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By Kristen Lukaszak Energy Law, Spring 2007

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1 By Kristen Lukaszak Energy Law, Spring 2007

2 H2H2H2H2 Hydrogen Power: Independence From OPEC and Our Rising Global Temperature

3 Hydrogen  The first element on the periodic table  The lightest, most explosive and most abundant element on Earth  These characteristics make it useful for lifting and as an explosive i.e. the Hydrogen Bomb

4 Hydrogen Power  When hydrogen is used as an energy source, the only byproducts are water and heat  Hydrogen is a renewable energy source  Once obtained, hydrogen can power virtually everything new powered by fossil fuels

5 Hydrogen as Oil’s Competitor  Estimates of cost for hydrogen production that are competitive with oil, are based on use of solar dish gensets  This method uses a relatively small area of land to provide all of the United States’ energy requirements  Hydrogen is actually more powerful than gasoline: liquid hydrogen has a BTU (British Thermal Unit) of 60,000 per pound, where gasoline only has 18,000 per pound

6 NASA and Hydrogen  NASA has used hydrogen as rocket fuel since the 1940’s  Primary fuel while in space and for making drinking water  1 pound H + O = 9 pounds water  This process generates a byproduct of usable electricity

7 Fuel Cells: Hydrogen in Action  Invented in 1839 by Sir William Grove  Generate electrical power quietly and efficiently, without pollution  Only byproducts are heat and water, unlike fossil fuels  A fuel cell is an electrochemical conversion device: H 2 + O 2 = water and electricity

8 Fuel Cells v. Batteries  An electrochemical device we are more familiar with is the battery- chemicals inside  Fuel cell: H 2 and O 2 constantly flow into the cell so it never goes dead  Used to power motors and a number of electrical appliances

9 Types of Fuel Cells  Polymer Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell  Solid Oxide Fuel Cell  Alkaline Fuel Cell  Molten-Carbonate Fuel Cell  Phosphoric-Acid Fuel Cell  Direct-Methanol Fuel Cell

10 Polymer Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC)  Department of Energy (DOE) is focusing on the PEMFC for transportation applications  Has a high power density  Relatively low operating temperature (( F)

11 Solid Oxide Fuel Cell  Large scale power generators, for factories or towns  Operate at a very high temperature-  Stable, with a long operating life, when they are in continuous use  Steam produced from the high heat can used to create more electricity  “Co-generation of heat and power” ->improves the overall efficiency of the system

12 Alkaline Fuel Cell  One of the oldest designs for fuel cells  US Space Program has used them since the 1960’s  Very susceptible to contamination, so this cell requires pure hydrogen and oxygen  Very expensive and so unlikely to be commercialized

13 Molten-Carbonate Fuel Cell  Best suited for large stationary power generators  Operate at 600 degrees Celsius, so they can produce steam to generate more power  Less expensive than SOFC because it doesn’t require as rare of materials

14 Phosphoric-Acid Fuel Cell  Can be used in small stationary power generators  Higher operating temperature than PEMFC  This means it has a longer warm- up time, making its use unsuitable for cars

15 Direct-Methanol Fuel Cell  Similar to PEMFC in operating temperature  Not as efficient  Requires a relatively large amount of platinum to act as a catalyst  This requirement makes these fuel cells expensive

16 DOE and the PEMFC  The PEMFC is what the DOE plans to use to power vehicles  Uses one of the simplest reactions of any fuel cell  PEMFC consists of : 1) anode 2) cathode 3) electrolyte 4) catalyst

17 PEMFC components  Anode: the negative post and conductor of the electrons into an external circuit  Cathode: the positive post and the conductor of the electrons from the external circuit back into the cell  Electrolyte: the proton exchange membrane which conducts only positively charged ions and blocks electrons (must be hydrated to function and remain stable)  Catalyst: special material that facilitates the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen and is usually made of platinum nanoparticles

