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[quote][i:3u6aqfhv]RE: Hydrogen fuel[/i] ...I have often wondered why we have not done this all ready. Any ideas.[/quote:3u6aqfhv] First, it takes quite a bit of energy to separate the hydrogen. Electrolysis (separating Hydrogen in water) is rather inefficient and costly. The alternative means of production requires natural gas or oil (methane steam forming), which is self-defeating for a fossil-fuel independent strategy. Coal is the third source of production, but emissions from coal production make it self-defeating for a 'green' fuel strategy. With current technology, it takes more energy to separate the Hydrogen from its compounds than the Hydrogen contains. Second, it is very explosive if exposed to Oxygen and very sensitive to electrostatic discharges. Making it idiot-proof is a problem...remember the Hindenburg? Storage, transportation, and distribution technology is not yet developed for general public safe use. Third, the exhaust product is H[size=59:3u6aqfhv]2[/size:3u6aqfhv]O (water) and cannot be used in most of the United States in winter. Probably some other reasons, but the benefits of hydrogen as a producer of electricity, that then could be used to charge electric vehicles is feasible. However, cost of production and fossil-fuel independence still has not been solved. As it stands, it is more efficient to just burn the oil, gas, or coal to produce energy. The real problem is the gross inefficiency of internal combustion engines...something like less than 20%. Most energy from fossil fuels is lost as heat. Technology to capture the lost heat of internal combustion engines is within easier reach than technology to convert to a hydrogen-based economy. Why isn't it being gone?....well, IMHO its like the little pigs again; as long as there is a teat to suckle they are happy, only by dragging them away from the teat and ignoring the squealing will you get them weaned before the teat dries up.
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