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  • International Shale Gas Propels U.S. Technology (and Profits) [View article]
    The NEW trailer for the updated, extended HAYNESVILLE film (seen on CNBC) about the effects of the natural gas boom on the people of Haynesville La. and the role of natural gas in America's energy future launches on MONDAY! New DVD, new screening dates, new energy! Come check us out on our facebook page:
    Jan 26, 2011. 08:48 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Carrizo Oil & Gas: Sound Plans for Shale and Organic Growth [View article]
    The NEW trailer for the updated, extended #HAYNESVILLE film (seen on CNBC) about the effects of the natural gas boom on the people of Haynesville La. and the role of natural gas in America's energy future launches on #MONDAY! New #DVD, new screening dates, new energy! Come check us out on our facebook page:
    Jan 24, 2011. 11:03 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    I saw that Toyota story today and yes, it is very positive. Now the challenge will be putting in place a fuel infrastructure. Here is where Pickens efforts get interesting because if we build out on the existing CNG infrastructure and use SOFCs in cars we can include H2 in the natural gas stream. H2 produced from all of the domestic feedstocks I mentioned in this story. This would be a cost effective way to move into the future.

    On Jul 21 12:26 PM Davewmart wrote:

    > Toyota seems to think they can get a reasonably priced fc car out
    > by 2015:
    > I have a lot of respect for Toyota's engineering.
    > Here is an analysis of how fc costs are reducing:
    > According to this equality to ICE cars in cost kw is achievable fairly
    > soon.
    > OTOH this guy thinks SOFC are the way to go:
    > A hybrid with SOFC would push the buttons for me!
    Jul 21, 2009. 01:29 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    I agree that H2 isn't a "right now" thing in many respects and that fuel cells are a few years away from mass production but at the same time I do see that being the end result of our current efforts to move toward a more energy independent, environmentally friendly future.

    I also think on board reformers are a great option for heavy trucks as truck owners could see enough of a financial benefit from them in regard to fuel savings to make them viable in the marketplace.

    I am researching another avenue that is being pursued in India at the moment which I think does seem to hold promise for more rapidly developing a wider H2 market in the US. I will publish that story in the near future so won't comment too heavily on it here as it will probably open another can of worms lol

    On Jul 21 09:22 AM Davewmart wrote:

    > enki09 said:
    > 'You need to produce electricity somewhere, somehow to charge the
    > battery just like you need to use electricity to produce H2 from
    > water. In both cases the electricity used is stored in the form of
    > potential chemical energy.'
    > That is true but the scales are very different, as are the energy
    > losses. You need to use a lot of electricity to produce the hydrogen
    > for vehicles.
    > You transform electricity to hydrogen and back to electricity, and
    > that is just not very efficient.
    > It is OK on a relatively modest scale, to power trucks and aeroplanes
    > where you really need to power density, but to power the car fleet
    > from hydrogen other than by splitting natural gas would mean vast
    > new arrays of power plants.
    > Even very widespread use of electricity for transport places very
    > low demands on the grid due to their only needing about 0.3kwh per
    > mile:
    > Some even argue that due to savings on refining oil no net energy
    > will be needed at all:
    > Make sure to read the comments where the figures are discussed further.
    > And:
    > In any case, whether not refining the petrol would entirely cover
    > the electricity for running an EV fleet or not, it is clear that
    > the extra needed for EV's is really very modest.
    > For longer distance travellers, plug-in hybrids are pretty much a
    > right-now technology, which fuel cell cars certainly are not.
    > For on-board reformers in trucks, Volvo is doing a lot of work:<br/>
    > The FT process to convert coal to liquid is ready to go to provide
    > the fuel needed for the heavy transport sector without needing a
    > hydrogen infrastructure rolling out.
    > Personally I like DME
    Jul 21, 2009. 12:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    You make a lot of good points. I really have no problem with electric vehicles and didn't directly address them because they are like a different branch in the evolution of vehicles in one sense and in another sense they are cousins to fuel cells.

    As a consumer I think that electric vehicles are just not yet ready to do everything I want or need a vehicle to do although I think they would make a great second car to use as a commuter vehicle to go back and forth to work or to run errands with.

    All of the same objections that fans of electric vehicles make against fuel cells can also apply to battery powered vehicles because fuel cells are pretty much just a different type of battery. You need to produce electricity somewhere, somehow to charge the battery just like you need to use electricity to produce H2 from water. In both cases the electricity used is stored in the form of potential chemical energy.

