZERO net carbon production which is FAR less than using fossil fuel generated electricity to rechage electric cars or produce hydrogen. Other emissions are less as well with minimal toxicity. Also remember these results have been obtained with unmodified conventional diesl engines, with development there is no reason engines couldn't be made to produce fewer emissions. Remember the vast majority of engine efficincy and emission reduction research has been conducted on petrol engines as a result of oil company interests in the automotive industry - petrol engines being less efficient mean that consumers will buy more fuel for greater profit.
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Reply By: Steerpike - Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 23:15

Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 23:15
Nudenut, Yes, there are lots of ways to synthesize hydrogen. It's just an issue of the cost (money AND energy) needed to obtain the raw materials for the synthesis reaction. If you want a modest amount of hydrogen to use as a chemical reagent, then no problem. But if you need enough to run all the world's cars, then you need a serious, cheap energy source to make it.
Longer term, fusion nuclear power (joining two hydrogen atoms to make a helium atom) is the best that can be envisaged. That's what powers hydrogen bombs and the sun. No one appears to be getting there fast- the best guess is "maybe in 30 years time". Mind you, that was the guess about 30 years ago.
As an interim measure, the best technology we have at present is fission (uranium, etc) nuclear power. Large energy density, no greenhouse emissions, proven technology, no pollutants in the normal course of operation, BUT- does produce spent fuel rods which are a bugger to get rid of, and can produce BIG weapons, and accidents are a real bad thing.
An interim may be Thorium power fission nuclear power. You can't get weapons grade uranium from a thorium station, so you solve one of the problems. No one has built a commercial size one yet. Just mention "nuclear" and you get crash-tackled by the regulatory authorities and the neighbours.

I'll voice an opinion on biodiesel too, but need to go read the post again.
AnswerID: 108724

Reply By: Steerpike - Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 23:29

Thursday, Apr 28, 2005 at 23:29
Western Mudrat, I went to a talk about biodiesel a couple of years ago. The guy was a strong supporter, and showed pics of enormous fields of rapeseed in Europe, with a very modern looking biodiesel plant located in the middle. The diesel works fine in engines, and is a nice renewable source of transport fuel. There was one issue though. The process of farming the land, watering, fertilising and otherwise growing the crop, harvesting it, getting it to the plant (next door) and processing it was net energy-negative. This meant that they used more fuel than they actually ended up with in the end. Guess where the extra fuel came from to make all this happen ? Yep, from good ol' crude oil.
Just compare the effort needed to carefully nurture a plant to grow seeds which liberate a few drops of precious oil which you (and thousands of others) are going to need 140 litres of to fill the tank, versus what we can do now- poke a hole in the ground and suck out thousands of tonnes per day.
Don't get me wrong. One day, crude oil will be too expensive to run our cars on, and one of the "others" (ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen from whatever) will be cheaper, and will take over. However, cheap affordable motoring like what we now all enjoy will have long ago disappeared. We will never run out of crude oil. It will just be too expensive to use the way we use it now. The time will come when it is just used for plastics manufacture and other such things.
Perhaps I should admit my vested interest here- I actually work in the oil refining game. Nevertheless, I'd love to fine a clean, cheap, renewable fuel to run the Prado on. We don't have any vested interests. We are just as interested inhaving a future for our kids. It's just that crude oil is currently the cheapest way to do it.
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