Friday, March 18, 2005

Wet fuel cell dreams

Hey there, hydrogen fans and fanettes, here’s a newsflash if you haven’t already thought it through: the only natural source of it is in natural gas, otherwise you have to pummel huge amounts of energy at a water molecule to unbound it from the oxygen, and then turn H into H2.

True, hydrogen is the most common element in he universe; it’s so plentiful that the sun consumes 600 million tons of it every second. But unlike oil, vast reservoirs of hydrogen don’t exist here on Earth. Instead, hydrogen atoms are bound up in molecules with other elements, and we must expend energy to extract the hydrogen so it can be used in fuel cells. We’ll never get more energy out of hydrogen than we put into it.

Perform electrolysis with renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, and you eliminate the pollution issues associated with fossil fuels and nuclear power. Trouble is, renewable sources can provide only a small fraction of the energy that will be required for a full-fledged hydrogen economy.
Since it’s significantly less efficient in terms of energy that fossil fuels are, where then is the appeal? Oh, that’s right… they get to force on people an agrarian existence when people lived in huts, starved to death, and died of dental problems… It’s made to suit by global village idiots who are usually against “globalization”, want to give your kids dystopian nightmares, and are against jet travel unless it’s their fact-finding junkets.

Keep cranking out those bad ideas lefty... you'll starve your followers soon enough!

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