logo
The Daily Stirrer

Will Hydrogen Fuel Cells Power The Cars We Drive In The Future


by Ian R Thorpe.

With battery technology and biofuel looking increasingly unrealistic the fuel source of the future for our cars looks like being hydrogen

Will Hydrogen Fuel Cells Power The Cars We Drive In The Future
by Ian R Thorpe.
2011-02-20
All the talk at the moment is of electric and hybrid cars. Though the problems of electric traction for personal transport are still proving insurmountable the "experts" who spends all their lives cocoon in universities, safe from the harsh world of reality mumble vaguely about new battery technologies that will give electric cars a decent range and not require all the passenger and luggage space for a battery pack big and powerful enough to move it's own weight up a moderate hill and politicians talk about "green jobs" that will be created by the new, clean, sustainable technologies, no manufacturer has yet come up with an electric or hybrid car that is fit for purpose. Look at some of the concept cars displayed at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show if you want to know how unrealistic. Some are OK for going to the local shops and back but stymied on a family on account of only having one seat.

Electricity is not the future for cars. Despite all the wishful thinking there are no realistic new battery technologies on the horizon. Public transport is not an option, we have been spoiled by the independence a private car gives us. So where do we go from here? There is a very promising option that has all the advantages of the conventional internal combustion engine but does not run on fuel made from precious oil. Better still it does not pollute the atmosphere. So what's the magic new fuel fuel? Hydrogen -- the simplest and most abundant element in the universe. And some people think we will be driving hydrogen-powered cars by 2035.

The idea of hydrogen powered private cars may sound like something from a science fiction film but the idea has been around a long time. In 1839 a Welsh scientist, Sir William Robert Grove, reversed the familiar electrochemical process of electrolysis, which a to produce hydrogen from water thus generating electricity and water from hydrogen and the oxygen in air. He called his invention a gas voltaic battery. One hundred and seventy years later his technique has evolved into the a hydrogen fuel cell which is what will power our cars in future.

A hydrogen car's fuel cell converts hydrogen to electricity, giving off only heat and water as byproducts. Because it's non-polluting, hydrogen seems like the ideal fuel for the 21st century. A lot of people in the government and the auto industry are excited about its potential. There are still many technical problems to be overcome before hydrogen becomes the fuel of choice for enough people to have any impact on our hunger for fossil fuels. For instance, where will we get the hydrogen? How expensive will these fuel-efficient cars be to purchase? Will you be able to find a hydrogen fuelling station to refill your tank? And, perhaps most importantly, as a fuel, is hydrogen really as non-polluting as it seems?

The first working fuel cell system was developed in the early 1960s by the American Company General Electric for use in orbiting space capsules. After that advance things went quiet for fuel cells until in the 1990s fuel cells began to be tried as a clean fuel for in city buses and urban transport systems. On the strength of these trials we know powering vehicles with fuel cells is technically feasible.

A fuel cell is similar to a battery but while a battery keeps stores an electrical charge inside itself, a fuel cell needs to be refilled with hydrogen to enable it to generate electricity. As some people who were paying attention might recall from high school chemistry class, hydrogen is the simplest of all elements. A hydrogen atom consists of a single electron orbiting a single proton. The fuel cell generates electricity by separating the electrons of atoms from the protons and using the energy released by the process to create electricity. The ionized hydrogen atoms then combine with oxygen to form water. The other byproduct of this process is heat, so this water generally takes the form of steam. How's that for eco-friendly driving?

So simple it sounds to good to be true? Well sorry, but there is no such thing as a free lunch and we have a few drawbacks to take into account.

The type of fuel cell used in cars is called the polymer exchange membrane (or PEM) fuel cell. PEM fuel cells have the advantage of being light and small. They consist of two electrodes (a negatively charged anode and a positively charged cathode), a catalyst and a membrane. Hydrogen is forced into the fuel cell at the anode in the form of H2 molecules, each of which contains two hydrogen atoms. A catalyst at the anode breaks the molecules into hydrogen ions (the protons) and a flow of electricity (the electrons). The ions pass through the membrane, but the electricity has to go around. While it en route, it can be harnassed to power electric motors. Just as hydrogen is forced into the fuel cell at the anode, oxygen is forced in at the cathode. The protons and electrons reunite at the cathode and join with the oxygen to form water, most of which become the fuel cell's exhaust. Fuel cells are designed to be flat and thin, mainly so they can be stacked. The more fuel cells in the stack, the greater the voltage of the electricity that the stack produces. This process means we need to have ready supplies of hydrogen to fill our cars' tanks as we now have oil based fuels.

