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BTU Q's about burning water vs. burning gassoline

  1. Jul 20, 2008 #1
    I would like to know how Hydrogen compares to gasoline or diesel fuel for BTU which is the basic comparison for energy sources. If water is relatively easy to get, then the cost of hydrogen production is irrelevant. but gasoline on the other hand is expensive and controlled by a few individuals.
    BTW, it is H2O not HO2 so you get 2 parts Hydrogen and 1 part Oxygen.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2008 #2
    This source mentions that hydrogen gas contains 61,000 Btus of latent energy per pound compared to regular gasoline which has 20,500 Btus per pound. Of course it also mentions that a pound of hydrogen gas takes up about 10,000 times the space that gasoline does...:


    Making Hydrogen gas from water to use as a fuel is much more expensive than simply using fossil fuels to do the task (the above site does a good job of explaining why)...the only real benefit over using gasoline is that you do not have pollution when burning hydrogen.

    Whatever society uses to run itself will always be controlled by a few individuals. In the Roman times, salt was a controlled substance that was used as payment and doled out in small increments to the everyday people. If I had the same access to salt now while living then I would be a Roman kajillionaire! But times change and new substances become "precious" to the running of society such as coal in the late 1800's or fossil fuels now. If a new fuel is found, be assured it will be controlled by the same sorts of people (and fossil fuels will probably still be available at that time; and nobody will really use them because everyone will have switched over to this new controlled fuel!). Seen from that perspective, I am sort of happy that water likely won't become the new substance used to run society (after all, we need it to drink!).
  4. Aug 4, 2008 #3


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