Will this put OPEC out of business?

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rov1100 | 12:53 Sat 29th Jan 2011 | News
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Scientists have invented a hydrogen based fuel that will cost the consumer just 90p/gallon. Is this a stitch up or a genuine method to prvide cheaper motoring?



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I can't find many news reports of it, which is odd. You'd think it would be all over the place if true. I'd be inclined to wait for a more reliable evaluation than it's likely to get from the Mail or Express.

But yes, putting the House of Saud out of business would be nice.
depends what the source is as oil is very rich in hydrogen. Think of your organic chemistry - methane being CH4, ethane C2H5, propane C3H8 butane C4H10 and so on..... conventional engines use the C part spitting out the H mainly in water. Reverse it and you have a source, one of the things that scientists have been loohing at.
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If you don't trust the Mail what about the Daily Express?

also I would like to know what happens to the carrier and the hydride remnants - how are (and what format chemically) are they expelled from the system. It isn't completely inert as electricity will be needed to make the fuel no doubt and that aint cheap from an environmental costing perspective.

Not that I am being a killjoy - I am on record here as saying that a wild card may well be found to take the H science forward - much to some sceptics thoughts, no names mentioned. Who knows on this one.
The cost of fuel is irrelevant, it's about the tax goverments put on it
I'd also like to see some reports of this in proper science journals and not identical reports in the mail, express and a couple of other sites.

the matter of what are the beads made from was the first thing I thought too, DT, closely followed about how they would produce the hydrogen, the traditional way is from water, which requires a huge amount of energy which is mainly produced by burning coal!
R1geezer is absolutely correct.If it wasnt for taxes uk fuel would be the cheapest in Europe
UK fuel wouldnt be the cheapest - every country puts excise and then VAT on top of the fuel and the excise.

If it was the cheapest, the traders would have a field day, either with crude or end-products in seeking out arbitrage opportunities in the market. This occasionally does happen and works on a global basis.......
rov, I mentioned the Express as well. Neither paper is to be trusted. (I'm not saying they always get it wrong, just that you can't trust them to get it right.) Like Chuck, I'd want to see this covered properly in scientific literature; the very fact that it's appeared in the tabloids first makes me suspicious.

razza, without tax, all fuel in Europe would cost the same.
I currently understand our petrol prices are 5th highest in Europe. The most expensive in the world used to be Hong Kong, again by excise duties, but there they choose to heavily tax anything with alcohol or tobacco in it in favour of a flat 15% tax, no exemptions except if you have pensioners or disabled folk liviung with you as dependents.
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Rather than rely on newspapers third hand why not read this indepth report from Cella Energy which was in overall control

what, read what they have to say about what a wonderful job they've done? How surprising would that be? No, I want to read a properly independent assessment by someone qualified, which I am not.
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Yes JNO you have a point. How often have we seen in the newspapers a cure for cancer but find it is still with us.

I sincerely hope if they have found a real method of fuel combustion they patent it so we can extract the royalties rather than giving it away free as happened to so many other discoveries in the UK.
Odds are it is complete rubbish.

Petrol is a hydrocarbon, a molecule that incorporates both hydrogen and carbon with about eight carbon atoms in each molecule. This combination is liquid at room temperature.

True "Hydrogen based" fuels must either be combined into another atom or they will be a gas at any practical temperature. However there are technologies that do allow hydrogen to be stored in porous metal structures. It appears they are talking about pure hydrogen fuels. Unfortunately these technologies are far more expensive than a steel tank and there is no way an unmodified vehicle can convert to a "hydrogen based fuel".

It is true that the combustion of hydrogen is clean, producing only water.

However, currently the only ways to generate hydrogen is with fossil fuels or electricity. All current processes are very inefficient and any hydrogen based fuel will ultimately produce far more pollution than any existing fuels.

Unless they have a way to produce hydrogen from a non-fossil origin and an affordable storage technology then they are promoting a hoax which is the most likely conclusion.
There are a number of technologies currently under development to do this.

One is a solar system combining carbon dioxide from the air and water but is very very slow.

The other more interesting one that spring to mind is a genetically engineered bacteria that excretes a hydrocarbon that can be converted to petrol.

The Energy is always an issue in the first case you need enough solar to do it - in the second you need to feed the bacteria - presumably that effectively makes it a bio-fuel in the first place.

As for 90p a gallon that's complete tosh - there's no way they know how much it would cost - there's the tax issue already mentioned but production costs, distribution, retail mark ups are simply guesses on their part.

In this case Cella energy make a hydrogen storage membrane


This does not resolve the issue of where you're going to get the hydrogen from.

To electrolyse enough water to replace the petrol we currently use with hydrogen would mean that our elecreicity generation requirement in this country would go up 1000%

Ten times more power stations

That's a lot of Uranium!
If this should turn out to be true, I can't see the Energy companies allowing it to happen, the Government of the day would certainly not allow a taxable opportunity to pass so there's not much to get excited about!!
Can't see the energy companies allowing it to happen?

You really don't get it do you?

Energy companies would love it to happen - most particularly they'd love to be at the head of it with their competitors training behind. That's why they're investing so heavilly in it.

It's a game changer and when the game changes there are new winners and new losers.

Look at it this way:

If we no longer get energy from fossil fuels there are basically two alternatives - nuclear and renewables.

So far the best bet looks like some sort of solar conversion - as I said above either direct or bacterial.

Who has most sunshine? Countries like Saharan Africa - no oil -plenty of reliable sun - Of couse Saudi Arabia and other middle Eastern countries are well set too but Saharan africa could be set for a gold rush over the next 50-100 years
90p per gallon - before tax!!!

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