You must log in or register to comment.

Kaionacho t1_iwq0xmd wrote

I mean, Hydrogen is a pretty good fuel as long as the process of making it uses Renewable energy only. Which is currently just not possible, but maybe in the future.


whyamihereonreddit t1_iwqbeh3 wrote

Why are you saying it's not possible? There are a lot of projects being developed right now with large solar sites paired with electrolysers to produce green hydrogen.


Alis451 t1_iwqj938 wrote

What he means is that there isn't currently enough Green Hydrogen throughput for all vehicles to run on Hydrogen, not even enough if all current EVs were converted to Hydrogen. Most of the current hydrogen fuel is Blue Hydrogen.

>Which is currently just not possible, but maybe in the future.

The biggest problem I have with Hydrogen is that it is super difficult to actually store, it is a slippery little bastard, so it doesn't make the best energy storage medium.


TjW0569 t1_iwqltod wrote

Works pretty good if you bind it with some carbon.


CHRLZ_IIIM t1_iwqzlkl wrote

Hydrocarbons how come we never thought of that


TjW0569 t1_iwr1lvm wrote

If only there were some process that scrubbed the atmosphere of CO2, combined it with hydrogen to make hydrocarbons, and released the oxygen as a gas.

Seems far-fetched, I know.


Phssthp0kThePak t1_iwr9l2x wrote

This is good idea, but what about nitrogen? CO2 is too dilute in the atmosphere. We could use ammonia rather than methane.


TjW0569 t1_iwrq4zi wrote

That sort of reduces to the problem of getting the hydrogen. And the higher energy density of nitrogen compounds is not always a benefit. See Texas City, 1947


Phssthp0kThePak t1_iwrtsdd wrote

Hydrogen from water, or bio material. But, yeah, burning ammonia probably will lead to need for some heavy duty catalytic converters, I bet, to avoid smog from NOx. VW will be like, 'you thought we were bad. Wtf?'.


Splenda t1_iwr1zyd wrote

A pity that we can no longer burn them.


ComfortableFarmer t1_iwqn2ag wrote

A firm called Plasma Kinetics has been operating a long time. They worked out how to store 1H as a solid, and have stored it on disks. they are already involved with the automotive industry also.

I think we'll see a shift away from what everybody thinks about 1H storage.


Alis451 t1_iwr1a5l wrote

> They worked out how to store 1H as a solid

MgH2, Magnesium Hydride was the last solid hydrogen storage medium that I saw they were working on. The problem is that it is solid, which makes it a terrible refueling storage medium, you need a liquid(like gasoline) or a gas that can be safely condensed(like propane), solids are difficult to extract the energy back out from, though not impossible, especially if they sublime under heat or are able to be activated while in a solution.

Palladium is also a fantastic Hydrogen storage device, with being able to store up to 900x its volume in hydrogen or something like that, palladium is already expensive for its unique properties and uses in catalytic converters.


ihatereddit53 t1_iwrdcqd wrote

Why cant u take the hydrogen atoms out of water? Then all you need for fuel is... water... and whatever crazy machine that can grab the hydrogen


_Bl4ze t1_iwru7bn wrote

Electrolysis. Not a very crazy machine, but also not very efficient though.


Alis451 t1_iwry9vy wrote

> Then all you need for fuel is... water...

water is super heavy and not very hydrogen dense, much unlike hydrocarbons, you are now back to the too heavy thing you are trying to prevent. also adding an electrolysis device TO the vehicle won't exactly... work. especially when you are trying to harvest green energy, from you know... solar/wind/etc. power plants.


ihatereddit53 t1_iwrz6cs wrote

I mean, is water heavier than gasoline? How would it be different? Are we just talking efficiency like the other person? Because if so then its not the tech itself but that the tech needs to advance enough to be viable in that situation - still a propaganda article from a person with an agenda.


Alis451 t1_iws0fmv wrote

> I mean, is water heavier than gasoline?

very much

>Hydrogen is measured by the kilogram. 1 kilogram is 1 gallon of gasoline equivalent (gge).

>It takes 3 gallons of water to make 1 kg of hydrogen

Water is 3.79 kg per gallon
Gasoline is 2.567 kg per gallon

water x3 = 11.37 kg of water to equal an equivalent amount of hydrogen energy as 2.567 kg of gasoline

or nearly 5 times the fuel weight

Usual Capacity is ~12 gallons of gas, so ~30kg (x5 = 150kg and a 36 gallon tank to hold it) basically trucking around a whole extra fat person 120kg = ~250 lbs, again not accounting for the electrolysis equipment, and the base energy you need to actually perform said electrolysis while on a vehicle.. it starts adding up fast.


ihatereddit53 t1_iws2hc2 wrote

Soooo efficiency? Like i said?

Edit: and listen i appreciate the math and for sure i think u know what youre talking about but really its not usually the case that things are impossible, just that the right scenario hasnt been thought of and the technology hasnt caught up to the idea


bremidon t1_iwtxwdr wrote

He said it is "--> currently(!) <-- just not possible"


Now, after having had my fun there, I would modify his statement to say that it is currently not feasible.

Let's say those projects that are being developed right now all work out. First, it will be years until they do. Ok, let's stay happy and optimistic. They do work out.

Now the lessons of the projects have to be implemented in widescale development. Conservatively, this is going to take at least 5 years.

We are looking at a best-case scenario where hydrogen will be sort of ready to start in about 10 years.

But it's not like everyone, everywhere is going to get hydrogen right away. We've watched this play out most recently with batteries. To give us some context, it will take *another* 10 years for hydrogen to reach the same point that batteries have now.

That is 20 years until hydrogen can reach the same level of penetration that its main rival, the battery, has right now. And we can see that batteries are going to need at least another 5 years to become the dominant energy transport.

So if hydrogen can be developed as fast as that, then it would take hydrogen 25 years to reach some level of prominence in our economy. Meanwhile, of course, battery technology will not have just stagnated.

