Hydrogen Balloon Explosion. Source youtube, fair use, low resolution image to describe the subject.

New Mexico Climate Activists Fighting to Kill Hydrogen Economy Bill

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Hydrogen, despite its severe shortcomings, is a dispatchable form of zero carbon energy, and is therefore a grave threat to useless renewables.

Lawmakers Stifle N.M. Governor’s Clean Hydrogen Economy Plan

State legislators from both sides of the aisle have voted to table the proposed bill that aims to make the state a hub of hydrogen energy. Gov. Lujan Grisham worries that, without the bill, the state may miss its climate goals.

Jan. 28, 2022 •  Robert Nott, The Santa Fe New Mexican

(TNS) — New Mexico lawmakers from both parties have stymied Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s controversial plan to build what she calls a clean hydrogen economy.

After nearly six hours of debate Thursday, the House Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee voted 6-4 to table House Bill 4 — aimed to make the state a hub of hydrogen production by offering tax incentives to develop the infrastructure to separate the energy source from natural gas.

The hearing was the bill’s first hurdle during the legislative session. It’s unclear whether it will get a second chance. Legislation that has been tabled in a committee rarely is revived for discussion or another vote.

While the governor’s hydrogen plan has had support from the oil and gas industry, it has met fierce opposition by environmental groups and progressive Democrats who say the use of natural gas would increase fossil fuel production and lead to further emissions of greenhouse gases during a climate crisis.

Tom Solomon, a retired electrical engineer and co-coordinator of 350 New Mexico, a climate advocacy group, said he was pleased the bill was tabled.

“I would rather it had been voted down completely,” he said. “Having it not proceed is the best next thing.”

Read more: https://www.governing.com/now/lawmakers-stifle-n-m-governors-clean-hydrogen-economy-plan

Hydrogen is commercially produced through steam reforming of fossil fuel, typically either coal or natural gas. Fossil fuel can “burn” water, if you compress and heat it enough – the carbon in the fossil fuel strips the oxygen from the water, leaving carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and a bunch of other byproducts.

Fossil fuel companies love this technology, because the obvious place to “sequester” all that waste CO2 is depleted and otherwise worthless oil and gas mines.

Some green hydrogen proposals have further antagonised greens, by suggesting installing the carbon capture system should be deferred, so the allegedly clean hydrogen plant would vent all the waste CO2 into the atmosphere, just like a regular fossil fuel plant – though I don’t know if this is a feature of the New Mexico proposals.

Greens have also cited a study which suggest methane leaks would more than cancel any savings from sequestering the CO2.

How green is blue hydrogen?

Robert W. HowarthMark Z. Jacobson
First published: 12 August 2021

Hydrogen is often viewed as an important energy carrier in a future decarbonized world. Currently, most hydrogen is produced by steam reforming of methane in natural gas (“gray hydrogen”), with high carbon dioxide emissions. Increasingly, many propose using carbon capture and storage to reduce these emissions, producing so-called “blue hydrogen,” frequently promoted as low emissions. We undertake the first effort in a peer-reviewed paper to examine the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of blue hydrogen accounting for emissions of both carbon dioxide and unburned fugitive methane. Far from being low carbon, greenhouse gas emissions from the production of blue hydrogen are quite high, particularly due to the release of fugitive methane. For our default assumptions (3.5% emission rate of methane from natural gas and a 20-year global warming potential), total carbon dioxide equivalent emissions for blue hydrogen are only 9%-12% less than for gray hydrogen. While carbon dioxide emissions are lower, fugitive methane emissions for blue hydrogen are higher than for gray hydrogen because of an increased use of natural gas to power the carbon capture. Perhaps surprisingly, the greenhouse gas footprint of blue hydrogen is more than 20% greater than burning natural gas or coal for heat and some 60% greater than burning diesel oil for heat, again with our default assumptions. In a sensitivity analysis in which the methane emission rate from natural gas is reduced to a low value of 1.54%, greenhouse gas emissions from blue hydrogen are still greater than from simply burning natural gas, and are only 18%-25% less than for gray hydrogen. Our analysis assumes that captured carbon dioxide can be stored indefinitely, an optimistic and unproven assumption. Even if true though, the use of blue hydrogen appears difficult to justify on climate grounds.

Read more: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ese3.956

In my opinion the entire situation is a joke – a battle between proponents of a completely useless form of energy and a likely useless form of energy.

Hydrogen is horribly dangerous compared to fossil fuel, when it leaks it ignites or even detonates over a very wide range of mixtures with air. The flame from leaks burns so hot it is all but invisible, so I expect to see lots of dead people if hydrogen is widely adopted. Compressed hydrogen is not something you would want in quantity near anything you care about.

I have personal experience with hydrogen. As a kid I couldn’t afford Helium, so I used a simple household chemical reaction to generate vast quantities of hydrogen to fill party balloons. The balloons went off with a terrific bang when ignited, or sometimes even if they were just popped. Strictly an outdoor decoration. Some of the balloons detonated while being filled, the slightest spark or leak or friction against the surface of the balloon was enough. Sometimes they detonated for no obvious reason.

But hydrogen has one important advantage over renewables – it is dispatchable.

As awareness grows just how useless intermittent and unreliable renewables are, slightly less useless “green” alternatives like natural gas to hydrogen are attracting attention – and this has renewable energy proponents very worried indeed.

