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Re: Fuel Cells

Methanol is looking good as a fuel cell source for the H2.
There are huge (Gummint subsidized) methanol plants out in the
mid-west corn fields.
Solar energy is transported in vehicles quite nicely in this liquid form.

(in the Appalachians, we specialized in ETHANOL instead of METHANOL -
and fought the Whiskey Rebellion - unsuccessfully :-(

At 10:25 PM -0500 6/2/01, David T. Marx, you wrote about 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.

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