Wednesday, March 16, 2011

In situ hydrogen production from ammonia

Further reflection on this idea seems to rule it out unless a plentiful source of platinum becomes available.  An alternative to this would be to produce the hydrogen at the refueling station.  This increases the costs per kilogram because the need to put it into a form that it can be stored, such as high pressure or cryogenics.

The estimate for in situ hydrogen from ammonia was about 2 dollars per kg.  Now if you were to compress it or cryogenically store it, that would at least double the price, I guesstimate.  Even then, it would still be relatively cheap because of the high efficiency of hydrogen fuel cells. 

The final hurdle would be to get the price of fuel cells down.  This would be accomplished by the economies of scale that would come from mass acceptance of this mode of energy production.  That hurdle could be overcome by having organizations with large fleets agree to purchase fuel cell vehicles of this type.  That could be a problem.  As in many cases, if enough people in leadership stepped up to the plate and committed to this, it just might be doable.

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