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Hydrogen vehicles aren't too eco-friendly in terms of carbon emissions, according to an in-depth new study.  (Source: Web Wombat)
Study indicates plug-ins feature a lower emissions life than gas vehicles, but hydrogen vehicles feature greater emissions

The hydrogen vehicle movement appears stalled.  The push to use the diatomic gas as auto fuel never exactly made it off the ground due to a lack of infrastructure -- production, distribution, and storage facilities.  However, for a time automakers like Toyota and Honda were pushing ahead with testing of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. 

Even this year, news leaked that GM was considering launching a commercial fuel cell vehicle in 2015, despite lack of support for the hydrogen movement from U.S. President Barack Obama.  However, of late, the big automakers like Toyota and Honda have backed off the effort to push hydrogen vehicles onto the market.

A new study might put another road block in front of the prospect of a near term commercial hydrogen vehicle release, while giving the plug-in vehicle movement a nice boost.  The study was authored by Ryan McCarthy at the University of California, Davis and published in the Journal of Power Sources. The ground-breaking study, entitled "Determining marginal electricity for near-term plug-in and fuel cell vehicle demands in California: Impacts on vehicle greenhouse gas emissions", examines the emissions impact of hydrogen and plug-in vehicles versus their gas counterparts.

Lowering carbon emissions to fight warming, along with high fuel prices and global-political instability, has been a key driving factor for the adoption of hybrids and alternative fuels.  The new study, though, judged hydrogen vehicles to be an utter failure at that objective, in their current state.  The study concluded, "All of the pathways except for [fuel cell vehicles] using hydrogen from electrolysis reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions compared to ICEs and [hybrid electric vehicles]."

It doesn't dissuade further research into hydrogen vehicles; it simply indicates they are unlikely to be ready for showtime anytime soon.  It points out that steam methane reforming is a promising emerging method of hydrogen production that may one day allow hydrogen driven vehicles to actually live up to their emissions promises.

In the near term, the study finds that plug-in electric vehicles are the best option in terms of lowering carbon emissions.  Despite using electricity mostly generated by "relatively inefficient steam- and combustion-turbine plants" the well-to-wheel carbon impact of EVs is still significantly lower than hybrids.

While by no means the definitive study on the topic, the new work does much to fill in the gap in knowledge about what exactly the true impact of green vehicles are.  While the topic of on-the-road emissions has been well researched, there's been much less progress in examining the full lifetime impact of vehicles.  Now, that lifecycle has been examined in depth and EV advocates can put another feather in their caps, while hydrogen advocates are once again handed another setback.

The study may play a crucial role in forming the policy of California's Low Carbon Fuel Standard, an effort to reduce the carbon impact of transportation.  And given that President Barack Obama's Environmental Protection Agency has embraced California's emissions policy, the new study could have a profound impact on the course of regulations and the auto market nationally, as well.

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I might care
By ZachDontScare on 12/31/2009 3:30:14 PM , Rating: 2
I might care about CO2 emissions... if 'global warming' wasnt a giant sham.

I'm very interested in alternative fuels that can be used to make the US more energy independent, and thus more secure. And so I hate seeing potential viable alternatives to oil tossed aside due to the superstitions of 'Climatologists' who insist on forcing their religious beliefs down everyone's throats.

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 12/31/2009 4:00:12 PM , Rating: 1
You can't deny that the planet has warmed up since the little ice age and after industrialization, it's been heavily researched and they have very good data. You also cannot deny that the planet goes through warming and cooling phases on it's own, global warming and global cooling. The real question is if CO2 is causing it to increase faster. They have also correlated that during the Jurassic period that the increase in volcanic activity poured CO2 into the atmosphere causing the planet to warm, so the possibility of CO2 related warming is there. Just because the data for one year didn't correlate doesn't mean that it's negated. It's just as likely that poor data could have been taken for this year or some unnoticed errors occurred. I wouldn't negate 100+ years of accurate data representing a warming along with CO2 increases because of one year of contradictory data. Give it a few more years at least before you can be definitive.

RE: I might care
By ZachDontScare on 12/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: I might care
By roostitup on 12/31/09, Rating: -1
RE: I might care
By Oregonian2 on 12/31/2009 8:47:23 PM , Rating: 5
One question is: how reliable is that data from which the correlation is drawn? How much of that data was hand-massaged to look that way?

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: I might care
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/1/2010 3:09:41 PM , Rating: 5
If data is collected poorly, then it is not good data.

This isn't the site I was trying to find, but it does have some pictures of why the data taken from ground based weather stations may not be collected properly:

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/10, Rating: -1
RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/2010 3:27:46 PM , Rating: 2
I would also recommend not citing blogs, anyone can write them and there is absolutely NO scientific backing of their opinions. Jason Mick proves this is 75% of his blogs that he would love to think are actual journalism which are biased.

RE: I might care
By heffeque on 1/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/3/2010 7:59:47 PM , Rating: 4
I bet you think Capitalism is Evil.

The Irony is that Capitalism is probably the only reason you and me and majority of the world is alive right now. Capitalism funded advancement of Technology and made it possible to have our current population.

Don't forget Capitalism brought the internet.

What this Global warming scam will do is decrease our growth of advances. Increase costs up and down the social classes. Impoverished people will get hit the most.
Why I say this is based the fact the only way to make a dent in CO2 is to tax dirty technology.

When the CRU is manipulating data and lots of pseudo science is going on its hard to say Global warming is happening because of our influence.

Whenever something questionable is going on I always look at the flow of money. From what I can tell there is more money to earn if people support taxing and using Credit Carbon Credits. The energy industries present have diversified in case the market goes either way. (Gas companies own lots of battery tech, Solar, Bio,) The only ones who stand to gain a lot of money are those advocating Global warming caused by Humans.

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/3/10, Rating: 0
RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/4/2010 1:23:39 AM , Rating: 4
The green movement didn't really start the research of alternatives. Its based around money. When fossil fuels got more expensive it started to become economical to research alternatives. Since everyone is looking for alternatives to the unstable Commodity that is Fossil Fuel.

There is a notion of buying green things since its better for the environment if people have the income go ahead and buy it if it makes you feel better. Most Hybrid Owners don't give a crap about Conservation its about the Image of driving the car. The image about being green and the Snobbish attitude.

I personally get Hybrid mileage by changing the way I drive (Always get 30 Mpg to 36 mpg in my Rav4 2005 Depending on the Temperature). I do it for cost reasons and longevity of my vehicle its saved me 600 dollars over a year of time.

I Have no issue at all with alternatives as long as they are viable and the Technology is sound. I really want an Electric car, and solar panels. I want the tech, but I have no notion of saving the planet. I am worried about instability of the supply and cost. And the ability to make my own energy for me and my family is a good investment.

Oh BTW my whole previous post started with "Rich people" comment. I played on an assumption he made about Rich people. Rich people don't care as long as they are making money on their investment be it a Business or Equities.
Just don't tax them to death or they'll raise prices to maintain their margin to remain competitive.

I care more about the Middle to Lower class than you probably think. And please don't assume everyone has this Saintly Attitude towards the planet. When it comes down to cost people will choose the most economical route for them.

RE: I might care
By ipay on 1/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/4/2010 6:51:12 PM , Rating: 2
1. If you remember the 73 oil crisis then yes the price scare did happen a long time ago. And Jimmy carter put Solar panels on the White house in 79. Since then governments around the world did sponsor research into alternative energy. Though there since has been a growth in investments into these technologies, which sponsors into Alternative energy.

2. I didn't say anything was wrong about buying hybrid cars if you can afford it. I was stating an overwhelming truth about people who buy hybrids do so for the image of being green. There is no need to scare the public, the Car companies will sell you the image of being green to sell the car.

3. Alternative vehicles IE electric cars were played around with for Decades . If you watch who killed the electric car you'll get a good idea who killed it. Still demand was still there, but why advocate a green car when the rest of your line consists of huge SUV's and gas guzzlers. Car manufacturers have thin margins they have to make sure they make the best bet for their investors.

Without the advent of Fertilizers (Without this advance there is no way we could feed 6 billion people), Industrial Revolution, Machines, all of which flourished only because they had the freedom to. That is what Capitalism is, you have the chance to earn your keep and keep it and do what you want with it. At the same time you can help your fellow man gain his dream.

This is where you are economic illiterate. What you think those really rich people do with their money? I'll tell you what they do. THEY INVEST, THEY SPEND, THEY WILL NEVER LET THAT MONEY SIT STILL. Even if they keep it in a nice CD its still influencing the economy through loans. This my friend is how the economy keeps on its feet. Yes they do get richer and get poorer (When they make a bad bet), but investors keep the economy the way it is.

