Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Elizabeth Taylor of atoms

"The 'hydrogen economy' has never materialized for a good reason. Hydrogen is basically what you might call the 'Elizabeth Taylor of atoms,' i.e., it is always married to something else. While it is true that one can 'extract' hydrogen from water, the ugly truth is that IT TAKES ENERGY to 'divorce' the hydrogen from whatever it is 'married' to. So much so, in fact, that if every car on the roads in the US was currently powered by hydrogen instead of gasoline and/or diesel fuel, we would in fact be MORE dependent on foreign oil than we already are. Essentially, there is no free lunch. The idea of a bunch of motor vehicles carrying around compressed hydrogen in their fuel tanks sort of smacks of a bunch of potential rubber tired Hindenburgs, too, which isn't exactly an attractive proposition."
(June 8, 2008,

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