The following is a bunch of university students detonating a large balloon filled with hydrogen. The quantity of hydrogen in the balloon is only a small fraction of the quantity stored in say the gas tank of a hydrogen powered automobile.

Correction (EW): h/t Crispin Pemberton-Pigott, fixed a typo.

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February 1, 2022 10:14 am

I could not think of a more wasteful form of energy storage than H2 created by reforming fossil fuels. Now if solar energy was almost free then the electrolysis of water could become a way to store the solar energy. The H2 could be turned into a liquid fuel.

Reply to  MR166
February 1, 2022 10:50 am

Storing hydrogen in its atomic form isn’t as easy as one might think. Tank sizes for gaseous hydrogen are problematic and cryogenic liquification and storage is even worse.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 11:07 am

It’s the green thought that counts and the green money for the lobbyists.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 1, 2022 11:23 am

The climatistas think they’ll get into heaven easier if they have enough green thoughts. :-}

Reply to  ResourceGuy
February 2, 2022 12:42 am

Greens are also keen to restore wetlands. Bogs and marshes are active emitters of … methane.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 11:08 am

The hydrogen economy is way, way further along than this article suggests and doesn’t necessarily involve fossil fuels. The Japanese appear to be the leader in this. There’s some talk of ammonia being a good liquid carrier for hydrogen, but this company – Chiyoda has worked out a catalytic process for using toluene as the hydrogen carrier by hydrogenation to methylcyclohexane and, at the risk of having griff wet his panties, all the carbon atoms can be sustainable:


$150 Billion may be small change in the $1.5 Trillion climate industry but $150 Billion here and a $150 Billion there and pretty soon you’re talking real money.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  philincalifornia
February 1, 2022 11:24 am

“$150 Billion may be small change”

don’t let Elon Musk hear you say that- that’s his net worth :-}

Reply to  philincalifornia
February 2, 2022 1:08 am

Ah, yes! Store hydrogen by compounding it with carbon! Why didn’t Gaia ever think of that?

Reply to  philincalifornia
February 2, 2022 4:57 am

Make it trinitrotoluene – what a lovely mixture – Hydrogen and TNT.
How crazy can our world become.
The only bloke with any sense leading a country at present is Vlad the lad.

Reply to  toorightmate
February 5, 2022 10:18 pm

Think of the honest advertisements, though. “0 to 100 in 0.01 seconds!”

(Hmm. Take the blueprints from the original Orion project, scale them down, turn them sideways… I’ll hold your beer for you.)

AGW is Not Science
Reply to  philincalifornia
February 2, 2022 8:38 am

There isn’t, and never will be, a “hydrogen economy.”

Hydrogen is “The Elizabeth Taylor of Elements” – always married to something else. The “divorce” plus efficiency losses means the energy expended will always exceed the energy the oxymoronic “hydrogen fuel” will ever supply.

Reply to  AGW is Not Science
February 2, 2022 1:14 pm

Just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean there isn’t one. I can’t say I particularly like it either, but it exists. Two of many examples I can give are that all the buses in Oakland where I live are powered by hydrogen fuel cells. Bosch in Germany are really big into this too. McKinsey and Co. project it to be $140 Billion by 2030 (I guess I exaggerated it by $10 Billion, oooops). H2 has a huge energy density by weight and you’re wrong on your energy expended comment. The chemistry is well worked out and published. For example:


Reply to  philincalifornia
February 2, 2022 5:26 pm

It does have a huge energy density by weight, its just that there is a huge amount of energy required to get hydrogen compressed enough to overcomes its horrific energy per unit of density….

We need our energy distribution networks to use relatively little of the energy we put into the system, so that there is significant percentages of that input energy available for the end consumer.

The real issue with renewables is that they have terrible EROI’s, requiring huge up front energy investment with a long tail of energy generation, they need energy consuming batteries to meet 24/7 supply, and need significant distribution systems because they collect low density energy sources. Too much of the collected energy is consumed in the collection and distribution processes. Hydrogen is just another energy hungry battery system connecting intermittent supply with constant need consumers.

Reply to  Dean
February 2, 2022 6:09 pm


Hydrogen capture is way, way better than batteries. Whatever the posters up there ^^ think, this is already happening and it’s way more real than the useless f-kin concept of ECS frying our grandchildren, if ECS is even a real thing which, of course, it isn’t despite the protestations of lukewarmers without a cause:


Reply to  Dean
February 3, 2022 3:47 am

Well yeah, you could look at it that way but, with energy storage being a cutting edge problem, it is a better battery system that is also a better solution for my adopted homeland than giving wealth to the Chinese phony-“communists” for raping the planet for lithium and so on and so forth.

PS Ask yourself why the Japanese are all over this.


Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 11:27 am

No one is going to be storing atomic. Hydrogen exists mostly in its molecular form, H2.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 12:34 pm

You are correct about liquid H2. I was thinking more along the lines of ammonia, methanol or methane.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
Reply to  MR166
February 1, 2022 4:48 pm

Agreed about methanol. All non-mineral garbage can be turned into methanol and all needed organic chemicals can be produced from that. This is the fundamental of the proposed methanol economy, which is a competitor to the hydrogen economy.

Using methane and methanol as the main storage media dispenses with all manner of wasteful and unreliable technologies.

Plastics can be rendered into methanol as an intermediary raw material. Presto, a circular economy.

It would be helpful to host an article from the proponents of the methanol economy as they are not getting much oxygen these days.