Without those untold trillions of dollars in investments you probably would not have your job today. You wouldn't have all these Spectacular advances in Technology. You wouldn't have amazing health care (Amazing that you'll live from many otherwise fatal diseases).

You need to either take Economics (Both Micro and Macro) or if you are "PAY ATTENTION IN THEM".

(Sorry for the caps I just can't believe what this guy said)

RE: I might care
By Leomania on 1/5/2010 4:59:23 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your well-written posts. Not everyone manages to keep their cool through that many exchanges.

One thing I'd like to comment on is:
2. I didn't say anything was wrong about buying hybrid cars if you can afford it. I was stating an overwhelming truth about people who buy hybrids do so for the image of being green. There is no need to scare the public, the Car companies will sell you the image of being green to sell the car.

The "overwhelming" part isn't valid, at least not among the people I know who own hybrids (myself included). I cared not one iota about image, and no one I know does either. In my case, I sold a car that got less than half the mileage of a hybrid that traveled 50 miles round trip each day, simply to reduce the amount of fossil fuel I used. My financial calculus indicated that I would be unlikely to recoup my investment even at $5/gallon (which it was not long after I bought the car), but I did it because I thought it was the right thing to do. My Prius is 2nd generation, so although I'm not truly an early adopter, that also fed into my decision. Same as it did when I put solar on my roof in 2002.

Yeah, it's nice to be in a position to have enough spare buckazoids to make a call like that; not everyone can. But prices on the solar have come down markedly since I bought, and I expect the same will occur for hybrid technology. In the end, I have met my fossil fuel reduction goals without any significant inconvenience and I have a car that has proven to be amazingly reliable. I fully expect to drive it to 200K miles.

But image had nothing to do with it.

RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/6/2010 11:43:29 PM , Rating: 2
I wish I could edit the Overwhelming part to 'Significant'. I know quite a few people on / who don't drive a Hybrid for the image.

Still from Prius' I see on the road they tend to be jerks since most get a Hybrid for the HOV lane in Wash DC.
So I guess the HOV gave the Regular Joe an Excuse to jump on the Hybrid Bandwagon. Though at least they are paving the way for the Technology.

The Prius is not a Bad car in fact I would jump on it if it had a stick shift. Though if a nice sized Hybrid (Not the Insight Gen 1) would come out in a manual transmission I'll jump on it in a second. I think with the New CR-Z I might have to, I just wish it were a plug-in.

Sorry about bashing hybrids and their owners in general.
Not sure where I was going with that one.

But thank you for the Praise.

RE: I might care
By bigbubba on 1/5/2010 10:59:46 PM , Rating: 2
Kurz, you're brainwashed and full of your own shit along with everyone rating you up and the logical right thinking people down. This website, particularly readers of Mick's blogs are ignorant and will believe anything they hear. Journalism doesn't occur on DailyTech, biased opinions in the form of journalism do and you have to learn how to weed out the correct information, which you have not. Continue to sit in front of your computer and believe everything you hear, I'll get out and figure out what is really happening. DailyTech staff, quit censoring legitimate user comments by allowing these delusional people to rate others or even do away with the whole rating system, period! Kurz & Mick, you're both douche bags.

RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/6/2010 11:50:08 PM , Rating: 2
If you can argue and give me reasons and Evidence I could believe you. I've come forward with facts/History and Economic theory.

Just remember one persons logic is not the same for someone else. Since two different people can logically based on their beliefs and Knowledge can come up with two opposing sides.

I believe now I know whats going on in the world.
It just took few years out of the Public school system to get my head straight.

I am still waiting for a response that is not Condescending and is actually trying to argue their point. To this point I have shot down many of you guy's posts by posting facts and truth. All you guys come at me with is Opinions.
Thats why I am getting Uprated, and thats why you guys are getting down rated.

RE: I might care
By Sandok on 1/4/2010 3:44:07 AM , Rating: 2
What if data is well collected? America might only be 300 years old or so, so the data doesn't go back a long way and since most people don't "believe" in ice cores (as if there is anything to believe), people become skeptical.

In my "old" country, temperatures have been recorded for over half a century and CO2 was recorded for about a quarter of that. All to say, there is a correlation (according to my country's scientists) in between CO2 and temperatures.

Warmest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
Coldest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
Wettest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+

Either Switzerland is messed up or something is going on...

RE: I might care
By nafhan on 1/4/2010 10:23:57 AM , Rating: 3
In my "old" country, temperatures have been recorded for over half a century and CO2 was recorded for about a quarter of that. All to say, there is a correlation (according to my country's scientists) in between CO2 and temperatures.

Warmest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
Coldest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
Wettest 10 days since the last 500 years? All in 2000+
You mention that temperatures have been recorded for 50 years, and then make assertions about the last 500 years. That actually seems fairly typical.

RE: I might care
By callmeroy on 1/4/2010 8:33:05 AM , Rating: 4
I believe in the following:

1) The Earth survived for BILLIONS of years before humans were here, it'll survive for billions more after we are all long since dust.

2) Does and has the climate change from cold to hot; and hot to cold...of course it is a living planet after all.

3) I think its funny when people want to kill or physically hurt others over the argument of climate change (hey damn it save mother earth --- or I'll KILL *you*!!).....

4) I think its also funny when people take small slices of history to cite data and they use that as fact (for or against global warming -- take your pick) "dude in the last 100 years temps have been rising or dropping THE FRIGGIN DATA IS RIGHT THERE !!" (um planet is billions of years old but your 100 years of data is the shining

but lastly.....

5) Believe in global warming or not --- it just makes good sense to want to conserve energy and be cleaner and more efficient with our energy useage. So if the guise of global warming is how the world gets that done I'm fine with it. I'd much rather see CLEAR days not haze filled ones and breath clean air anyway.

RE: I might care
By gamerk2 on 1/4/2010 3:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
Please people, yes, the planet goes through cycles. But data has shown that over the past century, every hot/cold cycle is hotter then the rest.

Also, yes, life will go on, regardless. (Is anyone really arrogant enough to think we could kill all life on the planet?)

The point with GW is simple: Less predictable, and more extreme weather, and conditions that will make life harder for all.

If algae and simple plant life can create an O2 rich atmosphere over time, I see no reason why dumping trillions of Tons of CO2 can't achieve the same effect.

I should also note: Ice core data has shown a direct coorolation to CO2 levels and temperature, and the entire planet of Venus is an example of Global Warming run amok (Its hotter then Murcury, which is far closer to the Sun).

The irony of the situation: Over the past 40 years, the planet SHOULD have cooled; recent studies has shown the Sun has had dimminished solor output since the mid-late 70's, which makes the warming trend even more alarming...

RE: I might care
By jhb116 on 1/1/2010 8:48:42 AM , Rating: 5
But your previous comment also disproves your "theory" about correlation over the last 20 years. In fact - you state that the Earth has been warming since the little Ice Age - DUHHH - Earth has been warming and cooling for millions of years now. But then you go on to say that 20 years of warming is correlated with CO2. This is were the rest of us find huge holes in your arguments. When the Earth has scientifically proven hot-cold cycles for millions of years - people like you come in with evidence from the last 100 or so years and say that humanity is the cause, it just doesn't add up for the rest of us. Even some of your core "evidence" has come under fire of late for data manipulation. If you want the rest of us to believe - get the real data, all of the data, out for scientific review and cite real science and journals instead of the standard argument you use "thousands agree." Thousands say they've been abducted by aliens - doesn't make it true.

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/2010 1:44:34 PM , Rating: 4
I also stated that earth NATURALY WARMS AND COOLS and that there is a possibility that that's all that is going on! I never said humanity was the cause, I stated that we MIGHT be helping it and one year of non correlated data doesn't disprove it. Show me where this "core" data has come under fire for manipulation, I have yet to see this so cite it before you make statements like that. Lets see you get real data to disprove me, cite scientific journals to disprove the correlation...this goes both ways buddy. I'm completely open to believing you and others, but you have to get the data to back up your claims. Also, what do you mean get real data? The data's out there already in scientific journals ready to read. I never stated that I believe because "thousands agree", I believe because of all the data I've seen is from scientific journals and shows a correlation. I went to school to learn about this and attended many lectures by George Taylor, I know the data they use is good data. It's how they present it that is under question, not the actual data...and it's only for ONE YEAR! Either way we should be paying attention to the amount of CO2 we put in the atmosphere even if it doesn't change the climate.

RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/1/2010 11:49:53 PM , Rating: 5
Remember We have Huge ass Oceans in our world.
As the Global temps rise they tend to release the CO2 that is dissolved within them.