I'm not saying that hydrogen has no role to play. But it is 100% being hyped up by a dying industry as a last-gasp attempt to remain relevant. I don't blame them for that. I do reserve blame for people who fall for it, though.


whyamihereonreddit t1_iwu7ua5 wrote

Hydrogen isn't fighting for the same space as lithium batteries. Hydrogen would work a lot better for long duration or seasonal storage which lithium batteries just can't do economically. And we don't have the need for that long duration storage in the US yet (except maybe in California) and won't until there's around 75% renewable penetration, so it's fine if hydrogen is 5 years out.


bremidon t1_iwufd78 wrote

>Hydrogen would work a lot better for long duration

Really? You sure about that? Because hydrogen is extremely bad at long duration storage.


whyamihereonreddit t1_iwug6yi wrote

Yes, use excess renewable energy while the sun is shining and the wind is blowing to generate green hydrogen. Pump it into some salt caverns (or storage tanks if less MWh are needed). Then when the renewable resource isn't producing, you have hydrogen ready to go for longer durations.

It's not suitable for every application, but there are scenarios where hydrogen makes sense.


bremidon t1_iwuk4kq wrote

What is your solution to keep all that hydrogen from leaking away? Storing hydrogen is notoriously difficult.


OffEvent28 t1_iwxemwn wrote

I think storage of hydrogen will work best when you are using it as a time-shifting storehouse. Generate it during the day when the sun shines and use it the following night to generate electricity when the sun is not shining. Storage for half a day, not half a year. The shorter the time it is in storage the less you loose through the walls of the storage container.


DonQuixBalls t1_iwv3weo wrote

>There are a lot of projects being developed right now

So you agree they aren't possible today.


whyamihereonreddit t1_iwvtbp6 wrote

It is possible today. They are being built to make it possible and there are small scale sites that prove it's possible. I'm not talking about R&D development.


Maleus_ t1_iwq6t0v wrote

But a lot of current renewable energy sources lack any meaningful way to store the produced energy. Why not use the excess electricity wind and solar can create, which can not be stored, to produce hydrogen instead?

It is probably way easier to do, and doesn't need as much rare earths as giant lithium batteries would need. Also, hydrogen can be used for many things, including just electricity production if need be.


My_Soul_to_Squeeze t1_iwq96w4 wrote

Just replacing one storage problem with another.


AngryRedGummyBear t1_iwqdlaf wrote

Hydrogen + Co gives hydrocarbons.

We already know how to store hydrocarbons.

Issue is most hydrogen comes from natural gas right now, so using renewable excess or nuclear for hydrogen to Fischer Tropsch into hydrocarbons is just a workable idea, but natural gas -hydrogen-hydrocarbon would be a really inefficient circle.

Also, they're really, really pure hydrocarbons.


VRGIMP27 t1_iwqhsex wrote

Green Ammonia would be a better source of hydrogen than hydrogen itself, and it would work within our existing fossil fuel infrastructure with some adaptation. It's very true that it's toxic to human beings, but gas isn't great either in that regard.


Alis451 t1_iwqjvvq wrote

> Green Ammonia

would be put to better use in the fertilizer/farming business than transportation


Barrel_go_BRRR t1_iwrofej wrote

You're prolly right on this one ... Ammonia as a fuel for general transportarion might be a bit wonky,, but I think it can have great potential in the maritime industry


Bournvitta2022 t1_iwpje8n wrote

One more propoganda report gainst hydrogen.

Hydrogen has multiple uses and can easily fit into the current structure of transportation and logistic.

Just read abt EV battery manufacturing and recycling and raw material mining. It's more damaging to environment than hydrogen will ever be.

Hydrogen can actually have countries self sufficient nin their energy needs unlike battery manufacturing (only few countries have lithium reserves).

Renewable energy can be used to produce cheap hydrogen. Making a fuel cell requires less material then batteries.


Kaindlbf t1_iwpohja wrote

Except that hydrogen takes 3x times more energy to make than charging a car directly. Also difficult to transport and store compared to just using the grid.

Also vehicles will be much more expensive to refuel and service than pure EV from a fundamental architectural point of view. Dead end tech.


Bournvitta2022 t1_iwpp8co wrote

Really, cost of EV was also high initially. Also you need to take into account the environmental effect of mining for raw materials in large scale plus recycling is a nightmare for now.

Hydrogen once scalability is achieved it would be cheaper to produce. It's just abt figure out material that can transport hydrogen like piped CNG.

Also for heavy TRUCKs hydrogen makes more sense.

Maybe we can have Battery for cars and hydrogen for industrial use and transportation.


bawng t1_iwqlrwo wrote

But unless you count the first EVs a hundred years ago, hydrogen cars have been around for a lot longer than modern EVs. We had a hydrogen car push in the 90s or something and there was a lot of public and private investment into building a hydrogen distribution infrastructure. But the cost never fell. When the first modern EVs started coming around, they were already cheaper.


Bournvitta2022 t1_iwqmkpt wrote

Yes but for countries like Japan and india. Hydrogen makes more sense even if expensive as long as cost is lower than IC engine.

Self reliance and also japan has a reactor that produces electricity as well as hydrogen at cheap cost. It's just a prototype but its promising.


Kaindlbf t1_iwrsg8l wrote

It only makes sense in Japan because Toyota lobbied the government for heavy hydrogen subsidies.

It's only competitive if government pays the difference.


TheRogueMoose t1_iwpo0mz wrote

Imagine a future like this: You finish your day at work. On your drive home you stop to top up your hydrogen powered car (hydrogen was produced using renewable energy sources), it only takes a few minutes. You get home and plug your car into your house. Your car now provides all the necessary power to charge the battery bank in your house.


Josquius t1_iwqcz0t wrote

Or, better idea, you don't have to drive home.


konwik t1_iwqgy3j wrote

Because your home is your car


BBASPN69 t1_iwqi60g wrote

Here in my car
I feel safest of all
I can lock all my doors
It's the only way to live
In cars


ihatereddit53 t1_iwrdq8z wrote

Unexpected Gary Numan! Lol

(Or corrosion of conformity, but thats just a(lovely) cover haha)


TheRogueMoose t1_iwt3ohq wrote

That would be ideal, but WFH didn't really seem to take off up here in Canada like it did everywhere else.


reid0 t1_iwqjao2 wrote

Or…we don’t waste all that energy making the hydrogen and shipping it and instead just let your solar panels charge your home battery and you just plug your car in to charge from that when you get home.

