Nylon deterioration from hydrogen released water vapor?

  • #1

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Hello, I am by far not very firmiliar with physics nor engineering. I had an idea a couple years ago involving the replacement of the propane in hot air balloons with hydrogen gas as the fuel to burned to provide the heat to lift the balloon. One thing I didn't realize back then was that hydrogen releases water vapor when burned. Would the amount of water vapor released in combination with the interior temperature of the balloon cause any sort of accelerated deterioration on the nylon or would the effects be minute?
 

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  • #2
Bystander
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  • #3
CWatters
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Ask on a ballooning forum. Model plane flyers sometimes boil nylon propellers in water to make them less brittle.
 
  • #4
SteamKing
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Hello, I am by far not very firmiliar with physics nor engineering. I had an idea a couple years ago involving the replacement of the propane in hot air balloons with hydrogen gas as the fuel to burned to provide the heat to lift the balloon. One thing I didn't realize back then was that hydrogen releases water vapor when burned. Would the amount of water vapor released in combination with the interior temperature of the balloon cause any sort of accelerated deterioration on the nylon or would the effects be minute?
Ever heard of the Hindenburg ? They thought using hydrogen would be OK, too. This is what happened:

Hindenburg_disaster,_1937.jpg


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LZ_129_Hindenburg

Hydrogen is tricky stuff to handle, as you can see from the photo.
 
  • #5
russ_watters
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I don't think the OP is talking about filling the balloon with hydrogen, just burning it.
 
  • #6
SteamKing
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I don't think the OP is talking about filling the balloon with hydrogen, just burning it.
Even more dangerous. They weren't burning hydrogen on the Hindenburg and look what happened.
 
  • #7
A hydrogen grill is no more dangerous the a propane grill as long as it's used properly. the Hindenburg was a major loss and unfortunelty caused a lot of flak in the use of hydrogen for dirigibles. Safety precautions are always something that's overlooked until there's a loss due to lack of safety. Russ was correct in the fact that I wasn't talking about filling the balloon with hydrogen, rather burning it in a similar way as propane. I'm asking here because hydrogen is (at least that I'm aware of) a relatively unused fuel source on the hot air ballooning community. So, what I'm asking isn't so much about the safety as I'm aware of the risks in that area, but rather just the one scenario of how nylon would hold up against the water vapors and temperatures inside the balloon.
 
  • #8
SteamKing
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A hydrogen grill is no more dangerous the a propane grill as long as it's used properly. the Hindenburg was a major loss and unfortunelty caused a lot of flak in the use of hydrogen for dirigibles. Safety precautions are always something that's overlooked until there's a loss due to lack of safety. Russ was correct in the fact that I wasn't talking about filling the balloon with hydrogen, rather burning it in a similar way as propane. I'm asking here because hydrogen is (at least that I'm aware of) a relatively unused fuel source on the hot air ballooning community. So, what I'm asking isn't so much about the safety as I'm aware of the risks in that area, but rather just the one scenario of how nylon would hold up against the water vapors and temperatures inside the balloon.
Hydrogen isn't used very much because of the difficulties in handling it. To get a decent amount of hydrogen to use as fuel, you need to liquefy it or compress it, which means you need either a cryostat or a heavy high pressure vessel.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_storage

Propane can be handled quite easily in a steel container and liquefied without any exotic apparatus. Propane is also widely available (just ask Hank Hill), unlike hydrogen.

Hydrogen also must be manufactured, since it doesn't occur naturally. This increases the cost.

If you want to find out why H2 isn't used much in the hot air ballooning community, ask someone from there. :wink:
 
  • #9
russ_watters
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Even more dangerous. They weren't burning hydrogen on the Hindenburg and look what happened.
Huh? The Hindenburg was dangerous because the whole thing was full of hydrogen. For a hot air balloon, you just have a tank and controlled burner. It's much, much less dangerous.

Anyway, due to the high moisture content of the propane exhaust and cool air aloft, I would expect condensation on the inside of the envelope would be a normal thing.
 
  • #10
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The Humanity!!!! (someone had t say it)
 

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