April 5, 2008

Hydrogen is not a fuel

A great essay on why Hydrogen is an absolutely wrong choice for the environment:
Why the Pure Hydrogen Economy Is Dying
Man has been moving to carbon enriched with hydrogen for a couple of centuries now. One could say we�re decarbonizing, because since the dawn of the fire until the discovery of coal we burned primarily wood. Wood has a carbon to hydrogen (C:H) ratio of 10 to 1 or wood has 10 carbon atoms for each hydrogen atom. Coal boosted the C:H ratio way up to 2 to 1. Even that isn�t really enough and coal has failed to gain market share because oil is more superior � running at 1 to 2 for a C:H. When we look at natural gas or methane the ratio gain is 1 to 4 C:H. We been moving to a hydrogen enriched economy for a long time.

Pure hydrogen is the optimal choice for many as the ratio is 0:1. However, when you get there you get a volatile low-density fuel source. Hydrogen just bedevils all attempts to handle it over time and to store it. It is truly destined to be freed for use and used quickly in close proximity to the source.
This is only a fraction of the essay -- it is long and deep and thoughtful. Well worth the time to read. Plus, it references the wonderful Jevons Paradox. Anything that makes a conservationist clap their hands to their ears and start going I Can't Hear You over and over is a good thing in my book... Posted by DaveH at April 5, 2008 9:05 PM
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