Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Inefficiency of Hydrogen based economy

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, with water and heat as its by-product.

In a recent study, fuel cell expert Ulf Bossel explains that a hydrogen economy is a wasteful economy. The large amount of energy required to isolate hydrogen from natural compounds (water, natural gas, biomass), package the light gas by compression or liquefaction, transfer the energy carrier to the user, plus the energy lost when it is converted to useful electricity with fuel cells, leaves around 25% for practical use — an unacceptable value to run an economy in a sustainable future. Only niche applications like submarines and spacecraft might use hydrogen.

Energy taken for producing and transporting hydrogen to its destination is 3 times the energy taken for producing and transporting electricity directly.
[the picture is descriptive of the technical details ]

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