New fuel?

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Judd's picture
Judd
Status: Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 12 2008
Posts: 20
New fuel?

Anyone familiar with the new fuel that British scientists invented, hydrogen based I believe. 

http://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/8032065-artificial-and-cheap-p...

 

Brainless's picture
Brainless
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 9 2008
Posts: 150
Hydrogen?

So the questions is, what fuel will be used to get the hydrogen?

Coal, nuclear?

 

Judd's picture
Judd
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Joined: Dec 12 2008
Posts: 20
Hydrogen

I know no more than the little bleep I saw, I don't understand the process and was hoping someone could give some info, what's involved in it's making, I wonder whether the big oil companies would buy it out. I've seen several little articles that say the same thing, and not much at that. 

Ready's picture
Ready
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 30 2008
Posts: 917
I needed to read no further

I needed to read no further than this:

Quote:

‘In some senses, hydrogen is the perfect fuel. It has three times more energy than petrol per unit of weight, and when it burns, it produces nothing but water.

Gasoline has 114K BTU / gallon

Hydrogen has 319 (notice no K) BTU per cubic foot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent

 

I call BS.

nickbert's picture
nickbert
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Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1208
Ready wrote: I needed to
Ready wrote:

I needed to read no further than this:

Quote:

‘In some senses, hydrogen is the perfect fuel. It has three times more energy than petrol per unit of weight, and when it burns, it produces nothing but water.

Gasoline has 114K BTU / gallon

Hydrogen has 319 (notice no K) BTU per cubic foot.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline_gallon_equivalent

 

I call BS.

Looks like you are using a volumetric energy measurement of hydrogen, where they are specifying 3 times more energy per unit of weight.  Gasoline is approx. 6.175 lbs per gallon (give or take) and 114K BTU per gallon, so 114000 BTU/gal divided by 6.175 lb/gal gets us 18.46K BTU/lb.  Hydrogen is 51.5K BTU/lb, which comes out to about 2.79 times the energy per unit of weight.  Not quite 3 times the energy but close.

Brainless hit the nail on the head though, how are they going to get the energy to produce it?  If the article is on the level, it sounds like what they are attempting to solve is the storability/transportability issue associated with using hydrogen while addressing compatibility concerns with existing vehicles.  Certainly they are accomplishments worth noting (if they're not blowing smoke), but without an energy source independent of fossil fuels it doesn't help much.  I think most hydrogen is still produced from fossil fuels, so that would need to be changed to really make a difference.  And I have no idea what polymer carrier material they're using as a casing for the 'micro-beads', and depending on how and what they use to make it there may be scale or supply issues there too.  I'll keep an open mind, but I'm not convinced yet.

Here's their actual website: http://www.cellaenergy.com/index.php?page=technology

- Nickbert

Ready's picture
Ready
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Dec 30 2008
Posts: 917
I see your point Nick.What

I see your point Nick.

What I was trying to say was that volume is important when you are using it for transportation. Volumetric energy density of Hydrogen is waaaaay too low if we expect our cars to deliver similar results to current. In order to get a 400 mile range, you would need to tow around a huge trailer full of all that light hydrogen, wouldn't you?

1 US gallon gasoline = 0.133680556 cubic feet = 114,000 BTU

  for Hydrogen...            0.133680556 cubic feet = 42.64 BTU

 Edit - Sorry about the yelling up there. The gasoline number was a cut and paste and the formatting came with it.

nickbert's picture
nickbert
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Jan 14 2009
Posts: 1208
I had the same doubts about

I had the same doubts about the energy density too, so I did some digging.  What they are trying to make is ammonia borane encapsulated by some polymer, and the description for ammonia borane describes the compound as being more hydrogen dense than liquid hydrogen.  Of course I don't know how much the polymerization reduces the overall hydrogen density, but it could be there is some potential here.  If they can pull it off... from their site their claiming to be working on incorporating a polymer that can be reused and thus be cost-effective.

But still nothing about a cheap and plentiful energy source for creating that hydride yet.  Unless the cold fusion developments from that Italian company is really on the level, but both of these coming about together sound too good to be true.

- Nickbert

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