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Hydrogen fuel cel, will it work?

  1. Apr 21, 2012 #1
    Hi,
    my brother had a insight of making hydrogen fuel cells and begin a business with it.
    Would that even work ? I am having my doubts.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 21, 2012 #2

    Borek

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    This is so vague it is impossible to answer. Yes, making hydrogen fuel cells can make business sense, but your brother is not the first to think about it. So far all attempts to make a reasonably priced product failed, and not because of the lack of will or funding to design them, but because of technological/chemical/physical problems encountered.
     
  4. Apr 21, 2012 #3
    Basically, we have to invent or come up with something that can solve the technological/chemical/physical problem.
     
  5. Apr 21, 2012 #4

    Borek

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    Exactly.

    Try to google commercially available hydrogen cells - there are already some present on the market, but the technology behind is either patented or secret and the pricing is far from being really competitive. It is slowly changing, but we are still not there yet when it comes to fuel cell technology, regardless of whether it is hydrogen, methanol, ethanol or anything else.
     
  6. Apr 21, 2012 #5

    chemisttree

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    It would be enough to find a way to economically produce hydrogen. Do that first and everything else will be easy.
     
  7. Apr 23, 2012 #6
    We were now thinking of buying a windmill.
    With the windmill we could electrolyte water to make hydrogen and with the hydrogen we could power a power generator.
    Now my brother is a big thinker, and i am having my doubts about this.
     
  8. Apr 23, 2012 #7

    Borek

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    If you are making electricity to electrolyze water, what are the next steps - electrolyzing water and making electricity from the hydrogen - for? Each additional step means losses, you already had the electricity at the very beginning.
     
  9. Apr 23, 2012 #8
    Well, the plan is like this.
    He thinks that you need a low electricity source to electrolyze water and than he wants to use the hydrogen to let a engine run on it to make much more electricity.
     
  10. Apr 23, 2012 #9

    Borek

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    It won't work this way. Tell your brother to learn about energy conservation and efficiency. You can't make in the final step more energy than you put initially into the system, ever. You will always get less.
     
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