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Ok a question for you science ponderers: The Honda Clarity; it is a hydrogen car, what do you think the impact will be to the envrionment? Answered

Sure, it burns hydrogen and expels water (vapor).   IF this became the "car of the future" could we be possibly creating an over abundance of water on the planet (not that WE would notice, but our grandchildren might)? 

What are your thoughts on this? 

Honda Clarity



God made it where water is always the same. & I just learned about the Law of Conservation of Mass in science class! Mass cannot be created or destroyed.

Water can be broken down into it's elemental state of two atom of hydrogen and one of oxygen. These elements also exist almost everywhere, in nearly everythign. Using the elements of those products to burn (which creates water) will produce more water.

Explain that mass can not be created nor destroyed to "virtual particles" ;-)

Ah, but they're "virtual" because you don't see them. In particular, they exist for a time shorter than the Heisenberg limit.

To quote Krauss: "If, during the time when one of these virtual particles happens go be 'doing it's thing' it absorbs enough energy by colliding with a real particle so that energy-momentum is no longer violated by its existence, then the particle can become 'real'. It need no longer disappear back into the vacuum after a short time. "

Of course, this is proably mostly unobserved of not totally unobserved. But it explains a few things.

Yes, indeed, but by construction that sort of interaction (such as bremsstrahlung) conserves energy-momentum, and so doesn't need to disappear within the uncertainty time.

Yes, and this whole idea of symetry and gauge invariance fascinates me too. (I'm still reading LOL).  

. An internal combustion engine (ICE) makes a lot of water. That's where almost all of the hydro in hydrocarbon goes when it is burned. A hydrogen-powered engine wouldn't contribute to any excess water problem that may exist (if there is one) any more than current gasoline-powered cars.
. If one uses electricity from the grid to make Hydrogen, then the water produced at the generator is added to the equation. But then, you're probably using water to make the Hydrogen, so it would be a wash.
. If one uses, solar/wind&c, then you'd still be making water, but the carbon footprint would be zero.

. Acccckkk! In all cases, you will be making the Hydrogen from water (is there another viable process?), so it's a break even deal.

. There are other ways to get Hydrogen. Steam reforming of hydrocarbons is one of the more common. If you use fossil fuels anywhere in the process, there will be carbon and water emissions.

Yes, you can crack superheated stem on graphite catalysts I think, but thats around 1100 C, relatively hot by some standards, relatively cold by others....

Of course there are. I was just wondering how efficient some of them were, and whether we go with an "other then water" source of hydrogen, whether we will cause more problems then we solve. Also check out This link....

If  this method can be made economical, we shouldn't have much trouble, as long as we don't use electricity generated from fossil fuels or create atomic wastes in the process.

Of course, something like this could be the ultimate answer  LOL

Here is one of the reasons for my concern....

And lastly, some information generally on the topic.

OK, hydrogen is *currently* less efficient than fossil fuels (because the hydrogen is typically produced from fossil fuels, or using electricity generated from using fossil fuels), but a reasonably-efficient system is far more desirable than a very efficient system that has no fuel.

Whether it's fuel-cell or batteries, the only reason to have an electric car at the moment (unless you are already completely off-grid), is to help manufacturers push the development of the technology.

There will be a point, already coming into view over the horizon, when fossil fuels will be priced out of the domestic energy and transport market. At that point, we'll either be saying "I'm glad we invested in [insert choice of fossil-fuel alternatives] back at the start of the century" or we'll be bemoaning our lack of foresight.


Regarding water vapour, since hydrogen is currently largely produced from methane, then, yes, we are increasing the amount of water on the planet.

However, we are also losing water to space in a steady trickle. Swings and roundabouts.

We are supposed to experience a net GAIN in water from space AFAIR.

Hydrogen is an energy CARRIER. The key question is where is the energy going to come FROM

However, we are also losing water to space in a steady trickle. Swings and roundabouts.

Yes, but that was a natural process. I wonder how much we will alter the course of things, if we find a way to use some other source (beside fossil fuels or water).

A natural process that will, in the [very] ling term turn Earth into another Mars.

Not fun.

But are we not as likely to be gaining water from outer space, the impact of meteorites, micro-comets, etc, etc?

I can't find the numbers right now, but I thought we were losing it faster than gaining it...


creating an over abundance of water on the planet

That is joke, yes?

No, if it is found that the most cost effective and simple way (other then the current fossil fuel methods) way to produce H2 is by a method not involving water, would that have a negative impact if nearly everyone is producing water vapor and no one is "reversing the process"?

We're a reallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyvreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreallyreally

long way off from that. :P

Oh, I misread, I thought you meant we are really far from being able to produce H2 from other sources then water.

Oh, I see. Yes, I meant we're a long way away from having a water crisis - but having too *much* of it, rather than too little.

