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Re: Fuel Cells


The answer to that one is to use a renewable energy source such as solar or
wind generated electricity to produce the hydrogen by electrolysis of water.
Initially, this might seem silly. Why not just use the solar or wind
produced electricity directly. However, hydrogen provides a way to store
the energy and use it as needed in certain applications such as motor
vehicles. Using a hydrogen fuel cell in an electric vehicle provides much
greater range than storage batteries.


In addition, solar and wind are not always available at every
location, so hydrogen becomes the storage mechanism for these renewable
sources. We can envision a time when hydrogen replaces natural gas and oil
usage, at least in our economy.
As far as transportation goes, Ford and GM will begin selling
vehicles next year with fuel cells on board. Initially, they will run on
natural gas, but as a distribution system is set up for hydrogen, they will
switch to that. Munich, Germany boasts the only hydrogen filling station.
It is completely automated. The driver pulls in, swipes a credit card, and
a robot arm opens the fuel port and dispenses the hydrogen. CNN ran a
story on it about six weeks ago.

David Marx
Southern Illinois University

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim Green
Sent: 6/2/2001 3:15 PM
Subject: Re: Fuel Cells

If you use pure hydrogen as the fuel, the cell should last pretty much
indefinitely. If you use natural gas or other hydrocarbon based fuel,
guess is that the electrodes will become contaminated eventually and
cell will stop working.

TX, Mark, but this gives rise to my question re renewability: I am
to stipulate that there is a infinite supply of O2 -- assuming that we
cutting down every tree in the galaxy -- but what is the renewable
of H2???

Jim Green