    Reformers bypass a lot of the storage and distribution problems associated with pure H2 and a small prototype of a reformer was made at the Pacific Northwest lab in 2004 which solved the size problem and showed that they can be made to be exothermic overall to the extent that the reaction becomes self sustaining. This eliminates the need for outside energy being applied to sustain the process.

    I am not sure how consumers would react to battery swaps. My first thought is that, if I spend all this money for a vehicle and then have to swap out the engine (batteries) every time I need a fill up what is to guarantee that the batteries I get in the swap are as good as the ones I trade in. How is that going to affect the value of the vehicle when I trade it in? If I never own the batteries in my car then I certainly don't want to pay for them when I buy the car.

    The focus of the story from my perspective was an evolution of our present vehicle fueling system. We are faced with a situation where we import a great deal of the oil we use and by becoming self sufficient in an energy sense we can keep 400 billion dollars a year here in the US. There are so many alternative fuels out there right now trying to gain a foothold it seems as though it would be much easier to go to a single fuel (hydrogen) which can be produced from all these various feedstocks than to try to rely on any one of them since none of them really have the potential to be produced in the kind of quantity necessary to supplant fossil fuel imports in the near term and maybe they never will. But, by using all of these sources to produce a single fuel we can achieve energy independence.

    On Jul 21 05:42 AM Davewmart wrote:

    > enki09 wrote:
    > 'Assuming that we can reach a place where all three technologies
    > are comparably priced fuel cell vehicles are the obvious champs.'
    > And:
    > 'While electric vehicles are great in their won way there are limitations
    > as to range (generally 140 miles or less) between charges and the
    > time to charge (at least an hour) which make them useful as urban
    > commuter vehicles but not much more.'
    > Equal costs is a pretty heroic assumption with nothing in the current
    > state of play in the various technologies to justify it.
    > You have to assume huge reductions in the use of precious metals
    > in the fuel cells, and either huge advances in the production of
    > hydrogen (from what energy source?) or equally large advances in
    > reformers technology, notably in the case of cars in compactness.
    > Conversely you are assuming no advance at all in battery technology,
    > giving a range of around 140 miles as an absolute.
    > Whilst 140 miles is generous for present battery technology, with
    > around 100 miles being about it at any reasonable cost, energy density
    > is hardly going to stand still, and neither are areas such as taking
    > the weight out of cars, with VW for instance now finalising it's
    > plans to reduce body structure weight by around 30%.
    > Firms like Renault are also doing a lot of work, for example in the
    > BeBop ZE, to reduce parasitic losses.
    > So it is not reasonable to think that a range of perhaps 200-300
    > miles is not eminently achievable in the medium term.
    > In your analysis you have also totally omitted battery swap technology.
    > I would agree that for the foreseeable future habitual long distance
    > drivers such as reps will be better served by hybrids, but for the
    > vast majority batteries will do the job well.
    > Certainly if you exclude on board reformers the energy cycle to use
    > hydrogen is far, far more inefficient than the use of batteries and
    > so fuel costs would be much higher.
    > A pure electric car is also very simple, so maintenance costs are
    > also low.
    > You can make the case for anything by assuming that your favoured
    > technology will enjoy massive leaps in performance, whilst the competition
    > makes no progress at all.
    > Save for large vehicles such as trucks and buses with on board reformers
    > I can see no present evidence that fuel cell technology is going
    > to even challenge battery powered cars.
    Jul 21, 2009. 08:14 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    hmmm, well there is more than one way to skin a cat and the obstacles you describe are the ones that have been holding back H2 energy up to this point. However, there is at least one method already being utilized in one area which eliminates many of these hurdles. Story on that is in the works...

    On Jul 20 12:26 PM BoscoBanker wrote:

    > At the risk of tipping over a sacred cow:
    > Highly hyped and subsidized hydrogen cars rely on the most impractical
    > fuel on the planet. Beyond the estimated $2 trillion we'd need to
    > build production infrastructure and filling stations, hydrogen is
    > the most co-dependent atom on Earth (it just hates to be alone).
    > The energy needed to pry it from water, compress it into tanks and
    > then convert it into electricity in a fuel cell wipes out 80 percent
    > of its energy at the axle.
    > That energy has to come from somewhere - like a coal-fired power
    > plant. Not to mention the energy needed to truck hydrogen to filling
    > stations. If they existed.
    > None of this is to suggest we can't do better. But hydrogen cars
    > are 80 percent energy-inefficient and 100 percent unaffordable.
    Jul 20, 2009. 02:24 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    interestingly it was the flammable skin of the Hindenburg which did all the damage. Hydrogen, being such a light element tends to disperse rapidly and burn off very quickly.