18 How the PEMFC works  H 2 gas forced into the anode, platinum catalyst splits it into two positive ions and two electrons;  Electrons are then conducted to the external circuit– ** work step**  Electrons return into the cell through the cathode  Electrons bond with O 2 and H+ to form H 2 O

19 Power of a Fuel Cell  The reaction in a single fuel cell produces only 0.7 volts  To bring the voltage up to a reasonable level, many separate fuel cells must be combined to form a fuel cell stack  Bipolar plates are used to connect one fuel cell to another

20 Efficiency of Vehicles Powered by Fuel Cells  Potential to be 80% efficient- electrical energy (pure hydrogen)  Electrical energy converted into mechanical energy-> also 80% efficient  Overall efficiency of a vehicle powered by a fuel cells is roughly 64%

21 Efficiency, cont’d.  If hydrogen is not pure, car needs reformer  Lowers efficiency  DOE has focused on vehicles using pure hydrogen  Challenges production and storage  Compared to a gasoline-powered vehicle, a fuel cell car is far more efficient  Efficiency level of a gasoline-powered vehicle roughly 20%

22 Issues and Problems One Major Issue is Safety: 1. legislators will have to create new processes for people to follow when they must handle an incident involving a fuel cell vehicle or generator 2. Engineers will have to design safe, reliable hydrogen delivery systems (i.e. fueling stations)

23 Cost  Expensive: proton exchange systems, precious metal catalysts, gas diffusion layers and bipolar plates  To be priced competitively, fuel cell systems must cost $35/kW  Currently, high volume production is at $110/kW  One way to lower cost -> reduce need for platinum or find an alternative

24 Durability  Cell membranes must be durable and function at extreme temperatures  cars start and stop frequently - important for membranes to remain stable under cycling temperatures  The membranes used now tend to degrade when fuel cells are turned on and off

25 Hydration  Membranes need to stay hydrated to function  This requirement poses a problem at sub- zero temperatures, high temperatures and in environments of low- humidity

26 Infrastructure  Must be hydrogen generation and delivery infrastructure  Includes production plants, pipelines and truck transport, and fueling stations  The DOE hopes that the development of a marketable fuel cell vehicle will drive the development of an infrastructure to support it

27 Hydrogen Production  Methods for hydrogen production are currently not cost-effective for bulk production  Various methods: some clean, others not  Issues regarding hydrogen production involve cost, emission free methods, and renewable technologies

28 Methods of Hydrogen Production  Fossil Fuel Based Hydrogen Production  Steam Reforming of Natural Gas  Water-Based Hydrogen Production: Electrolysis, Photoelectrolysis, Photobiological  Other Methods of Hydrogen Generation: Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis

29 Fossil Fuel Based Hydrogen Production  Produced from coal, gasoline, methanol and natural gas  The fossil fuel that has the best hydrogen to carbon ration is natural gas or methane- CH4

30 Steam Reforming of Natural Gas  Steam reforming of natural gas involves 2 steps  1 st Step: Expose natural gas to high temperature steam  2 nd Step: Expose carbon monoxide to high temperature steam  The resulting hydrogen and carbon dioxide is sequestered and stored in tanks  Most commonly used method

31 Issues with Natural Gas in Hydrogen Production  Not emission free  The cost of natural gas has tripled in recent years  Will have to rely on imports to supply the natural gas  Natural gas is not renewable

32 Reformers: Natural Gas and Gasoline  Reformers: technologies within a fuel cell vehicle that convert the fossil fuel into hydrogen, so the hydrogen can then enter the fuel cell  Natural Gas: reformer usually a smaller variation of steam reforming of natural gas  Gasoline: the efficiency f these has not been satisfactory and the DOE has ceased funding research in this are

33 Electrolysis  Using electricity to split water into its constituent elements  This is accomplished by passing an electric current through water  Produces very pure hydrogen (used in the electronics, pharmaceutical, and food industries)  Very expensive, relative to steam reformation due to the electrical input  However, when coupled with a renewable energy source (for the electrical input) electrolysis can provide a completely clean and renewable source of energy

