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      05-11-2021, 11:31 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
It's only "clean" in the combustion process. You gotta look at the whole picture.
There, you just summarized my whole problem with EVs. Sure, they don’t make any emissions. But the coal or NG power plants charging them do in spades.

Also name a driver’s choice, or objectively fun EV. And if you say Tesla I’m going to lough. Let's hear it.

Last edited by 5.M0NSTER; 05-11-2021 at 11:54 AM..
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      05-11-2021, 12:17 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by 5.M0NSTER View Post
There, you just summarized my whole problem with EVs. Sure, they don’t make any emissions. But the coal or NG power plants charging them do in spades.
Those types of energy generation facilities are being gradually replaced with less polluting ones just like combustion vehicles are gradually being replaced with cleaner, more efficient ones. But you're right - we shouldn't single out hydrogen production as non-clean when the same applies to dozens of other processes used to obtain, refine, and deliver raw materials needed to produce and assemble vehicles as well as the various types of energy that power them.

Indeed that's why there are also efforts to create liquid hydrogen using clean energy. This will address much of the hand flailing that currently occurs when hydrogen production is discussed. Sure, that still leaves the fact that it is say (for the sake of argument) only about 1/3 as efficient as using the electricity to power vehicles or homes (or whatever else) directly. But who cares? If I want my windmill farm to waste 2/3 of their potential producing liquid hydrogen instead of powering a city, that's my prerogative. It's exactly this reason that hydrogen cannot be guaranteed to be the dead end that many people believe, and it's also why shorting the entire hydrogen sector on the basis that "But it's not green!" would be a very bad move right now. Hey, maybe the whole thing does go bust eventually. Who knows? But I dare you to bet against it, right?

Why though, in my right mind, would I waste my windmill farm or solar grid on such nonsense, you might be quick to ask? Because somebody somewhere might be willing to pay me three times as much for that hydrogen to offset the difference for the privilege of being able to refuel their trucks or boats or machines in minutes instead of charging them in hours. On the other hand, no sum of money is going to enable you to charge their batteries at comparable speeds, especially at that scale.
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      05-11-2021, 02:03 PM   #25
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And it doesn't even have to be Hydrogen, it's just one option. This idea isn't terrible either. So the message is we can still IC things, while being CO2 neutral.

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      05-11-2021, 03:54 PM   #26
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This idea is perhaps the single stupidest piece of automotive engineering I've read about from a major auto company in 40 years.

Hydrogen is fine. It's a clean power source. We'll eventually figure out production, distribution, and on-vehicle storage options for it. That's not the problem.

The problem is burning hydrogen in an ICE. This is monumentally stupid. ICE technology is the production of useful, mechanical work by use of a heat cycle. More than 150 years ago, Victorian-era engineers figured out the efficiency of heat cycles. The best you can do - ever - is called the Carnot Efficiency. And amazingly, this depends only on temperatures. The hottest you can get your engine, and the coldness to which you expel heat. You're never going to get an ICE to exceed about 40% efficiency because of this, given limitations on materials and achievable temperatures.

So what's the alternative? Extraction of the energy in H-H bonds via electrochemical cells. This isn't new. It's been done for 100 years as well. It's the way nearly every manned spacecraft is powered, including the Apollo missions and the Space shuttle. Hydrogen is the perfect input to these "fuel cells". You avoid a heat cycle completely, and the strangling aspects of the Carnot efficiency. The amount of useful, electrical power you can pull from a fuel cell is well over 90% of the energy available in the hydrogen fuel. And the only emission is water. Water clean enough to drink; this is how water is made during space missions.

Fuel cells are so attractive for automotive use, that the only real issue is fueling them. You can burn carbon-containing fuels in a fuel cell, but the presence of that carbon leads to reaction products (carbonates) that clog the delicate membranes in these cells, quickly rendering them inoperative. The engineer that solves that particular materials problem will become the richest man on earth, btw.

For now, we're stuck with burning hydrogen in fuel cells. The limiting problem deploying this on vehicles is getting enough hydrogen onboard to be useful. Some groups have been working on "onboard reforming" technology that would convert gasoline (stored on the vehicle) into hydrogen with a small, onboard chemical reactor. This has the advantage of using existing infrastructure for fuel.

The other option is to store the hydrogen directly as either a high pressure gas, liquified, or (probably the best option) as a metal hydride, which releases hydogen upon heating. Uranium works great here, but it's heavy. The weight of a uranium hydride bed with useful quantities of hydrogen storage exceeds the mass of long-range Lithium battery packs. And it's violently pyrophoric, another slight problem for vehicle use...

Anyway, Toyota's decision to produce a hydrogen-burning ICE is just catastrophically, insanely bad engineering. Hydrogen is great. It's so great, that we should develop an infrastructure for it. The reason it's great is that when used with fuel cells, it solves most of the problems of batteries and EVs, and avoids the terrible efficiency penalty from using heat engines. Burning that hydrogen in an ICE as opposed to a fuel cell really is that monumentally dumb.

Last edited by diablo2112; 05-12-2021 at 09:24 PM..
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      05-11-2021, 07:36 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by JamesNoBrakes View Post
Because you are extremely biased and subjective to claim that high performance EVs are no fun and it takes a lot more energy to make, compress, store and transport H2, which drives costs up and wastes energy that could be used elsewhere, like for water extraction/transport. It's only "clean" in the combustion process. You gotta look at the whole picture.
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      05-11-2021, 07:59 PM   #28
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When did lack of infrastructure ever stop a new propulsion technology? I'm looking at you, Tesla.

