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View Diary: Recent DOE Break-Through with Hydrogen Fuel Cells, should make them Affordable (275 comments)

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  •  You make some good points, (2+ / 0-)
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    jamess, Recall

    but this statement is patently incorrect.

    So the main problem with the Fuel Cell tech is that it, until recently relies on very expensive Platinum, to directly "convert chemical energy into electrical energy" -- foregoing the Petro-Carbon footprint, of conventional fuels.

    In fairness, you do cover the real problem with hydrogen later in your piece, and I appreciate that.  The real problem is that producing hydrogen, currently, relies on using fossil fuels as reducing agents (natural gas is the least harmful one, since some of its hydrogen ends up in the hydrogen produced).  It is also the least pernicious one to burn directly, lessening its advantage for hydrogen production.  However, hydrogen can also be produced using coal as the reducing agent, and that is HORRIBLE!

    The fact remains that, at least with current technologies and economics, the cheapest way to produce hydrogen is to use fossil fuels, with carbon dioxide as the result.  This is worse than breakeven, since all industrial processes are much less that unity efficient.  Well, that may be an overgeneralization, but not too far from fact.

    With all of that said, I believe that fuel cells are going to be a viable method to produce electricity for smaller end users.  I certainly also hope so.  But until and unless a more economical way to produce hydrogen is developed that does not produce carbon dioxide, and soon, this is only one of the small pieces in an extremely complex landscape.

    By the way, as soon as I complete this comment I shall both tip and recommend this diary, since it does seem to be pretty objective.

    Warmest regards,

    Doc

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Fool me over and over, then either I really love you blindly or I am a Republican.

    by Translator on Sun Apr 24, 2011 at 08:56:48 PM PDT

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