Re: Hydrogen economy leads to environmental disaster

Posted by Dale on Feb 15, 2002 at 09:28 (

Re: Hydrogen economy leads to environmental disaster (I. S.)

Since I have neither the time nor inclination to pore over the calculations in the article…

Does that mean then that you’ll just believe anything someone says as long as it agrees with your preconceived ideas because you don’t have time to investigate?

Bobba did the calculation one way. I believe he was close enough for the discussion. Here is another way. We currently burn carbon with no O2 depletion problem (not withstanding the claim in the article that there is a 2-3% depletion – there isn’t). We get 14,500 BTU per pound of carbon using 2 2/3 pounds of oxygen. This means we get 5,437.5 BTU per pound of oxygen. Hydrogen gives 62,000 BTU per pound using 16 pounds of oxygen. In other words we get 3,875 BTU per pound of oxygen. The difference of 40% more oxygen usage is not significant.

The real problem with a hydrogen economy is that carbon is easy to find by digging in the ground. Hydrogen can’t easily be found that way (we’ll ignore the Texas wells). Almost all the free hydrogen that exists in the world was created by a very energy expensive process. You have to put more energy into making the hydrogen than you can possibly get out. Since we will not allow tens of thousands of nuclear plants to be built and we don’t want to give up agriculture to cover our fields with solar collectors, we can never get enough energy to make a hydrogen economy physically possible.

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