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[–]Chop_Chop[S] 2 insightful - 1 funny2 insightful - 0 funny3 insightful - 1 funny -  (3 children)

this is about generating H2 molecules, which would then be burned for combustion engines and such, right?

Very little would be burned in combustion engines (at first anyway) but that is one of the things about H2, if it is cheap and plentiful enough most, if not all, combustion engines can run on hydrogen. Here's Jack Nicholson driving a Hydrogen Chevy in 1978: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjfONpsFvyM

Solar hydrogen weed whacker
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lKX_4feFLnM

The article mentions these uses:

Industry Sector: Hydrogen is used as feedstock in specific processes in the chemical and fertilizer industry, to produce high temperature heat, as well as for specific novel technologies like hydrogen direct-reduction steelmaking.

Transport Sector: Hydrogen is used in fuel cells to power road, rail, and shipping vehicles.

Power Sector: Power-to-gas provides demand-side flexibility in case supply exceeds demand, and some of the hydrogen produced is used to provide dispatchable power capacity in periods with less renewable electricity generation.

There's no combustion in a fuel cell, just a chemical reaction that produces electricity, water and heat. Air and hydrogen are blown into a box with a bunch of plates inside, basically. Fuel cells can be scaled from tiny ones that run a cell phone to container sized and even bigger to power buildings. Toshiba, among others, has these units on the market now.

Is electrolysis of water the most efficient way to make H2 molecules?

Most H2 is made from steam reforming natural gas, which isn't green but it is cheap. I've heard ~$1.00/Kg. New C02 capture methods may prove worthwhile. For now solar/wind powered electrolysis is 100% green but expensive. But the prices of solar and wind keep dropping so that it is becoming affordable. It takes about 50 kWh to electrolyze 1 Kilogram of hydrogen. The latest low-price solar records in Dubai and Chile for example are at 0.03 cents per kWh which would make a kilogram of hydrogen ~$1.50 (add a bit for compression.) That's cheap - and green -energy. Plus the fact that China is now taking the tech seriously and has an actual plan to dominate the industry in a few years.

TLDR: The tech will get better and the prices of everything hydrogen related will come down dramatically and soon.

[–]magnora7 2 insightful - 1 funny2 insightful - 0 funny3 insightful - 1 funny -  (2 children)

most, if not all, combustion engines can run on hydrogen

I didn't realize this. Can you straight up mix it with something to keep it in a liquid suspension and put it in a regular unmodified car even? Is that possible?

There's no combustion in a fuel cell, just a chemical reaction that produces electricity, water and heat.

Technically combustion is just a chemical reaction that releases heat, water, and electricity. Perhaps you mean there's no detonation, no explosions? But oxygen is still oxidizing hydrogen fuel molecules, which is technically the definition of combustion.

Interesting about it coming from natural gas, I suppose that makes sense. That is quite cheap.

Very interesting information, thanks for the comprehensive reply. Such an interesting technology.

[–]Chop_Chop[S] 2 insightful - 1 funny2 insightful - 0 funny3 insightful - 1 funny -  (1 child)

Can you straight up mix it with something to keep it in a liquid suspension and put it in a regular unmodified car even? Is that possible?

A Solid Oxide fuel cell (SOFC) can use ethanol/methanol and make hydrogen. The 3 fuel cell cars available now use Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells which need pure hydrogen gas. Nissan has a prototype SOFC van, introduced in Brazil where ethanol is plentiful.. Ethanol could be made from Hemp in the US.

Regular internal combustion engines would need hydrogen gas and the examples so far have used some type of metal hydride tank storage.

Panasonic makes SOFC home fuel cell units and these can run on natural gas and/or hydrogen.

Perhaps you mean there's no detonation, no explosions?

Yes, thanks for the clarification.

Such an interesting technology.

It's not a total solution to clean energy but it's an important part and it ticks many boxes- jobs, green, energy independence, sustainability, the end of the petrodollar. It is amazing to me that it is not being discussed more, and that there are not crash programs to accelerate the adoption. I was getting a quote on a 5 kW stack the other day, the person I was talking to said they had been in the business for a number of years and clearly knew what they were talking about yet this person was not aware of the fact that 3 manufacturers had hydrogen electric cars on the roads in California. The Hydrogen industry needs better PR quick. Thanks to saidit.net more people will be introduced to the topic.

[–]magnora7 2 insightful - 1 funny2 insightful - 0 funny3 insightful - 1 funny -  (0 children)

Interesting info, I need to do some reading about the SOFC and PEM technologies.