Hydrogen as a Reality Brief Overview: Potential as an applied energy source Sustainable methods of production
Ready or Not….Fuel Cells are Coming “Hydrogen fuel cells will finally end the 100-year reign of the internal combustion engine." - Bill Ford, Chairman of the Ford Motor Company GM, Shell Join Forces on Fuel Cells Published: Mar 5, 2003 WASHINGTON (AP) - Showcasing hydrogen power, General Motors Corp. and Shell Hydrogen are bringing a fleet of fuel-cell minivans to Washington for lawmakers and policy-makers to use. GM and Shell, which announced their plans Wednesday, are forming a partnership to speed the development of hydrogen technology.
Packaging for 40-Foot Buses, Suburban Coaches and Articulated Transit Buses
Fossil fuels in the market • 100 gallons of oil will produce fuels that sell in the market for less than $100 total • The same 100 gallons of oil could be made into (recyclable) durable goods that sell for $3500 in the market place • Over $60 billion in annual federal subsidies
Solar driven Stirling-cycle heat engine (functioning Hydrogen model) Uses concentrated solar energy to run an external combustion engine. The engine drives a small generator typically producing from 5 to 25 kilowatts of electricity at peak. Sterling engines, together with their solar concentrators, are small and portable and can be sited near electrical loads. The sterling engine also can be powered with natural gas or propane so energy can be produced even when the sun isn't shining. More than 100 million watt hours of renewable electricity have been delivered to the public grid using this engine to drive electric generators
Solar/Wind efficiency • Annual efficiency for converting solar to electricity in Southern California has been about 23% (using a Stirling cycle heat engine) • During optimum weather conditions these concentrator-engine-generator sets convert/deliver energy at 30% efficiency • Bottom line: we can be 164 times more efficient as we harness the highly available solar energy to make energy-intensive products (or even H2)
Overview Combustion: • H2 + .5 O2 H2O • Hydrogen can be burned below the threshold for Nox formation • Combustion can reduce atmospheric concentrations of CO, Hydrocarbons, soot and tire particles
Useful figures and facts • 3412 BTU = 1 kWh at 100% efficiency • 1 lb of Hydrogen = approx ½ Gal Gas = ½ GGE= approx 61,050 BTU H2 325 BTU/ft361,030 BTU/LB 2 lbs/359 ft3 CH4 1,064 BTU/ft3 23,890 BTU/LB 16 lbs/359 ft3 Gas 120,000 BTU/GAL18,750 BTU/LB
H2 Production: Electrolysis and more • Electrolysis produces 8 lbs of oxygen for every pound of H2 • We don’t need pure water to extract H2 so… Why not use waste water? Better yet, why not turn our wastes in to profits? Many ways to do this….
Production to end-user scenario • Hydrogen heavy waste (sewage, organics etc) could be a great source for production • Producing (in the end): Hydrogen, Carbon and soil nutrients (sludge fertilizer) • More efficient to transport Hydrogen rich methane (biogas) • Can get approx 10% dry weight of organics in H2 (harnessing microbes) • H2 will be approx 25% of methane • End user/industrial park: CH4 + ∆ C + 2H2
So….what’s goin on inside that box? Anode side:2H2 => 4H+ + 4e- Cathode side:O2 + 4H+ + 4e- => 2H2O Net reaction:2H2 + O2 => 2H2O
What about compressed H2 in cars? Simulation comparing severity of a hydrogen and petrol fuel leak and ignition. (Dr Michael Swain, University of Miami.)