Your hydrogen dream is unlikely at best because hydrogen just doesn’t make sense for personal transport, whereas my example is already happening.


whyamihereonreddit t1_iwqulyd wrote

Or we don't rely on just one technology and invest in multiple ones since each technology may be best suited for certain applications.


bremidon t1_iwtz22b wrote

That's a nice idea, but your pursuit of perfect is slowing down the attainment of good.

I don't have anything against hydrogen, but it does seem rather overhyped for its position right now.

The only place where I see it being clearly better is in replacing NG in industrial processes.

We do not need it for cars. That is already done.

Looking at the truck market, it looks likely that we will not need it there either.

Air travel is still in play. Maybe?

Ships might also be in play.

So if someone wants to say that we should be investing in hydrogen for those three segments -- air travel, ships, and industrial -- then I can support it.

What I think is happening in some places is that, having completely missed the BEV wave, some people and companies are dreaming of being able to unseat batteries in that area; and, that is utterly silly, imho.


Sp3llbind3r t1_iwr1si0 wrote

Not so sure about that. I think there is room for both.

Driving around 2.5 ton cars with huge batteries you normally use 5-20% of the capacity is also kind of stupid. Maybe a hybrid would be more intelligent. 50 - 100 miles for everday by battery and 500 miles + from hydrogen for travel.

Some people will be better of with electric, but other use cases call for other technologies.

You also got to take into account that we have to overbuild renewables by a lot. There will be more and more leftover energy that we cant use in that moment and need to store somewhere. That could be used to produce cheap hydrogen.


Barrel_go_BRRR t1_iwrp77j wrote

Maybe the production cost of hydrogen through PtX might fall heavily when we have an abundance of renewable energy, but isn't the storage of it still quite expensive? The more we have of it, the more it's gonna cost to store? (Just a random thought/question)


Sp3llbind3r t1_iwrwg2d wrote

Sure it costs, as i think you need pressurized steel tanks. But we also store a huge amount of lpg.

The question is what we will use it for?

On vehicles for longer distances especially trucks? Combined with a plugin battery for short distances?

Replacing LPG or coal in industrial applications?

Maybe for load balancing in power grids? I'm not sure about that one.

We also should not use it to replace gas or oil heating in places connected to the power grid. That is way better served with heat pumps powered from the grid.

I think hydrogen is suited to be produced decentralized. I don't know if we need that huge stores, as it could be produced more on demand.
And i think we will need way less hydrogen then fossil fuels.

And i don't think it will be this or that but multiple options to suit the use case most efficiently.


bremidon t1_iwu0e83 wrote

>We also should not use it to replace gas or oil heating in places connected to the power grid. That is way better served with heat pumps powered from the grid.

Some of us are not so lucky. We would *love* to use a heat pump in our home, but it would mean gutting a 200+ year old house and replacing the entire heating system.

Not only is that expensive, but I would have to work out what the environmental cost of that renovation is (as well as tossing out perfectly fine components) compared to the savings of getting a heat pump.

Now, if I were able to simply modify the boiler, then things become a bunch easier to calculate.

So sure, new houses should definitely go with heat pumps. But there are millions of houses that simply cannot make this level of renovation without defeating the purpose. Hydrogen might be really good here.


bremidon t1_iwtzia8 wrote

>Driving around 2.5 ton cars with huge batteries you normally use 5-20% of the capacity is also kind of stupid

Well, now you exchange a ton of batteries for a ton of hydrogen storage, motor, and all the tech you need to make the hydrogen work. And by your own scenario, you are dragging that around most of the time, when you don't actually need it. Also, don't forget all the tech you need to connect those two systems.

I currently have an SR+. We take it on long vacations and it's just fine for that.


>You also got to take into account that we have to overbuild renewables by a lot.

I agree with this statement, but not the conclusion you make from it. Honestly, we have no idea what is going to have when we reach super power. This is simply not a situation we have ever had outside of very small, local, temporary scenarios.

It's not like the equipment to create that hydrogen is free to build or maintain. The question will be: is the stored hydrogen we get from it worth the construction and maintenance cost?


rogerdanafox t1_iwr7w04 wrote

Or pumped hydro


Sp3llbind3r t1_iws5gjd wrote

Sure, but unfortunately space for hydro is limited too. If you don‘t want to destroy your ecosystem in the mountains.

In Switzerland i think we produce about 60% of our power with hydro. But we build out most of the easy places and there are large hurdles to overcome. Be it construction effort / difficulty wise or in form of resistance against future projects.

I guess it‘s always a tradeoff.


reid0 t1_iwsenbf wrote

Driving around a completely seperate, mostly unused engine in a hybrid, which doubles the complexity and maintenance of the vehicle is no more efficient than carrying battery weight. When the number 1 selling personal vehicle in the US (F150) weighs between 4,069-5,697lb, I think it’s fair to say that vehicle weight is not people’s primary concern.

People already have the option to choose lighter, shorter range EVs, but they tend to buy longer ranges due to range anxiety. As EV adoption continues however, a lot of people are realising that they don’t need the extra range and are buying shorter range EVs the second time round.

Combine that with improvements in battery density, improvements in charging speeds, and tech such as wireless charging, battery weights can and are going down.

It’s funny, the anti EV crew claim there’ll never be enough renewables and the pro Hydrogen crew claim there’ll be so much they we’ll have nothing better to do with it than make Hydrogen. In the meantime, rooftop solar and a home battery can cover most people’s energy needs while getting nowhere near what it would take to generate the equivalent amount of hydrogen.


Sp3llbind3r t1_iwskah9 wrote

You know, put a small battery in a hydrogen car and make it plug-in or a fuelcell in an electric car.. Drive with the small battery in citys and with hydrogen is for the range anxiety..

I don't get pickups and SUV's at all. Maybe the streets get too bad because nobody with money pays taxes or something.

It will take a while with renewables. And you will have a huge amount of overproduction if you want to power your grid with solar, wind and water. Maybe we figure out better uses.

