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<<I'm curious, where does the hydrogen come from? Are their reserves somewhere underground, or does it need to manufactured?

If it needs to manufactured. What the energy requirements for the manufacturing of hrdrogen?

Sorry for asking a stupid question, but I'm clueless. Keith >>

Keith even though you did not ask the questions of me, I will give you the answers I know.

The production of hydrogen is an energy intensive process. So hydrogen "ain't cheap" ... it is mighty expensive to produce for fueling a vehicle. In fact it is somewhat insane to be used in automobiles. If you are going to the moon, or are planning to attack the Soviet Union with an efficient rocket engine, then by all means, burn hydrogen.... but for a car? --- it is not economic, yet.

It is several times more expensive to produce a unit of energy burning hydrogen than it is a unit of energy burning gasoline. And that is the reason why, you have not seen many of us running on pure hydrogen vehicles. It is part of the well known adage ---> "It is economics, stupid."

The impetus to move to hydrogen comes from the environmental wackos who are constantly dreaming up of some nightmare scenario, and scare the living hell out of the American public. But let's go on.

The purest form of hydrogen in refineries and petrochemicals plants is produced through steam reforming of light hydrocarbons ... methane (basically natural gas) through butanes, and even pentanes. You partially oxidize the hydrocarbon to Carbon Monoxide (CO)-- a poisonous gas in high concentrations, and then through means of currently well known reaction called "the water gas shift reaction", one can further oxidize the Carbon Monoxide with water (in the super heated steam phase) and turn the combined reactions into two products -- hydrogen (H2) and inocuous Carbon Dioxide (CO2) gas--which incidentally is what every human being exhales....and what gives the fizz in Coke and Sprite and Root beer, etc...a gas which the environmental wackos, under the supposedly "global warming" scenario, wanted George Bush to restrict.

The other method of producing hydrogen, which is one which ExxonMobil is working on with GM and Toyota, is a modification of Steam Reforming of Naphtha's where hydrogen is produced to the tune of about 70%. This process is more practical because it would require that a vehicle be gassed, like today's, with liquid naphtha, which would then be reformed through a catalytic process that would be built inside the vehicle somewhere. The hydrogen will be purified some more and concentrate to be run on a fuel cell.

Your typical car will cost at least double or triple what a mid-size car would cost today, and even though it will give you probably 8 times better mileage than our cars today, the average Joe Blow will never be able to justify buying such a car. Perhaps if all of us on this discussion board buy a taxi company, we may be able to justify a fuel cell vehicle.


p.s. If we build one hundred nuclear (fusion) plants then it could become economic to hydrolyze water, produce pure hydrogen to be burn in vehicles ... safety issues aside. Otherwise, it is only through the scare tactics of the environmental wackos that we will be forced to pay through our noses to satisfy the desires of the environmental loonies.
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