Its causation, but backwards.
Temps rise first then CO2.
There are plenty of journals that show this happening.
That Temperature rises then CO2 and they infer its the oceans releasing the CO2.

The problem I have with this Global warming fear is the fact there are trillions to be made from it.
However, those trillions will be pooled collectively from the populace hence a new tax scheme for the Elite.

RE: I might care
By DominionSeraph on 1/2/2010 10:52:11 AM , Rating: 1
So all this combustion of carbon doesn't release CO2? Well then I guess combustion of hydrogen doesn't result in H2O, either. Right?

Come on, people; this isn't rocket science.

Oh wait... that was.

RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/2/2010 1:37:22 PM , Rating: 2
Don't forget it can be offset by Natural growth like Algae trees.

I guess everyone needs a degree in biology.

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/2010 2:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
You seem to just be attacking me because you think that I believe without a shadow of a doubt that our CO2 output is increasing the temp. Well you need to read what I'm saying before you spit out your opinions. I know the earth is in a natural warming phase, but the RATE of warming is MUCH faster than it has ever warmed before which makes you wonder why? Sure it could still be natural warming, but it's something we cannot ignore and CO2 output is the biggest change that has occurred in the same time that this warming RATE has increased. The problem I see with your argument is that you have NO DATA to back it up, at least the science is out there on the increased rate of climate change and CO2. Find the data to back yourself up and I may believe you, until then I'm going with what the current data shows.

RE: I might care
By shin0bi272 on 1/3/2010 8:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
co2 and temp correlated from 1982 (when the IPCC started their modeling based on their theory that co2 was the cause of global warming... before that it was cfc's) till 1998. The data that they used to extrapolate (i.e. guess) the temps was from a whopping 3... count em 3... hand picked for their large rings... trees in siberia. Tree ring extrapolation isnt even a really accurate way of stating the temperature either. Sure you can say it was warmer or colder near that tree x number of years ago but to pick 3 specific trees for their wider than normal rings is totally not scientific and lets be honest immoral. Its pushing a political agenda to get more money for more research because thats how the "scientists" in environmentalism get paid. Its not about the green on the trees its about the green in your wallet! Its about hindering developed countries and making them give billions of dollars to petty 3rd world dictators (most of whom are in africa) to make reparations for our success while they were more worried about killing their own people or the next tribe over. We in the US and some other developed countries worked to become more developed (profit motive is a wonderful thing) and the blame America first crowd (like you roostitup) are trying to say that we somehow owe people who didnt do as well as we did money. Its not about the climate at all its about demonizing capitalism and "the rich". Go look at the copenhagen treaty that no one signed... apendix one (page like 128 or so) states that there will be a global government set up in order to police the world's use of co2. You ever wonder where the communists went after the fall of the ussr and eastern bloc countries? They moved behind the scenes into pushing for climate legislation... hence the term "global government". Its not your fault Roostitup, you're a rank and file lib who still believes in the message and has yet to see the truth behind it all. its about political power over as many people as possible and was almost an entire world government.

RE: I might care
By getho on 1/1/2010 5:08:58 PM , Rating: 3
I Imagine 20 years before the easter island people started eating each other there were people like you saying "tree shortage? what tree shortage?"

RE: I might care
By quiksilvr on 1/1/2010 5:42:25 PM , Rating: 5
Damn the whole Global Warming nonsense and just look at the logical reasoning:

1) Pollution is bad for your health.
2) Cutting down pollution is good for us.

If people just focused more on the fact that spewing out pollution is bad for us instead of the whole "The ice caps this" and "The polar bears that", we would waste less time arguing about it and more time just making cleaner vehicles.

In my opinion, we should use hemp oil as bio-diesel (hemp does not contain THC like marijuana and will not make you high if burned). It grows easily, the oil has been proven to work and will really help push clean diesel in this country.

RE: I might care
By BansheeX on 1/2/2010 7:45:41 AM , Rating: 4
It's not as simple as saying "pollution is bad, therefore let's not pollute". People have always weighed the costs of a technology against its benefits before embracing it. Horses crap all over the place, but people used them for centuries as their chief method of transport. A lot of earlier cars and coal plants were quite dirty in their emissions: does that mean people shouldn't have used them? We needed those dirty, immature technologies or we would have never advanced to the point of improving or discovering cleaner ones.

The sad thing is that we've completely underappreciated the significance of discovering fission. Electric cars have a big carbon footprint BECAUSE WE DO NOT UTILIZE OUR KNOWLEDGE. It's not because of any legitimate cost or safety concern that we are only 25% nuclear power, it's because of mass ignorance and fear.

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 12/31/2009 8:31:34 PM , Rating: 3
And I got rated down because? I only stated facts, people. Just because one person got caught trying to hide a decrease doesn't mean that all these years of correlation between CO2 and temperature increases are negated, that definitely isn't science. The planet warms and cools naturally no matter what you think, it would be nice to figure out why. Maybe this most recent data showing a decrease in temp is evidence that we entered into another cooling phase? It could just be natural, it could be influenced by us or even both, we really don't know for sure. Ignoring how the climate changes is not smart and ignoring the fact that the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is reaching all time highs isn't smart because we don't know what will happen.

RE: I might care
By drank12quartsstrohsbeer on 1/1/2010 3:18:16 PM , Rating: 1
It has not been proven that the changes in CO2 concentrations will affect global temperatures. The fact that nobody can create a computer model that correlates to the real world illustrates this point. The earth is a much more complicated and dynamic system than most people think.

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/2010 3:23:27 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it has, any amount of greenhouse gas increases in the atmosphere will increase the global temp. This doesn't necessarily have to be CO2, but anything that makes the atmosphere more dense will increase temps...including clouds. Difficulty in creating a computer model does not illustrate anything, it's difficult to make any computer model. Duh the earth is dynamic and complicated, I don't think anyone questions this.

RE: I might care
By RivuxGamma on 1/2/2010 2:41:08 PM , Rating: 2
Correlation is not causation. This is a cornerstone of science.

RE: I might care
By SilthDraeth on 1/1/2010 11:22:52 AM , Rating: 2
Of course the earth warmed after the last ice age. It warmed after the other two prior ice ages as well.

It is a pretty well known fact that the earth goes through these thousand year cycles of warming and cooling... hence ice ages.

And considering that we are in a period after an ice age, it stands to reason the earth would be warming up over time. The question is... when will the next ice age begin?

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/2010 2:07:01 PM , Rating: 2
It's the RATE at which it warmed, not the fact that it just warmed.

RE: I might care
By drycrust3 on 1/1/2010 12:32:52 PM , Rating: 3
You can't deny that the planet has warmed up since the little ice age and after industrialization

As I recall, after 100 years of taking temperatures every day, the weather people decided the average year round global temperature (or whatever they call it) had varied by 0.06 degrees C. I'm not sure if that was up or down, but, yes, it allows me to believe that Global Warming isn't happening.
I wouldn't negate 100+ years of accurate data representing a warming along with CO2 increases because of one year of contradictory data.

The problem we have is when you get caught fudging data to support your theory, it sort of discredits the theory and makes the spectators want to wait until at least half time, and preferably the end of the game, before they place their bets.

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/1/10, Rating: 0
RE: I might care
By ZeroGuardian on 1/3/2010 1:51:05 AM , Rating: 4
Hmmm... so CO2 emissions have a direct correlation to global temperature increases? Funny your data that you linked yourself doesn't even agree with you. As shown in your links there is close to a 400% increase in CO2 emissions between 1950-1960... and yet the global temperatures (again shown by your data) actually go down during and after that same time frame. And if you look at the overall temperature increase its a fairly linear progression, not the bell curve shown in the CO2 emissions graph.

Also, you state that we know that the current warming trend is greater than previous warming trends... but the problem with that theory is that we have only been gathering accurate weather data on this scale for the last 150-200 years. Any data we have on years prior to that are estimates based on ice core samples, soil samples, etc. None of which are accurate enough to make such a claim.

Is it a good idea to cut down on some of our emissions? Yes, I agree that it is. Is it necessary to burden the development of technology in order to cut down on our emissions? No. Our technological advances lead to steady decreases in pollution and better living conditions for everyone, we need to stop abandoning new technologies at the first sign of trouble. That is what killed off our expanding nuclear power infrastructure which would have solved a lot of the problems that so many are complaining about today.

I vote we stop all this sensationalist news and all work towards developing better technologies for the future. Besides its not the US that will be the problem in the future it expanding countries like China, India, and most of the third world that are the big problems in the future. As they progress they will start relying on our older technologies because it will be the cheapest option for them. If we can develop better alternatives that are cost effective then we can help everyone at the same time.

RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/3/2010 3:48:13 AM , Rating: 2
Just because the temps didn't rise at the same rate during those years doesn't mean anything, they still shot up before and afterwords at a correlated rate. It's just as possible that the earth was naturally suppose to be cooler within those years and in fact it may have been much warmer than it should have been because of emissions? We don't. It's still warming at a significantly greater rate than any time in history, even with the slight lull in temps.

You underestimate the accuracy of ice cores, they are actually VERY accurate methods of gathering historical global climate data. You can disagree all you want, but they have proven to be just as accurate as anything we use to date.

On another note, I don't completely disagree with you. In paragraphs 3 and 4 I definitely hear what you are saying and agree completely.

RE: I might care
By lco45 on 1/3/2010 7:06:31 PM , Rating: 2
I share your frustration with the people who fudged the data.

My only concern is that waiting for the "end of the game" before taking preventative action could be dangerous.

Surely it's worth taking preventative action just to be safe?

I mean, if you are 100% sure that global warming is a myth, then that's fine, but if you're only 99% sure then you're saying it's a 1% chance we'll permanently screw up our biosphere. That's quite a game of russian roulette.


RE: I might care
By FITCamaro on 1/2/10, Rating: 0
RE: I might care
By roostitup on 1/3/2010 10:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ya, it's suppose to warm up AT THE SAME RATE AS IT DID HISTORICALLY. The RATE at which the earth warmed after the last ice age is where the problem lies. Did you even read the post or the connected posts that you provided your unthoughtful comment on?

RE: I might care
By mars2k on 12/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: I might care
By Solandri on 1/1/2010 1:22:09 AM , Rating: 3
For instance a smallish solar array producing power for the newer types of hydrolysis could easily produce enough Hydrogen to run a couple of vehicles and power for a well designed modern home

The average American car is driven about 12,000 miles a year, which works out to 32 miles a day (ignore that they're not driven every day). The Chevy Volt can travel 40 miles on 8 kWh of electricity, or 32 miles on 6.4 kWh.

Sunlight hitting the Earth's surface normal to a panel delivers about 800 Watts per square meter.
Factor in 15% efficiency (about what the best commercial grade panels right now can deliver).
Factor in 12 hours of night.
Assume 250 sunny days out of the year (the rest rainy or cloudy).
Assume the panels are tilted at your latitude to maximize exposure.
Factor in pi/4 for movement of the sun during the day.
And you get an average of 32.3 Watts per square meter of panel throughout the year.

To build up 6.4 kWh in a 24 hour period, you'd need about 8.3 square meters of panels just to allow one car to travel only 32 miles per day. In practical use, you'll need even more panels because I didn't account for cars being driven more miles on workdays, nor the efficiency losses of adding a hydrolysis step.. This is not a "smallish solar array" and unless our sun goes nova it never will be.

Solar energy is plentiful, but it's very sparse. It's very useful for low power and static applications, but that's about it. Energy-intensive applications like transportation and manufacturing are going to need to get their power elsewhere. The people who believe solar power will somehow provide all our energy needs are just as deluded as the folks who completely deny any correlation between CO2 and temperature. They need to stop believing in pipe dreams and actually grind some numbers to see exactly what is and isn't possible with solar.

Given the limitations of current and probably next- 25-years solar tech, IMHO the best way to capture solar power is to let plants do the capturing for us. They are self-replicating and manufacture their own solar panels called leaves. Then either burn the cellulose they produce, or convert it into some alcohol-based fuel. If we are going to go pure solar, there's going to have to be a huge breakthrough in solar concentrators. There's no way to get around the surface area requirements, but a concentrator can make that surface area a lot cheaper to cover.

RE: I might care
By dnd728 on 1/1/2010 8:57:56 AM , Rating: 2
There's an interesting concentrator -
but it gives quite a lot of its energy yield in the form of heated water.

RE: I might care
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 10:21:57 AM , Rating: 2
There's an interesting concentrator

Concentrators do virtually nothing to change the calculations above. The amount of energy coming from the sun is still the same, it's just that now your space required is determined by the size of your concentrator vs. the size of your panel itself.

Basically a solar concentrator is a method of reducing the cost, not the size, of a solar power setup. This can indirectly allow you to increase the efficiency of your solar power setup by using a small amount of more efficient PV cells, but you're still probably looking at less than 20% efficiency in converting solar energy to electricity.

Now, getting hot water from the sun, in a climate like Israel in particular, is a whole lot easier.

RE: I might care
By dnd728 on 1/6/2010 8:15:52 AM , Rating: 2
"The first generation of our technology should be capable of harnessing about 70% of the solar energy that hits the dish to produce electricity and thermal heat," says Faiman.

RE: I might care
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 9:53:38 AM , Rating: 2
Factor in 15% efficiency (about what the best commercial grade panels right now can deliver).

If your goal is simply to produce hydrogen you can actually do somewhat better than this by using a photo-catalytic cell rather than a photo-voltaic cell and then hydrolysis. Basically you want to skip the middle-step of generating electricity, just put water in, get hydrogen and oxygen out.

Unfortunately "somewhat better" ends up translating to about 20% efficiency vs. about 9% efficiency in your example (hydrolysis is only, at best, about 60% efficient, so 15% x 60% = 9% overall), so in the end it doesn't change your numbers much. What's worse you also need to factor in the loses in converting hydrogen back to electricity in your fuel cell, currently only about 50% efficient with hopes that it MIGHT hit 70% in the future.

You're still probably much better off with simply sticking some PV panels on your roof and using their to supplant some demand from the electrical grid and getting a plug-in hybrid. When land use is a sunk cost (as it is on the roof of a house) solar power can be a reasonably price-competitive alternative to other forms of electricity generation on small scales at least. You probably won't be *directly* powering your car from solar (especially since it's best to plug in your car overnight) but indirectly you'll at least offset a good chunk of the power use.

RE: I might care
By lco45 on 1/3/2010 7:38:57 PM , Rating: 2
So for the cost of a 3m x 3m solar panel you get:
1. Free fuel for 20 years.
2. No particulates and carbon monoxide in the cities.
3. Stop funding hostile countries.
4. Reduce the chance of global warming.
5. No longer need to rely on ever-changing gas prices.

Let's get started, sounds like a great solution.


RE: I might care
By ali 09 on 1/1/2010 5:58:18 AM , Rating: 5
If there is one thing I hate, it is when people say we are to remove carbon from our everyday lives. We are carbon-based lifeforms!! It might be carbon related (eg CO2 or CO) but can we not introduce yet another misconception into a debate that has already completely lost track.

RE: I might care
By Kurz on 1/1/2010 11:58:19 PM , Rating: 2
LOL I thought of this the other day.
I wish I could Rate you up.

RE: I might care
By bigbubba on 1/2/2010 5:06:07 AM , Rating: 1
Dear god I hope you are not serious, if you are than I believe the point went straight over your head. Obviously we are carbon based lifeforms, but that has no relation to what he means by removing carbon from our lives. If you are that dense than I'm sorry.

RE: I might care
By bigbubba on 1/1/2010 9:57:02 PM , Rating: 3
It blows my mind that legitimately good comments like yours and roostitup's manages to get rated down. It just goes to show you the types of ignorant people that read and comment on this site. DailyTech loses creditability more and more when people that make good comments get rated down, it shows the majority of the types of people that DailyTech attracts; paranoid conspiracy theorists, period. This is especially true for Jason Mick blogs...get rid of this fool for the betterment of the site as a whole.

RE: I might care
By AssBall on 1/2/2010 10:11:57 AM , Rating: 3
You should not have put the S on manage. No one uses creditability when you can use credibility. You also have a poorly punctuated run on sentence.


Yep, I'm the kind of person that DailyTech attracts. Deal with it.

RE: I might care
By bigbubba on 1/2/2010 3:10:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, you really are that dumb. Make fun of the authors grammar, not the people commenting. If you really want to grade peoples grammar go be a TA at your local school, I know they need all the help they can get. Get real, buddy.

RE: I might care
By bigbubba on 1/2/2010 3:33:27 PM , Rating: 2
Also, good job at avoiding the issue at hand. It just shows me that you cannot argue intelligently so you have to go around being the grammar police to make yourself feel better.

RE: I might care
By jhb116 on 1/1/2010 9:01:38 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed - I hope they included diesel-electric hybrids in their study. CA has shunned diesel for some time.

