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How Does Hydrogen Energy Work?
Posted on Wednesday, October 19, 2011 @ 22:54:04 GMT by vlad

Science Anonymous writes: How does hydrogen energy work?  Many people don’t understand where hydrogen energy comes from or how it works but the consensus of the public is that hydrogen energy is a good thing.

In hydrogen powered cars, electricity (ideally from a renewable energy source) would be used to separate the hydrogen and oxygen in water.  The oxygen atoms would be released harmlessly into the atmosphere.  The hydrogen would be liquefied and cooled to -253 degree Celsius (-423.4 degrees Fahrenheit). 

The extreme cooling causes the hydrogen to shrink to one thousandth of its initial volume.  To power the engine, the hydrogen combines again with oxygen and the result is energy to drive the vehicle and the hydrogen is returned to the environment again in the form of water.

It sounds like a straight forward process but when considering how hydrogen energy works there are many stumbling blocks to overcome.  Although the process sounds as if it would be efficient it’s only one potential method for powering a hydrogen car.

What is hydrogen?

Hydrogen is all around us but it’s a not a fuel you can mine.  It could become the perfect fuel of the future but the technology has to catch up to the potential.  Hydrogen exists in plant matter (biomass) and in water.  Though the sun is in large part hydrogen gas the gas is so light that it escapes quickly from the earth’s environment when delivered in the sun’s rays.

Hydrogen is the simplest element and produces almost no pollution when burned.  It’s abundant on earth and can be found in 90 percent of all the matter on the globe.  It can be found in fossil fuels, plants and all organic matter and, the most enticing of all, hydrogen is abundant in water.  That has led some to proclaim water will be the coal of the future.  In fact, Jules Verne wrote that in 1874 long before the potential hydrogen had been discovered. The prediction may be fact but there are many challenges to overcome first. 

Hydrogen can’t be found by itself – it binds to other substances.  So while it may be available everywhere, extracting hydrogen is an expensive process.  In fact, the process of extraction is one of the quagmires of understanding how hydrogen energy works.  Separating hydrogen from the substances where it resides requires energy for the process. 

Much of the hydrogen energy used today utilized hydrogen extracted from fossil fuels.  When you react a hydrocarbon source (hydrogen that resides in a fossil fuel) with steam the resulting products are hydrogen and carbon monoxide.  By converting the carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide it’s possible to end up with almost pure hydrogen.

It’s the word “carbon” that is part of the problem.  Carbon is a main contributor to global warming which is also called climate change depending on which environmental expert you listen to.  Though it’s possible to retrieve hydrogen energy from plants and fossil fuels, the carbon byproduct and the energy required for the separation process are not environmentally safe methods.  The process is called fossil fuel reforming and is a critical step on the path to reliance on hydrogen energy.

Coal gasification to yield hydrogen energy is a multi-step method that requires energy use from other source at every step of the process.  Some experts question the viability of using one fuel to create another fuel.  They argue that moving carbon from one form to another results in carbon emissions.  The general advice from many scientific experts is to develop natural gas resources which have been largely untapped.  Expanding use of natural gas would add a cleaner energy source that is readily available while we further research how hydrogen energy works and find better ways to separate hydrogen atoms from water in a way that is safe environmentally and cost effective.

Recent Advances May Change How Hydrogen Energy Works

Recently the Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced the development of a silicon strip that looks like an artificial leaf.  This thumb-sized black strip also resembles a very thin magnet and is capable using solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen.  The announcement was made only a few weeks ago and to date has not received much media coverage.  However, this could be the breakthrough that leads to affordable hydrogen energy for the future.

If you drop the silicon leaf into a glass of water and then hold the glass in the sun, you will observe bubble caused by the hydrogen and oxygen in the water separating.  This is the technology that was predicted ten years ago and if it is as feasible as it sounds, it could solve many of the problems associated with how hydrogen energy works.

The MIT Professor who developed the new technology over a period of three years says it has the potential to solve the problem of how to store energy produced by the sun as well as potential for how to separate hydrogen from water.  Best of all, the “leaf” is made of low-cost materials that are widely available such as silicon, cobalt and nickel.

It may be years before the new invention reaches the stage where it can be made commercial viable.  It will require significant funding to move the initial research into a stage where a larger application can be tested.  In 2009, the Department of Energy withdrew funding for hydrogen energy research.  This had a dampening effect on commercial companies receiving government research funding but universities continued to carry on with hydrogen research.

The MIT project may move forward much faster than projects funded by government agencies with the miles of red tape and convoluted regulations.

To date, the new leaf strip has already generated a lot of interest from venture capitalists.  It was venture capital money that funded the research at MIT and raising funds for this project has been extremely successful. 

The potential for commercializing an inexpensive product that could provide the answer to storing solar energy in fuel cells at a price that is not out of reach is exciting.  When you add the potential of how hydrogen energy works and the breakthrough this new product might provide, venture capitalists are more than willing to provide funding.



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Re: How Does Hydrogen Energy Work? (Score: 1)
by nanotech on Thursday, October 20, 2011 @ 19:24:37 GMT
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This is all good information and I am convinced that molecular nanotechnology based photosynthesis and artificial leaf like machines can be used to produce cheap solar electric conversion foil/cells. But, what needs to be said, time and time again, and developed, is the deeper source of the "hydrogen energy".

William Lyne, engineer and author of Occult Ether Physics, and Pentagon Aliens, has shown that the Atomic Hydrogen Process, in which hydrogen is transformed from a monoatomic to a diatomic state, and back, acts as a gate/door to the energy transmitted through the ether, what Tesla called "Primary Solar Rays", mechanical sound pressure waves through the ether.

All overunity and anomalous energy comes from this source. This can be used through various means, including electrostatic, electromagnetic, magnet systems, and one of the best is to use a synthetic nuclear system, in which you take light atomic elements like lithium and expose them to ultraviolet radiation, and, the atoms transmute and energy is extracted and used, without dangerous radiation.

Joseph Papp used the atomic helium/noble gas process to do the same thing, and this is all "cold fusion" really is, as well as numerous other 'free energy' systems.


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