In green car race, Toyota adds muscle with fuel-cell launch

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  • 0

    wtfjapan

    “Fuel-cell is so bullshit. Hydrogen is a quite dangerous gas. It’s suitable for the upper-stage rocket, but not for cars.” says the company that has all its money in battery power, LOL well see in 15-20 years when the tech is available to store it safely, hydrogen is the most common element in the universe and is renewable and clean. why wouldnt you want to use it.

  • 0

    SwissToni

    I'm a big fan of the fuel cell car. It makes a lot of sense to push the cost of infrastructure development to the fuel providers. It's not perfect of course but nice to see fuel cell and battery development side by side. The jury's still out on which technology will eventually be adopted but I'd put some money on fuel cells on the long term.

  • 2

    donkusai

    I'm sure I read somewhere that one of the big issues with hydrogen is the extracting of the gas from the atmosphere (or wherever they get it from) in the first place. Does the fuel-cell car just move the environmental damage to an earlier step in the supply chain? It would be nice to know this so it can all be put in better perspective. Still, with Japan being a fairly resource poor country, its great that they do so much to push innovation.

  • 1

    SwissToni

    Donkusai, at the moment most hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels. This does at least offer the opportunity to capture the CO2. There are other methods of producing the gas but these aren't used on an industrial scale yet.

  • 0

    Julian Cox

    @SwissToni

    Actually the misleading marketing as "green" surrounding hydrogen is a severe issue as it represents a direct assault on renewable energy and sustainable transport by deliberate deception.

    Hydrogen is a fossil fuel derivative produced by all of the world's Big Oil companies, particularly from the fracking of shales for Natural Gas, one of the most dangerously polluting processes known to man. The co-promotion of FCVs by Toyota and others is nothing but a BS attempt to defend market share from the rise of compelling EVs that can be powered directly from renewables.

    Hydrogen is not only not green energy, it is an attack on green energy.

    There is no method of producing hydrogen that can compete economically with the steam reforming of Natural Gas. All of the alternative methods that can be demonstrated for PR purposes are vastly more expensive and can only in reality serve as a Trojan horse for the ultimate use of Natural Gas and therefore the proliferation of fracking instead of wind, hydro and solar energy. FCVs are not economically compatible with renewable electricity due to overwhelming inefficiency losses of 67 to 75% of the input energy in the wasteful conversion to hydrogen and reconvention to electricity on board the vehicle.

    Carbon sequestration of industrial steam reforming is difficult to enforce in current industry owing to added costs. Transportation of mass produced hydrogen to filling stations is essentially economically impossible. The solution envisaged is the transport of natural gas to filling stations and steam reforming on site to hydrogen, releasing the CO2 locally at the filling station. It is economically impossible to capture and sequester CO2 produced at hundreds or thousands of hydrogen filling stations. This would involve the careful compression and subsequent collection and transportation of waste CO2 by pipeline or truck, the unloading of CO2 into pipelines and injecting into exhausted oil fields. It is more than the entire cost of producing and distributing gasoline or CNG in reverse to 'please' the regulators - the same contingent seeking tax on the profits of the energy industry, profits that would be eliminated by waste handling on this scale. It will happen shortly after cocaine is successfully eliminated from the world economy - i.e. unenforceable and never.

    Hydrogen is by definition and inescapably the product of pollution, falsely marketed to green consumers and to green-leaning politicians in the hope of diverting interest and support from genuine green solutions that threaten the income of polluting industries - Big Oil and Big Auto.

    The Hydrogen deceit is a most serious threat to derail progress towards tackling escalating atmospheric CO2 and concerns for associated consequences such as climate change.

    HYDROGEN: DANGER AVOID.

  • 0

    SwissToni

    Julian Cox, I think some of the points you make are valid as the technology stands today. And I think fracking is a serious threat to renewables, simply because the product is so reasonably priced and renewables so expensive and slow to offer a return on investment. I think you've jumped into the realms of fancy when you introduce the idea of processing natural gas at fuel stations. It's simply too expensive and not the way the industry is looking to move the fuel.

    Battery vehicles are no lover of the planet either. The technology is still in its infancy but I'm glad motor manufacturers are looking at a variety of routes to reduce or manage greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 0

    Julian Cox

    SwissToni

    Realms of fantasy? Unfortunately not.

    A rare piece of honesty from the Auto Industry:

    "The GHG-reduction benefits of hydrogen fuel depend on what procedures and feedstocks are used to produce the hydrogen. Currently, the most state-of-the-art procedure is a distributed natural gas steam reforming process. However, when FCVs are run on hydrogen reformed from natural gas using this process, they do not provide significant environmental benefits on a well-to-wheels basis (due to GHG emissions from the natural gas reformation process)."

    Reference:

    http://corporate.ford.com/microsites/sustainability-report-2011-12/environment-products-plan-migration-fcv

    Distributed natural gas steam reforming is precisely what I was referring to. This is processing natural gas at fuel stations. I have provided the simplest and quickest reference, I to learn more I would invite you to dig.

    For example, Saudi Aramco's study for Hydrogen delivering hydrogen for FCVs in Japan:

    http://www.saudiaramco.com/content/dam/Publications/Journal%20of%20Technology/Winter%202012/CombinedHydrogen.pdf

    This is a method commencing with petroleum as a feedstock and going through the options of local and distant processing. The two clearest conclusions: CO2 sequestering is uneconomical as it adds half again to the cost of dirty hydrogen production. Production of hydrogen from clean renewables - forget about it, the cost is 300% of dirty hydrogen "unviable" was the term used - search the document for it. I take that to mean clean hydrogen from any source is not viable.

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