Can hydrogen cars compete?
Debate Rounds (3)
We will debate on three parameters for an everyday family vehicle.
1. Practicality/convenience - Ex Price, fuel time, maintenance
2. Efficiency - Ex Toyota prius returns 56 mpg, or Toyota prius is 26% efficient.
3. Environmental impact - Ex Materials, manufacture, emotions etc...
I'm taking Hydrogen fuel cells. Con can argue that Natural Gas, diesel, gas hybrid, battery electric vehicles etc... are better. Whatever they feel more comfortable with. Con only gets to choose one though. Assume pre-established infrastructure for fueling.
I'll be honest here and say I'm interested in hydrogen but have not researched it heavily yet. May or may not be challenging if that's your motive. I mostly just want to compare different vehicles to each other, and have an excuse to research and inform myself. Get as technical as you want. I love specs, and practical theory of operation.
Burden of proof is shared to determine which is the better choice. First round is acceptance. Rounds will last 24 hours so be ready.
You cannot convert water into fuel and ever expect it to return to water. therefor the hydrogen car is idiocy. hence why it is not available on a market. The nitrogen, carbon, helium etc.. and everything else in the air creates contaminants with the hydrogen fuel and creates Pollution out of water.
on that alone the vehicle is a stupid idea, and that is the least relevant problem since car performance drives the market for American buffoons.
Quadrunner forfeited this round.
Dry fuel without lubricants is bad for the cylinders. Like deiseal, and therefor needs a conditioner. This conditioner would mix with the hydrogen and oxygen burned and create fumes that do not convert back into water.
pure hydrogen has no means of prolonged storage and would expire quicker than gasoline. Like a blimp deflating without being maintained. This means that the car would needs special fueling stations. It would, like old propane eventually expire*
This is stipulable**** But I am sure that burning hydrogen has less energy output than burning Gasoline. This reduces the power. I mean it takes MUCH MUCH more hydrogen to create the explosion in the cylinder of very little gasoline. WAIT, this is a fact.
Please refer to comment section in place of round 2.
I’ll start by addressing some of Con’s claims
Hydrogen is unfeasible as fuel – There is a long established industrial hydrogen economy, and there are already hydrogen gas stations on the East and West Coast of America. Progression of infrastructure is assumed in this debate. Con cannot possibly continue to claim hydrogen is unfeasible when hydrogen cars are going on sale now and have been leased for some time.
Dry Hydrogen Fuel needs conditioner - Okay, good thing the Toyota Mirai runs on compressed hydrogen, not dry hydrogen. Hydrogen gas stations use compressed hydrogen. Water comes out as clean as air going in.
Hydrogen has a shelf life like propane – All fuels have a shelf life. Ethanol has a shelf life of between a few months to a couple years depending on tanks size and access to outside air. The general recommendation for ethanol is typically around 6 months so it can be used seasonally if required. I’ll say that pure hydrogen is hard to store, since it requires higher pressure for energy density, and is such a tiny molecule that it can seep out of any weak links. I leave it up to the Con to prove it’s not any better or worse than Ethanol. Please provide a source for your information.
Hydrogen fuel tanks are* too large, not would be-
Expand image for visual: http://insideevs.com...
Clearly they are not. White thing in the middle is the fuel cell stack where energy is produced. Yellow things are hydrogen tanks. White thing in the rear is a 650 Volt battery. The big thing in front is the power control unit, which is connected to the electric motors. Another link to the top view of this image was provided during round 2 in comment section where Con supposedly saw this link but is continuing to refute anyway. The Toyota Mirai pictured above has one of the highest fuel capacities on the market which is measured by weight at 5kg or 11 pounds. 1 kg of h2 more energy than 5 kg of ethanol. On the flipside, 1 gallon of ethanol contains almost as much energy as 4 gallons compressed hydrogen. This would make it next to impossible to have practical hydrogen cars if we didn’t take into account that they are more efficient then internal combustion engines, and therefore require significantly less energy storage to go the same distance. In other words, an internal combustion engine couldn’t fit big enough hydrogen tanks, but an efficient hydrogen fuel cell stack makes it just right for automotive use.
Fueling Stations Restructuration – Infrastructure development is assumed under rules.
Using water as fuel is a detriment to human resources – Oh the irony. I grew up in a rural community and have a basic understanding of the ethanol economy. It takes most of our corn and millions of gallons of water to produce ethanol in high quantities. Ground water supply is an issue that always gets taken into consideration because an ethanol plant takes as much water every year as a small town. Hydrogen fuel cells use hydrogen as fuel with an oxidizing catalyst to produce water as exhaust. 2H + O =664; H2O + Energy. Water is not their fuel. Most of hydrogen 95% is derived from fossil fuels, so the water in the exhaust never even existed before. The most popular fossil fuel is natural gas, which is mostly methane, CH4. Since methane has carbon, C, CO2 is produced in steam reformation as a byproduct with H2.
For clarification on steam reformation: https://en.wikipedia.org...
Approximately 5% of hydrogen is produced by water electrolysis by taking water, h2O, and separating it into 2H2 + O2 using electricity where it’s later recycled back into h20 in the tail pipe of the car.
