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View Full Version : What is the Fuel of the Future?


Dodger
01-20-2005, 06:03 AM
I am just interested to see all of your views on this subject. It is a question that has been in the media for a long time but there is no clear direction that anyone has stepped in. <p>They all have downfalls:<p>Gas/Electric- fuel mileage is not as good as EPA est.<p>Diesel- needs to become cleaner <p>Fuel Cell- they rely on hydrogen to make their power<p>Hydrogen- just as pollutive as gas when trying to obtain it<p>My vote goes to gas/ electric, they just need to work on them a little to get the mileage up where it should be.<p>I am not adding battery power becuase at this stage in the game, they need to improve them immensly for them to be at all practical.

pcread
01-20-2005, 06:42 AM
Hydrogen and here's for why:<p>There's lots of it. Trully amazing amounts, so it will never run out. All it takes to tease it out of the molecules it's part of is a dash of electricity. <br>Either you use it in fuel cells and reverse the extraction process, or you combine it back with O2 in a more explosive setting, you get energy and water.<p>So what are the drawbacks? As Dodger points out you have to pollute to extract it. And lets face it; oil, natural gas and coal are all finite resources that will soon be prohibitively expensive. But luckily electricity can be generated in other ways too. <br>Wind, tides and sunlight are one very clean way of doing it, but not always as reliable or productive as our increasing energy needs demand.<br>Fusion's not even on the drawing board yet, so everybody's favourite atom, Uranium 235, will have to be called upon in the future.<br>Finland is building a new nuclear power station to provide electricity for it's industry and consumers and other countries will follow. <p>Politicians and Industry are just putting off the inevitable and hoping the problem will go away. It won't. Oil production will soon be declining and consumption is increasing drastically so if we don't start working on a solution yesterday, we are in for a cold snap.

Nick
01-20-2005, 12:22 PM
if they would just develope the technology more, it wouldnt be as hard to refine the hydrogen in the future...frankly I wish we would vonvert ver to fusion for our energy...sure there is that minimalistic risk that there may be a meltdown, but with the technology of today I have a feeling that can be easily avoided, just as long as you dont have people like homer simson running the controls...<IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://images.zeroforum.com/smile/emwink.gif" BORDER="0">...but seriously, whats more of a risk...breathing in the toxic polluted air in which we breathe every day, or the very small chance that there may be a meltdown? Correct me if I am wrong but the only meltdowns I have ever heard of happening were the 3 mile island and chernobyl incidents...those happened a good long time ago, things have changed, and I have a feeling fusion really is the way to go...

bolita
01-20-2005, 12:59 PM
What about alcohol and bio-diesel?<p>Alcohol works pretty good in Brazil as far as I know, but I am not sure what the limitations are <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/all_coholic.gif" BORDER="0">

Dodger
01-20-2005, 03:25 PM
Bio-diesel can fall under diesel. I also did not include natural gas because I am pretty possitive that it will not be the main way to power our cars in the future, although they do get fairly good mileage.

Superfresa
01-20-2005, 03:53 PM
In a near future, Diesel. These days they're so clean, swift and quiet that they'd embarass a normal petrol engine. Its also more than tried and tested.<p>In future, Helium. A lot more stable than hydrogen, various test Helium cars have succeded. Heuliez for example, a french manufacturers uses helium for their cars.

pcread
01-20-2005, 04:01 PM
the problem with bio-diesel is that you need a lot of acres of suitable crops to produce enough. One calculation is that to power all the UK's vehicles, you'd need more land to grow, say, oilseed rape than go to make up the British Isles.<p>Helium? I thought that was an inert gas.

Santeno
01-21-2005, 11:15 AM
maybe if we all bottled our farts...<p>Would that qualify as biofuel? We could use them to power vespas and no-one would be the wiser.

Dodger
01-21-2005, 12:22 PM
I think you are on to something Santeno. I hear cows produce a lot of methane...

Superfresa
01-21-2005, 04:32 PM
Nice idea Santeno, where did U get it from? <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/2cool.gif" BORDER="0">

RENCO
01-21-2005, 05:17 PM
Why not a diesel hybrid?

Dodger
01-22-2005, 06:13 AM
If it involves diesel then it can go under diesel

Krypton
01-22-2005, 09:04 AM
I remmembered reading a great article on the limtis of hydrogen economy and found it <p><A HREF="http://www.popsci.com/popsci/generaltech/article/0,20967,927469,00.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.popsci.com/popsci/g....html</A><p>they look at all the misconcptions and myths about hydrogen gas fueling our future

Dodger
01-22-2005, 12:39 PM
Nice find and great article SLR! If it so difficult and expensive to obtain hydrogen I don't see why we are still pursuing it. I guess you have to start somewhere though...<p>I really like the idea of trying to harness wind energy. With changing global climates and weather patterns, (i.e.- hurricanes in Florida) in the area where I live at least, we experience a lot of windy days, more than we used to (sometimes severe; 60 mph gusts in some places last night). I also think we should try to use the sun's energy more effectively, hell it's free!! <p>I think trying to aquire hydrogen from water is a bad idea. We use enough water as it is. The once mighty Colorado River is now down to a trickle in some places. It doesn't help that some areas out west are having prolonged droughts either.

