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Hydrogen isn't a fuel. It's a battery.

Gasoline isn't a fuel. It is a combustible liquid.

Do you seriously not get it?

Where does the energy to split water come from in the first place? Do you think it's magic? It takes more energy to make hydrogen and truck it around than it does to just run things on electricity directly!

And how much energy is it going to take to wire every road so we can drive around in life size slot cars? Maybe that's a little extreme, but even running light rail is an expensive and time consuming project. Minneapolis just went through that. Just because hydrogen isn't easy to make right now, doesn't mean it won't be in the future. How easy do you think it was to get oil out of the ground 100 years ago?

I agree that we drive too much, and that needs to change. But we still need SOMETHING other than oil to power vehicles. Wind farms and solar energy are an excellent resource, but they can't power everything. We need different technologies for different things, there isn't one that will solve all of our problems.

The point of my post is that I'm glad to see something being done to look more than a year into the future. It may not be perfect, but it's something.

naruvonwilkins is right. "Hydrogen isn't a fuel. It's a battery." The reason hydrogen powered vehicles are good is that they allow you to power a small vehicle, like a car or truck, with nuclear, wind, solar, or coal. Small vehicles require a liquid or pressurized gas to run.

Thanks. Want to avoid peak oil? Re-electrify all the railroads and build goddamn windmills.

Hydrogen isn't a fuel. It's a battery...

That isn't the point of my post.

Technically Hydrogen is not a fuel or a battery. It is an element from the <a href="http://www.molres.org/images/PeriodicTable.gif>periodic table</a>. The article I linked refers to it as a "fuel" which may not be the most accurate term to describe it, but still implies that it is an alternative way of powering a vehicle, which is what I intended to discuss.

Re: Hydrogen isn't a fuel. It's a battery...

periodic table.

Re: Hydrogen isn't a fuel. It's a battery...

If you want to be a smart ass, then a battery isn't a battery, either. And hydrogen existed before the periodic table, so really it isn't "from" the periodic table at all.

Many of the members of this community are getting very frustrated at people who say that hydrogen is going to save us from peak oil, because it isn't, no matter how efficient you make hydrogen cars. You mention that the tri-fuel concept is "a complete waste of valuable engineering resources". Well, anything having to do with hydrogen is a complete waste of valuable engineering resources. We should be "engineering" a world without automobiles instead of madly scrambling to come up with a way to keep them as long as possible.

Re: Hydrogen isn't a fuel. It's a battery...

If you want this community to only reflect your opinion, then change what it says on the info page about encouraging discussion from all viewpoints:

"This community is for people who are approaching the subject of peak oil from all perspectives...those who seek support, those who feel the best course is to be resigned to what the future holds, those who are interested in mitigating disaster, those who are interested in exploring solutions--all are welcome"

If you're frustrated with posts you don't like, skip over them! I read all kinds of stuff that I think is crap. It helps me see why other people may disagree with me and sometimes it helps me reevaluate my own opinions, even if it's on something totally unrelated. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, that's what makes us human.

Ford Introduces Tri-Flex Fuel Truck Concept

Ford Introduces Tri-Flex Fuel Truck Concept

I think I'll drive to work in a concept.

"Why were you in so late today?"

"My concepts weren't coming fast enough."

Why waste money developing something that we know will only last for a short while?

Why not, it was fun, right?

12 MPG gasoline.

8.6 MPG Ethanol (lower energy density than gasoline)

and the mysterious

13.6 miles/kg

How big is a kilogram of hydrogen?

Not sure, but it depends on how much pressure it is under. The articles says the tanks are 5000 psi.

Some number of moles!

To put it another way, how big is the tank and what is the range?

oh it says it on the web page:

150 miles on a tank of hydrogen. That'll be really popular.

Exactly. Although, the thing is, regular battery plug-in solutions would be fine if we solved the urban planning problems that we're going to have to solve anyway, no matter what we use.

