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Thread: Practical Hydrogen Engine

  1. #1 Practical Hydrogen Engine 
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    An engine that uses hydrogen, or hydrogen and oxygen for fuel would stop the polution of the atmosphere and slow down global warming. The main problem is that at the present hydrogen is too expensive. The cheapest way to get hydrogen now is from natural gas and that still has carbons in it, so that would not produce the clean exhaust that you would want.
    Possible hydrogen engines for cars could be the internal combustion engine or the turbo jet engine or electric engines using fuel cells.
    A way to make these practical could be to retrieve the coasting kinetic energy of the vehicle by having a braking system attached to electric generators. The coasting energy is transformed into electrical energy which is used in electrolysis on water to convert that water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then feed that hydrogen and oxygen into the engine for fuel.
    Using this system you could make the engine using hydrogen practical for average drivers, by keeping the cost of the hydrogen that they would need down. As with the electric/gas hybrid cars, the coasting energy could be retrieved by having a breaking system that uses an electric generator attached, and that coasting kinetic energy could be changed into electrical energy for use in separating the hydrogen and oxygen. That hydrogen and oxygen would be fed into the engine for fuel.
    The hydrogen and oxygen mixture should produce larger explosions in the cylinders or higher air velocity in a combustion chamber (turbo-jet), with smaller amounts of hydrogen, then what you would get with a hydrogen/air mixture, increasing the effiiciency of the engine.

    [The toyota electric gasoline hybrid car, with a breaking system attached to an electrical generator which is connected to a large battery, can now save about $7,500 on the price of gasoline, throughout the life of the car.]


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    Making an engine more efficient by adding a regenerative braking feature is a good idea, but it still does not solve the problem that hydrogen is too expensive. The price isn't so much the issue as the fact that cracking hydrogen from water, or extracting it from hydrocarbons is a losing proposition in terms of energy spent vs. energy gained. Plants are able to crack water through photosynthesis, but they are getting the energy from sunlight. Somehow, we will need to use another energy source, probably nuclear or solar, and use it to collect hydrogen. But, wouldn't it be smarter to use solar energy directly with improved photovoltaics and passive solar? Or set up an electric train system with nuclear, wind, wave, or hydro generating electricity? Are we trying too hard to maintain a treasured cultural artifact, the automobile, at the expense of better ideas?


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    we could place giant plastic domes over dairy farms, then compress the methane produced to use as fuel

    this solves 2 problems:
    1. reduction of methane which is 50x more damaging to the atmosphere than CO2
    2. clean burning source of energy to replace conventional fuels wich create COx and NOx
    and so the balance of power shifts...
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  5. #4  
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    vslayer,
    like biodiesel, this would still not be an significant additional source of fuel, since methane from animals still depends on an agricultural infrastructure dependant on fossil fuel use on the factory farms that grow animal feed, as well as the use of diesel trucks to transport dairy products and meat. It's still a good idea to capture this methane. I've heard of some places in China that capture the methane from hog manure and use it for household fuel.
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  6. #5  
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    spidergoat,
    dairy farms produce minimal if any man-made emissions. the only fuel used is to drive to and from the place. once you are there everything is done on foot, then the milk is pumped and pasteurised by electric power
    and so the balance of power shifts...
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  7. #6  
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    But the widespread industrial scale dairy farms still indirectly rely on fossil fuels for their existence, both for transporting dairy products, and for raising the feed that they eat.

    Put it this way, with fossil fuel out of the picture, there would be fewer and smaller diary farms and they would be harder to run, thus, less methane- an inadequate supply to fuel the infrastructure we have come to depend on.