Reply to  MR166
February 2, 2022 4:59 am

Maybe there will be good H2 and bad H2 – just as there is good CO2 (from China) and bad CO2 (from USA).

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 12:35 pm

You are correct about liquid H2. I was thinking more along the lines of ammonia, methanol or methane.

William Astley
Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 12:54 pm

I totally agree. This is a white elephant project. Complete waste of time and money.

A basic honest engineering analysis that included energy efficiencies (to produce the hydrogen, to store the hydrogen, and then to burn the hydrogen to produce electricity), complete with ball park costs of each component, and the energy to create the components… should have killed the scheme.

Governments do not care that they are completely wasting money and are busy creating fake engineering/analysis to justify working on a white elephant.

As we all know China and India are busy burning coal.

The Left wing’s objective with the crazy hydrogen scheme is to create a magic battery that can store electricity which is produced by ineffective sun and wind gathering.


The overarching challenge is the very low boiling point of H2: it boils around 20.268 K (−252.882 °C or −423.188 °F). Achieving such low temperatures requires significant energy.”

1) The energy required to liquify hydrogen and to transport gaseous hydrogen is so great, there is no rational/logical reasons to justify the risk to create and store the liquid hydrogen and to transport the hydrogen.

2) Liquid hydrogen stored in a tank becomes a bomb if the cryogenic cooling system fails.
3) Hydrogen the molecule is so small it leaks by all fittings, making very difficult and dangerous to pump.

Reply to  William Astley
February 1, 2022 1:00 pm

But efficiency only matters to engineers. The Green Blob is saving the Earth, the hell with the cost.

DD More
Reply to  Retired_Engineer_Jim
February 2, 2022 1:41 pm

Jim did you see the Dec 2021 story on “Fusion Reaction Has Generated More Energy Than Absorbed by The FuelFor the first time, a fusion reaction has achieved a record 1.3 megajoule energy output – and for the first time, exceeding energy absorbed by the fuel used to trigger it.
It starts with a capsule of fuel, consisting of deuterium and tritium – heavier isotopes of hydrogen. This fuel capsule is placed in a hollow gold chamber about the size of a pencil eraser called a hohlraum.
Then, 192 high-powered laser beams are blasted at the hohlraum, where they are converted into X-rays. These X-rays implode the fuel capsule, heating and compressing it to conditions comparable to those in the center of a star – temperatures in excess of 100 million degrees Celsius (180 million Fahrenheit) and pressures greater than 100 billion Earth atmospheres – turning the fuel capsule into a tiny blob of plasma.

For the Conversion MJ to W-hr 1.3 MJ = 361.1 Wh. Billions in equipment to run 6 each 60w lights for an hour?

Sal Minella
Reply to  William Astley
February 1, 2022 1:47 pm

I think that using fusion-generated electricity to crack water would be the best path to the H economy. The fusion part is only 30 years away with only a couple of decades more to develop the hydrogen storage, etc. problems.

The only competition to this approach is the perpetual motion generator which is only about three decades away.

Reply to  Sal Minella
February 1, 2022 6:40 pm

“The fusion part is only 30 years away” Fusion has always been 30 years away for as long as I can remember. If and when it comes it will not be free energy. Yes the fuel will be cheap but hardware will cost lots of $$$$.

won't get fooled again
Reply to  MR166
February 1, 2022 6:50 pm

Did you read the last line?
The only competition to this approach is the perpetual motion generator which is only about three decades away.”
Really!!! Sarc. !!!

Alan the Brit
Reply to  William Astley
February 1, 2022 11:57 pm

“Governments do not care that they are completely wasting money and are busy creating fake engineering/analysis to justify working on a white elephant.”

“Governments do not care that they are completely wasting Taxpayers money and are busy creating fake engineering/analysis to justify working on a white elephant.

There, all fixed!!!

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 1:12 pm

https://plasmakinetics.com may have the solution to N2 storage but fuel cells require platinum may be the big H2 problem.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 3:50 pm

IIRC in a previous article it stated that in order to deliver the same amount of energy in a single tankerload of petrol it would take 16 tanker loads of hydrogen.
Presumably the tankers would themselves use hydrogen as a fuel, so they in turn would need a much larger fuel tank, 16 times the size if they are to cover the same mileage.

PS: I hope the students were made to clear up the mess they made blowing up the hydrogen balloon.

Dave Andrews
Reply to  StephenP
February 2, 2022 6:55 am

In the UK Network Rail looked into the possibility of hydrogen fuelled trains replacing diesel but decided that as it would require fuel storage 8 times bigger, and also take up to 20 hours to refuel the train, hydrogen trains were not suitable for freight or high powered/ high speed passenger trains.

Walter Sobchak
Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 6:10 pm

Use the Hydrogen to make Ammonia or methanol.

Reply to  MR166
February 1, 2022 3:14 pm

Much more efficient to just use the natural gas for energy.

I’m not a scientist, but I just use logic.

Pat from kerbob
February 1, 2022 4:49 pm

You’ll never get a fat juicy grant admitting to that

Alan the Brit
February 2, 2022 12:05 am

When has “logic” ever been used in the Climastrolgy business? It’s a contradiction in terms!!!

Reply to  MR166
February 1, 2022 5:47 pm

Hydrogen is not a very good source but electricity is useless as it must be used when produced but at least hydrogen can be time shifted – that is produce stored and used when need
obviously the electrical engineer in the activist group has no comprehension of how most of his power is produced

Reply to  MR166
February 2, 2022 5:05 pm

Solar energy is never free.