Damn, you DO like to toss the live grenades around. As you are now aware, this group is NOT fond of hydrogen for purely practical reasons. Making hydrogen wastes electricity better put to other uses. And hydrogen is dangerous to work with. It turns cars into bombs because the molecules of H2 gas can seep right through solid metal. They also dissolve things and weaken them. Acids are made out of hydrogen and another ion dissolved into water. So H2 gas is a really bad idea for the sake of safety. Efficiency is another problem, one that grates like a broken arm. As stated above, it takes more energy to make H2 gas than it is worth. Yes, it is portable and useful for short term, but it is also dangerous and hard to store safely. I've witnessed plenty of nonsense, like packing it into polymer with no explanation how it gets back out again, or what the reaction does to the energy value of the polymer-hydrogen compound. Lots of dumb crap pretending to be useful, hoping for investment like yet another Dot.com with nothing but fast talk. That's what hydrogen really is.

However, multifuel vehicles are a wonderful thing and I think most of us are in favor of them because they are obvious and necessary. They won't replace all cars. I think we've come to the conclusion (some of us) that the First World is going to need to learn to get by on 15-30% the energy they've been using in the past, best case scenario. That means no more easy motoring. No more commuting. That means live and work locally. People are going to have to decide between their comfy homes and their careers and do what's best. Those will be hard decisions, especially with a future so uncertain.

I think most of us think that investing in Yet Another Vehicle Buildout is a bad idea. Too deeply in debt, this country needs to be thinking about jury rigged and retrofitted solutions anyone can do, not wait for Detroit to put its toe in the water 10 years too late. People who commute via car alone should be thinking carpool, now that gasoline is headed higher again (thank you, Iran). Those near public transit don't use it because they don't yet have to. When the price gets high enough to hurt them, they'll reconsider. Everything hinges on the cost of transportation and the tradeoffs involved. For the true individualist, scooters and motorcycles allow freedom of travel with good mpg. For those willing to endure the rank sweat and foul perfumes of their fellow man, the bus awaits. Trains, where available, offer some options. And there's always bicycles.

Will hobbyists make multifuel vehicles? Sure. Detroit may too, but not enough or soon enough to make any difference. Toyota already committed itself to making all its vehicles hydrids. Nobody is talking about hydrid diesel electric, which could be run on homemade biodiesel. Biodiesel ain't gonna happen the way the movie mavens think. There just ain't enough fry fat for that, but a farmer with rape seed or other non-edible oil source could use that for the fuel to run his truck crops into town for market day or to the local wholesale buyer at the railhead, pay his expenses and profit (otherwise why bother?). That holds water. These biodiesel electric solutions will work for limited applications. Not for general commuting. As has been said in prior posts, it is cheaper to setup electric trolleys in towns and cities than to replace all the cars with hydrids. They had them before gasoline and we'll have them again after. Not a perfect solution but nothing is. Its going to take time for people to change their minds about what life should be and right now commuting is part of the Should. It will change with time. Lots of time and hardship.

Yes, I have been known to stir people up. It would appear that this post and the majority of it's replies have little value other than entertainment to most of it's readers. Bargaining stage of the grief process, yes. I'm not ready to throw away everything just yet, it's not in my nature to walk away from something without exploring all my options first. That doesn't mean I'm not prepared for it though. I spend a few hours of my day reading about peak oil and other problems related to it.
The ultimate irony of all of this is that I really don't know what makes me care about wanting to help preserve so many of the things that I hate. The most stress free time in my life was when I lost my driver's license from a DWI. I enjoyed commuting with my bicycle and not spending a dime of my money on gasoline. Camping trips where I had nothing more than a few basic survival items in a backpack for a week beat any day of going to work. I would live like that fine.

In the dawn of the absolute worst peak oil doomsday scenario, I would probably just walk into the woods with a backpack and be fine. Many others won't have that luxury, probably even many who are researching peak oil as much as I do.

There's alot to think about with peak oil, and I can honestly say that I haven't made up my mind about it yet. Thank you for your insight on everything.

