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Power Transportation

Nanoparticles Could Make Hydrogen Cheaper Than Gasoline 442

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the at-this-rate-gold-will-be-cheaper-soon dept.
Roland Piquepaille writes "According to EE Times, a California-based company called QuantumSphere has developed nanoparticles that could make hydrogen cheaper than gasoline. The company says its reactive catalytic nanoparticle coatings can boost the efficiency of electrolysis (the technique that generates hydrogen from water) to 85% today, exceeding the Department of Energy's goal for 2010 by 10%. The company says its process could be improved to reach an efficiency of 96% in a few years. The most interesting part of the story is that the existing gas stations would not need to be modified to distribute hydrogen. With these nanoparticle coatings, car owners could make their own hydrogen, either in their garage or even when driving."
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Nanoparticles Could Make Hydrogen Cheaper Than Gasoline

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  • Need those (Score:3, Funny)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:38PM (#22578206) Homepage Journal
    What do you think the odds are on getting some of this stuff for my hydrogen car [amazon.com] kit?
  • Vaporware? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Ogive17 (691899) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:40PM (#22578230)
    Sounds like vaporware to me!
  • by jabber (13196) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:42PM (#22578262) Homepage
    I already make my own combustible gas while I drive. I just need a motor that will work with it.
  • by wile_e_wonka (934864) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:47PM (#22578358)
    Excellent--now everyone will have tanks of hydrogen gas in their homes.

    Is there some way I can invest in firehouses?
  • by sm62704 (957197) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:50PM (#22578404) Journal
    Related post: Nano particles could make hydrogen cheaper than [some other very expensive commodity whose price has been driven up artificially]

    I want a wind powered car! A flying wind powered car. A flying wind powered car that drives itself.

    And a pony.
  • by ProppaT (557551) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:51PM (#22578426) Homepage
    Sounds like this one will kill two birds with one stone. Where do I sign up to get a pee tube installed in my car?
  • by Botia (855350) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @04:59PM (#22578586)
    We're all going to need distilleries in our homes. Either that or distilled water will be sold out in stores and the price will skyrocket. This is just a scam to sell bottled water to us at exorbitant prices.
  • Re:question (Score:5, Funny)

    by Random BedHead Ed (602081) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:05PM (#22578682) Homepage Journal
    Dude, do you need everything spelled out? Just start your car, drive around, and after a while you'll generate enough hydrogen to start your car.
  • by snarkh (118018) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:06PM (#22578708)

    > The idea is that you would fill the car with distilled water, and get hydrogen from a self sustaining > hydrogen burn.

    How about a self-sustaining crack pipe?
  • by pilgrim23 (716938) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:09PM (#22578758)
    This process only needs water to make the fuel right? Sounds like this is Just the complimentary package we need to accompany MY new invention:
        Dehydrated Water!
      It comes in this special little pill you see. you just stick it in any tank and add water...
  • by MenTaLguY (5483) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:11PM (#22578794) Homepage
    If it's efficient enough to be self-sustaining (100% efficiency), you still won't have any energy left over to power the car.

    I think the most practical and efficient way to store hydrogen in a usable form is to bond it with short chains of atoms. Carbon seems to be the best choice as a "carrier" since you can attach two or three hydrogen atoms to each carbon atom in the chain, and the resulting compounds are liquid or gaseous at normal temperatures. I've no idea why this technology isn't already in widespread use; it's a simple matter of organic chemistry. :)
  • by KublaiKhan (522918) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:18PM (#22578878) Homepage Journal
    True, true.

    I can see, though, if they do manage to demonstrate platinumless electrodes, the possibility that the electrodes could be swappable for a fairly minimal price hit.

    Seriously, though, a distillery isn't that expensive. They're, what, a couple hundred to a couple thousand bucks for a home model? And that's assuming you don't just shell out the $.25/gallon down at the laundromat, anyway.

    Hell, with some folks, you could hook up the dehumidifier in the basement to the electrolyser and make fuel while you're dehumidifying your basement. Or just wear a stillsuit, and instead of drinking it, use it for your sandcrawler.

    The spice must flow!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @05:30PM (#22579084)
    I know! It's so stupid. Why, it's almost like they're trying to come up with an energy storage device that's better than a battery. With batteries today, you can already drive almost 100km on a single charge.

    Also, when you run your battery flat, you can just get a tow back home. With this new-fangled set-up, you would have to remember to go to a hydrogen filling station before you ran out. What a p-a-i-n.

    Wait... what?
  • by Hoi Polloi (522990) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @06:07PM (#22579718) Journal

    By releasing H2 from H2O, where do you plan to put all the O2??? We can't release that much O2 into the air!

    I propose using ancient deposits of carbon to lock up excess O2. Not only will this process remove excess O2 from the atmosphere but the process if exothermic and could also be used as a source of energy. In the mean time I suggest breathing as hard as possible at all times.

    Personally I look forward to an oxygen rich atmosphere and the return of our dragonfly overlords [findarticles.com].

  • by knight24k (1115643) on Wednesday February 27, 2008 @06:23PM (#22580012)

    High probability.

    But, you know, conversely, the present US government has expressed a desire to go in the direction of hydrogen. Mostly because it's a byproduct of petroleum production, so they'd not be seeing that cash cow go dry. By extention, this should mean the US government will get behind making nanoparticle-driven hydrogen cars... further marginalizing actual clean energy sources like electricity even further.
    Exactly how clean is electricity when there are still a lot of coal fired power plants all over the country. We haven't built a new nuclear power plant in ages let alone get any other green power source to a level to replace them.

    Hydrogen is absolutely clean and the production has oxygen as a by-product. Electricity (and don't think that I am against electric power by no means, but let's be realistic) is generated using a still dirty process. Hydrogen, from production to burn, is much cleaner. That is not even taking into account the environmental footprint that production of electric cars produces. This (hydrogen cars) would not significantly change the footprint of existing vehicle production (this could be wrong, but it doesn't seem it would alter it that much) and reduce the emissions to 0. Electric cars significantly increase the vehicle production footprint to achieve the same thing. Over time both are better than current petroleum based vehicles, but which one is really the cleaner option?

    Until we have dependable and cleaner electricity production, hydrogen cars will be the cleaner solution for the total life-cycle of the product and maybe even if electricity is cleaned up.

The universe is like a safe to which there is a combination -- but the combination is locked up in the safe. -- Peter DeVries

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