And to get an economic return you would need to run the electrolysis plants using battery storage of solar energy, making it even more expensive and totally ridiculous from an energy ROI perspective.

Paul S.
February 1, 2022 10:15 am

Being a former 25-year resident of New Mexico, I can say that this squabble between Greenies and the inept (and corrupt) governor is essentially a ridiculous three Stooges movie

Reply to  Paul S.
February 1, 2022 11:41 am

You mean these guys? :

February 1, 2022 10:22 am

Hydrogen also has the ability to permeate through materials and cause issues. Hydrogen embrittlement of aluminum is well known. There is a very big reason why the external tank for the space shuttle wasn’t fuel until the last hours prior to launch, and its not just the cryogenic issues.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 10:42 am

BTW LOX/LH2 is a much better high altitude to deep space mixture usually saved for 2nd stages. First stages work better on a LOX/LCH4 (liquid oxygen and liquid methane). LH2’s very low density is a detriment in our atmosphere. It requires very huge tanks to contain the very small mass. Liquid hydrogen is as dense as it comes, and it is just not very dense. A block of wood would sink in it.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 11:43 am

And the exhaust is H2O – water, right?

Reply to  bonbon
February 1, 2022 12:36 pm

Yep. The most powerful “greenhouse gas”.

Reply to  bonbon
February 1, 2022 12:39 pm

Yes, the worst GHG. https;//plasmakinetics.com has a safe storage system but the problem may be platinum is needed for fuel cells…kinda expensive stuff.

Reply to  Rocketscientist
February 1, 2022 11:39 am

The metallurgical technology of storing and handling hydrogen is very advanced. It just requires proper design.

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 3:16 pm

And I assume a lot of money?

Joao Martins
February 1, 2022 10:26 am

New Mexico Climate Activists Fighting to Kill Hydrogen Economy Bill
… A climete civil war? … or an over-anxious autophagic behaviour?

Reply to  Joao Martins
February 1, 2022 11:44 am

Surely not cannibalism? After all Climate is a matter of taste!

Joao Martins
February 1, 2022 10:27 am

” New Mexico Climate Activists Fighting to Kill Hydrogen Economy Bill ”

… A climate civil war? … Or an over-anxious autophagic behavior?

Ed Zuiderwijk
February 1, 2022 10:28 am

Producing Hydrogen from Methane, the dominant route now, generates exactly the same quantity of CO2 as when the Methane is used directly.

The only really green Hydrogen is produced electrolytically with electricity from a source which is not backed up itself by a fossil fuel burning plant. Currently those do notexist.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 1, 2022 11:26 am

“Currently those do not exist.”

Heck, all they need to find is a perpetual motion machine. That oughta do it.

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
February 1, 2022 11:50 am

However if you are doing at large scale you can capture that CO2 and stick it underground. The H2 can then be distributed and used at small scale with no adverse emissions. If you are worried about GHGs doesn’t that count as ‘green’?

Reply to  HAS
February 1, 2022 9:36 pm

Water vapor is the primary GHG, so no.

Rud Istvan
February 1, 2022 10:30 am

I went thru all the H2 issues in essay ‘hydrogen hype’ in ebook Blowing Smoke. Even IF all the many H2 problems (leakage, embrittlement, storage) could be solved, I showed that even with a fuel cell Vehicle operating at 60% efficiency (about PEM today ignoring PEM temperature and cost issues)) that a 2014 Toyota Prius would produce better net energy efficiency with lower CO2 emissions, as practical CCS from methane steam reformation does not (yet) exist.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 1, 2022 11:40 am

Rud, refineries, petrochemical plants, and pipelines already know how to handle high purity, high pressure hydrogen.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 12:49 pm

But those aren’t the issue. How about the academic philosophy teacher that knows nothing about plumbing or burners messing around with the furnace or the piping in the house? How about pipes carrying hydrogen next to a busy street subject to lots of vibration due to heavy truck traffic. How about filling propane tanks with hydrogen when propane becomes unavailable? How about backyard barbecue storage tanks full of hydrogen?

You can’t just ignore the end users by arguing that the professionals know how to handle it.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 1, 2022 1:55 pm

Somehow these people have been able to manage with electricity, natural gas, automobile fuel, and other things which can be dangerous if not properly handled, but hydrogen is just too unsafe for the average person. You cannot possibly know that to be the case.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 3:01 pm

Can you see a hydrogen flame? If not then how do you protect yourself from being burned?

Reply to  Tim Gorman
February 1, 2022 7:08 pm

To be fair, you cant see a methanol flame either.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Davidf
February 2, 2022 5:51 am

That’s true and why racers wear nomex fireproof suits.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Davidf
February 2, 2022 6:56 am

I know. And I also know several Boy Scouts that have been burned trying to cook with alcohol.

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 12:49 pm

True. In bulk, and when used just after produced, in hydrogenation units. But not stored in small quantities for days/weeks, as vehicles require.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 1, 2022 1:56 pm

And we know this because…

Trying to Play Nice
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 3:20 pm

Because the major auto companies have all worked on hydrogen vehicles. Toyota put hydrogen fueled trucks into port operations in California to test out the technology. I don’t know what became of that test.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 4:56 pm

Tom, everywhere that these hydrogen process units operate are high explosive danger areas in refineries and upgraders, fenced and regulated to the nth degree with only high skilled and trained individuals allowed in

Because it’s bloody dangerous.