But the amount of batteries you want to produce is huge and an issue.

Just imagine a houshold with a f150, some kind of sedan and a home battery.

I guess charging whole parking decks of electric cars in citys is not without Challenges. At the Moment it looks like chargers outpace cars by a bit. But that might soon change. If you have to wait to charge somewhere, that gets tiresome soon. Charging at home is the obvious solution. But not that easy to implement in citys.

I'm by no means anti EV. But there are problems that we need to solve. And i don't think we need to replace fossil engines with a single Technology.


TheRogueMoose t1_iwt4i56 wrote

Everyone always forgets about the people who don't own homes.

I rent an apartment in a tiny rural town. I would basically have to visit a charging station every time I planned on driving anywhere, especially with the incredibly poor cold weather range you get with current EV's. So sure, I might save a few bucks on fuel costs, but at a great loss to my personal time, that's just not worth it to me. Maybe one day we'll be there, but it won't be anytime soon.


bremidon t1_iwu0gyk wrote

>I would basically have to visit a charging station

No. You would basically have to have a charger installed near your apartment.


TheRogueMoose t1_iwukoas wrote

You just said the same thing with different words...

Now if you mean at my apartment, then no, that won't ever happen. The cost for the landlord to install would then be passed down into the rent and rent is already gotten out of hand. It would make sense if I paid for it myself, but i honestly don't believe the power coming to the building would be adequate to support 10+ charging stations. And I wouldn't be able to take it when i leave, so I would just be out thousands of dollars for nothing


bremidon t1_iwuny8i wrote

>You just said the same thing with different words...



>Now if you mean at my apartment, then no, that won't ever happen.

Of course it will.


>It would make sense if I paid for it myself

Yes, it would.


>i honestly don't believe the power coming to the building would be adequate to support 10+ charging stations

That's a solvable problem.


>And I wouldn't be able to take it when i leave

Sure you could.


Ange1ofD4rkness t1_iwqes40 wrote

One can also transport the Hydrogen to places to refuel, where recharging a battery may be limited (the military right now has huge "bags" of fuel they set up and can transport as needed to keep vehicles running ... which is a huge factor in combat)


Just-Call-Me-Jim t1_iwpwsr8 wrote

Truly it is a manufactured trap of polarised views into which most of us fall into, one carefully managed by the entrenched energy systems trying to fend off their inevitable demise at the hand of the newer energy systems and the changes they bring by releasing carefully managed media (mis) information news trains. Such has it ever was…

The big picture is that we are going to need battery energy storage systems, green and red hydrogen and even more alternatives. Examples here include safer nuclear power, more wind / solar / wave / deep lava drill heat exchangers etc…

But only if we want to truly leave the last hundred years of fossil fuel powered agricultural, industrial, technology and information revolutions behind.

Batteries are an essential part of the equation, as they conveniently store and release energy and are therefore a requirement to balance supply and demand. The battery technology invented in the last 5 years (NaCl, hot metal and now CO2 , to name just 3) will help us to move away from the types of batteries that are high cost, environmentally damaging with dangerous chemical and metal reactions. Over the next 5, what new battery designs will be invented even as the previous new ones mature and come to market?

Japans push into red hydrogen fuels as a by-product of scale proven quad encased nuclear fuelled power plants shows us the complimentary place for hydrogen fuels in industries where batteries are not viable (mass domestic and commercial a/c, metals, refining, heavy transport etc) and provides a possible complimentary supplement in light transport where batteries are not yet possible or desirable.

We have around 100 years of invention with fossil fuel energy systems.

We have around 50 odd years of dedicated research into alternatives, with about 10 years of one major contender challenging fossil fuels energy dominance in one tiny slice of the energy requirements we have: light vehicle transport.

What will the next 50 year’s of research and invention into all energy systems bring us?


bremidon t1_iwtyh0b wrote

> in one tiny slice of the energy requirements we have: light vehicle transport

I would not say that 15% of the entire energy requirements is a "tiny slice".

Otherwise, I generally agree with the rest of your points.

I would add that hydrogen is *not* going to be the dominant energy transport of the future, but it will be important in certain industries.


Just-Call-Me-Jim t1_iwu8qa6 wrote

Interesting views.

Perhaps I could have worded that clearer and included the phrase “short to mid-term comparisons of electric to fossil fuel usage vehicles…”

Current articles indicate that there are about 5.6 million electric vehicles on the road,

Compared to internal combustion engine vehicles at a staggering 1.6 billion currently on the road,

Comparing electric to ICE, we have roughly 2.15% of current total vehicles on the road that are electric, world wide.

Even by 2030, electric vehicles sales are only predicted to be 50% of total vehicles sales…

In essence, currently looking at 15% total world energy usage by category of light vehicles or 2.15% of those being electric, that energy usage really is a tiny slice for me.

Agreed that hydrogen may be a minority fuel in light vehicles for at least 10 to 20+ years, unless regulators and static power producers move entirely out of fossil fuels (as most batteries are still charged by this dirty source). However, I also contend that in those 20 years we may see inventions that replace both batteries and hydrogen.

Our ability to innovate is about to jump logarithmically as AI and Quantum computer power are starting to directly assist and even ultimately may prove to be viable alternatives to pure human invention…

We certainly don’t live in uneventful times indeed, and tech inventions will be the major disruptors, no matter what industry…


plaidiris918 t1_iwq790j wrote

Over hyping anything seems to be a danger to everything good. Humanity has a difficult time with the word moderation or middle. LoL


daliksheppy t1_iwqstqt wrote

This is the take. People seem to treat everything like it's a sport and pick a team early on and stick with it vehemently.


Splenda t1_iwr1iz6 wrote

Tell that to my gas company. They're talking up hydrogen nonstop -- while fighting rooftop solar, which says something about motives.


rossco311 t1_iwr6z95 wrote

This is nonsense. Hydrogen is the most abundant element on the planet. It's pure folly that we aren't working at doing everything possible to convert to using it on masse.


deadplant_ca t1_iws5zbj wrote

What? No it isn't.

Where is all this hydrogen??

