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A question about hydrogen fuels

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Batman, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Maybe someone out there knows more about this than me, but has there been a serious study on the environmental impact of a switch from fossil fuels to hydrogen cells in cars?
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the hydrogen cells basically use hydrogen that is pulled from water at the filling station, right? So in a place like Atlanta, which is still recovering from a drought and has tons of cars, or a large desert city like Vegas or Phoenix, wouldn't that strain water resources to their limits?
    And these things put out water vapor, which nobody thinks is that bad. But what are the long-term effects of that? If you believe that global warming is a serious threat, wouldn't large amounts of water vapor pumped into the air for the next 50 or 100 years also change climate?
  2. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    When, and if, hydrogen fuel cells become prominent, the first thing that will happen is water vapor will suddenly replace carbon as the largest threat to the planet.

    However, just as naturally-occurring forest fires and volcanoes pump a substantial amount more CO2 into the atmosphere than human activity (and forest fires were significantly more prevalent and massive in preindustrial days, because there was nobody to contain them), evaporation from the oceans would pump a substantial amount of water vapor into the atmosphere than human activity can.
  3. 93Devil

    93Devil Well-Known Member

    Crimson is correct.

    Mt. St. Helens alone placed more pollution into the atmosphere than we ever have with cars.

    Global warming might be a complete hoax.

    Pollution (garbage and chemicals in lakes and streams) on the other hand is scary and real.


    The reason why we are not driving different cars is that there still are billions (trillions?) of gallons of profit still in the ground.
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Agree on the pollution, but I really wasn't trying to turn this into another oil thread. I was just wondering out loud if people have really thought about the side effects of some of these alternative fuels. You look at a situation like Atlanta had last summer, where they were down to a couple months worth of water at one point, and you have to ask how much worse it would've been if they were also siphoning it off for fuel.
    Seems like there's drawbacks no matter which way we turn.
  5. NoOneLikesUs

    NoOneLikesUs Active Member


    Good stuff here.
  6. MacDaddy

    MacDaddy Active Member

    That, and there has yet to be a better alternative developed. Alternative energy sources for cars have a lot of promise, but they have a long way to go to catch up to the gasoline internal-combustion engine.
  7. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    By no means am I an expert, but it sounds to me like if a hydrogen car extracts the hydrogen from water at a filling station and then burns it to form water vapor, it's not actually creating any "new" water or water vapor.

    The remnants of the water at the filling station would have to be pure oxygen right?

    That can then be released into the atmosphere and it would later recombine with the vehicle's hydrogen to form the water vapor.

    Essentially, you'd just be deconstructing and reconstructing the molecules in different places, but not adding or subtracting them from the planet, so the balance should remain even.
  8. StraightEdge

    StraightEdge Guest

    50 years from now? Who cares? I'll be dead by then!
  9. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Releasing the oxygen might cause problems too, in the long term. Ozone is a major pollutant and is basically a different form of oxygen (the oxygen we breathe has two molecules; ozone, which is bad for us, has three; even too much pure oxygen is poisonous). Like you, I'm not an expert, but it seems like we might be replacing one pollutant with another.
    And I still think draining water resources to power cars is an environmental disaster waiting to happen. One good drought, and a region is fucked.
  10. zagoshe

    zagoshe Well-Known Member

    I think we'll be OK if we just stop using aersol cans for hair spray and bug spray because that stuff was causing the climate to change and putting a hole in the ozone layer....... ::)
  11. zebracoy

    zebracoy Guest

    I seriously think this way. Nobody in the coal mines in Pittsburgh in the 1890s gave a damn about us. Screw those in the 2100s.
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