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unabomber
there is a new device out, it could be called the oil companies biggest nightmare. it is called the Genesis HICEF (Hydrogen Internal Combustion Engine Fuel) The Genesis HICEF Technology represents a dramatic departure from current hydrogen-based fuel cell research, which has focused primarily on the generation of power for electric vehicles. Rather than abandoning the internal combustion engine and the decades of progress made in its improvement, the Genesis technology will enable automobile makers to design power systems that run off hydrogen gas rather than fossil fuels

It creates hydrogen on board and on demand. all that is needed is water. even tap water can be used, the HICEF device has a filter, though the filter lasts much longer with purified water (which can be bought at 30 cents a gallon, purified, at walmart or albertsons or others)

here is a copy of the press release: http://www.hydrogennow.org/HNews/PressRele...WorldEnergy.htm

questions are:
could this be the downfall of the oil companies?
do you think the oil companies will try supress this from hitting market en masse?
is this the easiest way to ween ourselves of oil?

and last, would you want it?
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Aquilla
Most interesting concept, although I remain skeptical that it actually works the way they claim it does. On the surface at least it appears to violate the fundamental laws of thermodynamics. I'd like to see more of the science. I did find one link that kinda, sorta explains how it works, but there's some things there that bother me.

Genisis World Energy

Quoting from that website....

First the gCell.....

QUOTE
Within this cell, three simultaneous processes occur. The first process produces electrical voltage from water passing over special catalytic reactants. This electrical voltage aids in the excitement of the hydrogen and oxygen molecules in the water. The second process involves a thermo, electro-catalytic reaction that results in the complete separation of the hydrogen molecules from the oxygen molecules. This yields maximum efficiency in the extraction of ultra pure hydrogen and oxygen gas. During the third process, small amounts of the hydrogen and oxygen gas molecules created in the second process reattach, providing additional electrical current to subsidize the overall gas generation process.


Next, the eCell....
QUOTE
Utilizing a reverse reactant process (similar, but less complicated than the gCell gas generation process) hydrogen and oxygen molecules are excited and attracted to each other (much like aligned magnets pulling themselves together), and water is then recreated as a result. Substantial amounts of electricity and heat are generated as a byproduct. The Genesis technology is so efficient that a single compact eCell stack (about the size of a gCell stack) can produce over 1000 amps of electrical current. The electricity extracted from the eCells then replaces the electricity provided by utility companies. Water generated from the eCells is recovered and reintroduced into the gas generation system, while heat generated during the process is converted to usable energy.



Just on the surface here, it sounds to me that they claim they are creating enormous amounts of energy out of virtually nothing. A little bit like the infamous "Perpetual Motion Machine".

LIke I said, I'd like to see more of the science....
unabomber
The hicef turns water into hydrogen which is burned much as gas is. they aim to add this to cars. these are people that realize fuel cell tech is many, many decades away (at least 20) though cars like GM's HY-WIRE are nice in the fact the are controlled with a game console style controller, and built on top of an 11" "skateboard" chassy.

the problem is, as cool as hy-wire and others are, even if we started mass producing today, there would still be internal combustion engine cars around. this way they can phase out fossil fuels, stop producing internal combustion cars, those still around could use HICEF to run on water (which becomes burnable hydrogen) and focus on production of fuel cells. also, focus on the building of wind farms to make H2 fuel to use in production of electricity (much as natural gas does) thus dramatically reducing CO2 emissions.

H2 represents a more renewable energy source, and we should do all we can to harness it, and make it feasible. my worry is that that oil companies may try supressing this, as hydrogen can be produced for as little as 16cents (not much profits there)
Alan Wood
There is a heap of these 'everlasting' and 'fuel from water' things doing the rounds.
I would suggest some of them have a basis of truth.
I also suggest most of these will be suppressed.

Do we want something that never needs replacing at the expense of jobs and national income?.
Do we want a fuel from water at the expense of national income and jobs?.

