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Re: [hreg] Thoughts on Hydrogen From Oil (Black Hydrogen)

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  • Roxanne Boyer
    Mike Johnson, I don t understand your statements about using water as a fuel. There is no energy in water. You can t get hydrogen from water unless you add
    Message 1 of 3 , May 5, 2004
      Mike Johnson,
      I don't understand your statements about using water as a fuel.  There is no energy in water.  You can't get hydrogen from water unless you add more energy than is in the hydrogen.  You get the same energy out if you follow either path:
      1) Gasoline reforming to hydrogen followed by hydrogen recombination
           C6H12 + 12 H2O -> 6 CO2 + 18 H2, then 18 H2 + 9 O2 -> 18 H2O or
      2) Gasoline recombination
           C6H12 + 9 O2 -> 6 CO2 + 6 H2O
      You will capture more of the energy as useful work (less waste heat) if you do the direct route (path #2).  In addition, steam reforming requires a huge energy input (as you indicate by your steam temperature). 
      Automobiles that will undergo onboard reforming to make hydrogen from gasoline are using the autothermal, or partial oxidation route..
      C6H12 + n O2 + m H2O ->  6 CO2 + (6+m-n) H2  where enough O2 is added to give the heat required to do the reforming.
      The PNL breakthrough was not the fact that they could do the reaction - every university and major energy company has a reactor doing it.  The breakthrough was that they were able to start up the reactor in under a minute, and therefore it was feasible to put into an automobile because no one wants to have to wait several minutes to start a car.
      Also, are you suggesting that we will sequester CO2 in an automobile? How?
      I appreciate your enthusiasm; however, I am either misunderstanding you, or you have your facts wrong.
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Saturday, May 01, 2004 10:11 PM
      Subject: [hreg] Thoughts on Hydrogen From Oil (Black Hydrogen)

         This week there was a news story that caught my attention. It was about the Pacific Northwest Lab (a government lab) having developed a device that can produce hydrogen fuel from gasoline to power a fuel cell car. This device produces the H2 on board, while the vehicle is running. It does this by a process referred to as "steam reforming or partial oxidation". It is touted as being a major breakthrough.

      Link: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/tch/local/story/5017586p-4945982c.html

         It is definitely going to allow for fuel cell cars to be introduced to the market much faster than had previously been anticipated as the infrastructure to transport, store and distribute gasoline is already in place. Whereas such a system for hydrogen gas is totally nonexistent. In fact, it could be used anywhere fuel cells would be employed to generate electricity (such as homes and businesses).
         If such a unit was built to the right size it could just as easily produce H2 fuel for internal combustion cars and diesel trucks as well. This would allow consumers to retrofit their existing vehicle to run on clean non-polluting hydrogen fuel.
         There are additional benefits too whether you would use such a device to produce fuel for a fuel cell or an internal combustion vehicle. One benefit would be to enormously increase your fuel mileage. How could it do this, you ask?
         Well, to explain this we have to understand how the steam reformation process works. It involves passing the gasoline and steam over or through a catalyst. The reaction that ensues looks like this:

      C6H14 (gasoline) + 12H2O (water, as steam) = 6CO2 and 19H2

         The oxygen atom in the water/steam molecule releases it's hydrogen atoms as do the carbon atoms in the gasoline molecule. The oxygen and carbon atoms bond with each other. It takes two oxygen atoms to oxidize one carbon atom into CO2. So the products of the reforming reaction are CO2 and H2. The H2 is used to fuel the vehicle and the CO2 is sequestered.
         But notice that the gasoline molecule only had 14 hydrogen atoms (7 if you look at them as H2) and the end product of the reaction was 19 H2 atoms. How is this possible? Because the water molecules also released their hydrogen atoms during the reforming process. So 12 of the resulting H2 atoms came from the water molecules and only 7 from the gasoline molecule. That is nearly 2/3 of the Hydrogen produced coming from the water molecules! So you car would be running mostly on H2 from water NOT H2 from hydrogen. That would reduce your car's consumption of gasoline by a similar percentage. Too bad no one thought of this sooner, especially since it is a hundred year old technology.
         I believe that hydrogen from water is the solution to the future of the world's energy production needs. Steam reformation of hydrocarbons is a first step in that direction. By blending the tried and true fossil fuel energy sources with the cutting edge hydrogen from water technology we form a bridge between the two. Especially since most of the energy derived is from the water hydrogen.
         I am surprised that the oil companies and the Bush administration aren't publicizing this exciting facet of their hydrogen energy plan.

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