“Hydrogen is not used as fuel because it is proven illogical and dangerous” – Hydrogen is used as fuel, proving your statement to be illogical, and useless
Ethanol is renewable. Hydrogen is nonrenewable – The fossil fuels that the majority of our hydrogen currently comes from are non-renewable. Hydrogen is however, a renewable resource, if the product it is harvested from is renewable, like water, biomass, or even ethanol. Anything with hydrogen in it can be chemically persuaded to release its hydrogen. Con should realize the hydrocarbons in his ethanol came from plants that harvested hydrogen from water (H2O) releasing the unneeded oxygen into the atmosphere and consuming C02. The only difference is, the Con’s plants connected Hydrogen to carbon derived from C02, instead of other hydrogens, which is where hydrocarbons our fuel is made of come from, Hydrogen-Carbons
Here’s the special thing about ethanol. Simply put, when Con Burns his hydrocarbons (ethanol), the CO2 and H20 will be returned to the atmosphere in approximately the same amount the plants we harvested from took out of the atmosphere, therefore having minimal greenhouse gas contribution. This is why green people like the word renewable so much. Fossil fuels add CO2 and water and other impurities that our planet has not had for millions of years. Renewable fuels recycle existing CO2 and water. I would like to note again that hydrogen can be harvested from biomass, just as ethanol can, through steam reformation, and also that water electrolysis is a renewable method, using far less water than ethanol plants for the same amount of chemical energy storage (fuel).
Now here’s the catch. We’re addicted to fossil fuels. No fuel/energy source, no matter how renewable, is harvested and refined with primarily renewable resources. The majority of hydrogen is derived from a fossil fuel refining process, called steam reformation, in which fossil fuels are burned to produce energy to create steam that provides energy that will be stored chemically as H2. It then needs to be shipped to the gas station. Ethanol comes from farms that use diesel tractors to grow and harvest their plants, which are then shipped with a diesel truck to an ethanol plant that gets its power from the grid, which is mostly powered by coal. It then needs to be shipped to the gas station.
In America, where corn is king, ethanol contains around 35% more energy than the amount we used to harvest it on a good day. That means, the energy in ethanol divided by the energy invested to produce it equals 135%. After a little math we can determine that of total energy in the ethanol process, 57.5% is ethanol and 43.5% is used energy (from fossil fuels) since 57.5/43.5=135%. That’s about 60% efficiency at best compared to hydrogen steam reformation that’s just getting warmed up at that level of production efficiency, and natural gas is transferred by pipeline (extremely efficient) to the hydrogen refineries. Now combine this with the fact that internal combustions are not nearly as efficient as hydrogen, and you can see how under current conditions, hydrogen production is clearly more efficient, and therefore, produces less emission per unit energy in America since it consumes less fossil fuels. I’ll admit that other countries like Brazil who have more suitable crops then corn would make ethanol significantly more competitive, but again, the inefficiency of the internal combustion engine would need to be made up for. In comparison, I neglected final transportation estimates, and fossil fuel mining since it should be roughly equal in both applications. http://journeytoforever.org...
Efficiency – Win for hydrogen, hands down
Emmissions – Win for hydrogen due to technological efficiency, but Ethanol did very well as a fuel.
Back to practicality –
Initial Price: Ethanol cars are half the price. Ethanol 1 point
Fuel Price: at $10 per kg, and 60 miles per kg of hydrogen. Hydrogen costs $.17 per mile. At $2 per gallon of ethanol, and a max of only about 40.5 mpg for a Prius sized car. Ethanol costs $.05 per mile currently. MPG estimate for ethanol was obtained by taking 75% of a gasoline powered 2016 Toyota Prius combined mileage due to lower energy density then gasoline. Toyota is offering a $2500 a year subsidy for the first three years of ownership of a Toyota Mirai, which should be good for up to around 45,000 miles of free driving according to the given figures. If you are the type to trade in at 50,000 miles, it would be a heck of a deal. Hydrogen fuel prices have doubled from what they were not so long ago, as ethanol prices have dropped by nearly half. I am using California figures, since that’s where both fuels compete currently. Hydrogen would become more economical then ethanol at former prices for both fuels when hydrogen was around $5 and Ethanol was well over $3, especially when comparing to non-hybrid vehicles.
Point Ethanol, for now.
Maintenance Cost/Reliability: After research in industrial equipment where fuel cells are already prevelant, I found that fuel cells are comparable to batteries in overall cost, including the cost of fuel vs electricity to run. Over all, fuel cells seem to run slightly cheaper over the long term accounting for eventual replacement, usually in the range of 5-15%. Within 100,000 miles based on given info, I would assume that Hydrogen fuel cells will have lower maintenance costs then internal combustion engine cars. They have no alternator, no water pump, no cooling system, no muffler, no transmission, etc… The list goes on. Fuel cells are a simpler design, with things to go wrong and almost no moving parts asside from the obvious ones. As for life expectancy, fuel cells are considered to be higher cost up front with higher reliability then batteries in the industrial world. I would assume they will fair well, but can make no claims when comparing to ethanol. I think fuel cells should get the point. Toyota is offering an 8 year, 100,000 mile warranty for the Mirai on its fuel cell hybrid system.
Page 24 http://www1.eere.energy.gov...
All other aspects are nothing out of the ordinary.
GoOrDin forfeited this round.
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