    The DOE had a video out a few years back in which they ruptured the fuel tanks of an H2 fueled car and a gasoline car and lit both on fire. The H2 vented and burned off without further damage to the car. The gasoline car was fully consumed in the resulting fire. Which would you rather be in an accident with?

    On Jul 20 01:31 PM LoveShorting wrote:

    > Jack: EXACTLY (disclosure: long UNG) but since when does common
    > sense have anything to do with the way this country behaves.
    > One more word on hydrogen .... Hindenburg.
    Jul 20, 2009. 02:21 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    wow, where to even start replying to this one... Fuel cells are essentially batteries in a different form. Both fuel cells and the more familiar batteries rely on electrochemical reactions to produce electrical energy.

    PEM fuel cells are roughly 70% efficient. Main loss is in the form of heat so higher temp fuel cell types are rated as being slightly less efficient.

    Look at on board reformers and you see all of the detractors you mention such as storage and pumps and what not are eliminated from the cycle.

    The range of a battery depends on how much energy can be stored on the plates of the battery. The more energy stored, the bigger the battery. Soon the weight of the batteries exceeds the range extension.

    Range of fuel cells depends on the size of the fuel tank. Much easier to manipulate without adding excessive weight.

    your comment is pretty much inaccurate throughout.

    On Jul 20 01:56 PM jerrydd wrote:

    > Sorry all but H2 is not eff at all. If you follow the whole cycle
    > H2 takes too much energy to make, store, use. Making, storing H2
    > takes 50%+ of the energy then a fool cells which is very expensive
    > is at best 50% eff though in car sizes, pumps, conditioners, etc
    > eat a good amount of that.
    > Vs batteries which are 4x's as eff getting 4 miles range to every
    > 1 of H2 for the same energy. Even much better if wind, solar is used.
    > And those thinking H2 has more range than EV's again does not live
    > in the real world. It's quite easy to get 300 mile range EV's now
    > with Lithium batteries on order but few if any H2 ones.
    Jul 20, 2009. 02:17 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    I agree with you about natural gas. However natural gas and hydrogen do not have to be mutually exclusive. I think natural gas is the ideal, necessary bridge fuel to a green economy.

    On Jul 20 11:57 AM jack kreg wrote:

    > No, Natural Gas, NG, is the best fuel for America and its people.
    > H2 does burn into water vapor, but it is very costly to manufacture,
    > it is NOT found ready to use, it is manufactured from NG, by burning
    > more NG.
    > NG storage is 100's times more efficiently stored, than H2, which
    > must be supercooled to reach liquid phase.
    > The American transportation industry could be transformed to use
    > much more NG than current use, what if HALF of our family cars ran
    > on NG, we could practically eliminate importation of foreign oil.
    > We would be hiring our own energy workers to provide us with our
    > transportation fuels, instead of sending our US$$ to ME, no thank
    > you.
    > NG is by far a much better fuel than H2 for America, its economy
    > and the American people.
    > Drill, Drill, Drill, and NOW, for American jobs and prosperity.
    Jul 20, 2009. 12:14 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    interesting idea. I am not aware of anyone currently pursuing it. although seawater does have an existing electrolyte in it and seems ready made one problem is that when you electrolyze seawater you produce H2 and chlorine not oxygen so to be efficient with it you would have to desalinate the water and then add a better electrolyte which might be too expensive...

    On Jul 20 11:25 AM La Marque wrote:

    > The offshore platforms are ideal for hydrogen production. Shallow
    > water, solar &amp; wind generators and pipe to the mainland for processing.
    > Yes, it is going to be expensive initially; but is anyone working
    > on something like this?
    Jul 20, 2009. 11:43 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    I think that there is a way to bring H2 into the current infrastructure outside of on board reformers (which is the obvious way). I/we are working on a story exploring that option and it's potential.

