Nope. The only two common ways to produce hydrogen that I'm aware of are
to process it our of nat gas or electrolysis to separate it from water.
With nat gas you are still relying on a processed fossil fuel and from
water requires large amounts of electricity to produce the hydrogen and
has low efficiency.
Perhaps electrolysis of hydrogen might be a reasonable thing to do to
recover / store some excess power generation from off peak times or
intermittent sources like wind or solar. For production of hydrogen as
an energy carrier for use in say vehicles about the only practical
sources of the energy are nuclear or tidal / wave power.
The production facilities are in the middle of one of the largest oil
refining areas in the country. They are indeed producing and going to
produce hydrogen as a finished product. Perhaps not at a lesser cost than
simply refining oil into gasoline but it is happening. There are fleets of
vehicles using hydrogen currently. IIRC BMW is scheduled to offer an engine
that will run on gasoline or hydrogen.
I'll see if the company my neighbor works for has a web site with any
pertinent information regarding the project that they are working on in the
Texas City area.
Which is precisely why hydrogen is not viable a source of energy, at
least not until controlled fusion technology becomes practical
Practical controlled fusion is estimated to be 25 years in the future,
as it has been for the last 50 years.
I'm old enough to remember the same groups predicting the end of petroleum
by 1980/90/2000 .
When oil hits $60/bbl, someone (not the US, of course) will begin
hydrogenating carbon stored as coal. When the lights dim, we'll build some
Doesn't anyone remember the 70s. There was an oil shortage, long line-ups at
the pumps, prices climbed from 25 cents per gallon up to over a dollar,
causing problems for gas stations that didn't have that third digit on the
pumps. Oil companies cried the blues that they needed to be able to drill in
the gulf of Mexico. They got approval, and suddenly there was lots of gas,
oil and other oil products (within a short time span, but not long enough to
explore and drill new wells), but the price NEVER went back down. Now we are
getting the same stories about shortages while the oil companies are
breaking records for profits on every quarter. It smacks of an excuse to
charge as much as possible for the oil to boost profits and management
bonuses even higher.
Then there are the "hidden" oil wells. I worked for a gas utility that owned
a drilling company that was looking for natural gas under lake Erie, south
of Ontario, Canada and north of New York and Pennsylvania states. They found
lots of natural gas, but also found a reasonable amount of oil. Regulations
required that all oil wells be capped under Lake Erie. These wells sit there
with no oil being extracted. How many other hidden oil wells are there
throughout North America?
I normally don't respond to too many OT threads but come on! We have been
hearing about running out of oil by;
in the 60s' it was predicted to be in the 80s' -
in the 70s' it was predicted to be in the 90s' -
in the 90s' it was predicted to be in the 2010' -
Now the just announced a 200 year supply found in Canada!??!
We as a society will provide a new technolociagal method for replacing oil
long before it runs out.
Back to making sawdust!
I was listening to an interview of an Exxon exec on a talk radio station a
couple of days ago. He was trying to make people think that Exxon does not
have a lot to do with oil compared to the rest of the oil companies. He
indicated that Exxon only pumps 3% of all oil out of the ground. That may
very well be true. What he did not say was how much oil that Exxon actually
comes into contact with and sells.
Anyway, he said that with "today's" technology we can extract 3 trillion
barrels of oil from existing sources. More with more advanced technology.
Then he said, to put this into perspective, from the beginning when
drilling for oil started many years ago the world has consumed 1 trillion
barrels of oil. Basically, with today's technology, we have only extracted
1/4 of the available oil.
Seems to me that the price of oil should stabilize.
Well consider the marketing. If they can convince you oil is running
out, then you will be more accepting of their high prices. In USA it
has already been established that oil is abundant, its gasoline thats not.
Anyway, the oil companies sure seem to have *every* media outlet on
their side. If the price of oil raises, media is more than happy to
fill in some non-sensical justification and pass it to the public as
fact. No unlike stock analyst that talk in firm voices using strong
words and thing that adds firmness and strength to their guesswork...
"Then said I, Wisdom [is] better than strength: nevertheless the poor
Exactly. I have been very suspect of all these oil company mergers that
have been going on the last 5 to 10 years. In the Houston area there were
some 8 to 10 major brand filling stations on the late 80's. Now that
variety has narrowed down to about 4. If you eleminate half the competition
and close half the refineries you have the excuse for the gasoline shortage
and the reason gasoline is going up in price. Additionally all the friggin
"SpecialNeeds" of the major cities that require specially formulated
gasoline for all the seasons chokes production also.
I think the "media" is on the oil and gas company payroll. The media
anounces price hikes and true to their anouncements the price of fuel goes
up. It is the "only" thing that the media is always correct about. I wish
that they were half as correct about the weather.
If the price of oil raises, media is more than happy to
The media coined the pejorative "big oil" as they coined the phrase "big
tobacco" which you obligingly keep parroting. Ever hear of "little oil," or
only "the little guy?" This is how they manipulate fools and sell their
product - by telling paranoids what they want to hear, even such obvious
half truths like citing "record profits" when the return on investment is
actually less, only the dollars are more. The strings jerking your leg are
pulled by the media with your consent.
These are energy companies. They sell what they can get a return on, and
invest in oil exploration and fund research into alternatives as well.
Since they live in the real world, they can't spin giant fantasies about
conspiracy and the energy density and safety of hydrogen. Those who are
willing to think will recognize water vapor as a "greenhouse gas" as
British Petroleum bought Solarex, a solar cell research,
developement and manufacturing company with a facility
(The Solar Breeder) North of Washington DC. Every time I
drive by, it's still there. I think if BP can make money
selling photovoltaic cells they will and if they cannot they
will sell the company.
OTOH there is no return on investment on 'free' energy since,
being free, you can't get anyone to pay for it. OTOH there is
no such thing as free energy so that's not a problem.
Of course anyone familiar with the properties of common gases
understands that water is much more rapidly removed from the
atmosphere than is carbon dioxide or methane.
| British Petroleum bought Solarex, a solar cell research,
| developement and manufacturing company with a facility
| (The Solar Breeder) North of Washington DC. Every time I
| drive by, it's still there. I think if BP can make money
| selling photovoltaic cells they will and if they cannot they
| will sell the company.
BP seems to be doing a bit of "foreward thinking". They and a couple
of other petrobizies seem to be actively searching the web for
alternative energy technologies. I've found their willingness to
"think outside the pipeline" somewhat encouraging.
DeSoto, Iowa USA
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