Cozz
01-22-2005, 06:04 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pcread</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">the problem with bio-diesel is that you need a lot of acres of suitable crops to produce enough. One calculation is that to power all the UK's vehicles, you'd need more land to grow, say, oilseed rape than go to make up the British Isles.<p>Helium? I thought that was an inert gas. </TD></TR></TABLE><p>But this is new technology. They have upgraded from 3 years ago from how much bio they can pull from crop produce and will get more effiecent in 5 years.

syclone
01-22-2005, 10:37 PM
The biggest problem is that all of the technologies on the drawing board are new technologies. To move forward, the industry really needs to settle on one and pursue it fully, imo.

Nick
01-23-2005, 01:34 AM
which is why if the industry settles on hydrogen, then they will be able to pursue it and develop it and study it more, therefore in time they will get to a point where it will be easily harnessed...

pcread
01-23-2005, 04:20 AM
Just read that Popular Science article on the failings of Hydrogen and I must say it sounds very biased. <br>Their alternative to Hydrogen powered cars is hybrids, which are at the moment no more efficient than modern diesels and share the same fatal flaw of all fossil fuel burners; that in the ever-nearing future, there won't be enough fossil fuels to burn. Oil's already been at over $50/barrel and will not fall back to levels we enjoyed only 5 years ago ever again. It will only become more and more scarce and more and more expensive. <p>Several of the anti-H arguments also can be easily countered. I agree that renewables aren't a viable way of producing enough power to produce Hydrogen, but it will be a component in those countries that have abundant wind, tide and sun. Nuclear will be the main short-term option and it will become economically competetive. The Finnish reactor now being built in Eurajoki is not being built with government money, but is an joint investment of private investors, large companies that know that their survival is dependant on affordable and reliable electricity. The reactor will be installed by a joint French-German consortium Framatome ANP and Siemens.<p>Also, the article dismissed hydrogen storage safety, citing leaks as a definate risk. Compressed and liquid do risk leakage, but bonded Hydrogen, where the gas is absorbed into a medium such as metal or liquids will be the way forwards. They are currently heavy and bulky, but new nanofibre technology is coming to the fore and that could have a far larger capacity, negating another of PopSci's arguments, restricted range.<p>On the whole, I found the article very negative and prejudiced.

Cozz
01-23-2005, 07:29 AM
A hydrogen powered car is a ticking time bomb. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/driver.gif" BORDER="0">

Superfresa
01-23-2005, 08:21 AM
Therefore there is Helium

pcread
01-23-2005, 08:40 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>Cozz</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">A hydrogen powered car is a ticking time bomb. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/driver.gif" BORDER="0"> </TD></TR></TABLE><p>Not in when it's bonded. Read this and learn something.<br><A HREF="http://www.e-sources.com/hydrogen/storage.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.e-sources.com/hydrogen/storage.html</A>

Cozz
01-23-2005, 10:28 AM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pcread</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote"><p>Not in when it's bonded. Read this and learn something.<br><A HREF="http://www.e-sources.com/hydrogen/storage.html" TARGET="_blank">http://www.e-sources.com/hydrogen/storage.html</A></TD></TR></TABLE><p>Would this type of technology even fit into a small car or even a big SUV? Even if it does fit, you're taking away space from extra fuel and replacing it with safty. How does weight get into the problems.<p>I still think Bio fuel of any king is the better solution. Anything that can be grown, used up, then redone in the process is a good long term solution.

pcread
01-23-2005, 03:26 PM
How much room does an engine, transmission and gas-tank take up? If you use hydrogen in a fuel cell to provide electricity, you don't need a V8 and gearbox under the bonnet.

Cozz
01-23-2005, 03:53 PM
<TABLE WIDTH="90%" CELLSPACING=0 CELLPADDING=0 ALIGN=CENTER><TR><TD><i>Quote, originally posted by <b>pcread</b> &raquo;</i></TD></TR><TR><TD CLASS="quote">How much room does an engine, transmission and gas-tank take up? If you use hydrogen in a fuel cell to provide electricity, you don't need a V8 and gearbox under the bonnet.</TD></TR></TABLE><br>But I thought it was bulky when bonded and who sais you no longer need a tranny?

pcread
01-24-2005, 03:06 AM
Bonding might currentkt be bulky, but in the future expect far more volume efficient ways of doing so. One of the peculiar phenomena that occurs when absorbing one liquid into a solid with a particular structure, is that you can actually store more liquid in the medium, than in an empty container of the same volume. This is becasue the medium stores the molecules closer together than they would naturally be in the liquid or crystal form.<p>And you wouldn't need a transmission if you used electric motors at the wheels.

taskbearer
01-26-2005, 08:19 AM
Hydrogen and Fuel cell cars are very promising for the future, but most people think they would solve all our pollution problems.....there's no way the world is gonna be out of problems that need solutions. thats that now for where I stand. <p>For a short term solution, automakers should stop glorifying gas electric hybrids and fuel cell. We keep hearing of honda accord hybrid and lexus RX400h's promise of high performance with low fuel consumption. All this is just image sentimentalism. They should wake up and smell whats cooking.....and yes its that black oil called diesel or for environments sake, Biodiesel. this fuel together with alcohol should replace our fossil diesel and petrol. <p>The prius might be getting acclaims for its cleanliness, but many european diesels have been achieving similar and even better economy for someyears now. It beats me how diesels get less attension than the gas/electric hybrids, the most spectacular of which is the mighty BMW twin turbo 535d diesel engine. that car achieves similar peformance to hemi powered chrysler 300C and yet offers twice the economy at 35mpg EU rating. the car is the true embodiment of eating your cake and having it.<p>So what am I saying?, just siwtch the fossil diesel for biodiesel and you've got something that satisfies our performance crave and is still environmentally friendly.