Hydogen fuel would destroy the Ozone layer?

Discussion in 'Science and the Universe' started by brian, Jun 18, 2003.

  1. brian

    brian Administrator Admin

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    Here's a disturbing article from Nature magazine. Much touted as the future green fuel for the develped world, it could certainly present a serious knock to the development and implementation of this much-hailed "green fuel":

    Hydrogen fuel could widen ozone hole
     
  2. Elizabeth May

    Elizabeth May New Member

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    Now that would be a real shame. We've all been rooting for Hydrogen to be the next *big* fuel leap. So if there's an issue then we're all going to be left scurrying without a flagship taking us into the new realm of energy technologies. On saying that who sponsored the report? Let's check the findings first and make sure the oil lobby isn't at it again through the scientific press!
     
  3. dwndrgn

    dwndrgn New Member

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    Can any science buff out there explain to me why making the stratosphere wetter/cooler would disrupt the Ozone layer? I'm just curious.
     
  4. Talia

    Talia New Member

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    I've no idea either.
     
  5. brian

    brian Administrator Admin

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    Hi there, dwndrgn - and welcome to comparative-religion.com! (as well as the chronicles-network ;) )

    As to your question - the article doesn't make that clear, but apparently the calculations given suggest the widening will not be too great an issue, so long as CFCs have are thoroughly depleted before a "hydrogen ecomony" can be established. Which looks to be the general direction at the moment.
     
  6. wil

    wil UNeyeR1 Moderator

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    Currently going into tunnels there is a prohibition on bottled gas. Propane tanks and such have to circumvent the tunnel...go the long way around.

    Does anyone know how this affects propane powered vehicles and how it will affect hydrogen powered?

    Or how the problems which affected the Hindenberg are not a problem with what is being touted as a panacea?

    I also wonder how much energy it will take to create the hydrogen, if it is like ethanol, it takes more energy to extract/distill than it puts forth in use?
     
  7. flowperson

    flowperson Oannes

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    Wil:

    You've hit upon the most critical issue. Guess what the fossil fuel lobby in the US is pushing for as the basic material to be used for the creation of hydrogen fuel ?
    Yup...COAL !

    As far as the widening of the ozone hole goes, I believe that the CFC issue is the determining factor. Any effects that the burning of hydrogen might have in some remote future is pretty much just speculation. However, massively parallel computers are pretty good at the detailed modeling of things like nuclear explosions, global warming, and thunderstorms, so I guess such predictions are feasible to an extent.

    I did hear a chemistry professor, that has perfected the process in the lab, on Science Friday on NPR make a pitch for using hydrogen conversion to help make massive quantities of methanol (wood alchohol) to be burned as fuel. He has a pilot plant under construction in Canada and claims that methanol can be manufactured in quantity using his process for about a tenth of the energy, resources, and dollar costs involved in producing ethanol from vegetable residues. I never did think that the idea of burning food as fuel was a good thing. But politicos from the USA's midwest see ethanol production as the economic holy grail for their grain farmers.

    Money talks...ethics walks.

    flow....:)
     
  8. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Excess water vapor breaks down ozone molecules. With the existing 'green house gasses' we currently have, water vapor would be kicked up higher into our atmosphere (where it doesn't belong), resulting in reaction with Ozone, in a negative way, ergo water molecules break down and the resultant Hydrogen and oxygen affect O3 in a negative way (forcing higher oxygen combinations and lower Ozone levels).

    In short, we end up with a richer oxygen atmosphere (breathable), but less Ozone (protective). Remember, Oxygen wants to combine with other atoms, it doesn't like to be alone.

    Ozone is more than three oxygen molecules together. It is also ionized. When it finds another set of molecules that suit it's ionization, it will blend with that molecule combination. It breaks down to basic components, and recombines.

    Ozone alone, is stable (sort of). Introduce alien elements and Ozone is no more (like carbon, or hydrogen free atoms).

    my thoughts

    v/r

    Q
     
  9. Quahom1

    Quahom1 What was the question?

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    Going into tunnels with bottled gas (in an exposed tank, normally on the back of the vehicle, or in the flat bed of a truck hauling many compressed gasses), is prohibited. Propane powered vehicles (using liquid propane in a specially designed fuel tank within the vehicles body), is not.

    Hydrogen powered vehicles can use fuel cells (which keeps hydrogen stable and protected), or could be liquid hydrogen (which could cause problems, but not as much as gaseous hydrogen). Hindenberg used gaseous hydrogen (inherently volitile and unstable). Fuel cells have been used on space craft since the 60s, and not one space craft was destroyed because of a hydrogen fuel cell failing...as I said, pretty stable.

    The energy's expense required to extract hydrogen for fuel, depends completely on supply and demand, and what kind of energy one is using to extract that fuel. If fossil fuel is used as energy, then yes you are correct. If hydroelectric power, or solar power, or thermal energy, or nuclear energy is used, then no, it does not draw more energy to make than it provides.

    If you had a year to produce a weeks worth of hydrogen for your vehicle, you could conceivably do it right at home with a few lead/zinc cell batteries, and some patience.

    As far as Ethanol:

    Ethanol produced in Brazil for example, is made cheaply, much cheaper than can be done in the US. The reason is the material they use to make it, can't be grown in the US, and produces 10 times as much ethanol per pound than any material we can grow for the same purpose. We use corn and sugar beets. Brazil uses sugar cane.

    Hope this helps

    v/r

    Q
     

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