Neil Jacobsohn Hydrogen economy

I am still uneasy with the assertion that the hydrogen economy will "fizzle out" and "be over before it started." Every indication I have had from the experts we have had talking to us, and what I have read, is that hydroigen is likely to be a useful and significant part of the energy mix of the future. That seems to be the key - that it will be a mix.
Posted: 14 March 2006 at 00:00

Wolfgang Grulke RE: Hydrogen economy

This is a contentious issue and may be unlikely at this time (in 2006), but it is a valid scenario. What if it DOES happen?
Posted: 14 March 2006 at 00:00

Wolfgang Grulke Methanol: The New Hydrogen

Technology Review writes on March 27, 2006: Advances in methanol synthesis, coupled with improved fuel cell technology, could make it a viable alternative to gasoline.

Read more at http://www.technologyreview.com/BizTech/wtr_16629,296,p1.html
Posted: 27 March 2006 at 17:26

Doug Vining Methanol fuel cells for laptops

UltraCell (www.ultracellpower.com) manufactures a methanol-powered fuel cell that beats the challenge of short fuel cell life. UltraCell achieves its fuel cell life by operating the fuel cell on hydrogen, obtained by cracking the methanol molecules in a reformer. Hydrogen is much gentler on the sensitive membrane technology used in fuel cells. An UltraCell device, currently about the size of a hardback book, can deliver 25W for 7.5 hours from a replaceable 200ml methanol fuel cartridge.
Posted: 2 May 2006 at 11:18

Doug Vining Biodiesel beats Ethanol

A comparison of ethanol and biodiesel shows that ethanol yields 25 percent more energy than is used in its production and biodiesel 93 percent more. Ethanol reduces emissions by 12 percent compared to fossil fuels and biodiesel reduces emissions by 41 percent.
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0604600103v1
(Methanol is used in the production of biodiesel)
Posted: 7 September 2006 at 08:51

Doug Vining Is this the radical innovation we need...

To make the 'hydrogen economy' a reality?

Green cars of the future could run on a syrupy mixture of starch and water, according to new research.

Researchers have found a cocktail of enzymes that converts starchy syrups to hydrogen and carbon dioxide. The hydrogen can then be fed into a fuel cell to run an electric car, or even used in an ordinary combustion engine.

The team says its technology is the solution to three major hurdles that stand between us and a hydrogen economy: safe and cheap production, storage and transportation of hydrogen.

http://environment.newscientist.com/article/dn11927-starch-diet-could-power-car-of-the-future.html


Posted: 24 May 2007 at 21:11

Doug Vining Hydrogen in 50 years

John Melo, CEO of alternative fuel (and medicine) maker Amyris Technologies, told an audience at the GoingGreen conference that when he worked at BP two years ago, he was part of a project to determine if hydrogen made sense as an auto fuel. The answer was yes, 50 years from now. In the meantime, there will be a biofuel boom.
http://www.news.com/8301-10784_3-9775918-7.html
Posted: 14 September 2007 at 14:45

Doug Vining The Hydrogen Economy - will it take off in 2011?

One of Deloitte's predictions for 2011 is the imminent success of hydrogen fuel cells. They do acknowledge that it will not be in the automotive sector, but give a detailed analysis of where the opportunities lie.

This analysis hits the mark on the real problems which have prevented the hydrogen economy from materializing: Hydrogen is not a natural resource, and essentially has to be manufactured to be a fuel. But there are some applications where the high cost of fuel cells and the refueling issues can be justified.

Time will tell, but I am personally of the opinion that a synthetic liquid fuel, like a methanol-diesel hybrid, could be developed, which would work in fuel cells or engines, and provide the type of breakthrough scenario outlined in this MindBullet. One thing is for sure, the vision of hydrogen cars buzzing around every city has proved to be an illusion.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "The Hydrogen Economy - will it take off in 2011?") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=6e160538-6ef7-4839-b802-2ed3c809c175
Posted: 19 January 2011 at 10:23

Doug Vining Artificial leaf to kick-start the hydrogen economy

I wrote about Daniel Nocera's artificial leaf a week or two ago, but here is a more detailed review of his technology.

The key advantage for me, is the device produces hydrogen directly from water, to power a fuel cell or be stored for later use, when the sun isn't shining. So, not only could the problem of storage for solar power be solved by this invention, the hydrogen economy could also become a reality, particularly as the device design lends itself to distributed use by, for example, individual households or car owners.

For me that's really the holy grail in energy production; efficient, affordable off-grid production by individuals and communities, breaking the control of centralised systems like coal and nuclear plants, and using free energy from the sun. Although this is still in the early stages, it could be the black swan that changes the energy scene forever.
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Artificial leaf to kick-start the hydrogen economy") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=7c1e4e05-b9f9-4b48-b092-7157c6983aa8
Posted: 7 April 2011 at 09:45

Doug Vining The nitrogen economy

Here's an interesting article from the Economist that picks up on another alternative in the gas vs electric car debate. As we've recently noted the current market for plug-in electric cars in the US is proving rather slim. The other type of electric car that perhaps holds greater promise is one driven by fuel cells rather than batteries. They are quicker to refuel, have greater range, and are even more environmentally friendly than plug-in cars.

The problem with fuel cells is the high cost of manufacture and the fact that they run best on hydrogen - which is a tricky fuel to manufacture, store and distribute. It can't be mined and uses electricity in its production.

But what about liquid nitrogen? Also a store of energy rather than a raw fuel, it can be used to power piston or turbine engines by rapidly expanding into a harmless gas. Liquid nitrogen is also apparently easily stored and refilled, and is currently in plentiful supply. Perhaps this innovation may also help to kill the electric car?
A FuturesForum post (titled: "The nitrogen economy") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=64ac8eb2-c7e6-4dc2-9adb-a18be7ceebda
Posted: 24 October 2012 at 11:20

Doug Vining Half-price gasoline

Now that's a headline to get attention! Sasol has been making liquid fuels from natural gas for years, but it's only viable when oil is costly and gas is cheap. It still takes a lot of energy to convert gas to useful fuels.

Now a startup company appears to have cracked the catalyst conundrum to quickly and easily convert natural gas to... no, not hydrogen, but ethylene, which is one step away from gasoline. Could this be one of those black swans that changes everything?
A FuturesForum post (titled: "Half-price gasoline") refers to this MindBullet. The full FuturesForum post can be read here: http://www.futureworld.org/PublicZone/FuturesForum/BlogDetails.aspx?PostID=dd70b3f0-d44a-4065-aa5c-cd5d96967e52
Posted: 15 January 2014 at 09:31
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