It seems that diesel-electric plug in's (and gasoline due to established infrastructure) should the focus for the near term - then next 20 or so years with the possibility of plug-ins down further out and Hydrogen longer term. The tech for Hydrogen is just not there. The tech and distribution isn't there for pure plug-ins either. We need to remember it took nearly a hundred years to develop the infrastructure we now rely upon. It will take many years to move away from that to some other form. Unless we start getting super efficient in our (US perspective) electricity usage - I don't believe our power grid can handle a huge increase in pure plug-ins. If pure plug-ins become the plan - then there needs to be an associated push to upgrade our power grid - which is probably due for an overhaul anyhow.

RE: I might care
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 10:13:10 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed - I hope they included diesel-electric hybrids in their study. CA has shunned diesel for some time.

California shunned diesel because air pollution has long been considered a huge problem and, until VERY recently (~2008) diesels produced SUBSTANTIALLY more air pollution per kilometre driven than gasoline engines did.

It's only with the latest and greatest "clean" diesel engines that they've got within the same realm as gasoline powered vehicles when it comes to air pollution. Even a 2006-era diesel, while much cleaner than the black-cloud belching diesels of the 1980's, would produce easily 2 to 5 times as more air pollution than gasoline vehicle. As an example, check the following link:

Compare the 2006 VW Golf diesel (1.9L I4) vs. something like a Ford Expedition humongous SUV with a 5.4L V8 gasoline engine. The Golf is rated for 3 times more NOx emissions and more than twice as much smog-forming pollution overall. Particulate matter (a carcinogen) is rated as being 4 times worse on the Golf vs. the Expedition.

California has pretty much always had the world's toughest air pollution laws and even the latest and greatest diesels only just barely squeak under the bar there. Europe has tended to lag WELL behind the U.S. in general, and California in particular, when it comes to air pollution laws which is part of the reason why diesels are so common there (the other reason being generally expensive fuel and a generally illogical taxation structure that heavily favours diesels). However as of Sept. 2009 the EU has FINALLY caught up to the U.S. rules on air pollution and really forced the hands of auto manufacturers to make their diesel's less dirty.

RE: I might care
By teflonbilly on 1/1/2010 5:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
I think we need to stop the "debate" about global climate change. Whether its happening or not because of human interference has not yet been completely proven. What has been proven is that pollutants in the air cause illness, disease, and a lower quality of life.

RE: I might care
By elpresidente2075 on 1/2/2010 11:40:02 PM , Rating: 2
Bingo, right there with ya on that one.

RE: I might care
By lco45 on 1/3/2010 7:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
Surely you're not saying that the odds of global warming are 0% ?

Surely there's at least a 10% chance that all those climate scientists are right? Only 5% then?

The consequences are so dire that even with small odds it still makes sense to take action.

I think people want to believe global warming is a myth. It's like that episode of Futurama:
Some experts claim the [garbage] ball might return to Earth someday, but their concerns were dismissed as "depressing".


By TOAOCyrus on 12/31/2009 2:50:44 PM , Rating: 1
Shouldn't this also be true for electric vehicles? Electricity powers the car or makes the hydrogen that powers the car. Same thing in the end. All the more reason to go completely nuclear I guess.

RE: electrolysis...
By Motoman on 12/31/2009 2:51:23 PM , Rating: 1
Intuitively, I think EV cars probably have a worse carbon footprint than ICE cars...

...but I am pretty sure it's worse for H2, since I'm guessing it takes a lot more energy to pop H2 from H2O than it does to charge a battery.

RE: electrolysis...
By H24U on 1/30/2010 8:32:09 PM , Rating: 2
Not necessarily true. It takes hours to charge a battery, and minutes to fuel with hydrogen.

Yes the battery is marginally more efficient, about 5% more efficient. H2 generation and dispensing is about 85% efficient. Batteries are about 90% efficient. Not that much of a difference to be worth waiting hours to charge. Also the cost of retrofitting the residential electric infrastructure (which is designed for 2-3 kw/h peak/house, whereas recharging in less than 2 days will require as much as 10 kw/h/house. The residential infrastructure is not able to handle even a fraction of an increase in demand, much less a 300% - 400% increase.) is in the trillions of dollars, as opposed to about $12 billion to transition to renewable hydrogen dispensing nationwide.

Paul Staples

RE: electrolysis...
By UncleRufus on 12/31/2009 3:13:25 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure the ratio, but it apparently takes alot more energy to create hydrogen fuel than you get when you use it.

RE: electrolysis...
By AnnihilatorX on 12/31/2009 3:24:05 PM , Rating: 3
Genetically modified algae is the way to go I think

RE: electrolysis...
By Mitch101 on 1/1/2010 10:39:22 AM , Rating: 2
So agree its an obvious winner and so annoyed its not being pushed harder.

Its everywhere so it doesn't need to be transported far at all unlike Oil coming all the way from the middle east or elsewhere.

In some places its a menace and they cant get rid of it enough. Suddenly their waste has a purpose.

It doesn't take any food away from Humans and Livestock. Lets keep corn for food and the many other products its used in.

My former roomates bathroom seemed to be an unlimited supply of it. Black gold was everywhere. :)

RE: electrolysis...
By icrf on 12/31/2009 3:46:42 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, electrolysis is highly inefficient.

RE: electrolysis...
By H24U on 1/30/2010 8:38:43 PM , Rating: 2
Welcome to the real world of thermodynamics. There is no free lunch. You never get more energy out of a system than you put into it. It is impossible. Newton said so, so does Einstein and every high school science class!

Electrolysis is 85% efficient. Batteries are 90% efficient. From there everything is pretty much the same except fueling time, 4-8 hours to recharge vs 5 minutes to refill w/hydrogen.

Paul Staples

RE: electrolysis...
By KCjoker on 12/31/2009 6:19:10 PM , Rating: 2
Yep, guess how that electricity is made...a lot of it is made with coal.

RE: electrolysis...
By RussianSensation on 12/31/2009 9:51:55 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe in your country. Some countries like Canada are shifting away from using coal to create electricity. For instance, Ontario is banning the use of coal by 2014 and the sale of Incandescent Bulbs by 2012.

RE: electrolysis...
By Alexvrb on 12/31/2009 10:15:48 PM , Rating: 2
Good. More coal for those of us that don't believe that the "science is settled".

RE: electrolysis...
By apcguru on 12/31/09, Rating: 0
RE: electrolysis...
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 10:55:18 AM , Rating: 2
Good. More coal for those of us that don't believe that the "science is settled".

The science that coal produces a crapload of air pollution is ABSOLUTELY settled!

I'm not too horribly worried about greenhouse gas emissions but I absolutely think we should phase out coal power plants due to the horrendous quantities of air pollution they produce. (Aside: as I mentioned in another post, us in Ontario will NOT really phase out coal by 2014, let alone by 2007 as was originally promised).

What's most distressing is the sorry state of North America's coal plants. MOST (60-75% of them) don't even have scrubbers! This is 1970's era technology that STILL hasn't been implemented to this day on most of our plants. There's absolutely no excuse for that and we collectively pay BILLIONS in health care costs (either via taxes or raised health insurance premiums) because of it.

Exactly how much is tough to say, but by many estimates we pay as much in health care costs to deal with the pollution from coal power as we do for the power itself. For example, check out the following link:

They estimate the total cost of coal pollution at $64B per year, or 3.2 cents/kWh. That has NOTHING to do with global warming, climate change, etc. etc. This is just straight-up pollution that kills an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 people per year in the U.S.

RE: electrolysis...
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 10:42:34 AM , Rating: 2
For instance, Ontario is banning the use of coal by 2014 and the sale of Incandescent Bulbs by 2012.

Keep in mind that our government also promised to phase out coal power by 2007... and then 2009. Now that date has been pushed back to 2014 but they've still only closed one of the 5 coal power plants in this province.

Note that they aren't "banning" the use of coal, just a politicians promise to shut down coal power plants. And this particular politician doesn't have a very good record of keeping his promises even relative to other politicians!

I can guarantee you right now that Ontario will NOT shut down the remaining 4 coal plants by 2014. They *MIGHT* be able to shut down 3 of the 4, but nobody has a plan for how to replace Nanticoke (the largest coal plant in North America). It's not just the amount of power it produces, Nanticoke also plays a vital role in stabilizing generating capacity and our electrical transmission facilities in this province. Building new natural gas generating stations in Milton and Oakville won't fix this.

As for banning incandescent bulbs, this will go through even though it makes no sense. There are many situations where the environmental impact of an incandescent bulb is LOWER than a compact florescent bulb, even if in general the latter is better.

In any case in 2011 Ontario will, in all probability, have a new government.

RE: electrolysis...
By H24U on 1/30/2010 8:44:21 PM , Rating: 2
No one is advocating coal. Everyone is proposing solar, wind, wave, geothermal, etc.

Stop passing on lies and false propaganda from the battery industry.