There are no hydrogen resources on this planet. Wtf are you talking about? We have to make hydrogen by splitting it out of water or methane.

It takes more power to produce hydrogen than we can get back by using it for transport. On earth, hydrogen is a battery, not an energy source. (Out in the solar system there are actual hydrogen resources that could be used as energy sources out there in the future)


rossco311 t1_iws72wp wrote

>Where is all this hydrogen?

It's attached to all kinds of other things

From the encyclopedia Britannica:

As part of innumerable carbon compounds, hydrogen is present in all animal and vegetable tissue and in petroleum. Even though it is often said that there are more known compounds of carbon than of any other element, the fact is that, since hydrogen is contained in almost all carbon compounds and also forms a multitude of compounds with all other elements (except some of the noble gases), it is possible that hydrogen compounds are more numerous.


deadplant_ca t1_iwsadsb wrote

Ok, I was being a bit of a dick there. Sorry.

Hydrogen that is attached to all kinds of things is not usable in an engine or fuel cell.

Since there are no resources of free hydrogen on our planet. we have to produce it by splitting it out of molecules like water (h2o).

We do that using electricity

Now we can use it to turn our wheels, great.

We can do that with a fuel cell or by burning it. The fuel cell is most efficient. It combines the stored hydrogen with oxygen from the atmosphere producing clean water out the tailpipe!

At this stage you're probably seeing the problem. We start with water and end with water. The only energy entering the process is the electricity we used to split the hydrogen from the oxygen in the first step. Without a source of free hydrogen, the process is simply another type of battery to store that original electrical power.

That doesn't mean it's useless. It's a higher density battery than the solid state options or lithium ion batteries. But it's far less energy efficient so it's only likely to find a niche where very large capacity batteries are required.


rossco311 t1_iwsii7o wrote

All good, I think we generally can agree that as a clean method to store energy, hydrogen is a good option. The efficiency of that production is perhaps the hurdle to overcome. I learned recently about chemical reactions that allow hydrogen to be released. These processes rely upon the reactivity of the elements rather than electrical energy. I think the more humanity can explore these options, the better off we all will be :)


deadplant_ca t1_iwsj4fs wrote

Absolutely. I don't think it's an especially good option right now but it's not fundamentally bad. It definitely deserves a place in the mix. That niche could grow or shrink in the future depending on how tech develops.


bremidon t1_iwu0z53 wrote

>The efficiency of that production is perhaps the hurdle to overcome.

No. It is *a* hurdle to overcome.

The next one is transport, and this is more difficult than is often appreciated. Sure, we *could* use our existing pipes, but anyone suggesting this tends to leave out a pretty big details: those pipes need to be refurbished to be able to transport hydrogen without losing most of it.

Closing out the big three is storage. This is a true pita. Either you need huge tanks (unviable), extremely thick, heavy tanks (expensive and heavy), or cold tanks (expensive and inefficient). If you want to speculate, there is the chance that we might be able to store it by injecting hydrogen into some solid material. This tech exists today, but it's unclear if it can be mass produced.

All three can be overcome. All three *must* be overcome for hydrogen to succeed. I personally think we are 20-30 years away from all three being ready for prime time, and by that time, I suspect that hydrogen will be mostly used as an industrial input.


rossco311 t1_iwv3stj wrote

Production - I replied to your other post, there are methods that we aren't using that would be able to help us acquire hydrogen both inexpensively and without massive power use.

Transport - If we're simply talking about transporting hydrogen, I agree it's a bit tricky with our current infrastructure. I am working closely with some people that are developing lightweight tank systems using a combination of carbon fiber for strength and a hydrogen membrane to prevent leakage. There is also the option of transporting hydrogen compounds that don't need the special handling that pure hydrogen does.

Storage - There are a few interesting suggestions on how to store hydrogen that I've been made aware of. One such method is to sequester the gas inside existing underground salt cones. Another option is simply to store hydrogen containing compounds and then produce the hydrogen as required by combining them as needed. There is some very interesting work happening in Germany right now with Magnesium Hydride for example.

I agree that humanity has hurdles to overcome in putting hydrogen to work for us en masse. The sooner we start figuring out how to get over them, the better off we will all be.


bremidon t1_iwvdg1b wrote

Production - You are going to have to be significantly more clear in what you are suggesting. Otherwise you are saying that the entire world is filled with idiots unable to see such a way forward and unwilling to become rich in the process. If such an inexpensive way forward exists, why did the hydrogen industry decide to give batteries such a head start before figuring it out? Quite sporting of them, really. But we were identifying hurdles, and this one was already accepted out of the gate.

Transport - Accepted as hurdle (and that is all I'm looking for here).

Storage - I'm underwhelmed that we are still at the suggestion stage here. I will take this to mean that it has been accepted as a hurdle.

I continue to maintain that we are 20-30 years away from a viable hydrogen system that can be rolled out across our economy. Because of this, I do not see hydrogen playing a part in most of the transport industry, as that will have been effectively solved by batteries; we will be in a near-closed system by then. But I do see a significant role in industry and heating.

Finally, I agree we should be on this as soon as possible. It may be disappointing for people who were still holding out hope that hydrogen would solve our transportation needs (I used to be one of them), but there is good news in that batteries have unexpectedly become an effective solution.


rossco311 t1_iwvuyvd wrote

Indeed there is a lot of ground to cover on this and I think the more demand that can exist for hydrogen, the more emphasis will be placed on methods of acquiring it.


bremidon t1_iwu0j5i wrote

>It's attached to all kinds of other things

That was kinda his point.


rossco311 t1_iwv156c wrote

Indeed, and it's a valid point, but that doesn't mean hydrogen acquisition isn't a good solution. There are multiple ways of acquiring pure hydrogen without using power. One such method is combining elemental compounds with hydrogen atoms attached in a closed system. This allows hydrogen to be released in the reaction (and captured) in the process.

The idea of hydrogen being energy intensive to acquire comes from a limited consideration of the methods available to us. Just because we aren't doing them currently, doesn't mean it should stay that way.


bremidon t1_iwvbxn2 wrote

What is that method called? I want to make sure we are talking about the same thing.


rossco311 t1_iwvum8a wrote

One method I'm thinking of, I'm not certain the name of it.

