Fuel cell

Discussion in 'General' started by Riki, Feb 7, 2018.

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  1. Riki

    Riki New Member

    Does any one tell me what would be the cost of making a hydrogen fuel cell?
    If it is costly then is any other way to produce hydrogen fuel?
    Domenick likes this.
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  3. Hi, Riki.
    I found the following from the Institute of Physics about the cost of fuel cells, though keep in mind a fuel cell is something that takes hydrogen fuel and converts it into electricity. It doesn't produce hydrogen.
    "Up to a few years ago, hydrogen fuel cells cost around $1000 for every kilowatt of power they generated – or around $100,000 per car. There were various avenues of research into how to bring the cost down, including work at Lawrence Berkley Laboratories on replacing the platinum catalyst with a platinum-nickel alloy that was 90 times more efficient.

    By last year, US Department of Energy reported that it had got the cost down to $61 per kilowatt – far closer to the target cost of $30."

    Hydrogen can be produced in a few ways. The oldest is via electrolysis of water, where electric current is fed into water, which breaks down into its components, oxygen and hydrogen. It is considered an inefficient method as it takes a lot of energy to break up the molecules, and the hydrogen will then need to be compressed further to be compact enough to be used as fuel on a vehicle.

    Another method of producing hydrogen is steam reformation of natural gas. That's the way it's typically produced today as it's the cheapest. You can find out more about this process on Wikipedia.
  4. Riki

    Riki New Member

    Wil steam reformation process for a car be suitable?
  5. I don't think so.
    There was some talk of being able to produce hydrogen on the go from methanol or natural gas, but I don't think it's feasible yet.
  6. Riki

    Riki New Member

    I want a process which does not involve carbon. I want a fuel which will be pollutionless.
    As I know most easily available non carbon fuel is hydrogen but for extracting it from air will bi very costly further I want a process which will be cheap to produce it. And use it as a fuel for a car.
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  8. Then, electrolysis of water from electricity from renewable sources is the only way I can think of to do that. The only drawback is cost of the producing hydrogen with this method. This is why many prefer batteries to store electricity directly. It is a lot more efficient than going through the whole hydrogen part.
  9. Riki

    Riki New Member

    Can we install a small nuclear reactor in a car ?
  10. I don't think we've gotten them down to quite that small yet.
  11. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    Anhydrous ammonia, NH{3}, is a non-carbon, hydrogen carrier that can be efficiently converted to nitrogen and hydrogen. However, you might want to look at metal hydrides as a carrier of hydrogen gas.

    This Wiki article would be a good place to start: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_storage

    If you want to experiment with small amounts, there is the aluminum-lye approach:

    This will make experimental sized units so you can learn about hydrogen properties. Warning, do not fill a dry cleaning bag with hydrogen and test it with a match. The deafening explosion will be followed by pieces of melted plastic to burn skin and the fireball will burn all exposed hair to the skin.

    Bob Wilson
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  13. Don't ask him how he knows this. :D
  14. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

  15. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Then you should look at something other than hydrogen. Those pushing the "hydrogen economy" make false claims about hydrogen being non-polluting. The truth is that it's very energy inefficient, which means the various processes for producing, compressing, storing, and dispensing it are very wasteful and polluting indeed.

    If you want a realistic way of powering a car without producing any pollution, then look at solar power to charge a battery-electric vehicle. Anything else is going to be very difficult, very expensive, and very wasteful.

    More info here: "How to Promote the Hydrogen Economy Hoax"
  16. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    In theory, yes. See details here.

    In practice, no. That tech needs a lot of development. Plus, with all the worry about terrorists making a dirty bomb, I doubt the government is going to allow mass production of small reactors containing radioactive materials for use by the general public.

    Maybe someday we'll see automobiles powered by direction conversion of nuclear power to electricity, but not tomorrow and almost certainly not next year.
  17. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    My plugin hybrids are electrically powered by:
    • natural gas
    • nuclear
    • coal
    • hydro
    • renewables
    Bob Wilson
  18. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Active Member

    Hydrogen is NOT a fuel, nor is it energy.

