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Thread: Hydrogen or CNG ?

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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Default Hydrogen or CNG ?

    I was reading this morning that California is being agressive in building Hydrogen filling stations. That Honda, Hyundai and Nissen are building Hydrogen passenger vehicles for the Ca. market. This is a good thing. Electric cars are doomed.

    Here in south Louisiana, Apache Energy is builing a number of CNG filling stations because of the commitment from municipalities and operators of large delivery fleets to convert to CNG. Honda is also building CNG passenger vehicles.

    Hydrogen is much cleaner burning than CNG. Yet, our natural gas reserves are the largest in the world.

    Should our National Energy Policy be to support CNG for commercial vehicles and Hydrogen for passenger vehicles or continue the same path as we are now on? I am all for letting the Free Market decide but until the market can decide, it needs some direction. Direction would help in weaning us off of massive oil consumption much sooner. And, since we have never had a real energy policy, is this something our Dept Of Energy should get involved with?

    The Dept Of Energy has been worthless since inception. My feeling is that if they can't lead on this issue, then lets do away with them all together.
    Last edited by Franco; 10-03-2012 at 06:10 PM.
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    Senior Member huntinman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    I was reading this morning that California is being agressive in building Hydrogen filling stations. That Honda, Hyundai and Nissen are building Hydrogen passenger vehicles for the Ca. market. This is a good thing. Electric cars are doomed.

    Here in south Louisiana, Apache Energy is builing a number of CNG filling stations because of the commitment from municipalities and operators of large delivery fleets to convert to CNG. Honda is also building CNG passenger vehicles.

    Hydrogen is much cleaner burning than CNG. Yet, our natural gas reserves are the largest in the world.

    Should our National Energy Policy be to support CNG for commercial vehicles and Hydrogen for passenger vehicles or continue the same path as we are now on? I am all for letting the Free Market decide but until the market can decide, it needs some direction. Direction would help in weaning us off of massive oil consumption much sooner. And, since we have never had a real energy policy, is this something our Dept Of Energy should get involved with?

    The Dept Of Energy has been worthless since inception. My feeling is that if they can lead on this issue, then lets do away with them all together.
    get gov't out of it, let the industry do it and it might work...
    Bill Davis

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    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    I think that the primary problem with hydrogen is a low BTU rating, so lots of stops to fill up. On the up side, when you burn hydrogen it mixes with oxygen and gives you H2O. Other up side is you can make hydrogen from water (just takes LOTS of energy to do it, but that's what nuclear power plants are for).
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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by huntinman View Post
    get gov't out of it, let the industry do it and it might work...
    I certainly understand that concept! That's why I said the Free Market should decide. However, the direction needs a little nudge form the Dept of Energy to move the process along faster and get us off of gasoline quicker.

    That is because the investment by the private sector is to much for any industry to take on without some direction. If it is to be hydrogen, then the American Big 3 are going to have to get behind it. Same for CNG. And, who is going to buy a hydrogen or CNG vehicle if there are few places where one can fill a tank? It is going to take the cooperation of the Federal Government being led by private industry in determining a coarse. That is what policy is all about. So, if we aren't going to have a Federal policy led by the Dept Of Energy, then what's the point of having that department?

    If our government is going to invest in infastructure, this is the place to start. Thus, creating jobs at home and keeping our money here and not in the middleeast. Government need not be a liabilty as it is today. Providing infastructure for commerce is covered by The Constitution. Crony Capitalism is not.
    Last edited by Franco; 10-03-2012 at 07:31 PM.
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    IceLand runs on H2 but they have an abundance.

    I sure love my 49mpg 02 Prius. Fits a 400 crate in the backseat.

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    Senior Member zeus3925's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPL View Post
    I think that the primary problem with hydrogen is a low BTU rating, so lots of stops to fill up. On the up side, when you burn hydrogen it mixes with oxygen and gives you H2O. Other up side is you can make hydrogen from water (just takes LOTS of energy to do it, but that's what nuclear power plants are for).
    The problem with hydrogen is not the lack of BTUs. It is the most powerful fuel per weight available. It is the favored liquid rocket fuel of NASA. Hydrogen poses several problems if it is going to be employed as a transportation fuel.

    Storage is a major problem. Hydrogen is tricky to store. It readily exploits leaks. Driving around with a big thermos bottle of liquid hydrogen is rather impractical. There is some development aimed at developing metal hydrides, but they are not quite ready for prime time.

    The infrastructure is lacking for hydrogen use. Right now hydrogen is produced from mainly natural gas. However is the scale of usage goes up then hydrogen could easily be produced from wind, solar, hydro or nuclear energy energy. The number of hydrogen fueling stations are extremely rare, but so are CNG stations as well.

