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Fuel for a fuel cell car

  1. Oct 7, 2006 #1

    taylaron

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    i recently read in a popular science magizine about a guy inventing a substance that was like a "scafalding" for atoms. that the atoms (gas state) bonded to this structure (assuming this scaffalding is microscopic) making it "semi-solid" i dont know what you would call it. but what if you did come up with a microscopic compound that when charged would attract hydrogen atoms (for sake of fuel cell cars) making it more "compact" than holding a massive container full of gas state hydrogen.
    yet, i still have a lot to learn.
    this is part chemistry so i asked my chemistry teatcher if hydrogen atoms are polar (of course they are because hydrogen bonds to oxygen to make water) she said they were polar. for just that example. anyways, since hydrogen is polar, you could fill this vaccume sealed chamber with this "microscopic grid" inside of it with hydrogen. then starting at the far end of the container, charge the grid as to polarize it, making an attraction between the grid and the atoms. im assuming the atoms would "bond" with the grid electromagnetically. you gradually charge this grid from back to front (as to not make any empty pockets that loose hydrogen atoms couldent fill) then as the fuel cell car needs hydrogen, it releases the charge within a section of the grid, releasing the atoms back into free-flowing space. making them a "gas" again. then you go to through the whole fuel cells. the point of this idea is because the producers of the fuel cell cars dont yet have a useable way to store the massive ammounts of hydrogen the fuel cell goes through. they speak of MASSIVE tanks that would be required. since the psi would be so high, the container would need to be thicker and thicker.
    please forgive my spelling and grammar mistakes. :yuck:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 8, 2006 #2

    chroot

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    Hydrogen molecules are not polar, nor are any molecules composed of two atoms of the same element.

    - Warren
     
  4. Oct 10, 2006 #3

    taylaron

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    again

    how are hydrogen molecules not polar since they bond with oxygen to create water.
     
  5. Oct 10, 2006 #4

    Office_Shredder

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    hydrogen ATOMS bond with water. When you burn hydrogen, you want to burn a molecule. This isn't polar, and you'll find that's why you need such a high initial expense of energy to start converting hydrogen and oxygen to water.

    And hydrogen atoms aren't polar, they simply aren't as electronegative as water (although I suppose with only one electron, it kind of is polar).
     
  6. Oct 10, 2006 #5

    chroot

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    "Bonding with oxygen" doesn't imply anything with respect to polarity.

    A hydrogen molecule is exactly symmetric -- two protons with two electrons equally shared between them. How on earth could the hydrogen molecule be polar?

    If the hydrogen molecule were polar, it would mean that the electrons "spend more time" around one atom than the other -- but the two atoms are identical. The hydrogen molecule is therefore not polar; I'm afraid your chemistry teacher is wrong, and so are you.

    - Warren
     
  7. Oct 11, 2006 #6

    taylaron

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    blow me out of the sky

    well, obviously i've got some thinking to do. thanks for helping me out here. obviously i've got a crazy chemistry teatcher. it would be pretty cool if the concpet worked though. revolutionairy.

    pardon my spelling............
     
  8. May 20, 2007 #7

    taylaron

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    lets try this again.....

    so using a 3-d grid of the smallest scale of inter-crossing wires holding a negative charge inside a container wont attract the slightly positively charged Hydrogen atoms (although they are in hydrogen gas form (H2) naturally) into a 3-d grid of compact hydrogen molecules/atoms?:confused:
    the storage of hydrogen through the use of a scaffold to hold the Hydrogen atoms closer together than in their free-form (space between the molecules when at 1atm) position.
    or is the repulsive effect from each hydrogen atom going to limit the distance from their partner molecule inside the scaffold?
    sorry if this sounds confusing.
     
  9. May 20, 2007 #8

    chroot

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    1) Hydrogen atoms (and molecules) are electrically neutral. They are not "slightly positively charged." You can polarize them a bit with an external electric field, but not much.

    2) Hydrogen molecules have an average thermal velocity of some millions of miles per hour at room temperature. Would you care to calculate the voltage required? Hint: it'd be an impossibly large number; your grid would simply arc to whatever's holding it.

    3) How, precisely, do you intend to make a wire mesh with atomic-scale wires?

    - Warren
     
  10. May 20, 2007 #9

    taylaron

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    thanks chroot, but im not saying that we have the technology now to be able to develop a "scaffold" at an atomic scale.
    thanks for pointing out my errors.
     
  11. Nov 20, 2008 #10
    maybe your teacher meant water molecules are polarised.
     
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