A closed system where iron filings (Fe) are combined with sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and the chemical reaction between them releases H2 (Hydrogen) and the remaining product is FESO4 (Iron Sulfate) and some water (H2O). This method was used to acquire hydrogen to fill gas balloons and airships back in the 1930's. The Iron Sulfate produced is also a valuable fertilizer for the agricultural industry.

There are many other methods as well and I'm certain that given the right appetite for hydrogen use, further development will be possible. Ultimately though you are right about the amount of time involved, we're decades from being at scale for production regardless.


Easypeas44 t1_iwpqmt8 wrote

From one chemistry nerd to another, you people are fkd in the head if you think hydrogen is bad alternative for a fuel source. I want you to tell me what the byproduct of hydrogen combustion is?


RSomnambulist t1_iwpvgu2 wrote

Hydrogen leaks no matter what you do, costs a lot of energy to produce the amount we'd need, and is hugely combustible. The fact it produces only water as a byproduct is not as big a sell as you think. 1kg is about equal to 1 gallon of diesel. It costs $1.50 to produce it from NG and $5 to produce it green. Fuel cells are incredibly expensive and the vehicles will remain expensive due to the problems above. It's a viable fuel, but not for consumer vehicles.


Easypeas44 t1_iwpz8hw wrote

There are 2 concerns that come to mind with hydrogen fuel. One being the cost of manufacturing of the hydrogen fuel cells but advancements in technology will take care of that in time. Concern #2 would be the safety measures behind putting them in vehicles, which has already been done. A hydroelectic damn or a nuclear power plant setup with a hydrogen fuel plant using electrolysis is easily attainable and would not be expensive in comparison to the infrastructure and logistics required for petroleum distillation or lithium mining for that matter. I haven't researched whether or not sea water can be used as the isotonic solution in the electrolysis process but im assuming you have a few mile markers to climb over before that is feasible, with that said, it would still be less costly to the environment and would produce far less CO2, CO or NO. In regards to renewable energy aside from it's few short comings hydrogen is the way, the truth and the light. Also, as a side note, you would likely be able to condense the exhaust from such a vehicle and recirculate the water and reuse it. The only thing standing in the way of hydrogen powered vehicles in my opinion are the dark pools of the petroleum industry.


RSomnambulist t1_iwpzx0k wrote

You're comparing hydrogen of the future to a battery tech that will likely be replaced completely in 10 years though. Solid state batteries are already being presold. Hydrogen is inevitable but not for personal use in at least 20 years except maybe as a home fuel.


Easypeas44 t1_iwq8j0f wrote

Its already here my friend. Watch this.


RSomnambulist t1_iwq8xq9 wrote

The infra is not. No one is rushing to build HCV gas stations like they are charging stations because the viability still isn't there for cars. As someone else said, maybe planes, but I've seen more push for SSB planes than HCV ones. That's what NASA has been testing and they have a lot of hydrogen fuel access if they wanted to go that route.


Popswizz t1_iwq1exd wrote

Hydrogen is a dumb idea except for niche usage because of power density vs chemical options

It will never be a large scale solution for anything

Yes even if the byproduct is water


DonQuixBalls t1_iwv4zrq wrote

Hydrogen isn't a chemistry problem, but one of physics. It's done. The physics can't beat today's batteries, let alone future batteries.


Noctudeit t1_iwq391o wrote

Hydrogen is a net-zero fuel as long as it is produced via electrolysis using renewable source electricity.

Hopefully fusion will become a viable carbon neutral energy source at which point hydrogen becomes an essential fuel to replace natural gas and other combustion fuels.


Black_RL t1_iwrenon wrote

And making batteries is all good….. Right?

No harm to the environment, right?

Batteries are terrible.


bremidon t1_iwu17mq wrote

Come on; batteries are not terrible.

Prices are coming down and have been for decades.

The heavy and rare earths being used per battery are being reduced all the time.

Recycling is already ready to go.

They fucking work. And they work now.

And sure, there is a cost to the environment. Just like hydrogen has. Just like coal has. Just like oil has. Just like you have.


CannaCosmonaut t1_iwrh3ix wrote

Would you have such a strong opinion about batteries if Twitter man =/= bad?


mischievement t1_iwrml8w wrote

Nobody even MENTIONED elon for crying out loud


CannaCosmonaut t1_iwrnl9l wrote

What are batteries generally associated with in this context? OC can choose to identify with who I was teasing, or not. Because beyond that, it was a genuine question.


iceyed913 t1_iwruxtt wrote

Snarky =/= genuine... Also stereotyping into camps as a way of discrediting the other opinion is probably the most flawed kind of rethoric out there. Unfortunately people online seem to love that shit.


Sweatyballs8015 t1_iwshfmy wrote

Hydrogen is the only possible way. To move from oil. EVs are cool, but are never going to solve the problem


bremidon t1_iwtyjde wrote

What problem?


Sweatyballs8015 t1_iwu1k3a wrote

Mining all the lithium to use for batteries for the entire planet. Not to mention the already stressed power grid where certain states already have to do rolling blackouts. How do you think that grid is going to handle the demand of a 100 million+ cars on it? Not to mention the majority of our electricity is still generated by fossil fuels so instead of the emissions coming out of your tailpipe its coming out of the coal plants stacks that generates the electricity you use to change your vehicle. To name a few.


bremidon t1_iwu73ia wrote

What is the problem with mining lithium?


DonQuixBalls t1_iwv59wv wrote

Hydrogen solves no problems, while introducing a whole new raft of them.


DCGreatDane t1_iwsvpdu wrote

The article doesn’t explain that the lithium supply and the environmental cost to extract the lithium for batteries. It also doesn’t address that there are limited recycling programs for spent batteries. Hydrogen while using green power not just from solar but from wind can be help with production.


bremidon t1_iwu1i10 wrote

>It also doesn’t address that there are limited recycling programs for spent batteries.

This is simply not true.

Redwood and Tesla, just to name two companies, are chomping at the bit *waiting* for the used batteries to start piling in.


