Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Ford's Hydrogen-Powered Plug-In Hybrid


Details from Popular Mechanics. They have video of a test drive. Don't forget, one way to make hydrogen without generating emissions is with nuclear energy.

Thanks to Instapundit for the pointer.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ick. Hydrogen.

The nuclear future here will be thermochemical hydrogen used captively to make dimethyl ether, (DME).

This is what we should be pushing for.

DME is much like LPG in its properties, and is more versatile than either gasoline, natural gas, LPG. It's extraordinarily clean and can be made with a nuclear source of primary energy.

NNadir.

Jim Hopf said...

I think an even better idea (to push) would be plug-in hybrid or pure electric cars powered largely by off-peak nuclear electricity. No new infrastructure required. As this will flatten the demand curve, we can start replacing gas plants with baseload nuclear plants. The process efficiency for the electric approach is much higher than any approach that converts primary energy into a hydrocarbon (or H2) fuel.

Studies show that plug-in hybrids will be able to travel ~85% of their miles on electric power for the average driver. For the other 15%, we could use DME, but I'd favor some liquid fuel that is synthetically generated using hydrogen generated from nuclear (or some other primary source) along with some carbon feedstock. Using gaseous fuel in our cars is a needless hassle, especially if we're only talking about fueling ~15% of the vehicle miles.

Anonymous said...

Jim:

DME is consistent with the use of nuclear power for motor fuel manufacture. Arguably nuclear power could be the best option for making the stuff.

DME is the perfect fluid fuel for generation synthetically from hydrogen, since it can be made by hydrogenation of carbon dioxide directly.

I wrote at length about this subject in a diary called "Banning Oil: Dimethyl ether, Hydrogen, Nuclear Power and Motor Fuel for Cars and Trucks."

Here is the link:

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/11/24/195214/27

DME is suitable for use in all gas fired systems, including gas fired turbines that could be used in automotive settings. It runs diesels quite well. It is non-toxic. It has a short lifetime in the atmosphere.

Best of all, it is available conceivably in vast quantities from nuclear energy.

-NNadir