Is A Viable Hydrogen-Powered Car Finally On The Horizon?
    By News Staff | June 13th 2014 03:02 AM | 1 comment | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    Hydrogen as a fuel source sounds wonderful - its byproduct is water and it releases no CO2. The problem is that compressed hydrogen is scary while uncompressed hydrogen means hauling a container the size of a bus behind your car.

    Some people are okay with long charging times and short driving distances for electric cars so if the charging times are eliminated, distance may not be a problem. But adoption is tough - people don't want to buy something before it is viable but it won't become viable until a lot of people buy it. It's the technology variation on the chicken-egg problem.

    Hydrogen-XT, Inc., a Houston-based technology company, say they have solved the problem with patent-protected, "next generation" hydrogen (H2) fueling system. Hydrogen-XT uses software that locates stations and displays fuel availability, reserves the amount a customer wants, routes them to the selected station and then completes the transaction. Early H2 adopters can have confidence that they will be able to locate, reserve and purchase fuel whenever it is needed because Hydrogen-XT includes a small, inexpensive fueling station that reforms hydrogen from natural gas.

    Hydrogen-XT's station is designed to be cost effective and they estimate it is 100 times less expensive than conventional H2 stations available today. The station is modular, so they say it is easily upgraded.

    Will it work? Waiting for hydrogen mega-stations or, worse, subsidizing hydrogen mega-stations, is not a great plan because Big Hydrogen lacks any lobbyists, but a smartphone app and thousands of small, networked H2 outlets installed at existing gas stations, corner stores and parking lots across America may get hydrogen in the marketplace.


    Hydrogen is a decent energy storage medium, and it makes the path to fuel cell vehicles simpler, once those are cheap and reliable. But as the article points out, most commercial hydrogen is reformed from Nat Gas, whose by product is Co2. I could see using solar to split water, store up the hydrogen. Of course I'm not so worried about Co2, but if you're burning it, just use Nat Gas.
    Someone (if they haven't already) needs to figure out a catalytic that improves the efficiency of splitting water, that would be very useful.
    Never is a long time.