Hard choice.

Regards.......Alan
nileriver
well, is overpopulation an issue, proper education and resorces for billions of people, eventually we are going to have to deal with this and the enviroment. i dont want to rain on anyones parade, but do you know a way to generate food for billions of people. this is just one of many great steps that are now possible due to science. when you talk about building a better world, what kind of a better world are you talking about then. question.gif
Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(unabomber @ Apr 29 2003, 06:56 AM)

H2 represents a more renewable energy source, and we should do all we can to harness it, and make it feasible. my worry is that that oil companies may try supressing this, as hydrogen can be produced for as little as 16cents (not much profits there)

The bonds between hydrogen and oxygen in water are extremely strong. I can't imagine that the amount of energy needed to break them and create hydrogen gas would be an efficient exchange for the amount of energy produced. I could be wrong, since I have a rudimentary knowledge of thermodynamics, but I know enough to be dubious about this.

If it works, it will be great! I am not concerned about the jobs lost, because jobs will also be created through progress. We don't lament the passing of buggy whip manufacturers.
Aquilla
The idea of replacing hydrocarbons with hydrogen for our energy needs is not a new one, it's been studied and proposed at least as far back as the 60's. I think someday it will end up being done to one extent or another, perhaps sooner than later, and it's a good topic for discussion I think. However, as near as I can tell from the science, this Genesis HICEF thing is a scam, and not an original one at that.

From the American Physical Society....

American Physical Society

Quoting from that article....

QUOTE
3. GENESIS PROJECT: A REALLY GOOD SCAM CAN BE USED OVER AND OVER.
Back in the early '70s, an inventor named Sam Leach claimed to have built a car that used ordinary water as a fuel. The idea was simple: You use electrolysis to decompose the water into oxygen and hydrogen and then use the hydrogen as a fuel to run the engine and generate electricity for the separation. So there you have it: You start with water and end up with water plus work. Scientists scoffed: it would take more energy to decompose the water than you could get from the combustion of hydrogen. Ordinarily yes, Leach agreed, but he had a secret catalyst that reduced the energy of decomposition. The great thing about the First Law of Thermodynamics, however, is that it doesn't care what's in your secret box, it gives you the limit of any process. Leach raised millions from investors and then retired to a seaside villa in California. Who needs a car that runs on water when you have a chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce? The rumor spread that he had been bought off by the oil companies. Now something called Genesis World Energy is running the same scam over again.


Further debunking of their claims is here.....

GWE Exposed?

The bottom line is that you don't ever get something for nothing, and that's not big oil or man's laws that say that, it's the laws of physics that say that. Hydrogen Fuel Cells are pretty efficient and a good possibility for future commercial applications, but even their theoretical efficiency limit is only 83%.

Fuel Cell Thermodynamics (All you ever wanted to know and then some)

Anyway, it was a nice idea, but......
unabomber
QUOTE(mrspigpen @ Apr 29 2003, 05:48 AM)
QUOTE(unabomber @ Apr 29 2003, 06:56 AM)


H2 represents a more renewable energy source, and we should do all we can to harness it, and make it feasible. my worry is that that oil companies may try supressing this, as hydrogen can be produced for as little as 16cents (not much profits there)

The bonds between hydrogen and oxygen in water are extremely strong. I can't imagine that the amount of energy needed to break them and create hydrogen gas would be an efficient exchange for the amount of energy produced. I could be wrong, since I have a rudimentary knowledge of thermodynamics, but I know enough to be dubious about this.

If it works, it will be great! I am not concerned about the jobs lost, because jobs will also be created through progress. We don't lament the passing of buggy whip manufacturers.

actually you can do it with a windmill (to create elerticity) and a rain barrel of water, and electrodes running through the water (it's probably a little more elaborate then that).

