Backyard Hydrogen Man

By now our readers are likely aquainted with garage bio-diesel making and kit suppliers for those who want in on the fun. Recently, we were introduced to the hydrogen 'home brew crew" concept, from a St. Petersburg Times (FL) article, that described "an inventor working on hydrogen storage systems designed to be backyard fueling stations for hydrogen cell cars [who] has applied for a federal Department of Energy grant to start producing the tanks. Bob DeCuir is seeking a $600,000 grant from a $1.3-billion fund established by the federal government to use hydrogen fuel cells to power cars. These cars use hydrogen in a tank and oxygen from the outside to power a fuel cell for electrical energy to run the motor. He built a backyard solar tracking array this summer to make the hydrogen gas. What he's seeking now is a safe way to store the gas in high-pressure tanks that will be 6 feet long and 2 feet in diameter". This guy definitely deserves honorary "TreeHugger" status. Wish we had a picture of him.The article also reports that "The tanks would deliver a hydrogen flow rated at 5,000 pounds per square inch at the nozzle. He said he recently enlisted the assistance of a research group headed by NASA to solve a high-pressure connection problem that had baffled him".

"If he gets the grant, he will be able to purchase the machinery needed to make the tanks...These will be high-pressure Kevlar fiber storage systems, with about 10,000 pounds of storage pressure. When hydrogen becomes a widely used alternative fuel, DeCuir said, there won't be a need for gas stations. Instead, each home will have its own fueling system. He expects to hear from the Energy Department by early spring on whether the grant has been approved".

From an earlier Times story on Mr. DeCuir we found this insightful quote: "It was Bill Gates and people like him working in their garages that came up with the home computer. He didn't invent computers, he just used the technology that was already out there and made it into something that everyone wanted That's what I plan on doing."

Ooooh yea. Make those oil producing nations squirm. We hope he gets his grant before some lobbyist puts the cabosh on it.