A liquefied hydrogen storage tank built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries at the hydrogen receiving terminal at the Kobe Airport Island in Kobe Photo: REUTERS /file
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Too cold to handle? Race is on to pioneer shipping of hydrogen

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By Jonathan Saul

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For decades there has been lots of talk about hydrogen as a fuel, but very little action. Meanwhile, electric vehicles, with electricity from renewable sources, is rapidly filling the marketplace.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

1glen, yes but only by carefully avoiding to mention all the environmental problems battery ev comes with and the bigger problems in the future. Replacing hydrocarbons is not going to be easy as they are simple to produce, easy to transport and very energy dense. There only down side is their environmental impact and ultimately limited supply.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For decades there has been lots of talk about hydrogen as a fuel, but very little action. Meanwhile, electric vehicles, with electricity from renewable sources, is rapidly filling the marketplace

The problem that has held up widespread adoption of hydrogen as a motor fuel for vehicles, ships, trains and such has been the huge amounts of electricity required to separate hydrogen from water. New technologies have reduced the demand for electricity and these are being combined with solar and wind power. While solar and wind power are intermittent that isn't a show stopper for hydrogen production. Make hay, or in this case hydrogen, when the sun shines.

Ships are not going to cross oceans on battery power. Big American style freight trains are not going to cross the US, Australia or much of China too using battery power, and the distances are too great to make stringing power lines over those rail lines practical. Hydrogen or ammonia will power internal combustion engines not very different from the big diesels they currently use to power ships, trains, long haul trucks and even cars. Where I live a battery powered car has many drawbacks. I am not in the big city. Those are two hours away. But in winter when temps fall below freezing the battery heaters use over half the charge. Add in the necessity of using chains in the snow (required by law and the Highway Patrol checks every car) which reduces speed to not much more than 50 kph. Battery powered cars do not have the range necessary for the intermountain west, the Great Basin or Wyoming and the Dakotas where distances between towns are great and winters cold and harsh. I could use a battery powered car for knocking around town but for any distance I would need a liquid or gaseous fuel with some range.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Desert TortoiseToday  12:43 am JST

The problem that has held up widespread adoption of hydrogen as a motor fuel for vehicles, ships, trains and such has been the huge amounts of electricity required to separate hydrogen from water. New technologies have reduced the demand for electricity and these are being combined with solar and wind power. While solar and wind power are intermittent that isn't a show stopper for hydrogen production. Make hay, or in this case hydrogen, when the sun shines..... etc

I don't usually agree with anything you say :), but there's a first time for everything. You saved me typing out something similar.

All I can add to it is that of all the options currently available to industry for zero-emission heavy vehicles and powered equipment, hydrogen - despite its drawbacks - is the only way to go. It might not get the penetration into the passenger vehicle market where EVs make more sense for short trips, but for long distance and remote communities etc, hydrogen is the answer.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

hydrogen is the answer.

Don't discount ammonia as a fuel. That seems to be the direction the maritime world is heading. Storing liquid hydrogen is much more difficult than storing liquid ammonia and both work as motor fuels.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

not in significant volumes in our lifetime

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