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  #1  
Old 09-18-2006, 12:46 AM
aurgathor aurgathor is offline
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hydrogen powered car

I thought it would take at least a couple more years, but I guess german engineering was better than my expectations.

BMW announced a limited production of a luxury car that can run on hydrogen.
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/09/13/business/web.0913bmw.php
Obviously, this is not for everyone, but it shows that it's possible to overcome the engineering challenges. And they built an engine that can work with 2 very dissimilar fuels -- hydrogene and gasoline.
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Old 09-18-2006, 08:53 AM
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Do you have another link, that one does not work. Maybe you have to be a subscriber or something.

Are they using chemical storage tanks or high pressure tanks?
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Old 09-18-2006, 01:15 PM
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Hmm, link works fine for me, but here's the whole article:

BMW unveils first hydrogen-powered luxury car

The Associated Press
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Published: September 13, 2006
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MUNICH The German automaker BMW said Tuesday that it would introduce the world's first hydrogen-powered luxury performance car.
Known as the Hydrogen 7, the car will be built in a limited edition in Europe and will eventually be sold in the U.S. market, the company said in a statement. No date has been set for U.S. sales.
The car is equipped with an internal combustion engine capable of running on either hydrogen or gasoline and is based on BMW's 7 Series. If run on gasoline, the car's gas milage will be 15 miles per gallon in the city and 22 mpg on the highway.
Hydrogen technology minimizes emissions of carbon dioxide. Running in the hydrogen mode, the Hydrogen 7 essentially emits nothing but vapor, BMW said.
The car's engine is powered by a 260-horsepower, 12-cylinder engine and accelerates from zero to 62.1 mph in 9.5 seconds. The top speed is limited electronically to 143 mph.
Other automakers, such as Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche have previously said they plan to develop hybrid engines.
French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen also wants to develop hybrid technology and may join forces with another company to share costs, Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Martin Folz said last year.
Last year, Audi unveiled the first gas-electric hybrid vehicle from a European automaker at the Frankfurt Motor Show, a version of its Q7 sport-utility vehicle that will go on sale in 2008.
Toyota Motor remains the runaway leader in the field. The Japanese company was the first to begin mass-producing hybrids with its Prius in 1997.
Companies are developing different kinds of hybrids. But generally, a hybrid vehicle is powered either by an electric motor or by the combustion engine, or the systems can be used simultaneously.





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Old 09-18-2006, 10:34 PM
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Hmmm, not a lot of info there, jusy an announcement. It will be interesting to see some details. Personally I don't think hydrogen will make it as a fuel except in a few places like Iceland where they have waste energy to power hydrogen production. Hydrogen production is horribly ineficient.

Check this out:
http://www.memagazine.org/mepower03/...g/gauging.html
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Old 09-19-2006, 11:21 AM
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Wait about 10 - 15 years, and greenhouse gases will get even more attention than they are getting today, and hydrogen happens to be one those few fuels that contain no carbon (the other one I can think of right now is hydrazin) so it's as "green" as possible, especially since it can be made using only renewable sources. I know it has lousy energy content, difficult to work with, not as efficient as some other longtime fuels, etc., but these are mostly just engineering challenges that need to be worked around. Now, if this announcements would've come from some company I've never heard of, I'd probably ignore it as a vaporware, but BMW has enough credibility. Of course, the technology is probably still far away from being mass produced and available in cars that an average Joe Blow can buy, but I think this is a significant first step toward that.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:39 PM
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I think Iceland has some significant use of hydrogen as a fuel if I remember right. To me hydrogen "fuel" is just a way of temporarily storing energy produced or captured elsewhere just like a battery.
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Old 09-19-2006, 04:53 PM
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Since there isn't much naturally occuring hydrogen around, it has to be made. As torque has said, current production methods are horibly inneficient and rely on huge amounts of energy, usually in the form of electricity to work.

I belive that Iceland is using Geothermal to produce electricity and eventually Hydrogen. So because it goes through so many steps, it's inneficeient. However, since the original "fuel" is so ceap, it works out pretty good for thier specific circumstances.

Personally, I think that regular old petroleum could be made a heck of a lot more efficient, and it's total impact would be much less than hydrogen.

In any event, all this research that is being done on fuel cells, electric and hydrogen cars will yeild benefits down the road.
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Old 09-28-2006, 07:08 PM
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Funny I stumbled onto this thread, because today I was driving around listening to the radio, and working, so I missed some of the discussion, but it was the same subject. I forget the guy's name but I guess he is some expert in promoting hydrogen fuel. He said Honda and BMW are on the verge of getting large fleet contracts for hydrogen fuel vehicles. If that is so, it may become cost effective for the general public much sooner that I would have thought possible.

Isn't hydrogen part of water? If so, can it be seperated easily, or does it take gallons of fossil fuel energy to do so?
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Old 10-02-2006, 06:10 PM
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1. Yes, hydrogen is part of water. 2 parts actually IE H2O. Problem is, those two hydrogen atom LIKE sharing that oxygen atom.... A LOT!!!! So getting hydrogen from water is possible, but it requires a tremendous amount of energy. More than you get back by burning it.

2. The best available source of hydrogen today is from petroleum. YES!!! Thats right, you need oil to make hydrogen. That's why they call it a hydrocarbon.

3. If you get your hydrogen from a hydrocarbon, then the carbon has to go somewhere, so those 'green' H2 powered cars are indirectly producing CO2.

4. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
If you are making H2 from hydrocarbons and not from water, then you are creating a net INCREASE in the amount of water vapor increasing the greenhouse effect.