34 Photoelectrolysis  The direct conversion of sunlight into electricity  A photoelectrolyzer is placed in water and, when exposed to sunlight, begins to generate hydrogen  The photovoltaics and the semiconductor power the electrolyzer by generating electricity from the sunlight  Hydrogen is then collected and stored

35 Biomass Gasification and Pyrolysis  Biomass is first converted into a gas through high-temperature gasifying, resulting in a vapor  The vapor condensed into oils, which are steam reformed to generate hydrogen  The feedstock can consist of woodchips, plant material, and agricultural and municipal wastes  When biological waste is used as a feedstock- completely renewable, sustainable method of hydrogen generation

36 Research for Future Production Methods  The DOE has set a goal for 2015: to have ready to operate a zero-emissions, high-efficiency co- production power plant that will produce hydrogen from coal along with electricity  Technology: partial oxidation of coal  Among other necessary improvements, the technology requires advancements in carbon dioxide capture and sequestration to be cleaner and emission-free

37 Hydrogen Storage  Hydrogen storage is the main technological problem with the hydrogen economy  Due to its poor energy density per volume (although it has good energy density per weight), hydrogen requires a large storage tank  If the tank is the same size, more hydrogen will be compressed into the tank making it heaver AND losing energy to the compression step

38 Liquid Hydrogen  An alternative is to store hydrogen in its liquid state  Liquid hydrogen’s boiling point of degrees F  Low Temperature -> high energy loss  The tanks must be well-insulated to prevent boil- off  Ice may form around the tank and corrode it further if the insulation fails  Such insulation is usually expensive and delicate

39 Ammonia Storage  Provides high storage densities in its liquid form, with mild pressurization and temperature restraints  In its liquid form, it can be stored at room temperature and pressure when mixed with water  A large infrastructure for making, transporting and distributing ammonia already exists

40 Ammonia Storage, cont’d. No harmful waste  It can be mixed with existing fuels and burn efficiently  Under compression, it is a suitable fuel for slightly modified gasoline engines  Problems: Very expensive to make, the existing infrastructure would have to be greatly enlarged, toxic at normal temperature and pressure

41 Prospects for Hydrogen Storage  Technical University of Denmark: method of storing hydrogen in the form of ammonia saturated into a salt tablet, claims it will be safe and inexpensive  Proposals to use metal hydrides and synthesized hydrocarbons as hydrogen carriers r  Hydrides pose safety issues and hydrocarbons require a reformer which adds another cost

42 Why Hydrogen?  Because of the problems associated with our present- day fossil fuel economy: 1. Economic Insecurity: America imports 55% of it oil and prices will rise in the future 2. National Safety: America’s oil dependency compromises the safety of the nation, as many of the oil- producing nations are politically unstable or hostile 3. Pollution and Global Warming: In the last century, the air temperature near the earth’s surface has raised approximately 1.3 degrees F; predictions of an increase from anywhere between 2 and 11.5 degrees F by the year 2100

43 The Hydrogen Economy  Attractive solution  Relieve dependency on climbing petroleum prices  Eliminate the US’s dependency on foreign countries for oil  Emission free and, combined with clean hydrogen production, is a renewable and clean energy source  Distributed production: hydrogen production is not limited to certain parts of the world

44 Moving Toward a Hydrogen Economy  February 2003, President Bush’s Hydrogen Fuel Initiative to develop domestic energy sources  $1.2 billion was designated to development of clean hydrogen production and commercially viable fuel cell powered vehicles  Established the US as the international leader in hydrogen and fuel cell research  The 2005 Budget: $228 million for the Hydrogen Fuel Initiative and a 43% increase from 2004 for funding to develop H 2 technology

45 Energy Policy Act of 2005  Signed into law on August 8, 2005  The Act’s provisions: 1. loan guarantees for ‘innovative technologies’ such as renewable energy like hydrogen 2. authorizes subsidies for alternative energy sources 3. provides tax breaks to those making energy conservation improvements 4. authorizes $1.25 billion for the DOE to build a nuclear reactor to generate both electricity and hydrogen

