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... presently for hydrogen research getting a possible breakthrough in terms of existing hydrogen technology and selling the research results, as one must do in these days of short-sighted R&D funding, using the biggest splash argument they can.

But note that the conversion of H20 could be at the impossible 100% thermodynamic efficiency, and the power source -> motor energy efficiency is still only 36%, compared to 86 with current battery technology.

So in reality, it still leaves Hydrogen nowhere in terms of the plug and play fantasy ... which, as its a fantasy, is not all that surprising.

Getting back down to earth, as noted in the diary, its still good news ... as we move from the age of cheap oil to the age of net energy return on investment, higher efficiency or lower capital cost hydrogen electrolysis could be a tremendous boost to ammonium production from volatile, sustainable energy sources.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Aug 6th, 2008 at 01:07:11 PM EST
This is from a blog post Jerome linked to:
Why Oil Really Fell Today--and Could Keep Falling - Capital Commerce (usnews.com)
Bottom line: I think research into alternative energy technology is moving ahead way faster than the Washington politicians realize. (But we still need to exploit oil and coal and nuclear to bridge the gap from a hydrocarbon to post-hydrocarbon economy.) And it is all happening without spending trillions of dollars in taxpayer money for energy-themed Manhattan Projects or Apollo programs. This possible breakthrough came from MIT's Solar Revolution Project, which was funded to the tune of $10 million by telecommunications entrepreneur Arunas Chesonis. Heroic capitalism strikes again.

The funding is already there, but the need for marketing continues.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Aug 6th, 2008 at 02:10:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Researchers chase the funding that's there, not the funding they wish was there. The shifting sources of funding has increased the benefit of being able to generate a flurry of publicity irrespective of whether its found on BS.

And the reason that the research is channeled into hydrogen is because of the Bush decision that pushing hydrogen gave them a target that was far off enough in the distance that they could use it to justify killing off real, ready-today technologies, like the zero emissions mandate in California that was forcing auto companies to put electric cars on the road.

The article above is, of course, opposed to an "Energy Apollo program", because an "Energy Apollo program" runs the risk of a substantial amount of money being made available to not just research but also development that is not under the thumb of a corporate boardroom.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Aug 6th, 2008 at 02:19:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
This cover from Nat Geo 1975 is the ammonia producing Windship concept of my mentor, Prof. Wm. Heronemus.

As the former chief designer of the Nautilus class of nuclear submarines, "The Captain" (USN, ret.) knew his way around the ocean.  A large portion of the top engineering execs in US windpower went through his program at UMass Amherst.  Here's the ammonia version from Popular Science around the same time.

Today's versions of the designs are very much more sophisticated.  He passed on a few years ago, and i miss his cantankerous wisdom dearly.

The concept of multiple rotors replacing one large rotor is that each level is tuned to the stronger winds it sees, giving higher efficiencies than a super rotor.  Despite many more parts, they are much easier and cheaper to mass produce to rigorous standards.  Further, there is little risk today for a 20 meter rotor, while the super rotors have many unknowns remaining.

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Wed Aug 6th, 2008 at 07:04:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... as a diary on Agent Orange.

It struck me that this could well be a very useful breakthrough indeed in the creation of ammonium from surplus windpower out on the high plains.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Aug 6th, 2008 at 05:15:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's some level of discussion you got there, for DKos standards. Very informative thread.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Wed Aug 6th, 2008 at 06:50:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yeah ... I posted a link to it on the dKos environmentalists mail list, and it seems to have attracted a lot of the regulars, while luckily avoiding the wrecklist.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Aug 6th, 2008 at 07:36:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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