Originally Posted by james
And the hydrogen fuel cell still produces CO2 and so on, when for instance the natural gas is cracked to provide the hydrogen, or coal & water are reacted, or whatever.
As to whether there's a larger market, where outside the space program is there any market for hydrogen fuel cells?
True... unless the electricity to split the water comes from Solar , wind , etc.... then although much more expensive no extra emissions are produced.... even though it would be more efficient to use the same electricity to power and EV.
If they used a fuel cell that used some hydrocarbon other than just pure Hydrogen then they could not make the PR
claim that it produces nothing but water as exhaust.... they would have to say something like it produces less emissions than a piston engine but still does produce some... that is less impressive of a sound bite for them, the investors, the politicians, and the public.
The space program alone is a rather large pocketed market that uses hydrogen fuel cells... and few other technologies can do for the space program what the fuel cells do.
Since all the fuel cell cars in testing and even minor production all are hydrogen fuel cells those are also a market.
UTC and other use fuel cells that take in hydrocarbon fuels always reform it into as high a concentration of hydrogen as they can ... it benefits the fuel cell even if at the cost of some losses in the fuel reformer.
http://www.utcpower.com/fs/com/bin/fs_c ... 18,00.html
co-generation plants that use fuel cells for power and heat also do the same thing... they reform the fuel into a nearly pure hydrogen fuel for the fuel cell.
With a upper limit of ~83% efficiency fuel cells beat the internal combustion engine that maxes out at ~60%
The Military also uses Fuel cells in some application because they have no moving parts they have less break down and operate for longer periods without repair.... not just the U.S. military but others like the German 212 submarine uses a Hydrogen Fuellcell: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_212_submarine
but there are some dedicated non-hydrogen fuel cells out there... such as this one:
http://www.efoy.de/index.php?option=com ... &Itemid=58