Hydrogen many be the most abundant substance in the universe, but unlike the brown, smelly stuff that is probably the second most abundant, we are not going to find piles of hydrogen lying around in the countryside. Where do we get hydrogen. People as old as me or maybe a bit less will remember having to charge the battery on older cars by attaching a positive and negative lead from a mains connected battery charger to the car's battery terminals. When the battery was charged the acid that filled it would bubble as it gave off hydrogen. So we could find we have to use electricity to produce the hydrogen we need to produce the electricity to drive our cars. And given there is not nor will there ever be a technology that will make the wind blow or the sun shine steadily for twenty four hours every day there is at the moment no real alternative to fossil fuel or nuclear power.

You might actually see a hydrogen-powered car on the road, with steam coming out of its exhaust pipe instead of foul-smelling gases within five years. Several hydrogen cars are now in existence and some have been featured on television shows like the BBC's Top Gear but most of them are concept cars. These eco-friendly driving machines include the Chevrolet Equinox, the BMW 745h and the one that's currently available for lease in California, the Honda Clarity FCX.

Many people think that fuel-efficient vehicles like hydrogen-powered cars will be crucial in meeting the energy demands of the 21st century. Whether you subscribe to the global warming theories of "climate science" (I'm a sceptic) there can be no argument that we are using up oil reserved quickly and the environment is not going to be replacing them any time soon. In 2003, President George W. Bush announced a $1.2 billion Freedom Fuel Initiative in support of the development of fuel cell technology. Fuel cells have major advantages over fossil fuels and biofuels, the other new fuel source on the block.. First, they don't deplete the world's finite supply of oil, which helps us preserve the existing supplies , nor do the require the assignment of agricultural land to fuel crops. Second, the only emission from a fuel cell's operation is heat and water, which means fuel cells don't produce any of the many pollutants besides carbon dioxide that are emitted by conventional engines.

On the other hand, unless you live in a heavily populated part of the world where demand would be sufficient to warrant equipping forecourts with hydrogen as well as petrol (gasoline) and diesel pumps, and you have an almost infinite supply do not expect to be one of the early adopters of hydrogen fuelled cars.

RELATED POSTS:

New Development Makes Hydrogen Look Like A Realistic Hope For Replacing Fossil Fuels
Scientists have adopted the principles of photosynthesis to develop a way of separating hydrogen from other elementsin a development that offers a possible solution to global energy problems. Researchers claim their discovery could help realise the potential of hydrogen as a clean, cheap, renewable and reliable power source. Unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen can be ...

Green Energy Causing Global WarmingFancy A Laugh? Here's a good story. A new scientific study says wind farms can cause climate change. The new research, that shows for the first time the new technology is already pushing up temperatures. Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools. Simples. But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere ...
Pay To Drive Roads To Cover Britain As Tories Become Blue LabourThere is no doubt that of all the bad ideas the National Socialist government of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown came up with in their 13 year bid to enslave the British people on behalf of their New World Order mates in the Bilderberg Group was the introduction of toll roads that would make it impossible to get anywhere without paying a road toll to a private company as well as road tax and about 500% tax on fuel ...
Scalar Waves: A hidden source of clean, cost free energyA infinite supply of cost free, clean electricity that has been know to the world for over a hundred years but never exploited? Is Ian talking about a science fiction story? you might well ask. Well no, I'm not. Scalar Waves, discovered by Nikola Tesler have that potential along with the potential to put the energy companies outr of business ...
Electric car mini adventure
Reasons to hate the Toyota Prius
Toyota Prius Shadenfreude
Burning The Planet
Cyclist Hunting Season
Driver friendly roads in Wales
Green Energy Meltdown
Just Drive
Sat Nav Suzie and the technoklutz soldier
Science and technology Menu
CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: car, cars, technology, battery, hydrogen, fuel, cell, energy, green, electricity, power, electric, sustainable, pollution, ianrthorpe, ian thorpe, greenteeth