[deleted] t1_iwujjps wrote



DonQuixBalls t1_iwv5lr8 wrote

Recycling is limited today because so few batteries have been taken out of service, even across all brands. It works.


bremidon t1_iwujz44 wrote

>But the recycling process is still limited if the demand is to be my 2030

I don't know what you wanted to say here.


FuturologyBot t1_iwpdtfv wrote

The following submission statement was provided by /u/filosoful:

Hydrogen is touted as a wonder fuel for everything from transport to home heating — but greener and more efficient options are often available.

The problem is that hydrogen is not freely available. On Earth, it exists mostly in molecules bound to other elements, from which it must be extracted at huge energetic cost.

Policymakers should beware potential unintended negative consequences for both people and the planet from an overwrought dash for hydrogen.

Please reply to OP's comment here:


wwarnout t1_iwpy76t wrote

One other aspect of using H2 as a fuel in an internal combustion engine, is that the temperature in these engines is high enough to produce nitrous oxides (not just water vapor).


John_h_watson t1_iwqo6yu wrote

But I've invested so heavily in lithium and copper mines!


Shot-Job-8841 t1_iwqvw8b wrote

Honestly, I favour hydrogen for large scale grid storage over transportation.


DonQuixBalls t1_iwv5f4f wrote

How would you store grid scale quantities of hydrogen?


OliverSparrow t1_iwuttnv wrote

An explosive, cryogenic liquid that embrittles most materials that it contacts. What could possibly go wrong? Given a supply of hydrogen, the best thing to do is to hang it onto recycled carbon: aka synthetics gasoline and diesel. Biomass easily transforms into syngas (CO + H2). Add some more H2 and Bob's your catalytic uncle, portable liquid fuels.


SweetBiscuit t1_ix0uchv wrote

I knew there was some weird anti-hydrogen propaganda being pushed on this subreddit

(marine engineer waiting for green ammonia so we can decarbonise shipping)


filosoful OP t1_iwpb8xw wrote

Hydrogen is touted as a wonder fuel for everything from transport to home heating — but greener and more efficient options are often available.

The problem is that hydrogen is not freely available. On Earth, it exists mostly in molecules bound to other elements, from which it must be extracted at huge energetic cost.

Policymakers should beware potential unintended negative consequences for both people and the planet from an overwrought dash for hydrogen.


Donttouchmybiscuits t1_iwpcgmk wrote

There are however a few instances where there’s really not much of a better option (as far as I understand it, I’m very much not an expert!) such as steel production. We’re going to need it as a part of our arsenal to decarbonise, and while it’s not yet a mature green tech, that’s much like solar was 20 years ago (and to a great extent still isn’t. Recycling panels really isn’t a thing yet). This “either or” mentality about electric and hydrogen is counter productive, they both need to work, have functional infrastructure, and get properly developed and deployed in their most appropriate applications.


Salahuddin315 t1_iwqhilk wrote

Except that it is an "either/or" proposition. For an energy system to be feasible, there needs to be a focus on something. Either everyone uses the same technology or nobody does. Europe has thankfully realized this, so they're making a decisive move against fussil fuels in favor of wind and solar. That will be costly, but it is either that or sitting on the fossil needle until we're all screwed.

The planet is almost done for. There is no time or resourses left to spread out.


Donttouchmybiscuits t1_iwuvvb0 wrote

Reread my last comment, take the time to understand what I’m saying (emphatically NOT that fossil fuels have a part to play) and then explain to me how wind and solar can take the place of the current fossil fuel used in the furnaces to make steel - not as a fuel, but as an essential part of the process. Hydrogen is pretty much the only answer at this stage. It’s not an either/or, because neither does everything, that’s a ridiculous way to look at it.


[deleted] t1_iwphd9w wrote

Hydrogen does get around one massive issue - infrastructure. A lot of Europe is heated by gas, and switching everyone over to heat pumps will cost tens of thousands per home. Mixing hydrogen with something inert to mimic the volumetric energy density of methane would allow you to switch over at the distribution end, with little effort/cost to the individual. Generating hydrogen via green sources then burning it again isn't the best way of heating a home, but it's a fantastic stopgap in the transition period that allows us to switch off the natural gas aspect of our fossil fuel usage sooner than we otherwise would.


Popswizz t1_iwq2mkq wrote

Except it's not really, I was part of analysis on the subject and with current technology, even with free electricity (as this would be a mean to offset green energy uncontrolled output) there's no payback to pay for the machine before 10 years unless hydrogen is subsidized

And even then as you said you need a natural gas pipeline near that can accommodate high hydrogen % and natural gas heater in home that can as well which is a logistics nightmare

There's some very niche usage and the one you mention is one but it's far from a widespread technology we can use everywhere


[deleted] t1_iwq95pj wrote

That's not really a niche usage, pretty much every home and cooker in Europe is powered by natural gas. It's not an economic suggestion by any means, it's a green one due to the speed it can be rolled out. It's far less of a logistical nightmare than replacing every boiler (of which a high percentage don't have the required hot water tanks, or the space to accommodate them) with heat pumps over the same time period. Do we even have enough heating engineers to change 200 million homes over in the few years it would take to replace methane with hydrogen at the distribution level?


Popswizz t1_iwqq8at wrote

It's niche because not all pipeline are able to accommodate hydrogen in large quantity, because not all boiler can accommodate high percentage of hydrogen, because not all green energy powerplant is near enough a pipeline to link to it with their hydrogen production, so it's niche because logistical it's a nightmare not because it's not technically doable


Tenrath t1_iwqdc4a wrote

I could be wrong, but I think there are also changes required at the consumption end to accommodate the change in gas. Same reasons why a propane boiler and natural gas boiler are not interchangeable without modification kits.


[deleted] t1_iwqe6y7 wrote

There'd be small changes, yeah. I'm on the aircraft side of things, but assuming they're similar enough it'd be a component analogous to the flame holder that would be the main issue. There's a minimum hole size a flame can propagate through that depends on the gasses.


danielv123 t1_iwq861g wrote

Hydrogen is one of the worst alternatives to heat pumps I could imagine, short of resistant heating powered by hydrogen driven turbines. Electrolysis is about 75% efficient. That means you need a lot of extra electricity. In addition you need facilities for electrolysis, which isn't cheap.