And you propose to snap your fingers and make this everywhere?
Because vehicles are just one item, people talk about piping into homes to burn in furnaces.

Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 2:57 pm

In small volumes, while spending lots of money.

John Tillman
February 1, 2022 10:30 am

“Would NOT want anywhere near…”

February 1, 2022 10:38 am

This is while their roads are the worst in the nation and they waste the huge energy trust funds there.

February 1, 2022 10:53 am

Any green energy transition will be a costly failure. The delusion of catastrophe will be self-fulfilling.

February 1, 2022 10:56 am

The idea of using hydrogen as a distributed fuel makes no sense whatever. The energy requirements to produce, compress and ship it are very large, in many cases exceeding the energy value of the hydrogen itself. Search for The_Future_of_the_Hydrogen_Economy_Bright_or_Bleak for a through analysis of the problems of this concept. It is even more lunatic than windmills and solar panels.

Tom Halla
February 1, 2022 11:01 am

Hydrogen is just not dense enough to be practical as transportation fuel, even as LH, a cryogenic liquid. Musk’s rocket project used liquid methane.

Reply to  Tom Halla
February 1, 2022 11:58 am

If you attach multiple hydrogen atoms to carbon atoms, about 2/3 hydrogen to 1/3 carbon, with 5 or more carbons, the storage containers can be plastic or thin metal…..very energy, cost, and resource saving from a container fabrication and storage cost perspective….with much reduced fire hazard compared to hydrogen, allowing the carbon/hydrogen molecules to be stored in, say, residential garages….this is much better than storing hydrogen in, say, metal hydrides or as cryogenic liquid.
Let’s call it gasoline…

February 1, 2022 11:03 am

Hydrogen from steam reforming gas emits almsot as much as CO2 as burning the gas in the first place, even if you have CCS

For a start, reforming with CCS is extremely fuel inefficient, so you need lots more gas..

Second, that gas involves upstream emissions

Thirdly CCS, even if proven at scale, can only take some of the CO2 out

Oil and gas companies of course love it because they can still sell oil and gas, and get billions in green subsidies to convert them to hydrogen

Electrolysis is an even bigger joke, taking expensive electricity and inefficiently processing it

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Paul Homewood
February 1, 2022 12:45 pm

Yes indeed. A highly expensive and explosive fuel that yields almost zero reduction in CO2. Plus, CO2 is the fundamental building block of Life, it’s in short supply atmospherically, and warmth (should it happen) is preferable.

The nuts are loose and the wheels are about to come off. What we need is a good wrench.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
February 1, 2022 7:11 pm

Or a good explosion.

Reply to  Paul Homewood
February 1, 2022 12:51 pm

In the future there will be MSRs fueled by thorium and the electricity produced during night hours can be used to produce H2.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Anti-griff
February 1, 2022 1:19 pm

That sounds perfectly safe. What could possibly go wrong with a nuclear reactor producing hydrogen gas? See “nuts are loose” comment above.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
February 1, 2022 5:21 pm

Well, Mike…it doesn’t have to be next door. MSRs are very safe anyways. Possible H2 safe storage is https://plasmakinetics.com H2 could have a place in the energy future…maybe fuel cells

Reply to  Paul Homewood
February 1, 2022 1:10 pm

There is more than one side to that. California reportedly spends millions of $/month, at least some months, to get other states to take the excess from existing southern CA solar farms, which produce most of their electricity at the times much of it can’t be used within the state grid. Similar situations exist for wind produced electricity, Scotland being a prime example.

Thus there is often excess electricity production from these ultra stupid projects and they keep building more of them. If something like the Chiyoda Corporation process noted above by philincalifornia could economically utilize that excess electricity to produce hydrogen, then the easily stored MCH from the hydrogen, it might actually be a useful energy storage option, possibly much cheaper than batteries.

While I don’t know many of the details, I have read about the major major problems some industrial electricity intensive processes face if the electricity supply has interruptions. Any storage system would have to be able to operate in an intermittent electricity situation, just being idle when the electricity is actually being used by the grid.

Reply to  AndyHce
February 4, 2022 2:32 am

Yes, thank you. You understood my comment/post.

February 1, 2022 11:04 am

Ship this to Santa Fe…..
Colorado company readies to start turning Iowa cow manure into fuel (yahoo.com)

I’m sure the lunch crowd won’t mind.

February 1, 2022 11:05 am

I liked it better when NM Governors were out of the country doing diplomacy in NK.

February 1, 2022 11:09 am

Of Course! It was never about the environment anyway. ANY technology that emerges that could offer cheap energy not easily controlled by the government will be opposed by the watermelons.

Gregory Woods
February 1, 2022 11:12 am

Fossil fuel companies love this technology, because the obvious place to “sequester” all that waste CO2 is depleted and otherwise worthless oil and gas mines.

Somebody please explain this to me….

Reply to  Gregory Woods
February 1, 2022 11:31 am

Depleted oil & gas reservoirs can be used to sequester CO2 or most other gases and liquids.

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  David Middleton
February 1, 2022 12:48 pm

Why? Just because because something can be done doesn’t mean it should be done. CO2 is our friend. Live it or live with it.

