Why hydrogen from algae?

Why hydrogen from algae?

Postby jomobe » Mon Mar 02, 2009 12:59 am

From what I have seen over the last couple of years, hydrogen power cell technology will be as short lived as petroleum fuels will. There is only so much platinum in this world and it is consumed in the process of converting hydrogen to electron current flow.

Seems to me that there are some very knowledgable folks that are posting information on this site. Please inform at least me, why I am hearing more about algae to hydrogen than I am carbon to algae to fuels? Seems to be quite distracting from the potential real-world benefits of cleaning polluted waters, removing carbon from power plant emissions, replacing the petroleum used for fuels at all levels, and not to mention NO danger of poisoning the environment.

While the process of breeding algae for bio fules emits hydrogen without being targeted, that is merely an additional bonus to utilize more of the raw material. the hydrogen might be used as an additional fule on site, but storage and transportation of the highly volatile gas is dangerous at best.
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Re: Why hydrogen from algae?

Postby hogg » Sat Jun 12, 2010 10:30 am

Im just curious, not arguing!
Why do you say Hydrogen transportation and storage is more dangerous than the same modes of Gasoline?

I had an idea to make a little 5 hp Briggs run on hydrogen.
The only problems I found was "HOW" to store a little bit of it.
I wonder how the makers of Hydrogen Gas store theirs?
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Re: Why hydrogen from algae?

Postby jomobe » Mon Jul 26, 2010 11:48 pm

Hello Hogg,
Hydrogen, in it's gaseous form, when pressurized has a huge expansion ratio and presents challenges for the average person that they would not even consider and is extremely volatile. Much more so than gasoline.
In it's liquid form it is no less volatile and will freeze a persons body parts the same as liquid nitrogen.
All of the hazards associated with Hydrogen are far beyond the average layman's knowledge and experience.

As far as storing a small amount I have seen small electrolysis systems that inflate a balloon with the gas. I am not aware however, just how it is cleaned as electrolysis is a very dirty process.
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Re: Why hydrogen from algae?

Postby hogg » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:05 am

Thanks for that reply.
I thought Hydrogen was about 1/3 the expansion of Gasoline.

I've been a little hesitant in starting that project because of my two semesters of Chemistry back in the 60's.
What you really learn is how complex the thing that your doing might be if the Instructor wasn't leading you by the hand.

I was going to use a Metal cylinder with a Bladder inside for holding the excess Hydrogen while the engine was running at full Rpm.

It never occurred to me to get Hydrogen from Algae.
Thanks.
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Expansion

Postby jomobe » Fri Jul 30, 2010 9:51 pm

Hey Hogg,

Any confined pressurized liquid (as in any hydraulic or fluid power system) is considered non-compressable. In case of a massive mechanical failure that allows the liquid to rapidly return to atmospheric pressure, the expansion is negligible. It is the pinhole leaks that are the greatest hazard as it is a high velocity fluid under that condition that will severe human digits. Good example: water-jet cutting of steels and titanium.

Any gas (I am not referring to gasoline), while it observes many of the same physics as a liquid, is highly compressable under pressure. A simple pneumatic power system poses it's greatest hazard at the linear actuator (or cylinder). The gas (or air) is pressurized which can compress the atmospheric volume of the gas from 6 times to magnitudes, depending on the gas and the pressure. (Remember: pressure is a result of resistance to flow. If the medium can not flow freely, it will pressurize.) Anyhow, in case of a massive mechanical failure that allows the gas to rapidly return to atmospheric pressure, the rate of expansion is massive, comparatively speaking.

For your inended application, an analogy:
You are familiar with the 4 ft tall gas cylinders used for welding (Oxy-Acetylene)?
If you pressurize both of those tanks, let's say one with filled with water and the other with gaseous nitrogen, to 3000 psi and knock the entire valve off both of them at the same time, the nitrogen tank will move much farther (I've seen one go through an airplane and across the airfiled) and for much longer.

Now, when you add the flammability of the confined gas or liquid, I am unsure of the results, but I believe it is dependant upon the vapor pressure (rate of evaportion) and volatility of the material. Now take into account, in it's natural state, hydrogen is a gas but it can be cooled into liquid form same as nitrogen can, and as the surface of the liquid gas warms, the gas expands at an extremely high rate.

I hope this explanation helps.
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