If you liked this, please give it a boost

Bookmark and Share

CREATIVE COMMONS: Attribute, non commercial, no derivs.
KEYWORDS: car, cars, technology, battery, hydrogen, fuel, cell, energy, green, electricity, power, electric, sustainable, pollution, ianrthorpe, ian thorpe, greenteeth

Close Window and return to menu
News Feeds (Go back to top) <
BBC News
CNN
SITE SEARCH
find keywords on this site

Enter keywords& choose search engine:

Google: Yahoo: MSN:

This free script provided by
JavaScript Kit

INFORMATION & NAVIGATION

navigate

navigate

CATEGORIES

Fiction
Animal related
Art Menu
America:
Belief, Faith and Religion
Big Data And The Surveillance State
Catalogue of the Bizarre
Our posts on the Brexit saga
Celebrity mocking and knocking
Climate and Environment
Comedy, Satire, Humour
Debt Crisis and Money Matters
Driven To Drink
Europe index of posts
Posts on far east
The trade and commerce catalogue page
Germany - index of posts
EU Immigration crisis
Cultiral Clash - Islam Versus Multiculturalism
Education Menu
Fear and Panic
Globalisation - the enemy of freedom
Geoengineering: Science versus Humanity
Health Menu
History - new perspectives
Immigration crisis
Humanitas
ISIS and the Middle East War
Jobs Crisis
Living Within The conspiracy
Middle East
Nanny State and The Thought Police
Past Perspectives
Philo & Sophia
Politically Correct Stupidity
Fools & Dreamers
Politics and Economy
Recommended Reading
Science and Technology
Sex and sexuality
Sport
Syria -learn what really happened (catalogue) UK politics
Weird and Supernatural
World Politics
SNACKS (sub topics)
The Ageing population
age
Religion and spirituality
Climate Change
Comedy and Humour
Education is overrated
The environment
Europe
Health
Internet Technology
Jobs and employment
Money and finance
Myths and traditions
Nanny Orwell
People and Places
Science, technology
Society
UK politics
War
World Politics

Our Internet Places
Scribd
Blogster
Ed Butt at Bubblews
Wikinuts
Boggart Blog
Little Nicky Machiavelli
Boggart Network News
Greenteeth Bites
Greenboggart
Boggart Blog Central
Daily Stirrer briefing
Boggart Network News
BOGGART BLOG ARCHIVES
BBselect001
BBselect002
BBselect003
BBselect004
BBselect005
BBselect006
MULTI MEDIA
Spoken Word
Video
Music
Graphic Art

Home
Top Of Page
Back Catalogue
Our Comments
FEATURESThe Daily Stirrer
Boggart Blog Central

Comedy Main
Comic Verse
Cartoons
A Tale Told By An Idiot
General
Fiction
History
Thought
Poetry
Science & Technology
Elsewhere

Boggart Blog Daily
Little Nicky Machiavelli
This writer at Authorsden Gathering
Delicious Greenteeth
Boggart Network News
Boggart Network News

More From Around The Labyrinth

LATEST POSTS & COMMENTS

February 2020

Germany's ruling party split over how to respond to AfD
Germany's Christian Democrat party (CDU) is as deeply divided as Britain's Labour Party over how to respond to the upsurge of nationalism. Facing a serious challenge from the nationalist (but not far right please, they are not that,) Alternative for Germany party (AFD) the CDU seems pitifully unprepared for departure of the Chancellor Merkel at a point when Germany its facing most serious political and economic crisis for decades.

Afer EU Engineered Hiatus Italy Heading For New Elections?
Matteo Salvini's Lega are by far the most popular political party in Italy and have been for some time, only a stitch up engineered by the Brussels bureaucracy has kept them out of power. But Brussels determination to prevent any Eurosceptic party becoming part of a governing coalition in any member state reveals the true, authoritarian nature of the European Union.

Sweden dystopia omnibusSwedish Communist Party: The Left Has Abandoned the Working Class For Migrants & LGBT issues
Are the left getting it at last? Is the message sinking in that the grass roots movements have been infiltrated and hijacked by middle class intellectuals. Are they starting to realise that the obsession with identity politics has supplanted income inequality, housing availability, jobs and the cost of living ... ?