And algae is a non starter. The contamination of our waterways and oceans are just too dangerous to chance.

Paul Staples

RE: electrolysis...
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 10:32:33 AM , Rating: 2
Shouldn't this also be true for electric vehicles? Electricity powers the car or makes the hydrogen that powers the car.

The difference is in the efficiency of things. A Li-Ion cell can manage better than 95% charge/discharge efficiency, so you're losing VERY little power from your wall socket to your wheels.

With hydrogen and electrolysis from water you're only about 60% efficient, so you're taking a big hit there. Then you put that hydrogen through a fuel cell that, optimistically, might be 70% efficient (current hydrogen fuel cells are at about 50%). So wall-socket to wheels you've lost more than half your energy.

RE: electrolysis...
By Solandri on 1/2/2010 2:58:17 PM , Rating: 4
Thing is, in the grand scheme of things, neither is a very efficient means of converting energy into transport. If that's what we were primarily worried about, we'd all be using trains and subways (rail is super-efficient for transportation, easily exceeding 10x what a car can manage in energy consumed per passenger-mile).

Hydrogen is competing as an energy storage medium. Even with all the problems of compression and lower efficiency, 400 lbs of hydrogen storage gets you a lot more energy (and thus range) than 400 lbs of Li-ion batteries. Measured by weight or volume, batteries absolutely suck as an energy storage medium. They Chevy Volt's 375 lb. battery gives it a whopping 40 mile range. You can go 40 miles on ~10 lbs of gasoline with a 25 mpg car. Current hydrogen storage systems would (after efficiency losses) yield the same range with about 25-50 lbs of fuel + storage equipment.

This is why I keep harping on the difference between energy for static applications vs. for transportation. For static applications, efficiency is usually your primary concern. For transportation, energy storage density becomes much more important since you have to carry your energy with you. The Volt's battery is basically a 375 lb. monstrosity designed to carry around less than $1 worth of electrical energy. Yeah gasoline is 3x more expensive per unit energy applied to the road, but it weighs nearly 40x less. Other technologies encounter similar problems, e.g. CNG, where a tank which stores enough methane to give your car a 150 mile range fills your entire trunk.

RE: electrolysis...
By Penti on 1/7/2010 11:47:46 PM , Rating: 2
Actually the acceptable figure is 25% grid-to-wheel efficiency. 70% for hydrolysis, 90% for compressing the hydrogen, 40% for the fuel cell. This is not something new, we already knew all this.

Adding in a fossil fuel powered power station for this makes it extremely bad, even from natural gas. Say you convert 1kW of natural gas to 0.5kW of electricity then uses that to produce 0.315kW of compressed hydrogen, that is then only used to an efficiency of 40-50% by the fuel cell giving 0.126kW to 0.1575kW to run the car on which is enough for half a kilometer. Running directly on natural gas would have been enough for a kilometer at least.
If that where an electric car you would have put around 0.45kW in the battery enough to drive 1.5 kilometer. So the electric vehicle here demands a bit more then half the fuel of CNG cars, Hydrogen powered fuel cell demands twice as much. It doesn't matter how many nuclear reactors you build if your gonna use hydrogen for transportation, it would be astronomical and as astronomically stupid. Even if you do it with thermochemical process built into high-temperature reactors (instead of just cooling of the heat). The world would need such a ridiculous amount of reactors that we can't possibly build them.

RE: electrolysis...
By H24U on 1/30/2010 8:59:01 PM , Rating: 2
Actually it is 85% ELECTROLYSIS NOT HYDROLYSIS. 2 different things, and that includes compression and 60% for the fuel cell vehicle. Get the facts straight.

With less than 20% of the southwest desert we could provide the whole nation (and more) with both solar electricity and hydrogen for transportation.

Paul Staples

All well and good, but...
By roostitup on 12/31/2009 3:49:44 PM , Rating: 2
electric vehicles were not properly researched in full. Most people that use electric vehicles draw their charge from coal powered electricity sources, they create a huge amount of toxic waste in the form of batteries, they still require the use of gasoline engines and the battery goes bad in 5 years. Sure they create less carbon directly, but definitely not indirectly and along with the increase in other forms of pollution and maintenance costs they are not any better than straight gasoline engines. The research also failed to acknowledge the fact that hydrogen's carbon output can be easily managed with emission controls just like in the modern gasoline engine. If emissions are the only thing looking bad for hydrogen at the moment than there is no problem, that's an easy thing to tackle. The key thing for hydrogen is the apparent infinite amount of the resource available, emissions are just a bump in the road that can easily be controlled. We should never run out, unlike lithium (along with other materials used in battery tech) and oil/coal.

RE: All well and good, but...
By moenkopi on 12/31/2009 4:31:27 PM , Rating: 1
Lithium isn't a toxin. It occurs naturally in deposits, it can also be recycled. The small lead acid battery in the normal ICE car is far more toxic than the LiOn battery pack in the future EVs. Another thing, since those batteries are going to be charging at night. They can quite reasonably use existing baseline sources of energy. Energy that would other wise go to waste. Coal and Nuclear, these batteries might as well eat them up, because the energy would otherwise go to waste.

RE: All well and good, but...
By roostitup on 12/31/2009 8:21:07 PM , Rating: 2
I never said it was a toxin, I stated that it is of very limited quantities. Just like oil, but even less. Even if it can be recycled it doesn't mean people will recycle it. Most people throw it out.

RE: All well and good, but...
By Kurz on 1/2/2010 12:06:18 AM , Rating: 2

Why would I throw it out when I can take a Hybrid Battery back to Toyota for 200 dollars?

And it states it right on the Battery pack.

RE: All well and good, but...
By H24U on 1/30/2010 9:07:15 PM , Rating: 2
Not at a 300% - 400% increase in power demand from the usual demand of 2 - 3 kw/h peak.

Li ion batteries heat up and melt down a lot easier than other batteries. Melt down right through the car and pavement. Fast charging especially can cause that. At the least it will reduce the life of the battery to a couple of years. Anyone want to pay $20,000.00 to replace them every couple of years?

Paul Staples

RE: All well and good, but...
By Hoser McMoose on 1/2/2010 11:11:00 AM , Rating: 2
they still require the use of gasoline engines and the battery goes bad in 5 years.

Batteries in electric vehicles or plug-in hybrids have tended to be designed for a minimum 10-year lifespan. The battery in the Toyota Prius and the Chevy Volt come with 8-year, 100,000 mile warranties on them.

As for the quantity of lithium out there, it's actually fairly abundant. We've barely scratched the surface of mining lithium because there has been so much of it vs. what we use. Keep in mind that even a fairly large Li-Ion battery uses only a pretty small quantity of lithium. Yes, inevitably it will run out eventually if we keep using it but in all probability Li-Ion batteries will be phased out in favour of something better LONG before that time.

In any case, the key problem with hydrogen is that it's only an energy storage mechanism, and not a very good one at that. The charge/discharge efficiency of a hydrogen fuel cell is currently down around 30% vs. better than 95% for a Li-Ion cell. The amount of wasted energy with hydrogen fuel cells makes them really impractical even if we could double that efficiency.

RE: All well and good, but...
By roostitup on 1/4/2010 6:12:43 AM , Rating: 2
They may have designed the batteries to last 10 years, but the Prius is having issues with batteries going bad just 5 years in. Just because they design them to last 10 years doesn't mean they will, it's all marketing.

No matter what you think, Lithium is still a limited resource that we cannot take for granted. We need to be concentrating on renewable resources and avoid the problems that oil/coal has given us. Lithium deposits are also only found in specific countries which happen to be unfriendly to the western societies (China, Bolivia, Venezuela & etc.) and will just leave us dependent on foreign owned resources. Everyone said the same thing about oil/coal in the beginning that you are saying about lithium and look where we are; no good replacement and running out fast.

Just because hydrogen is in its infancy still and not efficient doesn't mean that we should discredit it as a highly potential renewable energy source and stop doing research. There is still much work to be done. Judging by all the accomplishments that humans have done over the years, I have no doubts that hydrogen could be made to be a very efficient and have high potential to power most everything. Don't be such an pessimist!

RE: All well and good, but...
By Penti on 1/7/2010 11:12:12 PM , Rating: 2
Fuel cells still need a fairly large lithium ion battery to accompany it. So people please don't be retarded about batteries.

Doesn't surprise me...
By ninjit on 12/31/2009 2:50:32 PM , Rating: 3
The whole idea of Hydrogen has always seemed odd to me.
It was pushed by the oil companies, because it's a product that needs to be produced (i.e. they can replace oil with it as their cash cow).