In 1966, 16 year old Roger Billings modified a model-A Ford to run on hydrogen. Billings went on to convert many late model automobiles to run on hydrogen using their internal combustion engines. (I think billings had the above set up in the sixties at his home)

harry braun the 3rd has a plan to shift off of oil and onto hydrogen within 5 years using wind turbines for electricity for electrolosys(wind turbines produce lots of electricity. fort collins is powered by wind farms in wyoming, at least partially) here is a FAQ from his site: http://www.phoenixproject.net/faqs.htm - while fuel cells/HICEF may not be feasible hydrogen can burn in your engine (like gas) with some small mods (such as higher firing rate (H2 burns at a higher temp and rate than petrol)
nileriver
i heard something about useing solar power to help in the process of creating the hydrogen for use. the automobiles themselves are not speed demons , i am not sure on it. but for getting into the fuel fossil infrastrucure is the real challenge. big money wont budge easily. the company behing this radical concept is probally trying to corner the market early, you could say. i use public transportation myself, it could have a broad range of applications on that level also. i think that the goverment should take over and help in allowing for companies now to phase it in as to keep the market alive while not allowing this idea to die, whitch it could very easily. or maybe people will start to go missing ph34r.gif
Platypus
A lot of things work on a small scale but not on a large one. I can get a Stirling-cycle engine that runs off the excess heat from a cup of coffee (or a modern CPU) but that doesn't mean Stirling-cycle engine technology can scale up or out to the point where it's a practical energy source. Similarly, there's a big difference between being able to use "free energy" (windmills, solar, etc.) to produce hydrogen, and being able to produce (and store, and transport) hydrogen cost-effectively enough to compete with fossil fuels. Most "hydrogen is free" claims are based on ignoring some or all of the costs.

If you get energy from combining hydrogen and oxygen, that means you must expend energy to break them apart. That's basic thermodynamics and, as Aquilla points out, the laws of thermodynamics don't care what's inside your magical box. Hydrogen is not an energy source (unless you're talking about fusion power); it's a way to store energy that came from somewhere else. Therefore, the cost-effectiveness of hydrogen is entirely dependent on the cost-effectiveness of the power source used to crack water or methanol or whatever. Unfortunately, no other power source has really reached the point of being competitive with fossil fuels. Wind power seems closest, but you can't deploy those everywhere and there are still serious concerns about environmental impact. The energy - not just fuel, but also energy for manufacturing high-tech generating equipment - still has to come from somewhere. Batteries don't solve our energy problems.
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Mrs. Pigpen
QUOTE(Platypus @ Apr 29 2003, 06:59 PM)
Therefore, the cost-effectiveness of hydrogen is entirely dependent on the cost-effectiveness of the power source used to crack water or methanol or whatever.  Unfortunately, no other power source has really reached the point of being competitive with fossil fuels.  Wind power seems closest, but you can't deploy those everywhere and there are still serious concerns about environmental impact.  The energy - not just fuel, but also energy for manufacturing high-tech generating equipment - still has to come from somewhere.  Batteries don't solve our energy problems.

Has anyone heard of the new hybrid engine? They will be putting them into vehicles very soon, and they're extremely efficient, energy-wise. It is a combination battery / fuel powered engine, which recharges itself using the rotation of the wheels as an energy source (or something like that). Any enginerds out there who know anything about this?
Aquilla
QUOTE(mrspigpen @ Apr 30 2003, 02:05 PM)
Has anyone heard of the new hybrid engine? They will be putting them into vehicles very soon, and they're extremely efficient, energy-wise. It is a combination battery / fuel powered engine, which recharges itself using the rotation of the wheels as an energy source (or something like that). Any enginerds out there who know anything about this?

There are a number of them in production now and on the road. A list of the car companies working on the HEV programs is here....