Unless we speak of specific areas, some of which are mentioned here by others ;-)

No, if it is found that the most cost effective and simple way (other then the current fossil fuel methods) way to produce H2 is by a method not involving water, would that have a negative impact if nearly everyone is producing water vapor and no one is "reversing the process"?

If I were to have a concern about this it would not be about the car itself but the process used to extract the necessary hydrogen, what impact would that have?

Ok, the question had an assumed "given" in it, that the process was fairly benign.

If one adds in the effects of the oxygen in the water vapor reacting with other elements in oxidation, and the hydrogen reacting as well, and the water vapor condensing into rain, we will see less effects then one might imagine. An increase in water vapor will allow for more moisture to be carried to places where water has been scarce in the past, so we might see a lessening of large areas of drought as well.

Before I'd worry about hydrogen powered cars drowning us in rising water as a pollutant, I'd be more wary of politician's hot air rhetoric drowning us in taxes and debt to where we can't afford an energy efficient car of the future.

I'm not worried about a world wide flood or anything, but any increase in some already overly rained upon areas could be bad.

No more rain please, it has rained where I am for weeks (or at least it feels that way).

I wonder if you can capture the vapor and use it for drinking water since I image the amount of potable water is declining at least in certain areas.

My city's dam's are all at 100%, and have been overflowing for the last 2 weeks due to the mass of rain we had.

And to think; this time last year we were at 45%!

Too bad there's no way to pump it to another state with less water.
Maybe we need to start building water pumping pipe lines and move that precious commodity around to where its needed!

Also make for a lot of jobs when their needed most!

Note: Let it be known I don't actually live in Queanbeyan.

I didn't realize anyone was still trying to make fuel-cell cars, I figured they died long ago when people finally realized that they aren't efficient at all compared to, well, pretty much anything, when you count in the production of fuel. I'll leave that discussion to someone else, though, and hope this comment doesn't result in a 500-reply flamewar.

As far as lots of water, I haven't seen a process yet for refining hydrogen that doesn't get it from water. Water is itself the most abundant form of (accessible, at least) hydrogen on the planet. Any water output from the car is from whatever water was used to refine the hydrogen in the first place.

There might be ramifications from converting that amount of water from liquid to vapor, but I don't know how much of an issue that would be. Water vapor is a greenhouse gas (yes, really), but it also condenses into clouds, which reflect sunlight back into space. I'll leave that analysis to a climatologist.

Ah, I haven't been keeping up with hydrogen-ness. My point still largely stands, though, since a CNG-car would put out roughly the same total emissions for a given mass of natural gas, unless I'm misunderstanding that as well. :)

Thanks for the correction.

Oh I totally agree, the whole "hydrogen economy" was a boondoggle designed to enrich some special interest group, much like the ethanol industry.

Srsly, Take natural gas, crack at 80% efficiency to produce hydrogen to drive fuel cells at 45% efficiency, while simultaneously developing a nation wide production and distribution system.

Or convert IC engine to burn LNG/CNG which is available at any Ace hardware store?

But Schwarzengovernator has a hydrogen-powered Hummer! That MUST mean they're the future! He CAME from the future, so naturally he must be getting futurey things now!

Unless! *gasp* It's a ploy! By making us invest in a hydrogen economy, it weakens the human race for domination by Skynet!

Oh my Speg why did I never think of that?
*adds extra anti brain ray-ness to tinfoil hat*

But natural gas is just another fossil fuel - unless the point is to get cars that run on hydrogen and gradually switch to carbon-neutral sources of hydrogen

It's not so much "trying to make" but have already MADE them. The car above, as i noted, was test driven by the British Top Gear gang, and it has some really good points to it....if we can make H2 production economical and reliably.

My question assumes that, if we do those things, AND we use sources other then H2O, would we be creating ANOTHER problem?

Actually, water vapor is easily captured, the desert tribes of the Middle East have done it with systems called Water or Wind Traps that condense out the moisture in the air to be used for drinking water. We could easily build far larger wind traps and reclaim far more moisture then we do.

In arid regions there is only so much water, but imagine we build a pipe line for water and pump that as easy as we pump oil to dry areas from water rich areas. These traps use the principles of Bernoulli Laws to extract water as condensate from pressure differences and resulting temp changes with-in the trap. Built on the tops of buildings in a city, you could provide even more water to a urban water system (and get working pressures as the water descends from the building roof just as water from a water tower does.)

I love the fuel-cell idea, as well as a few other ideas 'they' are trying to use as an alternative fuel.

I also thought they were giving up on it for now, since I heard it is not currently cost effective over fossil fuel.

It is not currently cost effective nor environmentally friendly (as they use mostly fossil fuels to produce H2, AND that produces a lot of CO2 )