Reply to  Mike Dubrasich
February 1, 2022 1:47 pm

I do not understand why would do it either.

Reply to  David Middleton
February 1, 2022 12:53 pm

We don’t want to sequester CO2…we need that stuff out there greening the world.

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Anti-griff
February 1, 2022 5:01 pm

If we store the plant food where it cannot do harm today, then one day when the AGW scam is proven false we can just open the taps and let it release

Or we hold it until needed during the next glaciation period, build massive greenhouses to grow food and slowly release the CO2 into the dome

Reply to  David Middleton
February 1, 2022 1:12 pm

And the feds are planning to offer big money (from your pocket) to do it.

February 1, 2022 11:17 am

I don’t object to research on these “green” technologies. I object to the implementation of their products when the products are not shown to be beneficial. If that premise was applied, windmills and solar panels would still be on limited acreage and several hundred Texans would still be alive.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Brad-DXT
February 1, 2022 1:15 pm

I object to the implementation of their products when the products are not shown to be beneficial.

Who decides what product is “beneficial”, governments?
Merely allowing Adam Smith’s ‘Invisible Hand’ to apply alleviates any need for it.

Joseph Zorzin
February 1, 2022 11:21 am

“…. develop the infrastructure to separate the energy source from natural gas…”

at what cost?

February 1, 2022 11:25 am

Hydrogen is horribly dangerous compared to fossil fuel,…

Eric, have you ever worked in an industrial plant that uses hydrogen? It does not sound like it. How did you arrive at this opinion?

Sweet Old Bob
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 11:28 am

Ever hear about K141 ?

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 1, 2022 11:42 am

Please, enlighten me.

Reply to  Sweet Old Bob
February 1, 2022 2:25 pm

K141 was the Kursk Russian submarine that sank when, according to the Russians, a hydrogen peroxide fueled torpedo exploded. Nothing to do with nuclear power, nothing to do with H2. The hydrogen peroxide was high-test (>85%) that explodes when it comes into contact with a catalyst. They were using it for torpedo propulsion but it leaked out of a faulty weld on a pipe.

Joseph Zorzin
February 1, 2022 11:29 am

somebody explain nuclear to the governor

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2022 11:30 am

Your list of hydrogen disadvantages:

Hydrogen is horribly dangerous compared to fossil fuel, when it leaks it ignites or even detonates over a very wide range of mixtures with air. The flame from leaks burns so hot it is all but invisible, so I expect to see lots of dead people if hydrogen is widely adopted. Compressed hydrogen is something you would want in quantity near anything you care about.

Also add that at any pressure hydrogen gas contains about a third the thermal energy of natural gas. This means the existing natural gas storage and transportation infrastructure is completely inadequate for hydrogen, even aside from embrittlement and increased leakage issues. Given that most of the local distribution pipes are buried, replacing it all means massive excavation projects with attendant massive costs and disruption. Much, much worse than upgrading residential electric loops so everyone can charge their EVs.

Reply to  Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
February 1, 2022 12:14 pm

Hydrogen has a very low heating value on a volume basis, but it has a very high heating value on a weight basis (about 2.5 times a typical hydrocarbon). The reason its heating value is low, besides the low density, is due to the fact the its primary combustion product is water vapor, which carries away much of the energy as latent heat. It is difficult to capture this heat because it is only available at a low temperature. Low temperature heat is not worth much.

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 1:29 pm


For storage and transportation purposes volume is what matters; weight is largely irrelevant. Until there is adequate storage/transportation infrastructure, hydrogen will be at best a localized niche option, even assuming you can produce sufficient hydrogen in the first place.

Take a look at the list of hydrogen fueling stations, should you wish to get a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle — only California has any usable number:

Stations in the US

According to the research conducted by the AFDC, there are 44 publicly accessible hydrogen stations in the USA. What is more, only two of them aren’t located in California. Due to it, more than 280 million Americans have no access to the hydrogen refueling stations.

February 1, 2022 11:32 am

What I do not get, is how this was forgotten :
Helium was planned but due to sanctions in 1937 not possible.
This luxury aircraft even had a smoking cabin!

Reply to  bonbon
February 1, 2022 11:33 am

With a top restaurant :

They were in a rush to return for the crowning of King George VI of Great Britain. Interesting!

Reply to  bonbon
February 1, 2022 12:09 pm

We not going to filling any blimps with it.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 12:56 pm

What are you going to be filling for the folks who have propane tanks today? Will current tanks and piping suffice?

Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 1, 2022 9:49 pm

I guess people could store the H2 in personal blimps.

jeffery p
February 1, 2022 11:38 am

Ideologic purity must be maintained above all else!

February 1, 2022 11:56 am

Hydrogen, despite its severe shortcomings, is a dispatchable form of zero carbon energy, and is therefore a grave threat to useless renewables.

No, hydrogen is an integral part of any and all renewables roll outs…

UK hydrogen strategy – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Reply to  griff
February 1, 2022 2:04 pm

Precisely Griff. Hydrogen fuel is utterly necessary for remewable energy rollouts AND requires emitting more CO2 through combustion of fossil fuel tor extraction than can possibly be obtained from hydrogen energy generation at the point-of-use. You’ve also provided the perfect example — the UK’s fantastic “plan” for a hydrogen use case that will never be implemented because it will create more GHGs than just buggering on and cost much more than they are ever likely to earn. Just as you so aptly demonstrate, renewables are all political confidence games for the benefit of charlatans and illiterate fools. Thanks again for playing!

