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Hydrogen power plants

What's the big problem?
  [vote for,

Ok, where I live there are a few coal burning power plants. If it is burning the coal why can't it burn hydrogen and have the same effect. Clean the water run through a suply and demand reactor and burn the hydrogen. No pollution except I've seen something about acid rain but thats something to filter out. I can't believe that it can't be done.
madtowne03, Feb 12 2003

Free Atmosphere Fuel Cell http://www.halfbake...phere_20Fuel_20Cell
My first idea... ahhhh... Lots of interesting debate about hydrogen, though. [st3f, Oct 04 2004]


       Coal is effectively solar energy stored in chemical form (Sunlight shines on plants -> plants cunningly store energy -> plants get squished -> coal is formed).   

       However clean your hydrogen power station, the fact remains that there is little or no hydrogen free for use.   

       Because extracting hydrogen (from say water) takes more energy than can be obtained by burning the hydrogen, there is no point creating a hydrogen power station. You might as well use whatever fuel you used to split the water in your power station to generate electricity directly -- it will be more efficient.   

       Where hydrogen comes into its own is as a storage medium. In a place where there is lots of sunlight, you can split water into hydrogen and oxygen using solar energy. You then ship the gases to where you want to use the energy, and either burn the hydrogen in the presence of the oxygen, or use a fuel cell to generate electricity directly. It's probably less efficient than generating electricity directly from sunlight, but allows you to store and move it easily.
st3f, Feb 12 2003

       I just read that a solar-hydrogen plant holds the world's record for the conversion of useful energy. (Using only sunlight and water!)
penelope, Mar 02 2004

       st3f should stay on top of alternative power systems. Extracting hydrogen from _distilled_ water, like we did in high school chemistry, does use a lot more energy than results from burning it again. Doping the water greatly reduces the energy necessary to coax apart the bonds. Further, research has been done showing that water being plastered with ultrasonics comes apart very easily, yielding far more energy than consumed by the electrolysis.
DigitalDave, Jul 16 2004

       How much energy does the creation of the ultrasonic sound consume?
GenYus, Jul 16 2004

       ultrasonic sound???
daseva, Jul 16 2004

       DigitalDave, if you get more energy by burning the Hydrogen in the presence of the Oxygen than you use in splitting the water to get the H and the O then there are several big energy companies (and a couple of confused physicists) that will want to have a word with you.   

       Either the sources you are quoting are ignoring the energy used by the ultrasonics, or there is something else fishy going on. Do you have any links to sources?
st3f, Jul 18 2004

       Did anyone see that movie "Chain Reaction" with keanu reeves? The free energy hydrogen nonsense made it about the funniest science movie ever. Rivals even "The Core".
brewer, Apr 22 2006

       It take a high temperature to break water down into hydrogen and oxygen by pyrolysis. The heat needed would be 3000 degrees that may be generated by a solar furnace that may be better used for steam power generation. But if you need the hydrogen organic acids on metals works and using solar smelters to convert the waste back to metals may work. But it may require large amounts of ethanol converted into vinegar. Where by the hydrogen would run fuel cells and fuel cell cars. Black light power was working on a fuel cell that converts water vapor into power.
travbm, Nov 01 2015


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