Hydrogen has ubiquitous availability, it means every nation is a transportation fuel producer. A huge win for the world.

Energy to compress hydrogen, requirement for high pressure systems, and safety/combustability seem to be difficult hurdles to overcome.

I still haven't seen a short, simple, fact-based comparison vs ICE for the entire EV carbon+disposal chain from digging lithium out of the ground, to manufacturing EVs and batteries, then recycling them at end of life.

How is the full EV lifecycle, including batteries, any better than alternatives? The only force driving EVs in my opinion is carmakers' profitability, which is 20%-30% higher for EVs than ICE vehicles due to the lower cost of components and labor to produce an EV.
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      05-11-2021, 08:03 PM   #29
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I applaud Toyota for trying, the ICE isn't going anywhere, so all avenues need to be explored.

Besides, those guys are way smarter than anyone on here, so don't listen to the Bimmerpost Mafia that think they know it all.
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      05-13-2021, 12:16 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diablo2112 View Post
This idea is perhaps the single stupidest piece of automotive engineering I've read about from a major auto company in 40 years.

Hydrogen is fine. It's a clean power source. We'll eventually figure out production, distribution, and on-vehicle storage options for it. That's not the problem.

The problem is burning hydrogen in an ICE. This is monumentally stupid. ICE technology is the production of useful, mechanical work by use of a heat cycle. More than 150 years ago, Victorian-era engineers figured out the efficiency of heat cycles. The best you can do - ever - is called the Carnot Efficiency. And amazingly, this depends only on temperatures. The hottest you can get your engine, and the coldness to which you expel heat. You're never going to get an ICE to exceed about 40% efficiency because of this, given limitations on materials and achievable temperatures.

So what's the alternative? Extraction of the energy in H-H bonds via electrochemical cells. This isn't new. It's been done for 100 years as well. It's the way nearly every manned spacecraft is powered, including the Apollo missions and the Space shuttle. Hydrogen is the perfect input to these "fuel cells". You avoid a heat cycle completely, and the strangling aspects of the Carnot efficiency. The amount of useful, electrical power you can pull from a fuel cell is well over 90% of the energy available in the hydrogen fuel. And the only emission is water. Water clean enough to drink; this is how water is made during space missions.

Fuel cells are so attractive for automotive use, that the only real issue is fueling them. You can burn carbon-containing fuels in a fuel cell, but the presence of that carbon leads to reaction products (carbonates) that clog the delicate membranes in these cells, quickly rendering them inoperative. The engineer that solves that particular materials problem will become the richest man on earth, btw.

For now, we're stuck with burning hydrogen in fuel cells. The limiting problem deploying this on vehicles is getting enough hydrogen onboard to be useful. Some groups have been working on "onboard reforming" technology that would convert gasoline (stored on the vehicle) into hydrogen with a small, onboard chemical reactor. This has the advantage of using existing infrastructure for fuel.

The other option is to store the hydrogen directly as either a high pressure gas, liquified, or (probably the best option) as a metal hydride, which releases hydogen upon heating. Uranium works great here, but it's heavy. The weight of a uranium hydride bed with useful quantities of hydrogen storage exceeds the mass of long-range Lithium battery packs. And it's violently pyrophoric, another slight problem for vehicle use...

Anyway, Toyota's decision to produce a hydrogen-burning ICE is just catastrophically, insanely bad engineering. Hydrogen is great. It's so great, that we should develop an infrastructure for it. The reason it's great is that when used with fuel cells, it solves most of the problems of batteries and EVs, and avoids the terrible efficiency penalty from using heat engines. Burning that hydrogen in an ICE as opposed to a fuel cell really is that monumentally dumb.
Agree with all you said, but BMW built the Hydrogen 7 about 15 years ago. Seems most the the Bimmerheads here forgot?

The idea of on-board gasoline-to-hydrogen conversion is the correct path except some don't like carbon in the conversion process.
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      05-13-2021, 12:22 PM   #31
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When did lack of infrastructure ever stop a new propulsion technology? I'm looking at you, Tesla.
I didn't because there already was infrastructure, the electrical grid. While it may not be able to support everyone with an EV at the same time, it at least exists, is being upgraded, and can support a good number of EVs in it's current state. That's vastly different from no infrastructure like H2. Mental gymnastics to think it's the same thing. That's kind of the whole point about EVs, you can "plug them in".
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      05-13-2021, 02:39 PM   #32
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Time will tell, but this reminds me of the observation the British general Slim made about the Japanese in WW2. He said they were terribly effective at executing a good plan, but became lost if the conditions for that plan were to change significantly. That makes sense when major decisions are based on consensus. It can be very difficult to admit that everyone was wrong in agreeing with the plan. The hydrogen vehicle is a poster child for that. It's a relatively old plan that they have invested huge amounts of money on, but it's a solution that just doesn't have a use right now and frankly it looks like they're just stubbornly refusing to admit this was a mistake. The only way they can even hope to get something out of this is if they can convince the Japanese government to invest untold billions in the necessary infrastructure.
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