It might help a bit as a form of storage but is still worse than hydrogen + tubine + heatpump.

Cost to the individual shouldn't matter, the lowest overall cost should be picked. In a hydrogen conversion scenario the lowest cost often ends up being natural gas, which gets us nowhere.


[deleted] t1_iwq8rfs wrote

It's a matter of inertia, not just cost. You will get people transitioning to heat pumps over time, absolutely, and they're the best option by far. But in the mean time, hydrogen gets those same people off natural gas incredibly quickly, without the gargantuan total-war-like effort required to replace every boiler and cooker in every home in Europe in the same time frame.

The overall cost isn't the only consideration. Stopping a large chunk of emissions quicker but expensively is better than too late and cheaply.


OptimalConcept143 t1_iwpgktt wrote

Hydrogen is the only fuel source that can replace fossil fuels for basically every use. The only reason it isn't doing so right now is because it requires too much energy to produce. If something like nuclear fusion finally happens, this wouldn't be an issue and it would by far be the most efficient and green fuel source possible, and that's from a physics perspective.

As you can see here, hydrogen has more energy density than any other common fuel source, including fossil fuels. It's not a matter of "if" hydrogen becomes our main fuel source, but "when".


real_grown_ass_man t1_iwpkaup wrote

Energy density per weight, yes. Energy density per volume is about the same as a lithium ion battery. On top of that, hydrogen is difficult to store at length.

For this reason, hydrogen will remain an energy carrier in very specific niches, where large volumes are no problem and where the necessary safety precautions are acceptable.


OptimalConcept143 t1_iwpo0v5 wrote

Not true. The energy density of liquid hydrogen ranges from 4.5 MJ/L for low pressure hydrogen gas to 10 MJ/L for high pressure liquid hydrogen. Lithium Ion comes in around 0.93-2.63 MJ/L. You can see that on the Wikipedia article linked in the previous comment.

For vehicles such as airliners there simply isn't another alternative fuel that can replace kerosene, it will be hydrogen.


real_grown_ass_man t1_iwps4p1 wrote

The article you quote has 10 MJ/L as HHV for liquid hydrogen. This is at 20k and 1bar. You will need to account for the cooling device to give a realistic number for volumetric energy density.

4,5 MJ is at 690 bara, which i am confident to classify as very high pressure. Lower pressures are also used, and i’d say that this is in the same ballpark as batteries (in volume). This all follows from your article.

I’d say hydrogen fuelled aircraft are a one of the niches where the high volume and safety measures might prove practical, although hydrogen might also be used to form CH4 or longer C chains from CO2 and turned into a traditional but green fuel.

For home heating or transportation I don’t think hydrogen is very practical. But who knows. I hope i am proven wrong.


OptimalConcept143 t1_iwptosi wrote

If we had the ability to create cheap hydrogen you'd probably have enough electricity to just heat homes that way. Especially when systems like heat pumps can get well over 100% efficiency.


RSomnambulist t1_iwpw3vu wrote

This also isn't taking into account battery advances like solid state. Amptricity is preselling home batteries now.


OptimalConcept143 t1_iwpxljn wrote

Batteries can't chemically be as energy dense as hydrogen or fossil fuels. They will improve, but not significantly.


jeffreynya t1_iwpxo6h wrote

the cost!! holy Crap!


RSomnambulist t1_iwpy3do wrote

Yeah. They look to be about 2x-3x as expensive as just an LI battery, but there are insurance savings to take into account and the fact that they are significantly safer and more efficient and should last about 10-20y longer. I think the cost is worth it, but they're also the first people on the scene. I expect competition to make them close to LI cost.


sawlaw t1_iwq54tt wrote

I try not to get too hyped for things just because there are a few pre sales. Once production begins in Ernest and there are a few thousand happy customers I think I'd be ready to make the move, until then it's something for people with money to burn and gamble.


RSomnambulist t1_iwq6lcf wrote

I'm not spending my money on it, but I'd say that based on preproduction and existing samples and manufacturing that is online already--solid state is further along than HCV mainly because there is so few HCV infrastructure.


UniversalMomentum t1_iwppclc wrote

We can dream, but I'll have to see real world LCOE stats before I start accepting Fusion as a cheap option. Until then it has horrible LCOE because it's all investments and no power output.

Nuclear has such a long history of claiming much cheaper costs than it winds up producing and with such high complexity I have my doubts it willproduce wind/solar level cheap energy.

Same thing happened with fission. On paper it was much cheaper than averaged real life costs. Plus nuclear LCOE doesn't take real long term waste storage or inevitable accidents into account. They are cheating LCOE pretty hard on the nuclear side just like the fossil fuel side and all it's externalized long term costs.

Also the problem of just convincing a country that can't build nuclear reactors to switch a huge chunk of its power generation over to nuclear reactors and then be completely dependent on one or a handful of countries that can maintain those reactors. As well as venting the countries making Fusion reactions to export to developing nations.

On Paper those obstacles might not look huge, but I'm pretty sure they are.

Of fusion can produce a levelized cost of energy around $25 per megawatt hour then it will at least be a good option for the handful of countries that can build the reactors, but I doubt it will scale out globally.

Try to think about it like you're the developing country and America has highly proprietary power plant design that it wants you to invest in and will require you to basically stay in America's favor or not be able to fix your own power plants.


Josquius t1_iwqctfw wrote

It's one of those things like those who boost electric cars as the only solution we need. Pretending to care whilst simultaneously opposing any thoughts of actual change.


PhluXx1 t1_iwtdnac wrote

Hydrogen was always the better solution the EV push always seemed like folly.


CropDuster921 t1_iwt2akk wrote

One thing I can’t stand is people who think what fuels our cars makes a god damn difference. It’s a drop in the bucket. Want to build a sustainable future? Re-write building code and encourage more dense communities are rail transit. Make it so you don’t need a fuckin car to go get a haircut.


DonQuixBalls t1_iwv5s68 wrote

Walkable cities exist. Do you know why more people don't live in them?