Reply to  dk_
February 2, 2022 1:11 am

But this is a green hydrogen roll out, with surplus renewable energy off peak used to generate the hydrogen. No fossil fuel use intended

Reply to  griff
February 2, 2022 4:13 am

Another fiction — there is NO excess off peak energy, even if it is oversold many times. Your excess off-peak energy was supposed to be stored in batteries to support your night time, dark days, and 0 and greater-than-excess wind days.

In fantasy future world all of todays energy resources will have been used at a high rate just in order to develop replacement for minimal eleectrical support of today’s current usage and the infrastructure to deliver and exploit it. The increased production of generation capacity, alone, will be fossil based, and it will have to continue to increase exponentially just to service distribution, maintenance and replacement needs of the “green” energy grid. In order to rid the world of fossil fuels, they’d have to be burned at an increasing rate, forever.

The informal definition of thermodynamics is something like “you can’t get ahead, you can’t break even, and you can’t get out of the game.” Wishful greeness doesn’t change the formula.

But feel free to continue to indulge in any fantasy you wish, just keep your hands on your own wallet.

Bengt Abelsson
Reply to  griff
February 2, 2022 12:38 pm

The Swedish energy authority released a paper on hydrogen some months ago.
The cost of one kWh produced from wind power to hydrogen to electricity was reported to 7 SEK, circa 70US cent.

Reply to  Bengt Abelsson
February 2, 2022 2:57 pm

Interesting. In 2008, in a resource estimate, the U.S. geological survey cited the carbon cost of a land based wind turbine is estimated at over 300 Kilotons of petroleum, gas, and coal — both as raw and finished materials and power generation — per 2MWh nameplate capacity over a 25 year lifespan. It works out to a megaton of fossil fuel materials expended over a hypothetical lifespan (rarely achieved in the real world) for the most common 6MWh nameplate turbine, and doesn’t include transmission losses or power conditioning. Most of that use was manufacture and installation. No one seems to account for actual carbon costs on actual wind turbine installations, but Sweden is usually pretty good about book keeping. Does Sweden report the carbon cost per MWh of wind generated electricity?

Reply to  griff
February 1, 2022 4:50 pm

The UK plan makes funny reading, I got a good laugh … you are so doomed 🙂

Reply to  griff
February 1, 2022 5:32 pm

The world is grateful for the Great UK Green Experiment…the world watches and waits for the results. Thanks griffter.

Reply to  Anti-griff
February 2, 2022 1:14 am

Watching the USA descend to the same status as the late 19th century Spanish Empire, with failing infrastructure and no modern technology is a horrid spectacle…

Reply to  griff
February 2, 2022 9:08 am

You mean the 5% of Obama-Pelosi stimulus that went to roads and bridges did not fix the problem? Or the 12% under Biden stimulus?

Reply to  griff
February 1, 2022 9:53 pm

With three of the least energy dense sources providing power for the planet, we’ll need to stripmine half the planet and clearcut the other half.

February 1, 2022 12:00 pm

Practically everything that get said about hydrogen on this blog is bad information. Refineries and chemical plants typically make hydrogen from steam methane reforming (SMR). A byproduct of SMR is a high purity CO2 stream that could easily be sequestered, if that were desirable (not saying it is). The hydrogen is used to make ammonia for fertilizer, and probably other things. In refineries is important for upgrading heavy oil to lighter products and for removing impurities such as sulfur and oxygen. It is produced and handled at very high purities (up to 99%+) and high pressures (up to 3000 psi), and at very high temperatures (>800 F). Metallurgical problems such as hydrogen embrittlement and hydrogen blistering are well understood, and easily managed with proper metallurgy. Hydrogen is not a significantly greater risk factor in refineries relative the hydrocarbons. Yes, it can easily ignite and explode, but that it is so much lighter than air means that any leaked hydrogen is going to dissipate quickly. The limitations to using hydrogen as part of the “green dream” are not technical, they are economic.

Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 12:24 pm

CO2 from ammonia production is one of the most cost effective source for capture and sequestration. Like LNG plants, they yield pretty well pure and dry CO2.

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 12:59 pm

You keep talking about plants that have expert people. Move further afield and discuss how the ordinary people are going to deal with it once it leaves those plants.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 1, 2022 1:19 pm

Personally, I think the so-called “hydrogen economy” will always be just over the horizon, along with nuclear fusion; however hydrogen is essential for many industrial processes…

comment image


Reply to  David Middleton
February 1, 2022 2:03 pm

Very likely true. Storage is a particular challenge, and the conversion losses will always be there. Still, it’s an area where there could be technology breakthroughs.

Tim Gorman
Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 1, 2022 1:40 pm

What will it take to convert all natural gas/propane ovens in use in the US today to burn hydrogen?

What happens in CA when the next earthquake bursts several residential hydrogen gas pipes?

Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 1, 2022 2:01 pm

Probably the same way they’ve learned to safely use electricity, natural gas, and gasoline, which can be dangerous if not properly handled, don’t you think?

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 3:35 pm

You keep downplaying the safety issues. Lots of people are electrocuted every year.Plenty of explosions from natural gas and propane which is less leak prone. And plenty of people are burned every year by improperly using gasoline. Do you think using hydrogen is more safe than these?

Tell us what bad things can happen using existing infrastructure to transport and use hydrogen in a residential environment.