5. If it was so easy, we'd be doing it already.

6. Ford is testing H2 powered busses in Florida with blown V-10s
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Old 10-05-2006, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 76supercab2
2. The best available source of hydrogen today is from petroleum. YES!!! Thats right, you need oil to make hydrogen. That's why they call it a hydrocarbon.
Actually, its methane (CH4) the best source, not petrol.

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3. If you get your hydrogen from a hydrocarbon, then the carbon has to go somewhere, so those 'green' H2 powered cars are indirectly producing CO2.
But hydrogen can be made without producing any CO2.

Quote:
4. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenhouse_gas
If you are making H2 from hydrocarbons and not from water, then you are creating a net INCREASE in the amount of water vapor increasing the greenhouse effect.
No offense, but this is non-sense. Regardless of what wikipedia says (which is correct, and they claim: "Water vapor concentrations fluctuate regionally, but human activity does not directly affect water vapor concentrations except at very local scales.") excess water vapor from hydrogen powered engines will not lead to an increase in the greenhouse effect, because:
a) other sources (plants, natural evaporation, etc.) release more water vapor than engines
b) in a never ending cycle, water vapor usually turns into liquid and fall back to earth

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5. If it was so easy, we'd be doing it already.
No one said it's easy to use hydrogen as a fuel.

Last edited by aurgathor; 10-05-2006 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 10-09-2006, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aurgathor
Actually, its methane (CH4) the best source, not petrol.
True, and CH4 is still a hydrocarbon.

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Originally Posted by aurgathor
But hydrogen can be made without producing any CO2.
Again true, but more H2 is made from methane than from water. Why? Probably because it's cheaper and easier.


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Originally Posted by aurgathor
No offense, but this is non-sense. Regardless of what wikipedia says (which is correct, and they claim: "Water vapor concentrations fluctuate regionally, but human activity does not directly affect water vapor concentrations except at very local scales.") excess water vapor from hydrogen powered engines will not lead to an increase in the greenhouse effect, because:
a) other sources (plants, natural evaporation, etc.) release more water vapor than engines
b) in a never ending cycle, water vapor usually turns into liquid and fall back to earth
You miss the point. If you take a hydrocarbon and turn it into hydrogen and then water, you are creating more water than there was before. Hydrocarbons are not created from water and do not decompose into water. Therfore, making water from HCs makes more water.

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No one said it's easy to use hydrogen as a fuel.
Yes, but unless it's relatively easy and cheap, it isn't going to happen. Look at the bellyaching that happened when gas went over $3.00 /gallon.

But look at the bright side. All cars and trucks today, ARE hydrogen powered...
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Old 10-10-2006, 05:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 76supercab2
True, and CH4 is still a hydrocarbon.
Well, originally, you said petroleum, and that means something different. Even though usage differs a bit, but as far as I know 'petroleum' normally means liquid (slightly heavier than diesel in the part of the world I came from) and CH4 is a gas. Hydrocarbon is just an umbrella term for most everything from CH4 to solids.

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Again true, but more H2 is made from methane than from water. Why? Probably because it's cheaper and easier.
How H2 is made today has little effect on how it will be made when fossil fuels, including natural gas will get more expensive. That's in spite of that methane is one of those hydrocarbons that are still being created naturally in reasonable quantities, however, only small portion of that is usable commercially,

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You miss the point. If you take a hydrocarbon and turn it into hydrogen and then water, you are creating more water than there was before.
Sorry, it's you that misses the point. Since most of the Earth's surface is covered by water, a little extra is jliterally ust a drop in the ocean.

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Hydrocarbons are not created from water and do not decompose into water.
They can be decomposed in more than one way, and one very common one happens during burning, and one of the end product of that is, guess what, water.

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Therfore, making water from HCs makes more water.
Huh?!?

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Yes, but unless it's relatively easy and cheap, it isn't going to happen. Look at the bellyaching that happened when gas went over $3.00 /gallon.
With crude prices quaranteed to increase in the long run (10 - 25 years), plus likely future efforts to reduce C02 emiissions, alternative and greener fuels will eventually be cheaper to use than gasoline and diesel.
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Old 01-20-2007, 08:43 PM
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You gentlemen were having an interesting quasi technical debate going. Why did you stop? I was begining to learn a few things.
Today I was listening to a radio program, not a documentary, on trade with China. I was astounded to learn that there is a national state initiative in progress to build and install hydrogen fuel cells in public transportation (I assume that to mean buses and taxis specifically). They have an accelerating program going where "they" (whoever builds buses etc) have to roll out increasing numbers of vehicles each suceeding year culminating in 2020 with 100% of all public transport vehicles running on hydrogen fuel cells.
Now if I heard this right, and I think I did, can you please tell me, for openers, what is the definition of a "hydgogen fuel cell" and the definition of a "hydrogen engine". I had always assumed these are the same thing but now I'm not so sure.
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Old 01-21-2007, 12:57 AM
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With a hydrogen fuel cell, hydrogen is used to generate electricity (plus some heat and H20, as byproducts) and the electricity can be used to power electric motors.

The hydrogen engine is just an internal combustion engine that runs on hydrogen instead of, or in addition to, gasoline or some other hydrocarbon.
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:36 AM
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The fuel cells are still no salvation, as the again use a hydrocarbon for the hydrogen source, so it still keeps us dependent on petroleum, as it is typically a liquid they use in the fuel cells. Separating the hydrogen still leaves the carbonas a byproduct, which still has an affinity for other substances, most times hydrogen fills the need, so it can be stable. Oxygen also fills the need nicely, so CO2 is more stable than CO, which is why carbon monoxide poisoning is an issue, it draws the oxygen out of your blood by bonding to it while still in your red blood cells, so it sticks around for a while, and your blood looses capacity for carrying oxygen, and the more there is, the more it takes, and then big problems arise...
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Old 01-21-2007, 07:36 AM
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