Is the World Health Organization involved in biological warfare research?
Dr. Francis Boyle, a professor of international law, talked in a recent interview with about the Wuhan coronavirus now sweeping through the far east, laboratory in Wuhan, China, where the genetically modified virus appears to have originated, and the World Health Organization’s (WHO) clandestine involvement in biological warfare research ...Continue reading

13-year-old fights school policy allowing ‘trans girls’ into girls’ changing room February 7, 2020 (Paul Smeaton, LifeSiteNews) – A 13-year-old UK girl is taking her local council to court after it issued guidance that would allow boys who identify as “transgender girls” to access girls’ bathrooms, changing rooms, and dormitory rooms on student trips.
The guidance was issued last year as part of the Oxfordshire County Council’s “Trans Inclusion Toolkit for School 2019” project.

RACIST BRITAIN: ‘Black Studies’ Professor Says British Empire Was Worse Than Nazi GermanyBritain’s first professor of “Black Studies”, (yes you can get a Mickey Mouse degree from Toytown University in Black Studies,) who is aquiring quite a reputation for uttering ‘hate speech’ against Britain and white people in general, has now opined the British Empire did “far more harm” than Hitler’s Germany, and branded “whiteness” a “... Continue reading”.

Big Pharma billionaire charged with conspiracy and bribery of doctors
Not long ago it would have been inconceivable that one day a Big Pharma company founder and owner would be arrested for running a criminal drug cartel, but that is exactly what happened a few days ago. “Federal authorities arrested the billionaire founder and owner of Insys Therapeutics Thursday on charges of bribing doctors and pain clinics into prescribing the company’s fentanyl product to their patients ...

Coronavirus Contains “HIV Insertions”: Claim Stokes Fears Over Genetically Modified BioweaponFor the past two weeks mainstream media reporting of the epidemic of a new strain of coronavirus in China has been getting more and more hysterical. However, reports have pushed back against one "conspiracy theory" about the origins of the virus that has now infected as many as 70,000+ people in the central China city of Wuhan alone (depending on whom you believe).

Corona Virus: Should We Worry
The official data coming out of China and from other sources including the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus continues to suggest an exponential growth rate. With more and more infectious disease experts are now openly calling the virus a full-blown global pandemic, many people are asking should we in the west be worried and how bad might things get?

The Islamic Republic Of France
France’s left-wing elite are accused of cowardice for failing to support 16-year-old girl facing death threats after she insulted Islam online, the ruling class have been also accused of cowardice for failing to support a 16-year-old girl who has faced death threats after she allegedly insulted Islam online.

Clinton Kill List To Determine Who Will Be US 2020 Presidential Candidate?
And then, in accordance with Murphy’s law, which states just when you think things can’t get any worse, they do, Hillary Clinton has emerged, having found what she obviously thinks is a sure – fire route to the presidency, to offer her services as vice presidential candidate to whoever wins the nomination. And just to show how far The Democrats are removed from reality, many leading figures in the party and the left leaning media think it’s a good idea.

January 2020

Coronavirus Contains “HIV Insertions”: Claim Stokes Fears Over Genetically Modified Bioweapon
The theory that China obtained the coronavirus via a Canadian research program, and started molding it into a bioweapon at the Institute of Virology in Wuhan before it somehow escaped could be an attempt by the establishment (the Davosocracy,) to spread fear and panic as they see resurgent nationalism across the developed world and growing scepticism about

Italy most likely member to quit the EU and demand independence after Brexit -shock poll 23:01 (11 pm) 31 January, the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union.

Throughout the day, the last on which the UK will be a member of the European Union, more than 7,000 people took part in an online, and completely meaningless except as a gesture, poll which asked which nation they thought would be next to leave the 27 member bloc ...

US Democratic Party Orders Google To Spread Globalist Propaganda
The U.S. House of Representatives Select Committee on the Climate Crisis has demanded, in a letter to Google CEO Sudar Pichai that the Internet Search giant demonetize climate skeptics, and provide 'education' to millions of people who have been exposed to “dangerous misinformation”. Key actions demanded of Google by The Democrats are:

Time is NOT real: Physicists show EVERYTHING happens at the same time

The concept of time is simply an illusion made up of human memories, everything that has ever been and ever will be is happening RIGHT NOW. That is the theory according to a group of esteemed physicists who aim to solve one of the universe’s mysteries.
Most people do not even consider the concept of time but there is nothing in the laws of physics to state that it should move in the forward direction that we know. The laws of physics are symmetric ultimately meaning that time could have easily moved in a backward direction as it does forward. Indeed some adherents to the ‘big crunch’ theory say time WILL run backwards when the universe stops expanding and starts contracting back in on itself.