46 What the Act Doesn’t Say…  An authorization to spend means nothing until there is an actual appropriation  A provision of the bill that did not survive to the enacted legislation was a provision requiring increased reliance on non- greenhouse gas-emitting energy sources (i.e. hydrogen), much like a requirement of the Kyoto Protocol

47 The US and the Kyoto Protocol  US was not a party to the Kyoto Protocol  Alienates the US from the global movement for clean energy  Our ability to cultivate a hydrogen economy independently doesn’t obliterate all obligations to the international community  Research and development of hydrogen technology is a world-wide effort with a global impact  Kyoto Protocol provides a mechanism for developed nations to “buy” emissions credits from developing nations  Clean energy is on a global scale economically

48 Progress or Pretext?  Speculation that the domestic legislation regarding clean energy is merely pretextual, particularly due to the Act of 2005’s non-binding nature  Does the Act really just offer a tax break to the oil companies?  To become independent from OPEC, must be independent from petroleum and cooperate with other nations with the same goals

49 But There is Hope (Even With the Bush Administration)...  Since 2001, the Bush Administration has spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner and more reliable energy sources  The President’s Advanced Energy Initiative provides for a 22% increase in funding for clean technology research at the DOE, specifically the use of fuel cells using hydrogen from domestic feedstocks

50 International Cooperation  Common interest among several nations to reduce the need for fossil fuels  The International Energy Agency (IEA) was established in 1974 to implement an international energy program  The IEA seeks to develop and integrate alternative energy sources  In 1977, the IEA established the Hydrogen Implementing Agreement to promote international cooperation on research and development of hydrogen technologies

51 Hydrogen Production and Storage: R & D Priorities and Gaps  This is a publication prepared by the HCG  The paper discusses various technologies for hydrogen production  Conclusion: for all hydrogen production processes there is a need for greater plant efficiency, reduced capital costs, and increased reliability  Prediction: water electrolysis and natural gas reforming are the technologies most promising in the current and near-term future; they are proven technologies that can be used in building a hydrogen infrastructure for the transportation sector

52 International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy  Established in 2003 as an international institution to accelerate the transition to a hydrogen economy  The IPHE provides a forum for advancing policies, and common technical codes and standards  Member states: Australia, Brazil, Canada (our no. 1 petroleum importer), China, European Commission, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Japan, Republic of Korea, New Zealand, Norway, Russian Federation, United Kingdom, United States

53 IPHE Stakeholder Outreach  IPHE communicates about its activities to any and all interested parties  The Liaison Group of Stakeholder Associations: group that has agreed to inform their members of IPHE activities  The group has established a database of interested parties– any individual from any country is eligible to register

54 Hydrogen Power, Inc.  Hydrogen has also stirred the interest of big business  Hydrogen Power, Inc. (changed its name from Hydrogen Power International Inc.) is a Seattle- based company that has developed and patented a process for producing hydrogen called ‘Hydrogen Now’  The process safely generates pure hydrogen using aluminum, water, and an environmentally friendly catalyst

55 HPI, cont’d.  Novelty to the technology: can produce hydrogen on-site and without electricity  Primary market segments: battery replacement products and portable power  Secondary market segments: stationary power and transportation  HPI trades its common stock on the Over the Counter Bulletin Board  HPI’s goals for 2007 are to develop and market viable commercial applications for its hydrogen technology

56 Hydrogen is Hot  Hydrogen power is demanding more and more attention, from politicians, scientists, environmentalists, entrepreneurs and investors  The hydrogen economy is the door to a new world free of pollution and economic and political instability  With technological advancements and expansion of the hydrogen economy, the dream of a world free of fossil fuels can become a reality  Yet to achieve these goals, the United States cannot isolate itself but must cooperate with nations seeking the same end result

57 Hydrogen Power Has Even Made Its Way to YouTube…  FJw0 FJw0 FJw0

58 The End


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