2 responses

  1. Paul Riisager
    September 30, 2012

    Hi Mike,

    This is a very interesting developement.

    I have since long wondered why not more has been done in this direction instead of loading vehicles with heavy and expensive batteries / fuel cells or hybrid with two engines instead of one. As far as I am concerned, it cannot be the best alternatives to get away from fossil petrol engines.

    Hydrogen powered explosion engines are not much different from petrol-fed engines and with time will be just as readily serviceable.

    Obviously some drawbacks:

    From an energy balance point of wiev, producing hydrogen by electrically splitting water molecules requires more energy than hydrogen produces. However, this is only a true concern when the wanted electricity is produced by means of fossil fuels (or by expensive and waste problem prone nuclear plants). When produced by wind turbines or PV installations, energy is free and it then becomes entirely an economical matter: For what price can hydrogen be sold on the market as compared to the investment’s financial aspects and operational costs.

    From a handling and storage safety point of view.Is this a real problem? NASA has handled hydrogen for decades. One should think that wanted safety aspects are well known. Reservoirs containing metallic “sponges” seem to do the trick, neutralising “explosive tendencies”. Also petrol spills can be dangerous!

    Chicken and eggs? Probably the real main issue. Hydrogen refuelling stations in numbers like petrol stations are a long way off, and as long as there is no market, they will not spread, and hydrogen powered vehicles will not grow in numbers as long as they cannot readily get hydrogen to fuel them. It is not the case with electric cars, a standard plug does the job which is lucky considering their autonomy, but just look at the limited extend of the LPG distribution network in spite of an established market.

    Time will tell, but without initiatives like the described Aberdeen case, nothing will ever happen, and only when sufficient public relation will eventually be applied.

    So, I wish this initaitive all the good luck it deserves.



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