MadSci Network: Other

Subject: hydrogen production regarding the recent fuel cell development

Date: Sun May 20 15:17:20 2001
Posted by Leo
Grade level: undergrad School: High School equiv.
City: Aarau State/Province: Argovia Country: Switzerland
Area of science: Other
ID: 990386240.Ot

i didn't quite know what to file this question under, it kind of affects a lot 
of scientific sectors.

as i have found out by watching tv, browsing the madsci archive&library and 
various websites, fuel cells based on the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen are 
really coming soon.
now, to make a fuel cell emission-free (not speaking of water that can be 
condensed and re-used), one needs to eytract hydrogen and oxygen from water 
(correct me if i'm wrong, but there does not seem to be a economically and 
ecologically better suited substance).to extract these, one needs current. to 
have current, one needs power plants. the problem there is, that we can't use 
coal-powered plants (that would render the whole fuel cell process obsolete). 
the nuclear power plants seem nice, but i asked a physics professor from the eth 
zurich, and he told me that the designs used to build nuclear plants are 
outdated since, like, 40 years, and there _is_ a problem with the highly 
radioactive leftovers from nuclear fission. but i also assume out that energy 
supply matching the existing demands will be impossible in the future without 
nuclear power, as the "cold fusion" is nowhere within reach, and the 
photovoltaic cells and all the dams and wind-powered plants won't cover the 
so my question is: how are we going to get enough energy to produce hydro- and 
oxygen for all the cars in the world AND meet the power consumption needs?

Re: hydrogen production regarding the recent fuel cell development

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