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Hydrogen: the answer to climate change? BBC

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Charley Rattan's picture

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Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 18, 2020 11:26 pm GMT

Charley, hydrogen isn't the answer to climate change any more than gasoline is the answer to climate change.

Pure hydrogen doesn't exist in nature - it's always attached to another atom to form a molecule. That "other" atom, for 95% of the industrial hydrogen manufactured worldwide, is carbon. Separating the two always requires more energy than they give back. Separating the two always leaves a carbon atom, which quickly combines with oxygen to form CO2. CO2 is a potent greenhouse gas.

Q: Where do we get not only the energy to separate the two, but the extra 30% that's wasted in the process?
A: For 95% of the industrial hydrogen manufactured worldwide, the energy comes from burning methane.
Q: Doesn't that extra step create more CO2 emissions than just burning methane to power a car?
A: Of course. But for fossil fuel methane producers, that's the point: to sell more fossil fuel methane.

Anyone who suggests hydrogen is a solution to climate change either doesn't know how it's made, or is lying.

Charley Rattan's picture
Charley Rattan on Jan 20, 2020 10:35 am GMT

Hi Bob,

Looks like many would disagree with you as hydrogen and the opportunities presented, appear to be making progress. As for using more power to make  than getting back, that is something with which utilities are already most familiar.

Bob Meinetz's picture
Bob Meinetz on Jan 20, 2020 3:58 pm GMT

Hi Charley,

Anyone who disagrees with the information presented above is wrong or is lying. If I've made an error somewhere I'm always happy to correct it, but you haven't been able to show me where I'm wrong, have you?

Opportunities abound to profit from public ignorance on energy at the expense of the environment - just as opportunities abound to profit from the sale of quack medicines at the expense of public health. Many would disagree that's a cause for celebration.

Finally, fossil fuel companies and their utility subsidiaries are most familiar with spending less money than getting back. With the misinformation you continue to present on the value of hydrogen as a "green" fuel you only make their job easier. Many environmentalists would disagree - vehemently - that represents progress.

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