    Hydrogen is an energy storage medium - when used in a fuel cell, it is the same function as a battery.
  19. Roy_H

    Roy_H Active Member

    Fair minded?
    "While battery-electric technology cannot yet make the leap from commuter cars to work trucks, it's easier to diversify the FCEV powertrain in a semi truck like Project Portal for other heavy-duty uses like construction equipment, earth-movers, tractors, and more."

    They continue to deny reality to make their claims. First they imply that only short distance commuter cars can be battery powered, and then say that trucks cannot despite many truck manufacturers already announced and in some cases delivered electric trucks of various sizes.
  20. Martin Williams

    Martin Williams Active Member

    I think the battery trucks currently being fielded are intended for short local deliveries, where they can be charged at a depot at night.

    But I doubt if they will ever be able to carry enough energy to go from NYC to LA. They would require far too many recharging stops along the way, and the total time wasted would render them uneconomical.

    As to construction machinery like bulldozers, that requires far too much energy for a battery. There ARE very large electric draglines, but they are powered via a cable, for this reason. If it is working in a quarry, or an open cast mine, it won't be expected to travel very far and a power cable is quite tolerable.

    So I doubt if anyone is seriously considering making a fuel-cell powered bulldozer, but it is quite widely used in buses now, and I believe someone makes an FC powered train. I've seen them used in drones too, where they can sustain much longer flight times than the battery powered ones.

    I guess its a matter of choosing horses for courses. We are not compelled to choose one technology and apply it to EVERYTHING!
  21. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    "Never" is a long time, and I rather suspect it won't be many years before your position -- that battery tech has reached its limit and will never substantially improve -- is proven to be impossibly naive. There are hundreds of companies and university research teams working hard to develop that next quantum jump in commercial battery tech!

    I'm sure that will come as a great surprise to many companies; for example, Pon Equipment. :rolleyes:

    Pon Caterpillar 323F
    Pon Equipment, in association with Caterpillar, has developed a zero emissions 25 inch (63.5 cm) electric excavator called the 323F that will be sold as part of the company’s Z Line of zero emissions earth moving and construction equipment. The machine can operate for up to 7 hours on a single battery charge. One hour of charging using a 400 volt charger gives it enough power to do another hour of work. If a 1000 volt charger is available, a full battery charge can be obtained in about 90 minutes. The electric digger is intended for use in urban areas where noise and emissions standards are becoming increasingly restrictive.
    There are niche applications, such as in aerospace and in underwater drones, where the small size of a fuel cell is an advantage which outweighs the disadvantages of the tech and the substantially higher cost of hydrogen fuel. Aerial drones is one of those niche applications.

    Hydrogen is great as a fuel for the booster stage of large rockets, but I have yet to see any application for wheeled vehicles where hydrogen-fueled fuel cells appear to be practical.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  22. Pushmi-Pullyu

    Pushmi-Pullyu Well-Known Member

    Of course hydrogen is a fuel. That's the physical reality. Denying this reality is nonsense.

    You can make the argument that renewable H2 is an energy carrier, but that's an economic argument; it doesn't change the physical reality. And frackogen (hydrogen made by reforming natural gas) certainly isn't just an "energy carrier"; it's a source of energy, just like petroleum and gasoline.

    I'd say the differences between batteries and hydrogen fuel are at least as important as the similarities. As with all fuels, hydrogen has to be oxidized to produce energy*. Batteries don't. As with any fuel, the H2 is exhausted in use and has to be replaced periodically. Rechargeable batteries don't.

    *Which is why spacecraft carrying fuel cells must also carry a supply of oxygen, in addition to hydrogen fuel.
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
  23. NeilBlanchard

    NeilBlanchard Active Member

    It takes more energy to create than it produces - so it is not a fuel. In the context of a FCEV, it is used to produce electricity to move the car, so it is an energy carrier, that produces electricity through a chemical reaction, like batteries.

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