But since hydrogen gas rarely occurs naturally (does it?), it has to be manufactured by electrolysis (from the power grid and all it's issues) or by fracturing of hydrocarbons (which begs the question, why not just burn the stuff directly)

RE: Doesn't surprise me...
By TSS on 12/31/2009 3:28:32 PM , Rating: 2
Both electricity and hydrogen don't solve the REAL problem: Where all that power is supposed to come from. Even nuclear won't cut it.

I guess where betting on fusion or bust here.

RE: Doesn't surprise me...
By rudolphna on 12/31/2009 3:41:22 PM , Rating: 2
Hydrogen actually occours naturally in unimaginable quantities. It is the most common element in the universe. But not on earth. If we could mine other planets, we could mine Jupiter for it's hydrogen. But it is very rare in unbonded form on earth.

RE: Doesn't surprise me...
By Solandri on 1/1/2010 1:31:19 AM , Rating: 2
(which begs the question, why not just burn the stuff directly)

Fuel cells extract energy from the chemical reaction electrically. This bypasses the ambient temperature-dependent efficiency limits imposed by thermodynamics upon straight chemical reactions. So a fuel cell can produce more usable energy than burning from the same amount of fuel.

Anyhow, hydrogen isn't a competitor as an energy source, since it consumes more energy to make it than it releases when converted back into water. It's a competitor with batteries and gasoline as an energy storage medium. Gasoline is very dense and lightweight, but chemical reactions with it give off all sorts of nasty byproducts. Batteries are clean, but store very little energy for their weight. The hope is (was) that hydrogen would allow denser energy storage than batteries without the byproducts of gasoline/diesel.

aye yi yi
By glennforum on 12/31/2009 10:01:48 PM , Rating: 4
Please Jason grow some will ya...take a stand and expose these idiots for who they are!!!

Carbon isn't the issue, it never has been and never will be.

This has all been about picking one of the most abdundant elements of the universe and figuring out a way to tax it.

Think about in the USA the EPA recently labeled CO2 a toxin...they adjusted their criteria. It used to be it you exposed something to element did it toxicly react...if so...then it is a pollutant...a toxin.

New test standards...but a human in a sealed room filled with CO2...human dies - it's a toxin. Well guess what then H20 is a toxin as well. Put a human in a sealed room filled with H20 and they die.

My god...wake up people. The CO2mmunists need to be thrown in jail for life - they should start with Al Gore and the entire UN.

Happy New Year - let's hope some truth and integrity is restored!!!

RE: aye yi yi
By bigbubba on 1/1/2010 3:55:32 PM , Rating: 3
Could you be any more paranoid you are just a standard conspiracy theorist...get over it.

RE: aye yi yi
By Kurz on 1/2/2010 12:10:03 AM , Rating: 2
When there is so much corruption in all the governments in the world it doesn't surprise me if it was really a ploy.

Just remember the government of USA and most countries dont have a say of their own Money supply. The Central banks around the world have no overseers usually.

By Clienthes on 1/1/2010 5:05:45 AM , Rating: 3
I don't thing hydrogen is ever going to be economically viable, but as long as the carbon is from our coal instead of foriegn oil, mission accomplished.

Limiting CO2 emissions is just the man's way of keeping the carbon cycle down and oppressing our green leafy brothers.

RE: So?
By Solandri on 1/2/2010 3:09:09 PM , Rating: 4
Limiting CO2 emissions is just the man's way of keeping the carbon cycle down and oppressing our green leafy brothers.

Plants consume CO2. The more CO2 there is in the atmosphere, the more plants thrive. Even if you assume everything about anthropomorphic global warming is true, we are trying to stop it purely for our selfish needs. We don't want our main crop belts to turn into desert. We don't want our coastal cities to be flooded.

Nature couldn't care less what happens with CO2 and temperature. Global temperatures and CO2 concentrations have both been much higher in the past than they are now. Losses in cropland in the mid- and southern- latitudes would be offset by gains in cropland in the northern latitudes, as those areas warm up and become arable. What all the fear is about is change.

Does this mean Hydrogen is good?
By teflonbilly on 1/1/2010 5:56:57 PM , Rating: 2
The study concluded, "All of the pathways except for [fuel cell vehicles] using hydrogen from electrolysis reduce [greenhouse gas] emissions compared to ICEs and [hybrid electric vehicles]."

From the line above I would think that hydrogen systems are great, except fuel cell. Am I wrong in this?

RE: Does this mean Hydrogen is good?
By drmo on 1/4/2010 4:14:36 PM , Rating: 2
The key part is not the "fuel cell" but the "from electrolysis". If natural gas is used to reform hydrogen, then a fuel cell beats everything else, according to the journal article (figure 7).

The problem with electrolysis is that currently used industrial production of hydrogen is inefficient and uses electricity form fossil fuel power plants.

By Penti on 1/6/2010 2:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
Which would poison the fuel cell. The key is to not push for fuel cells in transportation at all. Besides it isn't really what is most comfortable for the user, leave your car for 4-5 days and all your fuel will have evaporated. It's a retarded pipe dream, you can't get that amount of energy from anywhere required to produce compressed hydrogen for fuel cells. Just power your car with CNG (natural gas) if that's all you have, it's cleaner then oil. More energy efficient and makes more sense and requires far fewer resources. Also making hydrogen from renewable or fossil fuels is far less efficient then just making synthetic fuels. (For ICE).

What CO2?
By dornol on 12/31/2009 9:39:30 PM , Rating: 2
Honda FCX fuel-cell car, is refilled by hydrogen generator powered by Honda solar cell. So, no coal or nuke to generate hydrogen. What CO2?

RE: What CO2?
By bigbubba on 1/1/2010 3:50:46 PM , Rating: 1
Don't worry, Jason Mick authored this. There is no real reporting here, just opinionated junk to push his ideas.

RE: What CO2?
By Penti on 1/6/2010 1:52:49 PM , Rating: 2
Retard much? The thing is they don't use less energy, but more, so to just assume the use of solar cell-panels is ridiculous that would mean a country like Sweden would need to produce something in the order of 80 TWh of (electric) solar power. Just for the automobiles. More then much much more then the whole world produces today.

We would need Generation IV reactors in the tens of thousands to power the world by hydrogen gas. And that's just silly as we just have about 450 nuclear reactors in the world today, building them would take forever and the tech is 20 years away before the first commercial plants (without hydrogen production built in) starts running.

I like renewables, and support many of them and see a large potential but a renewable powered hydrogen economy is just a pipe dream that nobody can build. And using fossil fuels as primary source would just keep the cars as polluting/resource demanding as today. The future is about using less, not because of CO2 taxes and such (it's still ridiculously cheap) but because the developing world will be competing for the same supplies as we use and will continue to use more of them leaving less for the developed world increasing the real cost (eventually) and not just domestic taxes. There's plenty of CO2 and resources we don't have involved.

thermal hydrolyzation is the answer!
By moenkopi on 12/31/2009 4:11:53 PM , Rating: 2
Hydrogen is only a battery and nothing more, unless we're talking nuclear fusion, but that's a different matter. Hydrogen has a lot of versatility like the sources it comes from etc. When they develop thermal hydrolysis that may be a game changer in regards to hydrogen production. I totally agree that electrolysis of water is very inefficient and if it comes from a traditional energy source, ohh boy that is worst. Hopefully, while they are developing solar thermal technology, they will keep in mind one that can thermalyze water. The next gen nuke plant will be a water thermalyzer.

By Penti on 1/6/2010 2:17:49 PM , Rating: 2
Yes thermal hydrolysis of what is the thing provided you got thousands of high-temperature reactors, we would need to build hundreds of none existing reactors every year for decades. And the reactors will first come in 2025-2030. So that would be somewhere in the 2060's probably provided we build several hundreds of plants every year and a industry which would employ millions. Pipe dreams aren't game changers. The world can't replace fossils and nobody will try that's just the reality of it. It's easier to just abandon the personal transportation that is cars. But of course nobody wants to do that.

FIxed it for you
By FITCamaro on 1/2/2010 7:52:50 PM , Rating: 2
Lowering carbon emissions to fight the lie that mankind is causing warming, along with high fuel prices and global-political instability, has been a key driving factor for the adoption of hybrids and alternative fuels.

RE: FIxed it for you
By bennyg on 1/2/2010 9:37:23 PM , Rating: 2
And in global news today, people all over the world have unanimously declared their gratitude to a DT comment by someone by the handle of "FITCamaro" for opening their eyes to the true reasons behind the worldwide push for climate change.

World leaders have also seen the error of their ways and have dropped plans to make bankers lots of money by giving them another artifical commodity of which to unrealistically inflate the value.
Blah. You're right and the whole world is wrong. I used to think like that when I was 15. Now, I realise I need to provide some kind of argument if I'm to convince someone against their will.

