BMW Hindenburg?

A thoughtful piece written by Jerry Flint, Senior Automotive editor at Forbes magazine, has been posted on the Edmunds' website. In it, Flint expresses his doubts that hydrogen powered cars are anything much more
than a fantasy. He has a point, in fact, several points ? all good.
Read more http://www.topspeed.com/cars/car-news/bmw-hindenburg-ar45113.html
----------------------------------- BMW NewsHub: News from car websites, portals and blogs http://www.carshops247.co.uk/news/BMW.html
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I agree with all the objections (see also the second comment). The fact sheet is inaccessible, to me at the momemnt anyway, even if inserting a 'g' in front of eneral and adding a www.
People like BMW are investing, I think (!), because they are hedging their bets politically and perhaps because the fuel cell might provide a slighly cheaper solution than making and distibuting liquid hydogen, which is hoorendously expensive energy-wise.
DAS
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Ideally what you want is a fuel cell that can run on more complex hydrocarbons like propane or even gasoline, or possibly a fuel cell with a pre-processing unit in front of it that will accept propane or gasoline.
Gasoline is really, really hard to beat for energy density, and while it's hard to safely manage store, we have a century of experience building that technology. The problem is that internal combustion engines are inefficient, and more so when they are run well below maximum power.
So, even if hydrogen distribution may not be practical, fuel cells may still have a future. --scott
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On 14 Oct 2007 20:50:06 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@panix.com (Scott Dorsey) wrote:

In Iceland they have been doing it for years. Hydrogen distribution, that is.
http://www.ectos.is/newenergy/en /
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Hardly!
"Icelandic New ENergy is mostly involved in demonstrational and research projects. The Hydrogen business has not reached its maturity so INE is still building up a knowledge base."
The cars only started a few weeks ago.
And then I am sure most of it is within 10 miles of Reykjavik, where the vast majority of people live.
Yeah, and in Iceland they heat many homes from a naturally-occurring hot water supply? And?
DAS
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Some interesting responses here.
In the US where is this hydrogen sourced from. A quote from this article
http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,448648,00.html
states
"But the image is one of deceit. Because the hydrogen dispensed at the new filling station is generated primarily from petroleum and natural gas, the new car puts about as much strain on the environment as a heavy truck with a diesel engine."
I am all for environmentally friendlier vehicles and want to buy a hybrid next, but I am unsure if hydrogen is one of the solutions.
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Dori A Schmetterling wrote:

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Either it is cracked from petroleum, or it is generated through electrolysis from water. The electrolytic solution is fast and convenient, and very efficient. BUT, it still requires the same amount of power to be put into it (in the form of electricity) that you get out.

That is probably fair, BUT it moves that strain on the environment to some big hydrogen plant somewhere instead of downtown.
If you instead generate hydrogen electrolytically, the strain on the environment is all in generating the electricity to run the electrolysis.

Hydrogen is not a power source, it's a power distribution system. It allows you to generate power efficiently at a big electrical plant, store that energy in the form of electrolytically-derived hydrogen gas, and then transport that energy to where it is needed and can be burned with minimal environmental impact at the end use point.
This is not a solution to all environmental problems, but it's still an improvement. However, it does not solve the original issue of where the energy will come from in the first place. --scott
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