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DOE Soliciting Project on Hydrogen Emissions

The US Department of Energy has issued a solicitation for a project to study the potential environmental effects from increased emissions of hydrogen and criteria pollutant emissions avoided or gained through the expansion of hydrogen use in the transportation and stationary power markets.

The purpose of the study will be to systematically identify and examine possible near- and long-term ecological and environmental effects of the production of hydrogen (based on the DOE hydrogen production strategy) from various energy sources as well as the use of that hydrogen as a transportation fuel and for stationary power.

The researchers awarded the project will need to develop precise systems-based engineering models of the likely hydrogen and criteria pollutant emissions and quantify the potential impacts of the different market penetration scenarios.

All types of entities are eligible to apply, except other Federal agencies, Federally Funded Research and Development Center contractors, and nonprofit organizations that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995.

The solicitation closes April 18, 2007. Total estimated funding available is $600,000 pending Congressional Appropriations, with an expectation of one selected project of two years duration.




I still think watse streams thru plasma with Algaeculture on the back end for minimal Carbon out is a great idea. Lots of Electricity, and biofuel with Hydrogen as a possible output as well.

Kit P

This study should put a dagger in the heart of hydrogen as a transportation fuel. Someday we will study the environmental impact of doing something before before investing billions in tax dollars. Oh wait a minute, we all ready did and found out a hydrogen fuel cell car was a worse performer even compared to a 70's engine with no emissions control.

Rafael Seidl

Kit P -

unfortunately, nothing ever puts a dagger in the heart of the nuclear lobby. That's because scientists who know how to build nuclear bombs must be kept gainfully employed in a domestic industry if you're no longer building new bombs - lest they look for alternate employers. Besides, now that the nuclear lobby has finally managed to get everyone focussed on global warming they will claim their technology is the clean, safe and cheap solution. Past experience shows it is none of the above (most recent example: leaking rubber seals at Fosmark in Sweden, Vattenfall has shut down the facility indefinitely as a precaution).

When it comes to military spending in the US, there are effectively no limits and no effective budget oversight. Therefore, if hydrogen fuel cells turn out to be a commercial flop, the armed forces will still buy it. Your grandchildrens' tax dollars at work.

Kit P

Hey those are my lobbiests that you are talking about, I give them money they, they send me a newsletter. They communicate my position to my elected leaders better than I can on my own. I really did not think they were that good. Al Gore and Dr. Hansen are shills for the nuclear industry?

I also like when smart scientist work on finding good environment choices instead of building weapons. A very large part of DOE's buget is for environment research and cleanup including destroying nuclear weapons material.

I support research for producing hydrogen without fossil fuel. I also support research for developing fuel cells. However, the physical properties of hydrogen make it a very poor choice for transportation fuel. If you look at the physical properties of biodiesel and the recent improvements using digital control of compression ignition engines, it is a much more promising source of alternate transportation fuel at a much lower cost.

Roger Pham

Kit P,
If you would produce H2 right at the point of dispensing to end-users, you will be able to overcome the inefficiency of H2 transportation and distribution. Do not use the liquid fuel model to base the Hydrogen economy on. Liquid fuel is more difficult to make synthetically and can pollute local soil and water, so must be centrally made and transported long-distance. H2 is so easy to make and harder to transport. Highly-efficient vehicles like the Honda FCX and the next-gen Prius can travel over 300 miles on 4kg of H2, a practical storage limit at 5000psi pressure. Large trucks and buses have plenty of room to store Compressed H2. Carbon-fiber re-enforced H2 tank would not explode like metal tank would. H2 leakage would quickly rise above and would not engulf the occupants like a gasoline fire would in a tank leakage.

Biodiesel will not be present in any significant number (5-10% the most) to power our entire transportation sector on.

HydrogenTruth...please google this, as I can't overcome Comment Spam Guard. Look at page "Villains and Dirty Lies." Guess who pays for most of the negative assessments against Hydrogen? Big Oil, especially Ex_on-M_bil! They are those with the most to lose if a near-term hydrogen economy is to happen.


Too bad they didn't think to exclude private corporations that are (or have been) engaged in lobbying as well as non-profits.


Exxon supports the Hydrogen scam for the same reason GM supports it, for the same reason Bush Co. supports it:
As long as people believe this fairy tale there will be no pressure to do anything real about oil consumption.

Roger Pham

Exxon may have supported Hydrogen when Hydrogen showed no promise, but, once the scientists were able to pull the rabbit out of the hat with respect to Hydrogen technologies, Exxon started to sponsor organizations to start bad-mouthing Hydrogen. The near-term adaptation of the Hydrogen economy would be Big Oil's biggest nightmare.
The Hydrogen economy will simultaneously free us from petroleum dependency as well as giving us a chance to reduce global warming, and be on good term with the EU, who are proposing to raise tariff on American exports for not participating in Kyoto treaty. 3 fer 1 is a mighty good deal, and you may wanna throw in "clean air" and "no more oil spills" for even more freebies.

DS, please kindly look into HydrogenTruth's website, (sorry, you'll have to google that one, thanks to Comment Spam guard) . Please do me a favor and do some more fact-searching on Hydrogen, instead of bad-mouthing Hydrogen without adequate conceptual understanding about the latest in Hydrogen Technology.

Kit P

Roger, a worker has been killed already this year dispensing hydrogen and five workers at the plant were taken to the hospital. Hydrogen is a significant safety hazard. Process safety regulations that derived from the Bophal accident prescribe a process to handle such hazards. Yes, hydrogen can be handled safely but ....

Producing hydrogen is very inefficient, at the end use and other wise. There is no point in discussing how efficient a Honda FXC might be since the whole concept is a loser until researchers develop high temperature chemical processes to produce H2. Since we already use lots of H2 for industrial purposes, this research money is well spent.