    Basically it's a parasitic type of energy, depending on a pre-existing oil-based infrastructure.
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  8. #7  
    Forum Freshman craterchains's Avatar
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    Another thread here about hydrogen as a fuel can be found here.

    http://www.thescienceforum.com/Hydro...e....-506t.php

    There are some great ideas and thoughts in both.
    It's not what you know or don't know, but what you know that isn't so that will hurt you. Will Rodgers 1938
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat
    Making an engine more efficient by adding a regenerative braking feature is a good idea, but it still does not solve the problem that hydrogen is too expensive. The price isn't so much the issue as the fact that cracking hydrogen from water, or extracting it from hydrocarbons is a losing proposition in terms of energy spent vs. energy gained. Plants are able to crack water through photosynthesis, but they are getting the energy from sunlight. Somehow, we will need to use another energy source, probably nuclear or solar, and use it to collect hydrogen. But, wouldn't it be smarter to use solar energy directly with improved photovoltaics and passive solar? Or set up an electric train system with nuclear, wind, wave, or hydro generating electricity? Are we trying too hard to maintain a treasured cultural artifact, the automobile, at the expense of better ideas?
    There is another alternative. I got feedback on this idea suggesting that the electrical energy that it takes to transform water into hydrogen and oxygen is too much, and it still might not be practical.
    I thought of a way to produce hydrogen much cheaper using less electrical energy.
    Practical Hydrogen production:
    Use radioactivity to change water into hydrogen peroxide [H2O2], then use electrolysis to change the hydrogen peroxide into hydrogen and oxygen. It should take less electrical energy to change H2O2 into hydrogen and oxygen than it does to change H2O into hydrogen and oxygen. Nuclear waste could be used to provide the radioactive material to do this. The hydrogen and oxygen separation facility could be placed close to a nuclear power plant. The cooling water that is used to cool down the atomic pile is subjected to high levels of radiation, and some of that must be changed into hydrogen peroxide. Run the cooling water from the nuclear power plant to the hydrogen and oxygen separation facility. Separate the hydrogen peroxide from the water (if you can economically do that), and use electolysis sending electrical energy into the hydrogen peroxide and separate that into hydrogen and oxygen. If you can't sepearate the H2O2 from the H2O, then use the electrolysis on the mixture; it would still take less electricity for separtation because some of the electrical energy is going to go into H2O2 molecules.
    Without using a nuclear facility you could just put radioactive waste into a large pool of water. Allow the radioactivity to change the water into hydrogen peroxide, and then separate the water from the hydrogen peroxide, and do the electrolysis on the hydrogen peroxide, separating it into hydrogen and oxygen. This should make hydrogen a practical fuel to use in engines world wide, making both hydrogen and oxygen much cheaper to produce.
    [As far as energy is conscerned, H2O2 is like an intermediate energy stage before you get to water. It should take much less electrical energy to convert that to hydrogen and oxygen. The energy from the radioactive waste is totally free, provided by the nuclear decay of the radioactive material.]
    Mechanism, water to hydrogen peroxide:
    Radiation can directly interact with a molecule and damage it directly. Because of the abundance of water in the body, radiation is more likely to interact with water. When radiation interacts with water, it produces labile chemical species (free radicals) such as hydronium (H.) and hydroyxls (.OH). Free radicals can produce compounds such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which subsequently exert chemical toxicity.
    http://radiologyresearch.org/radiat...t_chapter_2.htm

    Radiation is alpha (fast proton), beta (fast electron), gamma (electromagnetic radiation)
    It looks like an alpha particle, [proton], knocks a hydrogen atom (which is a proton with an electron orbiting it) off of the H2O molecule, changing it to an OH and an H. These free radicals (highly interactive) react with H2O molecules, changing them to H2O2. That seems to be the mechanism based on what I read from that article.
    A long time ago I heard that hydrogen peroxide poisoning is a part of radiation sickness.
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  10. #9  
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    Hi there:

