The Hydrogen Economy isn't Coming Soon

In the race for the replacement of fossil fuels, a lot of people are betting on hydrogen. Others consider it a shill for the pro-nukes, since lots of electricity can be used to make it from water. The hydrogen is really not a fuel, but is a transfer medium to get the energy from the nuclear plant to your car.

A new report throws a lot of cold oxidized hydrogen on the whole idea.

The researchers point out in an upcoming paper to be published in June, the following problems with hydrogen:

-Fuel cells cost too much to build and have short operating lifetimes.

"Fuel cells wear out at least five times faster than internal combustion engines. If I buy a new car, I expect it to last, say, 10 years, which equates to about 3,000 hours of driving time. If my fuel cell only lasts 1,000 hours, you can see that's not very practical."

"A fuel-cell car built with today's technology would cost about $250,000, but you would have no place to fill up the tank,"

Because hydrogen is so light, it is very expensive to transport and store-there is not much energy density to it. Fill a balloon with it- it will be deflated in hours, the molecule is so small that it leaks out very easily.

Futurepundit points out that superconductor technology and battery efficiency are improving faster than fuel cells, and that direct transfer of electric vehicles wmakes a lot more sense. "Hydrogen's supporting technologies will compete with tomorrow's batteries, superconductors, and other energy technologies. Those competing technologies will be delivering benefits decades before hydrogen begins to do so" ::Futurepundit by [LA]