HEV Program

They are pretty cool cars actually, I've been thinking about maybe getting one. Basically, they are electric-powered cars with a small gasoline engine in them that turns on to re-charge the battery when required, then turns off again. They also incorporate something called "Dynamic braking / Regen" where when the car is slowing down, the electric motor turns into a generator and re-charges the batteries which in turn acts as sort of an electric brake. That's not a new technology, electric motors that require responsive speed control have used the concept for many years, but it serves the purpose of increasing the overall efficiency of the car. I think they get in excess of 50-60 miles/gallon on the highway, and their performance is reasonable.

I think this concept is really the wave of the future, maybe as a transition towards a non-hydrocarbom based energy supply.
Platypus
QUOTE(mrspigpen @ Apr 30 2003, 10:05 AM)
Has anyone heard of the new hybrid engine?

I've driven one. They're great, but I would categorize what they're doing as conservation. The drivetrain is designed so that the gas-powered part always runs at maximum efficiency, regardless of how fast you're actually moving, and they use "regenerative braking" to store some of the energy that would otherwise be dissipated as heat when you stop. It's quite brilliant, and I'm not being sarcastic when I say that.

What hybrid cars don't do, though (to keep this on topic), is use a new power source. They allow us to use fossil fuels more efficiently, and they might be the only way to solve the "chicken and egg" problem that nobody will buy alternative-fuel cars until there's enough infrastructure and nobody will build alternative-fuel infrastructure until there's a "critical mass" of cars on the road that will use it, but for now they're still 100% powered by fossil fuels. Even if next year's models can plug into a wall socket for overnight recharging, that electricity still has to come from somewhere. Even if the models the year after that use hydrogen fuel cells, the energy to charge those fuel cells has to come from somewhere. There has to be some chemical or nuclear reaction, or piezoelectric effect, or kinetic/electrical transformation, to actually generate and not just store all that electrical power. When we can put the power generation in the car, using something other than fossil fuels, then we'll really have something.
Aquilla
QUOTE(Platypus @ Apr 30 2003, 04:31 PM)
When we can put the power generation in the car, using something other than fossil fuels, then we'll really have something.

This is true, but short of dilithium crystals, not sure what that is. Not for cars at least. While we're waiting for "Scotty" to be born and tell Kirk, "Capt'n I canna git the matter/Anti-matter converter to work, she's broke capt'n", I think there are other things we can do.......

Back in the 1960's, Lockheed looked seriously at a hydrogen airplane for airline and military applications and discounted it because at the time, the existing technology of handling cryogenic liquids was too heavy for practical applications. In the 1970's, Beechcraft did a "think tank" type of study for a hydrogen-based transportation infrastructure, including business class airplanes (I think they used a KingAir) and concluded that it was too expensive to implement, but it was intriguing nonetheless.

Their concept was based on using nuclear power to generate hydrogen from sea water. You would then use the existing natural gas infrastructure for delivery of the gaseous hydrogen and tankers similar to gasoline tankers for delivery of liquid hydrogen. All of that was feasible in a macro sense, expensive but feasible, but the rub came in when one started to look at the micro aspect, ex. single family home heaters. Converting those from natural gas, coal and fuel oil was an enormous task and it would almost have to be done all at once. Not to mention water heaters, gas clothes dryers, BBQ's smile.gif and everything else that runs on natural gas. It would be an incredibly huge undertaking.

Perhaps the answer is to concentrate on one aspect of our energy usage at a time and begin an incremental conversion that that sector.
Amlord
I think the hydrogen car claims are junk science. As an engineer, I am very dubious about the chemistry behind their design. The details are sketchy. The terms they use to describe some of the results don't seem right (generating Amps, instead of Watts. Amps is only a useful measure if you know the Voltage and hence the Power).

The process of breaking up water into its molecular components is endothermic. That is, you must put energy IN to make it work. They propose using solar energy to power the electrolysis. However, solar technology is horribly inefficient. 20% efficiency would be a breakthrough (current benchmark is around 6-8% with some systems achieving up to about 12% efficiency). So what about cloudy days? No driving then? I know you could use batteries to store the energy, but they never mention that, OR the size that such a battery would need to be OR how big the solar collector must be, OR how its not going to be damaged on a moving car.