    Here is a good URL:
    http://www.renewableenergyaccess.com

    Thanks,

    Gordan
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    Quote Originally Posted by spidergoat
    Making an engine more efficient by adding a regenerative braking feature is a good idea, but it still does not solve the problem that hydrogen is too expensive. The price isn't so much the issue as the fact that cracking hydrogen from water, or extracting it from hydrocarbons is a losing proposition in terms of energy spent vs. energy gained. Plants are able to crack water through photosynthesis, but they are getting the energy from sunlight. Somehow, we will need to use another energy source, probably nuclear or solar, and use it to collect hydrogen. But, wouldn't it be smarter to use solar energy directly with improved photovoltaics and passive solar? Or set up an electric train system with nuclear, wind, wave, or hydro generating electricity? Are we trying too hard to maintain a treasured cultural artifact, the automobile, at the expense of better ideas?
    There is another alternative. I got feedback on this idea suggesting that the electrical energy that it takes to transform water into hydrogen and oxygen is too much, and it still might not be practical.
    I thought of a way to produce hydrogen much cheaper using less electrical energy.
    Practical Hydrogen production:
    Use radioactivity to change water into hydrogen peroxide [H2O2], then use electrolysis to change the hydrogen peroxide into hydrogen and oxygen. It should take less electrical energy to change H2O2 into hydrogen and oxygen than it does to change H2O into hydrogen and oxygen. Nuclear waste could be used to provide the radioactive material to do this. The hydrogen and oxygen separation facility could be placed close to a nuclear power plant. The cooling water that is used to cool down the atomic pile is subjected to high levels of radiation, and some of that must be changed into hydrogen peroxide. Run the cooling water from the nuclear power plant to the hydrogen and oxygen separation facility. Separate the hydrogen peroxide from the water (if you can economically do that), and use electolysis sending electrical energy into the hydrogen peroxide and separate that into hydrogen and oxygen. If you can't sepearate the H2O2 from the H2O, then use the electrolysis on the mixture; it would still take less electricity for separtation because some of the electrical energy is going to go into H2O2 molecules.
    Without using a nuclear facility you could just put radioactive waste into a large pool of water. Allow the radioactivity to change the water into hydrogen peroxide, and then separate the water from the hydrogen peroxide, and do the electrolysis on the hydrogen peroxide, separating it into hydrogen and oxygen. This should make hydrogen a practical fuel to use in engines world wide, making both hydrogen and oxygen much cheaper to produce.
    [As far as energy is conscerned, H2O2 is like an intermediate energy stage before you get to water. It should take much less electrical energy to convert that to hydrogen and oxygen. The energy from the radioactive waste is totally free, provided by the nuclear decay of the radioactive material.]
    Mechanism, water to hydrogen peroxide:
    Radiation can directly interact with a molecule and damage it directly. Because of the abundance of water in the body, radiation is more likely to interact with water. When radiation interacts with water, it produces labile chemical species (free radicals) such as hydronium (H.) and hydroyxls (.OH). Free radicals can produce compounds such as hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) which subsequently exert chemical toxicity.
    http://radiologyresearch.org/radiat...t_chapter_2.htm

    Radiation is alpha (fast proton), beta (fast electron), gamma (electromagnetic radiation)
    It looks like an alpha particle, [proton], knocks a hydrogen atom (which is a proton with an electron orbiting it) off of the H2O molecule, changing it to an OH and an H. These free radicals (highly interactive) react with H2O molecules, changing them to H2O2. That seems to be the mechanism based on what I read from that article.
    A long time ago I heard that hydrogen peroxide poisoning is a part of radiation sickness.
    Wow, very interesting idea indeed. I am not a physicist, but what you say makes sense. Now we would have to compare how much energy would be saved by using H2o2 instead of H2o. Also, you say we could use nuclear waste, for example by dumping it into a water tank. How long would it take until the water is changed into H2o2 ? Also, what if not all water is transformed, we would end up with a mixture of both. In that case, it would be hard to feet it through an electrolysis machine, because one would have the composition of the fluid, and turn the electrical supply up or down accordingly
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  12. #11 Hydrogen-fuelled cars: good idea in theory 
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    Hydrogen fuel may be the miracle fuel, but the problem is, there aren't any hydrogen filling stations! I've never seen one, anyway. Apparently, the only station in the UK which dispenses hydrogen is in Essex. How are we supposed to go green without the means to do so!?

    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/index....ID=3&subID=998
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghost7584
    Use radioactivity to change water into hydrogen peroxide [H2O2]...
    In other words, "use nuclear energy" :wink:
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