    A lot of hype touted hydrogen fuel cells as the new motive power for transportation. However, there were problems with developing a fuel cell stack that would be economical for automotive use. There are still problems with power densities vs. weight as well. But research into fuel cells are on going by several major automakers such as Ford, Daimler-Benz and Honda.

    Hydrogen can be burned in a conventional auto engine. Since the manufacturing facilities are in already in place that lack of an appropriate engine should not be a significant factor.

    CNG has its own problems. While the infrastructure is better developed for natural gas production, refueling stations are still pretty rare. Like hydrogen it will take a massive investment to develop the refueling points for it to be a major fuel source for common use. Natural gas doesn't like to be compressed. However, the storage of CNG is somewhat less complicated than hydrogen. Refueling times could be an issue. You can't just stick a nozzle in a filler pipe and be on your way in a few minutes.

    Both fuels are more environmentally friendly than gasoline. Hydrogen is the champ. CNG is good, but, it still has some carbon emissions. Hydrogen can be produced from the most abundant resource on the planet, water. CNG still requires a hole to be punched into rock and that brings an occasional mishap with it. Natural gas is not a renewable fuel, where hydrogen is, when coupled to a non fossil fueled energy source.

    If I were the energy secretary I would tout CNG as the immediate replacement for gasoline, but secondarily continue research and development of hydrogen as alternative
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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeus3925 View Post
    The problem with hydrogen is not the lack of BTUs. It is the most powerful fuel per weight available. It is the favored liquid rocket fuel of NASA. Hydrogen poses several problems if it is going to be employed as a transportation fuel.

    Storage is a major problem. Hydrogen is tricky to store. It readily exploits leaks. Driving around with a big thermos bottle of liquid hydrogen is rather impractical. There is some development aimed at developing metal hydrides, but they are not quite ready for prime time.

    The infrastructure is lacking for hydrogen use. Right now hydrogen is produced from mainly natural gas. However is the scale of usage goes up then hydrogen could easily be produced from wind, solar, hydro or nuclear energy energy. The number of hydrogen fueling stations are extremely rare, but so are CNG stations as well.

    A lot of hype touted hydrogen fuel cells as the new motive power for transportation. However, there were problems with developing a fuel cell stack that would be economical for automotive use. There are still problems with power densities vs. weight as well. But research into fuel cells are on going by several major automakers such as Ford, Daimler-Benz and Honda.

    Hydrogen can be burned in a conventional auto engine. Since the manufacturing facilities are in already in place that lack of an appropriate engine should not be a significant factor.

    CNG has its own problems. While the infrastructure is better developed for natural gas production, refueling stations are still pretty rare. Like hydrogen it will take a massive investment to develop the refueling points for it to be a major fuel source for common use. Natural gas doesn't like to be compressed. However, the storage of CNG is somewhat less complicated than hydrogen. Refueling times could be an issue. You can't just stick a nozzle in a filler pipe and be on your way in a few minutes.

    Both fuels are more environmentally friendly than gasoline. Hydrogen is the champ. CNG is good, but, it still has some carbon emissions. Hydrogen can be produced from the most abundant resource on the planet, water. CNG still requires a hole to be punched into rock and that brings an occasional mishap with it. Natural gas is not a renewable fuel, where hydrogen is, when coupled to a non fossil fueled energy source.

    If I were the energy secretary I would tout CNG as the immediate replacement for gasoline, but secondarily continue research and development of hydrogen as alternative
    Apache is building some 20 CNG filling stations in the Houston area after the city made a commitment to convert city trucks. That along with two of the beer distributors a soda pop distributor along with a few other commercial fleets. We have three filling stations in operation with a fourth one on the way. Other than converting trucks to CNG, I am only aware of the Honda Civic which comes in a CNG model with all of them presently being in California. I just don't undertand why this is all happening so slowly across the country. Honda and others could certainly step up production of CNG passenger vehicles and the consumer does want to get away from expensive gasoline. I would point a finger at our Dept Of Energy for doing very little if anything in terms of policy!
    Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery. Calvin Coolidge



  8. #8
    Senior Member Raymond Little's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeus3925 View Post
    The problem with hydrogen is not the lack of BTUs. It is the most powerful fuel per weight available. It is the favored liquid rocket fuel of NASA. Hydrogen poses several problems if it is going to be employed as a transportation fuel.

    Storage is a major problem. Hydrogen is tricky to store. It readily exploits leaks. Driving around with a big thermos bottle of liquid hydrogen is rather impractical. There is some development aimed at developing metal hydrides, but they are not quite ready for prime time.

    The infrastructure is lacking for hydrogen use. Right now hydrogen is produced from mainly natural gas. However is the scale of usage goes up then hydrogen could easily be produced from wind, solar, hydro or nuclear energy energy. The number of hydrogen fueling stations are extremely rare, but so are CNG stations as well.

