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myths of Hydrogen

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 2 years, 11 months ago

A page of energy issues and probably an unpopular essay


This page obsoletes myths of hydrogen which has some more recent links should be merged here and will largely but not completely obsolete Hydrogen is nasty stuff 


Hydrogen, like electricity, is very useful stuff. But its benefits have been overstated for political reasons ever since the days of the Hydrogen economy hype, for various reasons, and this shows no signs of decreasing. 



Hydrogen is an energy source


Myth: Hydrogen can replace fossil fuel. 


Reality: Nearly all Hydrogen is currently produced from fossil fuel, mostly by steam_reforming of methane. 


Hydrogen can be used as a secondary energy source, like electricity. It can replace electricity, and when we produce green hydrogen in that way, that's what we are doing. Whether this is a good idea is questionable see below, but the point here is just that even this hydrogen doesn't in any way replace fossil fuel.


There is recent discovery of Hydrogen deposits and plans to exploit them, but this will be on a small scale and is in no sense renewable or sustainable. 



Hydrogen is a good way to distribute energy


Myth: Hydrogen can replace electricity or natural gas as an energy distribution medium.


Reality: Converting electricity or natural gas to Hydrogen is inefficient. It's better to use them directly.


And transporting Hydrogen has risks and other problems. See Hydrogen is nasty stuff.



Hydrogen is a good way to store energy


Myth: Converting electricity to Hydrogen is a good way to store  energy.


Reality: Batteries are far more efficient, and getting better all the time with no end in sight. (Pumped storage is even better but has other disadvantages.)


And storing Hydrogen has risks and other problems. Again, see Hydrogen is nasty stuff.


More to follow, watch this space. In particular, we will look further at the claim below



Hydrogen is rich in energy


Myth: Hydrogen is more energy-rich than carbon.


Reality: This so far is a rather vague claim, and of dubious relevance. But under investigation.


From a recent discussion with a fellow Quora contributor, an the subject of Hydrogen which they previously described as energy-rich (in a discussion on the merits of natural gas):


Its because it has more energy potential than carbon.


I've asked them to clarify this claim. But there may actually be some basis for it. Depending on what it means. Watch this space!


Or if you would like to do a little research yourself, https://www.schoolmykids.com/learn/interactive-periodic-table/compare-hydrogen-carbon is a good place to start.

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