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GM sees long drive to hydrogen-fueled cars

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LONDON - General Motors Corp. is committed to building low-pollution cars which run on hydrogen but cost and design challenges mean commercial production is still about a decade away, the company said on Thursday.

The world's biggest carmaker aims to have in place a viable fuel-cell powered car by 2010, with volume production possible two to three years later, said Matthew Fronk, GM's chief engineer of fuel cell systems.

"GM is pushing very hard on fuel cells," Fronk told a conference in London. "We need to solve issues in performance, cost and durability," he said.

"We have to see all these (solved) before we can pull the trigger and start commercial production," Fronk said.

Fuel cells use a chemical reaction to produce electricity from hydrogen. The process emits only tiny amounts of carbon-dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.

President George W. Bush has backed the use of hydrogen-fuelled cars as part of a strategy to tackle climate change by developing new energy technologies that curb the world's dependency on oil and gas.

Commercial applications of fuel cells in laptop computers and mobile telephones could emerge within a few years, analysts say. But putting fuel cells into cars poses greater challenges.

"We have noticed and taken care of a lot of problems in design but we are still doing a lot of learning," said Fronk. "Each of the car companies is taking a slightly different approach."

More from: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9612296/
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Fuel cells use a chemical reaction to produce electricity from hydrogen. The process emits only tiny amounts of carbon-dioxide, the main greenhouse gas blamed for global warming.


Hit me with a stick if I'm wrong; the fuel cell doesn't use a flame to create a combustion. Therefore the process wouldn't release any carbon-dioxide as a waste; only water.

I suppose that the article was referring to another fuel cell system; such as Ford's attempt to create a fuel cell that uses liquid hydrogen.....within a combustional system. Only liquid hydrogen can be actually ignited, hence a greenhouse gas being produced. General Motors is solely interested in the use of gaseus hydrogen as fuel. Unlike the liquid form, gaseus hydrogen cannot be ignited; hence the fuel cell's chemical reaction within the PEM.
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For isntance; the Sequel(Our third generation fuel cell vehicle) has three tanks onboard. Each tank has a range of a 100 miles approximately. SO you can do the math. Technically the mileage isn't anything much different than nowadays except that the technology is meant for things other than mileage. The efficiancy and enviromental aspects are the main points....that and the fact that our comsumption of oil is catching up with us; 75 years or less of burnin' that fossil fuel.
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Also the price is a subject purely based on speculation. However it is safe to assume that the price wouldn't be at all comparable to gasoline prices. I understand that it is hard to back this claim so I can imagine the looks I may get. For isntance: Hydrogen, as a fuel is everywhere and it is not owned by anyone. Hence the extraction of hydrogen into a usable fuel should not be confined to being a source actually owned by someone(like the cartels owning the oil.) I know it's a bit ignorant on my part to claim that hydrogen fuel would be free from any sort of monopoly.but...
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I am very pessimesitic about Hydrogen. It just makes no sense to me. Hydrogen is not free and extractable from anything and Carbon dioxide does not come just from flame combustion (sigh: a siyh is carbon dioxide too). JHydrogen is a high energy compound and as as such is in limited supply and expensive. It can be produced from electricity for sure but that comes from primarily petroleum products (not much wind, solar, or even coal produced electrity however nuclear is a possibility). The only advantage to hydrogen in my mind is lack of pollution. I am afraid we need to lessen polution free demands to help satisfy the more pressing problems of lack of petroleum and CO2 caused global warming.
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ill make this fast joe. we do have hydrogen stations in many spots....ya probably just havent seen any in your area. you may know that we have binds with shell gasoline, ok. so for instance we have multiple Shell gas stations that pump both gasoline and hydrogen fuel. the hydrogen is in both the gas and liquid form; which as i said in my last post we(GM) only use the gas form.
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carbon dioxide from a sigh....ok ok thats kinda ridiculous dont u think. thats on a totally complete level that doesnt even compare to what im referring to. pops what do u mean hydrogen is limited? if u mean hydrogen as a fuel ur kinda right but still not. Petroleum products? What are you talking about; we have extracted it from sources primarily like water and nucleur waste. hell; we even have used waste matter and left over by-product from the oddest sources like cheese. But i totally agree with you on the point of reducing pollution; its a must. however its also critical to keep in mind the future and what the future will use for fuel====oil is taking its bags and leaving soon! oooh, btw Joe i meant to add this about the stations. for instance, here in orlando where im at currently we have 2 shell stations that pump gas/hydro.
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There is some very basic chemistry missing in th3ese discussions. Ultimately we need high energy compounds to propel our vehicles and heat our homes. There is no free(not economics but chemistry) hydrogen to talk of. We must exert energy to produce and store it. Fuel cell cars will be clean, but they won't adress our fuel shortage, they will make it worse.
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There is some very basic chemistry missing in th3ese discussions.  Ultimately we need high energy compounds to propel our vehicles and heat our homes.  There is no free(not economics but chemistry) hydrogen to talk of.  We must exert energy to produce and store it.  Fuel cell cars will be clean, but they won't adress our fuel shortage, they will make it worse.

[post="25792"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Ok build some big ole Giant Solar power array in space which splits water into hydrogen which is supplied often by unmanned craft.

THERE... the spacecraft can be powered by hydrogen too.

PROBLEM SOLVED :P
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jesus

im surrounded by idiots.  later; i visit cheersandgears for something other than debate so you guys have a good one.

[post="25814"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


From Car and Driver:

'Although it's true that what comes out the tailpipe of a fuel-cell vehicle is plain ol' water, getting the hydrogen into the tank is hardly a pollution-free task.

Many advocates of fuel cells often suggest electrolysis—producing hydrogen from water using electricity—as one process that could reduce our dependence on fossil fuel. But in all the fuss over hydrogen, what's being overlooked is the fact that it takes about 20 percent more energy to drive a mile on hydrogen produced by electrolysis than on gasoline. And although a fuel cell itself produces no greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen), the process of producing hydrogen via electrolysis releases roughly 24 percent more of these gases than producing and burning gasoline in a vehicle. Some suggest generating this huge amount of electricity in a pollution-free fashion—using solar cells, for example—but it's far too costly for now.

However, most hydrogen today is produced from natural gas via a process that is about 60-percent energy efficient (compared with 80 percent for gasoline refining). But since fuel cells powering electric motors are much more efficient than gasoline-powered engines, their overall efficiency is about 10 percent better—and they also produce about 45 percent fewer greenhouse gases. However, if all cars were powered by cells fueled by hydrogen from natural gas, overall natural-gas consumption would increase by 66 percent. And most of that natural gas is sitting underground in the Middle East."

So based on current technology, it's "save the environment, but import from the Middle East" or "reduce foreign dependence, but 'kill' the environment."
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Good find empowah. I would add that the price of natural gas is going up much faster than the price of gasoline.
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