    A lot of hype touted hydrogen fuel cells as the new motive power for transportation. However, there were problems with developing a fuel cell stack that would be economical for automotive use. There are still problems with power densities vs. weight as well. But research into fuel cells are on going by several major automakers such as Ford, Daimler-Benz and Honda.

    Hydrogen can be burned in a conventional auto engine. Since the manufacturing facilities are in already in place that lack of an appropriate engine should not be a significant factor.

    CNG has its own problems. While the infrastructure is better developed for natural gas production, refueling stations are still pretty rare. Like hydrogen it will take a massive investment to develop the refueling points for it to be a major fuel source for common use. Natural gas doesn't like to be compressed. However, the storage of CNG is somewhat less complicated than hydrogen. Refueling times could be an issue. You can't just stick a nozzle in a filler pipe and be on your way in a few minutes.

    Both fuels are more environmentally friendly than gasoline. Hydrogen is the champ. CNG is good, but, it still has some carbon emissions. Hydrogen can be produced from the most abundant resource on the planet, water. CNG still requires a hole to be punched into rock and that brings an occasional mishap with it. Natural gas is not a renewable fuel, where hydrogen is, when coupled to a non fossil fueled energy source.

    If I were the energy secretary I would tout CNG as the immediate replacement for gasoline, but secondarily continue research and development of hydrogen as alternative

    Great info there Zeus but can you tell us how many fueling stations $90,000,000,000 could build? Any idea if CNG could be incorporated into exhisting gas stations or would they be stand alone? Approximate cost per CNG refueling station?
    "Character is doing the right thing when nobody is watching"....J.C. Watts

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    Senior Member Franco's Avatar
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    Raymond, next time in town take a look at the CNG filling station next to Franks' Casing Crews on Verot or the one on Kaliste Saloom near Hwy 90. There is also one on Ponte du Mouton. There ain't nothing to them!
    Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery. Calvin Coolidge



  10. #10
    Senior Member HPL's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeus3925 View Post
    The problem with hydrogen is not the lack of BTUs. It is the most powerful fuel per weight available. It is the favored liquid rocket fuel of NASA. Hydrogen poses several problems if it is going to be employed as a transportation fuel.

    Storage is a major problem. Hydrogen is tricky to store. It readily exploits leaks. Driving around with a big thermos bottle of liquid hydrogen is rather impractical. There is some development aimed at developing metal hydrides, but they are not quite ready for prime time.

    The infrastructure is lacking for hydrogen use. Right now hydrogen is produced from mainly natural gas. However is the scale of usage goes up then hydrogen could easily be produced from wind, solar, hydro or nuclear energy energy. The number of hydrogen fueling stations are extremely rare, but so are CNG stations as well.

    A lot of hype touted hydrogen fuel cells as the new motive power for transportation. However, there were problems with developing a fuel cell stack that would be economical for automotive use. There are still problems with power densities vs. weight as well. But research into fuel cells are on going by several major automakers such as Ford, Daimler-Benz and Honda.

    Hydrogen can be burned in a conventional auto engine. Since the manufacturing facilities are in already in place that lack of an appropriate engine should not be a significant factor.

    CNG has its own problems. While the infrastructure is better developed for natural gas production, refueling stations are still pretty rare. Like hydrogen it will take a massive investment to develop the refueling points for it to be a major fuel source for common use. Natural gas doesn't like to be compressed. However, the storage of CNG is somewhat less complicated than hydrogen. Refueling times could be an issue. You can't just stick a nozzle in a filler pipe and be on your way in a few minutes.

    Both fuels are more environmentally friendly than gasoline. Hydrogen is the champ. CNG is good, but, it still has some carbon emissions. Hydrogen can be produced from the most abundant resource on the planet, water. CNG still requires a hole to be punched into rock and that brings an occasional mishap with it. Natural gas is not a renewable fuel, where hydrogen is, when coupled to a non fossil fueled energy source.

    If I were the energy secretary I would tout CNG as the immediate replacement for gasoline, but secondarily continue research and development of hydrogen as alternative
    Actually, I wasn't even considering liquid hydrogen. As you said, very hard to handle. Compressed hydrogen has less stored energy, so somewhat frequent fillups. Same with CNG. Liquid Nat Gas (LNG) pretty high BTU fuel, but so dangerous to handle that the ships that carry it aren't allowed in port but load and off load at off-shore terminals. Hydrogen is clearly the gold standard though. Burn it, it turns into water.
    Last edited by HPL; 10-04-2012 at 05:07 PM.
    Any doctrine that weakens personal responsibility for judgment and for action helps create the attitudes that welcome and support the totalitarian state.
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    Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation; for 'tis better to be alone than in bad company.
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    Gig'em Aggies!! BTCO'77HOO t.u.!!

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