H2 from Natural Gas
By Chris at CaFCPw7876 on 1/5/2010 1:48:14 PM , Rating: 2
Hydrogen has been made from steam reforming of natural gas for 60 years. Most H2 produced goes into gasoline, making gasoline cleaner. H2 is also used in manufacturing silicon chips, making pharmaceuticals, processing food and as a whitener in consumer products like toothpaste and laundry detergent. It is a safe, reliable and cost effective way to make the equivalent of 56 billion gallons of gasoline a year, enough to fill 200 million vehicles a day.

According to the report (and many other reports) making H2 from natural gas and using it in a fuel cell vehicle has slightly fewer GHG emissions than using electricity from natural gas in a battery vehicle. When producing H2 from grid electricity from a coal-fired power plant is dirtier than a gasoline car, which is exactly why no company produces hydrogen this way. Academic reports cover all the possibilities, even those that people or businesses would never do.

Biofuels, hydrogen and batteries are all three important to end gasoline use.

Chris White
California Fuel Cell Partnership

RE: H2 from Natural Gas
By Penti on 1/6/2010 2:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
And will possibly carbon monoxide poison the fuel cells. You might just as well use SOFC fuel cells run on diesel. It's not that easy to produce H2 for vehicles. I don't see the point of producing hydrogen with energy we don't have. Besides there's not enough natural gas around.

'global warming'
By Autisticgramma on 1/4/2010 12:49:48 PM , Rating: 3
Warmer, Colder whatever.

I'm worried about Global Chemistry.

The car thing is only a small piece of the puzzle.

We have popular pharmaceuticals in every major US water supply. We have anti-biotics in our soil, obliterating their effectiveness when fighting disease. Acidic oceans dissolving the coral that once, used to be built upon, by life.

This is a problem, hence the root of environmentalism.

Global Warming, may be a scam, or a tragedy of wording.
Bunk, debunk back and forth, bleh.
Regardless if it warming or not, there IS a better way to interface with our natural world/resources. That way is through the development and deployment of technology.

CO2 is a human waste product, and a waste product of energy production (with our current equipment.) Additionally all these systems CONSUME O2 (oxygen gas); what I find strange is that we build systems that directly compete with human beings for the resources we need to live. All the while removing the producers of the O2 we all breathe.

I would like to see a power generation cycle that, doesn't compete with people or their bodies.
I.e. anything that doesn't use the same fuel (O2) and produce the same waste products as humans.

What does it take a deploy these technologies? Apparently an international scam.

By giantpandaman2 on 12/31/2009 9:04:33 PM , Rating: 2
-It's hard to hold in great volume
-There's no efficient way to make it
-While using hydrogen only makes water as a very end product, producing the hydrogen itself makes all sorts of pollutants.

As a storage medium, ethanol is easier to produce and store than hydrogen. Until cellulosic ethanol gets off the ground, however, production is still too inefficient in terms of the amount of pollutants and energy it generates compared to how much ethanol you get out.

Biodiesel, in my mind, holds the most promise. Especially if algae based production proves viable. We'd already have the delivery infrastructure in place, it has very high energy/volume ratio, and it would require very little new technology to implement in new cars.

Batteries aren't bad as a storage medium, but they have 2 main issues. Weight/Volume-unlike the other storage mediums you keep the same weight whether you're "empty" or "full." This leads to inefficiency since you're forced to lug around a lot more weight. The biggest drawback, however, is the time it takes to "fill up". That, to me, is what will kill batteries as a storage medium for cars.

Any other storage mediums that I missed?

YAda Yada Yada ...
By chick0n on 1/2/2010 9:36:10 AM , Rating: 2
Thats what people said about Cat Converter ! OMG ITS LIFE SAVER BLAh blah blah. Look what happen now ? They could've done the Lean-combustion engine way. but hey, they dont give a crap. government just want quick solutions. who cares about X years later !

Hydrogen is bad? Look at Prius. Who is worst?

By azcoyote on 1/4/2010 12:49:48 PM , Rating: 2
but what I want to know is will it play Crysis....

Wait, what are we arguing about again?

By azcoyote on 1/4/2010 12:55:16 PM , Rating: 2
Fairly certain the majority of Lithium reserves is being consumed by the posters on this thread... in pill form.

By paulpod on 1/4/2010 1:27:21 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, the organization level of the anti-science groups is getting scary any anyone with half a brain who believes their propaganda campaign is giving their descendants exactly what they deserve, a destroyed environment.

EACH year, carbon that took many years to be pulled from the environment MILLIONS of years ago is being put back. This can't be good. Of course, anti-science crazies on here are mostly religious zealots who believe the earth is only 6000 years old so, of course, it would be hard to convince them of that.

Religious zealotry and anti-science ideology (along with massive financial backing) can easily take some stupid, inconsequential, "blip", like those emails and create propaganda that causes non-critical thinkers to ignore the obvious. It has happened all through history, and it is happening again.

One major anti-environment propaganda campaign that even environmental scientists fall for is the characterization if fuel consumers (mechanical and biological) by how much carbon they emit. This is nonsensical because some processes, like biofuels, emit carbon that was absorbed MONTHs ago, not MILLIONS OF YEARS ago. But again, when scientific thinking is defeated, any wrong ideas can take hold even in intelligent people.

Another bull titled story
By bingbong on 1/7/2010 1:00:56 AM , Rating: 2
The title suggests hydrogen cars emit more co2 over their lifecycle.
If you bother to read the paper it singles out hydrogen fuel cell vehicles powered by ELECTROLYSIS produced hydrogen.

This is definitely not the preferred way to produce hydrogen.
Methane (natural gas) reformation is around 83% efficient.
Direct solar splitting of water is a new and developing way to make cheap hydrogen.
Electrolysis of hydrogen may be an option for off peak power production either as a way of storing or to be sold off as vehicle fuel. As you might know storage of electricity is not easy and not usually done. Therefore conversion to hydrogen for excess production may be a way of offsetting renewable downtime.

If anyone has paid attention to the effect of extreme weather on battery performance lately you will understand some shortcommings with this.

Hydrogen is a good option in many more ways than I am going to list here.
The main thing is interesting is how the media jump so high with one paper like this!

By H24U on 1/30/2010 8:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
This study is the biggest crock I have ever seen or read. I have been researching and developing hydrogen infrastructure for the last 20 years and have never heard such a preposterous unsubstantiated conclusion ever. I am also surprised it came from UC Davis.

This is obvious a bogus piece and request that in order for this periodical to remain credible in it's publishing that they print a retraction. Why?

Because the conclusion of the piece is impossible, chemically and physically. You can't create something from nothing. THERE IS NO CARBON IN THE PROCESS TO RELEASE IN THE FIRST PLACE! That is the whole idea of doing renewable/sustainable hydrogen at all. ZERO. That invalidates the study from the start. You can't make something from nothing. It's like saying there is a perpe6tual motion machine, or that you can get more energy out of something than exists. THAT'S SCIENTIFICALLY IMPOSSIBLE!

There is no carbon in the power generation (solar wind, wave, geothermal), there is no carbon in the feed stock - water! There is no carbon in the end use, especially with fuel cells. With ICE converted vehicles the only carbon is in the air. Just trace amounts from the oil. I know this because I have conducted FTP dynamometer emission tests on ICE converted vehicles. Smog testing can not pick up even trace amounts of carbon in the emissions which is why you can't get an ICE vehicle smogged in CA, because if the machine can't detect CO2 in the emissions. It fails because it assumes the catalytic converter is failing, thereby causing the test to read out as "failed". The test requires carbon emissions to pass. And Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs) don't put out any CO2, CO, NOx, or any other emission because none can be processed, only potable water you can drink, the same thing that went into it. Thus the only 100% clean sustainable paradigm that exists! There is a line of Ph.D.s a mile long that will back me up on this.

This is a hatchet piece and this guy could and should loose his job at the university for this obvious hatchet job and biased study that is obviously false in it's premise. If he was talking about fossil fuel generation of hydrogen, then he might have a point, but no one is proposing that for anything but an interim process until the renewables can be built. Even the oil companies and industrial gas companies will confirm this.

It has to be under peer review. That is why periodicals like this must check into the validity of such conclusions of studies like this before publishing them. It only hurts your credibility for the future. This guy will be discredited upon a real peer review. It is all that can happen.

There are plenty of arguments that can be made (which can be debunked with science), and I have heard some doosies, but this takes the place. Even Joe Rohm wouldn't try making this claim, and he is the king of hatchet articles against hydrogen.

Paul Staples

“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls

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