Just one more question...
Where do you stand on hydrogen, being a grittite and all?

Well, as a Grittite, we like to blow things up. So hydrogen, being something that explodes, and something others are forcing onto the Road against common sense, kinda calls for free cigarrettes handed out to Hydrogen car drivers, doesn't it? Self limiting problem, and cheap entertainment all rolled into one. I suppose the polyester pants would do the trick too, though you might not see them explode like they would with the cigarrette. Could be miles before the static builds up enough for a kaboom.

I think most of us have gotten past the Survivalist mentality for a really practical reason. There is safety in numbers and if your whole region is wealthy from veggie gardens and wind power, you're not the only target to attack. Much higher chance of survival. If you're a source of knowledge, you're also worth defending by the community, which ALSO increases your own survival. And camping in the woods is a great way to get deer ticks, pneumonia, plague of some kind, bugged by animals, harassed by other campers, and otherwise put into mortal peril. Houses are so much more comfy, once modified with better insulation and alt power. Or you can go on the road. I don't think this transition will be fast enough that the refugee thing is going to be common, which means you'll be looked at as a vagrant and thrown in jail on general principles. Read up on the 1930's. Might give you some idea on what to expect.

I'm glad that I don't smoke!

In the dawn of the absolute worst peak oil doomsday scenario, I would probably just walk into the woods with a backpack and be fine.

Until, that is, you twist your ankle.

Until you need "X" (where "X" can be just about anything manufactured -- unless you're as adept at flintknapping, and all of its allied technologies, as the average paleolithic hunter/gatherer, which I seriously doubt).

And remember, in a "doomsday scenario" the woods will be crawling with people just like you, many of whom will be quite happy to kill you for the contents of your backpack. Furthermore, the woods will be rapidly cut down for firewood, and to make more land available for low-efficiency non-petrochemical agriculture.

I want everyone to note, too, that just because something has always been feasible or doable (that is, something has always been the case) doesn't mean that it MUST be the case - that is MUST be feasible or doable, as a rule.

To posit such is to commit an error in reasoning (an inductivist fallacy). I hear it a lot, especially from so called "cornucopians", or more generally, optimists in this context. That is, someone like Greenspan will tout technological advancements as what will save industrialism from oil shortages because they have proven themselves before; that this alone ensures that that will and must be the case - that we will always have technology to meet our needs, as a rule.

". . . owned by people who don't need a vehicle that big but are too arrogant, ignorant or just plain stupid to change their ways or risk being seen in an "uncool" smaller vehicle."

I briefly fanned down the flame fest your post has sparked, but only briefly, so I do apologize if I repeat given information.

People don't drive vehicles that are "too" big. They drive vehicles they want and can afford to drive. Also, they also don't use "too much" energy to accomplish any given task, be it moving a mountain of dirt with a gardener's hoe or moving a gallon of milk with a 5,000 lbs vehicle. Rather, they pay for completing these tasks as they see fit, until they can pay no more. Their motives -- about which tasks to attempt and the equipment needed to complete them -- should be completely inconsequential to you.

(Take a moment to absorb that, because I feel a grrreat deal of folks in the environmental/eco community fail to separate their own prejudice about (whatever) behavior from the fact that this opinion matters not a whit to anyone outside their own navel.)

You wish for the sake of (civilization, smog, respiratory health, carbon buildup, delusions of grandeur, whatever) to reduce what you peceive as wasteful consumption. Excellent. In order to make any progress toward this goal, remember the words of Robert Heinlein:

Never appeal to a man's better nature; he may not have one. Appealling to his self-interest gives you more leverage."

In other words, it's all about marketing!

The one constant in the observation of why people drive what they drive is simple: They can afford to do so. Make that one factor change drastically and you will see less wasteful behavior.

In closing, please do not expect this massive behavior modification to happen without major price increases. It ain't gonna happen. PO will do nothing if not deliver massive price increases. The question -- will it be by then too late?

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