Skip to main content

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.

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

Popular posts from this blog

How Nanomaterials Can Make Nuclear Reactors Safer and More Efficient

The following is a guest post from Matt Wald, senior communications advisor at NEI. Follow Matt on Twitter at @MattLWald.

From the batteries in our cell phones to the clothes on our backs, "nanomaterials" that are designed molecule by molecule are working their way into our economy and our lives. Now there’s some promising work on new materials for nuclear reactors.

Reactors are a tough environment. The sub atomic particles that sustain the chain reaction, neutrons, are great for splitting additional uranium atoms, but not all of them hit a uranium atom; some of them end up in various metal components of the reactor. The metal is usually a crystalline structure, meaning it is as orderly as a ladder or a sheet of graph paper, but the neutrons rearrange the atoms, leaving some infinitesimal voids in the structure and some areas of extra density. The components literally grow, getting longer and thicker. The phenomenon is well understood and designers compensate for it with a …

Missing the Point about Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Plants

A group that includes oil and gas companies in Pennsylvania released a study on Monday that argues that twenty years ago, planners underestimated the value of nuclear plants in the electricity market. According to the group, that means the state should now let the plants close.

Huh?

The question confronting the state now isn’t what the companies that owned the reactors at the time of de-regulation got or didn’t get. It’s not a question of whether they were profitable in the '80s, '90s and '00s. It’s about now. Business works by looking at the present and making projections about the future.

Is losing the nuclear plants what’s best for the state going forward?

Pennsylvania needs clean air. It needs jobs. And it needs protection against over-reliance on a single fuel source.


What the reactors need is recognition of all the value they provide. The electricity market is depressed, and if electricity is treated as a simple commodity, with no regard for its benefit to clean air o…

Why Nuclear Plant Closures Are a Crisis for Small Town USA

Nuclear plants occupy an unusual spot in the towns where they operate: integral but so much in the background that they may seem almost invisible. But when they close, it can be like the earth shifting underfoot.

Lohud.com, the Gannett newspaper that covers the Lower Hudson Valley in New York, took a look around at the experience of towns where reactors have closed, because the Indian Point reactors in Buchanan are scheduled to be shut down under an agreement with Gov. Mario Cuomo.


From sea to shining sea, it was dismal. It wasn’t just the plant employees who were hurt. The losses of hundreds of jobs, tens of millions of dollars in payrolls and millions in property taxes depressed whole towns and surrounding areas. For example:

Vernon, Vermont, home to Vermont Yankee for more than 40 years, had to cut its municipal budget in half. The town closed its police department and let the county take over; the youth sports teams lost their volunteer coaches, and Vernon Elementary School lost th…