The BBC is panicking at the public’s rejection of its arrogant Left-liberal worldview
This is nearly over – this weird disconnect between what most of us understand as reality and the world as seen through the eyes of an all pervasive Authority that was apparently appointed (although we never knew by whom) to establish the limits of public discourse. The crisis of confidence at the BBC – and make no mistake, it is a full blown, all alarm bells ringing, catastrophic crisis ...

The grooming gang cover-up is Britain’s real racism scandal

Forget pathetic 'Princess Pushy' Megan Markle petulantly playing the race card when she found life in the goldfish bowl occupied by Britain's Royal Family was not to her liking, the grooming gang cover up is Britain's racist scandal - and it is far worse than the trivialities that get American libtards screaming about "White Privilege ..."

John McCain’s Widow Comments on Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Trafficking ChargesJohn McCain’s Widow Comments on Jeffrey Epstein’s Sex Trafficking Charges


Speaking at a human trafficking event in Florida, McCain revealed that her family was quite familiar with Epstein’s wrongdoings as one girl from her daughter’s high school was actually among the financier’s underage victims, then suddenly acknowledging that she “knew” about his crimes.
More posts:

French Intellectual Jailed for Calling Mass Immigration an “Invasion”
French intellectual Renaud Camus (above) has been conditionally sentenced to 2 months imprisonment for arguing that mass immigration in Europe represents an “invasion.” Summit.news reports: The writer, who is the author of Le Grand Remplacement (The Great Replacement), was charged with “public incitement to hate or violence on the basis of origin, ethnicity, nationality, race or religion.”

“Hard” Of Hearing? PornHub Being Sued By Deaf Man For Lack Of Subtitles
We read today that sex supermaket site PornHub is being sued by Yaroslav Suris, who has filed a lawsuit claiming that its lack of PornHub’s lack of subtitles for the hard of hearing is discriminatory. Suris’ bone of contention is that the website violates his rights under the Americans With Disabilities Act, according to showbiz gossip site TMZ, which broke the story ...

Quitaly Back On As Salvini Prepares To Take On The EU
While the bureaucraps of Brussels were still congratuating themselves on forcing Matteo Salvini’s Lega party out of Italy’s governernment, mainstream media barely bothered to cover the news that Lega won the state elections in Umbria towards the end of October 2019. Thus the story that should have had Europhiles like Emmanuel Macron and Guy Verhofshit crapping themselves was barely noticed.

Police Failed To Act Against Muslim Grooming Gang Due To Fears Over "Community Tensions" A new report based on the evidence of former Grester Manchester Police Detective Constable Maggie Oliver acknowledges that the force failed to stop dozens of girls being groomed and sexually exploited by a network of Pakistani men despite being fully aware of what was happening due to fears over creating “community tensions.” The report notes that the instruction to avoid prosecuting came "right from the top ..."

Asian grooming gang given free pass to rape; police officers told ‘find other ethnicities’ to investigate – detective.
A report published today, authored by child protection specialist Malcolm Newsam CBE and former senior police officer Gary Ridgway, comes following the reopening of an investigation into the death of 15-year-old Victoria Agoglia, who – after years of abuse and days after she was injected with heroin by a 50-year-old man – died in hospital of an overdose in 2003.

Greta Thunberg Slams Australia for Coal Industry, Expands List of Climate Demands
Little Greta Thunberg, who was elected by nobody apparently now speaks for us all on matters relating to climate change. The Swedish climate change hustler who is making a fortune for her handlers from donations to her campaign, again castigated Australia for continuing to mine and export coal despite her previous complaints, adding a call for an end worldwide to the actibity to her list of climate demands to be delivered at the upcoming World Economic Forum in Davos ...

Macron Digs In Against The General Strike, But Could It Finish Him?
As the French braces itself for the latest wave of protests and strikes across the country, as attitudes harden against President Emmanuel Macron's pension and retirement system reforms. Karel Vereycken, vice-president of France's Solidarity and Progress Party, has given his version what's behind the recent wave of strikes and why Macron's efforts to calm the situation down are backfiring.