Re: Fuel Cell House, was Re: TECH: fuel cell car

Date: Mon May 07 2001 - 01:33:29 MDT

Robert Coyote wrote:
> Just as we put various odors in combustible fuels for safety reasons, the
> same could be done for hydrogen, and a visual waveband emitting dopiant as
> well

Mercaptanes poison platinum group metal electrodes in fuel cells quite
quickly, unfortunately. Only high temperature fuel cells are more or
less immune to them, and you can directly use methan in them.

Hydrogen flame is not that invisible, and it doesn't radiate much
because it doesn't have hot soot radiating as blackbody.

> One thing that will probably keep natural gas as the fuel of choice is that
> hydrogen will embrittle and ultimately make steel gas lines fail. Also,

That's an urban legend. It happened in the early days of ammonia synthesis,
but you'll notice the pressure and the temperature at which that synthesis
is conducted. At normal conditions you can use steel pipe just fine.

> hydrogen burns with a colorless flame (it does emit UV, that's how you can
> detect a hydrogen fire) so there are safety concerns with piping the pure
> gas around the country.

I don't think that's a problem in reality. But the point is that to start
using hydrogen you can stick to the old methane pipelines. Just just make
hydrogen when you need it.

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