The details are sketchy and I remain skeptical.
nileriver
what about nanotechnology and airborne particles in the solar power industry, i know its new wave but it holds promise, night vision goggles pick up light very well, you can see people bodies through tents, if that can pick up light that well, i dont see why new age techs cant crack the barrier. besides all of the hardship we would have to go about, it would pay off in more ways then people can see as of now, the hydrogen thing that is. whistling.gif
DaytonRocker
I don' t think there's anything especially new about any of this. They have developed a lot of methods to use hydrogen as a fuel source.

But as I understand the problem, it's not the burning of the fuel. It's the storage of the hydrogen.

Nobody's been able to develop a cheap safe way to store hydrogen. On it's own hydrogen is highly explosive. Car wrecks would turn into huge fireballs and any leaks at "gas" stations or at home would become ticking time bombs resulting in huge explosions as well.

Basically, they can burn hydrogen. But there's no way to safely distribute it.
Bikerdad
Some observations:

First, fuel cell technology has been in use for more than thirty years. The Apollo program used fuel cells, as did Skylab, and many other elements of the Space Program.

Second, fuel cells are increasing their penetration into various applications, essentially replacing batteries at the micro end, and moving toward replacing small and medium scale power generation at the large end. Fuel cell powered cell phones and laptop computers have been developed. Fuel cell power plants are on line. They are technically feasible, the question is, are the economically feasible? You can get a household fuel cell that is about the size of a 5 ton airconditioner and provides enough electricity for the entire house.

Third, as others have noted, the two biggest challenges facing the 'hydrogen' economy, which is going to be driven primarily by fuel cells, are generating the hydrogen fuel stocks, and the infrastructure for distributing the fuel stocks doesn't exist. The generation of fuel stocks can either be handled completely separately and results in the thermodynamic losses noted. Current "input" power sources are fossil fuels, nuclear power, or "alternative energies." The utilization of fossil fuels to power the hyrdogen cracking process may be more efficient than direct utilization of the fuels in some circumstance, but it still presents the problem of fossil fuel supplies and pollution. The nuclear option is, from a technical standpoint, the most promising. Large nuclear powered "hydrogen refineries" could produce nearly unlimited quantities of hydrogen. Whether or not this is currently politically feasible is another question. Alternative energies (hydro, solar, wind, wave, geothermal, biomass) are either too erratic, to geographically restricted, or simply not large enough in capacity to meet the energy needs of the future.

The infrastructure question is pretty much only one of economics, and will be resolved in due time. One unmentioned aspect that helps both questions is the happy fact that fuel cells need hydrogen to operate. They don't care where the hydrogen comes from, and coincidentally, we have a massive hydrogen distribution system in place already. Its called the natural gases and petroleum distribution system. Yes Virginia, fuel cells can be combined with "on board" reformers to get their hydrogen straight out of, you guessed it, hydrocarbons. It is simply a matter of improving the economic efficiencies. (A reformer/fuel cell stack, while more energy efficient in operation than an internal combustion engine, is also a lot more costly at this time.) The reformers, depending on their design, can utilize either gaseous or liquid hydrocarbons, and the exhaust is water and carbon.

I wanna job in the fuel cell industry!! shifty.gif

blink.gif What's the roar of Daytona gonna be like in 2025 when all the cars are powered by fuel cells?
Aquilla
QUOTE(Bikerdad @ May 9 2003, 06:47 PM)
blink.gif What's the roar of Daytona gonna be like in 2025 when all the cars are powered by fuel cells?

Hehe..... I don't think we need to worry too much about that. Hydrogen can be used in internal combustion engines as well as in fuel cells. Not as efficient from a mileage standpoint, but that's not what NASCAR is all about anyway. smile.gif
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