I did look at the HydrogenTruth web site. Wow, the sun has hydrogen and water has two atoms of hydrogen. That stuff about Exxon, I should have know I was brain washed. It is hard to find a web site that is as misleading as HydrogenTruth. Zero information is provided about the technology to produce hydrogen and how it would reduce the environmental impact of transportation.


Roger Pham:  75 mi/kg means 1.96 MJ (H)/mile, or 0.55 kWh/mile.  At 75% hydrogen production efficiency, you'd have to put in 0.73 kWh/mile.  Compare to a pure EV at 0.20 kWh/mile.

It takes 3-4 times as much electricity to propel a vehicle with hydrogen compared to using batteries.

With what we know about hydrogen, only a fool would continue to promote it.  If that's what you are, so be it.


Yeesh its simple people.

we have 3 ways to power a car in the future.

ev h2 and biofuels.

None of these alone can handle even half the market.

So do I have to tattoo a damn clue on your foreheads as to why all 3 are being run with?


Ive seen more common sense fropm a 2 year old.

You are looking at change for a buck and argueing why we dnt need the times because the uarter or the nickles are better yet amazingly enough even a kid can see you need all the damn coinds to make the bloody buck.

Now here is the real question. Even with ev n2 and biofuels is it enough?

How the hell are we gona fuel transport ships? Is biofuel good for a jet? You sure as hell cant run a power santion on ev;/ Wo is a biofueled power station alot more polluting then the current natural gas ones? Will we be able to make enough biomethane to power them? Will we need hythane or even pure h2 to power them all? Can wind and \wolar and wave and whatever replace that many power plants?

Roger Pham

Kit P,
So one person died from H2 dispensing. And "we already use lots of H2 for industrial purposes," as you've just stated.
Do you know that not too long ago, over 20 people died from an explosion at BP oil refinery somewhere in Texas, and many more were injured. Even Jim Baker, former US Sec of State, spoke up to condemn BP safety practice. Do you know how many gasoline car fire occurs each year? ~somewhere around 5,000 cars. Do we hear anyone trying to scare us that gasoline is unsafe?

Where do you get the data that "producing H2 is very inefficient"? Do you know that producing electricity from fossil fuel is only 35-40% efficient for coal-fired plants, or ~55% from combine-cycle NG plants? Coal (or biomass) gasification to H2 is much more efficient than coal to electricity, and if you can recycle the heat produced in coal gasification for high-temp steam electrolysis using wind electricity at twice the electrical efficiency of normal-temp electrolysis that you referred to as inefficient, and the resultant waste heat further used for Sterling or steam turbine for electrical generation, then you'll get unprecedented energy conversion efficiency.

Kit P and Eng-Poet,
I'm afraid that most of us have already been brainwashed by the likes of Ulf Bossel and other eminent organizations, using old knowledge of H2 technology, (or $$$ from Big Oil et al.) into believing that the H2 economy is impractical.

Just modify the likes of the Prius or Honda civic hybrid to run on H2, add a ~$1800 Quantum H2 tank of ~4kg plus filling hardware, and bingo, an H2-capable high-efficiency vehicle with adequate range.

Build a H2 gasifier/dispensing station every 100 square miles of urban area, and bingo, the "trillion-dollar H2 infrastructure problem" solved! (what trillion dollar? NOT, when the same gasifier can produce syngas for F/T synthesis of liquid fuel from coal or biomass, waiting patiently for the fleet of H2-vehicle to build up in number) The cost of building the coal/biomass gasifier will pay for itself that way, such that by the time H2-vehicle will arrive in numbers, the "H2-infrastructure" has already paid for itself.
AT WHAT PRICE WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO PAY FOR PETROLEUM INDEPENDENCE? Coal or biomass gasification is the most proven solution to get us off petroleum dependency in the immediate future.

If you wanna go the PHEV route using a 16kwh battery pack like the Volt, then be ready to shell out ~$10,000-$16,000 for the additional cost of the battery pack. The mass-produced Prius 1.3kwh battery costs $2,000 USD, or $1,500/kwh, and how long will it last? The $1800 Quantum H2 tank will last several life-times of the car. 10 Altairnano 35kwh packs cost $750,000, or ~$2,000/kwh.


Roger Pham

U r 1/2 right! Yes, we will likely see BEV and biofuel in the future for those who are scared of H2, not knowing that H2 is the safer route...while H2 can handle virtually all our energy needs, such as serving as backup fuel for running power stations (solar and wind will be the main source of electricity), powering our jets and space ships and space plane of the future, and running our ships as well. H2 from home pipeline supplied from a local H2 gasifier can heat your house as well, though I would like to see home H2 powering a genset for combined heat and power generation. Place the H2 genset outdoor or in the attic with a H2 sensor warning and autos-shutoff, and the risk of H2 explosion will be eliminated. Like NG, strong odor can also be added to H2 in home pipeline so you can detect a H2 leak.
For ultra-long-distance driving, fill up the H2 tank with NG, and you can travel 3 times as far, great for rural areas. Rural areas can still use NG derived from H2 when the fossil supply of NG will run out.


Roger, if I may ask a few uneducated questions:

What about water vapour emissions as a GHG?
Do you see the hydrogen-ICE as solely a transitionary technology to fuel-cells?
In what scenarios would a BEV still be a better choice?




- usually you produce hydrogen using water a hydrogen source. therefore you have net emissions. urban centres might find a new kind of pollution.
- hydrogen ice have a distinctly lower efficiency than fuel cell engines, though faces lower technical problems.
- bev save energy, in particular when using renewable electricity (wind, water). the hydrogen car loses half of it through the double-conversion from el to h2 and back.

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