    On Jul 20 10:33 AM A Barrel Full wrote:

    > I don't expect one thing to replace fossil fuels.
    > However, if you were to take one example, the Exxon / Synthetic Genomics
    > deal of last week. The potential (if it ever works) of lipid spewing
    > algae, is enormous.
    > For electricity, we are spoilt for choice, wind, solar, geothermal,
    > wave, hydro &amp; nuclear. None of them are perfect, but all are
    > far closer to being competitive than hydrogen.
    > Above all, efficiency could replace a significant minority of our
    > energy needs, with today's technology.
    > Hydrogen needs to have everything built again from scratch, rather
    > than plugging into our existing system as most of its competitors
    > potentially can.
    > On Jul 20 08:47 AM enki09 wrote:
    Jul 20, 2009. 10:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    You are voicing a common perception but one that is wrong. the method of storing and distribution H2 already exists and is being ignored by the industry. Will be explaining shortly.

    Another way to overcome that obstacle to some extent is via an on board reformer. In that scenario H2 is stored as a hydrocarbon and as water on the vehicle and separated into reformed as it is used. This process as a 2 step reaction (partial oxidation and steam reforming) is exothermic to the point of being self sustaining without additional energy being needed except in the start up phase and flash starters have been produced which allow the process to start in as little as 12 seconds.

    With an on board reformer roughly half the H2 produced comes from the hydrocarbon and half from the water so CO2 production is potentially cut in half vs just burning the hydrocarbon.

    On Jul 20 09:08 AM epeon wrote:

    > This article is one of those analysis done by people who do not live
    > in the real world. The biggest problem with hydrogen has been and
    > still is this: there is no efficient way of storing it. To get
    > any energy density you have to liquify it. However, hydrogren is
    > liquid at cyogenic temperatures. That is difficult, expensive, and
    > dangerous. No one has solved that problem. Therefore, until that
    > probelm is solved, the above is just nonsense. Ain't going to happen.
    Jul 20, 2009. 09:38 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    you are essentially correct but I think that there is another alternative which isn't being talked about in the media right now which could amp up our transition to hydrogen. I will be writing on that soon so I won't go into an explanation here.

    On Jul 20 09:27 AM Ferdinand E. Banks wrote:

    > Hydrogen definitely has a significant position in the energy picture,
    > but not in the short run. Why is that? It's because the people who
    > make the decisions have decided that it is an idea whose time has
    > not arrived. Here in Sweden we hear hardly a whisper about hydrogen,
    > but that is because of the energy input needed to obtain it in the
    > desired form, and the fact that this input would optimally be supplied
    > by nuclear .
    Jul 20, 2009. 09:33 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    no liquid H2 is what I meant about storage and infrastructure problems associated with H2. But if you look at energy per pound as opposed to energy as a function of density you get a better picture of it which is pretty much what I was describing. A pound of H2 is about the amount in both a gallon of gasoline and a gallon of water. So both water and gasoline are efficient as H2 storage mediums but gasoline has the advantage of being in a ready to burn form via creation from water and carbon millions of years ago using solar energy while "refining" water into a burnable form requires energy input now in some form.

    Both water and hydrocarbons are the "ash" of oxidation/reduction reactions.

    On Jul 20 08:54 AM john s. gordon wrote:

    > major problem with H2 is its low energy density.
    > there is considerably more energy in a bucket of gasoline than in
    > a bucket of LH2, and i don't think anyone is proposing to run their
    > automobile on LH2.
    Jul 20, 2009. 09:31 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Is Hydrogen the Best of the Green Fuels? [View article]
    Hmmm, well depends on how you look at it. Hydrocarbons store the energy of the sun from millions of years ago. Biofuels store the energy of the sun from recent times. So all are essentially energy carriers. In the case of hydrogen you can use the energy of the sun to split water producing hydrogen fuel and so store the energy of the sun without the carbon. Not much difference really except in viewpoint.

    I don't see a direct transition from fossil fuels to H2 from water. Rather a gradual transition in which both systems are codependent players and competitors in the fuel sector.

    On Jul 20 08:31 AM TCK wrote:

    > Perhaps a minor point , but Hydrogen is not an energy source, but
    > an energy carrier and it takes a great deal of energy to extract
    > it from water on any large scale.
    > Consequently the "Green" aspect of the technology is not as great
    > as advertised.
    Jul 20, 2009. 08:51 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment