energy efficiency, sustainability, green buildings, solar, hybrid cars and alternate fuels.

"A society built on green design, sustainable energy and closed loop systems, a civilization afloat on a cloud of efficient, non-toxic, recyclable technology." ~~Alex Nikolai Steffan


A Fuel-Cell Car Under My Tree?

Is carbon -neutral hydrogen in the near future? And if so, can I have a fuel-cell car for Christmas?

A recent USA Today article discussed how, through Project Driveway, policiticans, policy makers, celebrities and other high-profile people will receive one of 100 fuel-cell vehicles, the Equinox by GM, to drive around in Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, DC (where there are hydrogen fueling stations). These drivers are to provide feedback about the vehicles.

Honda is also designing a hydrogen fuel-cell car that will also be distributed to about 100 consumers, but may cost up to $500 per month to lease.(!)

Water hydrolysis, a standard method for producing hydrogen, using petroleum products as the energy source is only 50 to 70 percent efficient. Since it requires energy to produce hydrogen and a lot of that energy is wasted, the production and distribution of hydrogen is not really considered a renewable source.

To offset energy costs at the refueling stations, I propose that we use hand-cranks at the pumps, working much like a hand-crank radio, or an old-fashioned hand-pump water well. Burn calories, fill your tank--

However, carbon neutral hydrogen may become a practical reality, removing one barrier from a network of hydrogen refueling stations across the US, even in places like Tallahassee.

Environmental engineering researchers at Penn State are working on microbial fuel cells to convert cellulose and other biodegradable organic materials directly into hydrogen, rather than producing ethanol. Their microbial electrolysis cell process could generate energy to fuel the hydrogen production, while still creating 144% more available energy than the electricity used to produce it.

They use acetic acid (vinegar) to convert cellulose and other biodegradable organic materials directly into hydrogen. The scientists propose that the first practical application of this project could be to mix the hydrogen with natural gas to fuel vehicles, since we already have vehicles running on natural gas.



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