Re: Hydrogen economy leads to environmental disaster

Posted by bobbapink on Feb 14, 2002 at 11:47
prx1.milcom-systems.com (198.199.145.253)

And I mean it when I say I'm listening. Since I have neither the time nor inclination to pore over the calculations in the article, I'd be happy to hear the results of your computations.

I did them for fun ! but I may have made a mistake. You be the judge. From the paper

We then show that a conceivable global use of hydrogen from the indicated regeneration origin in complete replacement of fossil fuels would imply the permanent removal from our atmosphere of 2.8875x10^7 metric tons of O2 /day, with consequential termination of all life forms in our planet in a few years

I wasn’t sure how many tons of O2 is in the atmosphere but I do know that O2 makes up 21% of the atmosphere and atmospheric pressure averages about 14.7 psi. I’m not sure it’s a correct relationship but it’s a fun exercise.

The area of the Earth in square miles is 197 million.

There are (12 x 5280)^2 square inches in one square mile.

This equals 12 x 12 x 5280 x 5280 or 4.01 billion square inches.

Multiply the two - 1.97E8 x 4.01E9 = 7.9E17 square inches on the entire surface of the Earth.

Multiply the area but the pressure 7.9E17 * 14.7 = 5.3E16 pounds of air (Here’s where I might be goofing here, not sure)

Convert pounds to metric tons 5.3E16 / 2200 = 2.44E13 tons of air

Find the oxygen component 2.44E13 * .21 = 5.12E12 tons of O2 (I’m not sure I can do that without accounting for the difference in the weight of Nitrogen but hey…)

Divide to find the days remaining 5.12E12 / 2.88E7 = 1.78E5 days of O2

Divide to find years remaining 1.77E5 / 365 = 480 years of 02 assuming no replenishment.

So, it’s clearly more than a few years.