Reply to  Jim Gorman
February 1, 2022 4:02 pm

What is really going on is that people with no real knowledge or experience are exaggerating the hazardousness of hydrogen. I’m just pushing back against that, as I have some experience with it, and pointing out that people have learned to live with other dangerous substances and with electricity. Whatever the limitations of hydrogen, I don’t think its hazardousness is the primary one. Why are people bringing up the Hindenburg, for instance. What does that prove?

Jim Gorman
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 5:03 pm

They are bringing up the Hindenburg not so much as what WILL happen but to show what can happen in the wrong circumstances. You dismiss the ability of people to do unsafe things and cause major problems.

Are you trained in the proper installation AND REPAIR of pipes carrying H2? Do you think the average joe is trained for that? What happens when someone can’t afford a qualified plumber and they decide to do the work themselves. Lots of folks can handle the steel or plastic pipe for natural gas, why shouldn’t they assume they can do the same with H2 piping?

Are you familiar with residential building? How about utility installations? I have built around 50 homes. What kind of building codes do you expect for H2 use? What happens when foundations shift and stress the piping? I’ve had my gas meter redone twice in 40 years due to shifting. What installation requirements are going to be needed to insure pipe stress from this doesn’t cause premature failure? Are all homes going to need remediation to support handling H2? Who’s going to pay? Do you appreciate the stress 20 ton trucks can put on underground pipes adjacent to roads because of vibration and compaction? Does H2 going through the pipes require special conditioning to prevent cracking from these vibrations and compaction?

You are familiar with a small, small percent of the population who are qualified. Don’t dismiss the problems the other 99% can cause. And, don’t dismiss the observation of other folks who recognize the problems that can occur.

Solar Mutant Ninjaneer
Reply to  Tom.1
February 1, 2022 1:28 pm

Tom, I agree. Hydrogen is an impractical fuel in every way.

If one were to devise a cost effective way of winning hydrogen from water with a persistent energy source like solar or nuclear, the very first large-scale applications would be upgrading heavy crude and perhaps ammonia synthesis. Eventually, synthetic fossil fuels will be the long-term future, but with the advent of modern fracking, this future is many decades, if not centuries away.

Outdoor applications are workable, but given hydrogen’s wide detonation range in air, storing and using hydrogen indoors is a major safety hazard.

As someone who spent 40 years as a solar R&D engineer, including writing my PhD thesis on solar hydrogen from water, and 26 years as a member of technical staff a Sandia in New Mexico, where I still live, I can assure you this is a total waste of money. When at Sandia over a dozen years ago, I invented a unique solar reactor design for thermochemical hydrogen production (the CR5) and helped lead a major solar fuels initiative called Sunshine to Petrol (S2P). We quickly realized that hydrogen as a fuel is a non-starter, but hydrogen (or CO) as a feedstock for synthetic fuels makes sense. A SMR hydrogen hub makes absolutely no sense. There is no market for the hydrogen, it will do virtually nothing for CO2 emissions (which don’t matter anyway), and it is extremely impractical to store and use.

I think this is coming, in part, because of a local company, Bayotech, ( https://bayotech.us/ ) which has been pushing for hydrogen investment for a few years, I used to work with the engineer behind the technology (he worked in the Sandia nuclear group). Basically, it is a modularized SMR that uses a bayonet type reactor. It is not that unique of a reactor design. (I designed, built, and tested one very similar in Israel in 1987.) Trying to educate our legislature is practically impossible. I might have to move to another state.

Gord in Calgary
February 1, 2022 12:03 pm

The hydrogen economy will only be limited by the size of the government subsidies, tax credits and regulations put in place to support it!

Pat from kerbob
Reply to  Gord in Calgary
February 1, 2022 5:06 pm

The big Suncor hydrogen announcement made it very clear that it was completely dependent on “large government investment”
Subsidy for money losing process

John Bell
February 1, 2022 12:21 pm

Was there also 02 in the balloon, or pure H2? Seemed like both together. Will it bang like that with just pure H2?

Reply to  John Bell
February 1, 2022 12:34 pm

I’m sure it was a mixture of O2 and H2. Pure hydrogen burns more slowly as oxygen has to diffuse in. The footage of the Hindenburg disaster in 1937 shows a huge flame enveloping the dirigible rather than an explosion.

Reply to  Graemethecat
February 1, 2022 6:53 pm

The Hindenburg was a made disaster caused by the highly flammable “Thermite” paint used to protect the fabric panels that covered the Hindenburg. The pigment in the paint was a mixture of iron oxide dust and aluminum dust(Thermite) mixed into airplane dope- nitrocellulose and mostly acetone(evaporated while drying the fabric).

The movies taken during the “landing” clearly show the covering starting to burn near the front of the upper fin. Just seconds after that fires showed up visibly as it literally “exploded” along the airship, burning and melting the covering, the aluminum frame, and some of the hydrogen in the gas cells holding the hydrogen.

Reply to  John Bell
February 1, 2022 1:04 pm

It will burn like the Zeppelin if pure H2. There are videos on Utoob about the mixtures and then demonstrations.

Reply to  Anti-griff
February 1, 2022 6:19 pm

It would help to use sewn pig intestine for the bladder and wrap it in thermite-painted cotton, too. Then attach large, hot IC motors and dock it in a thunderstorm.

Master of the Obvious
February 1, 2022 12:30 pm

A small nit-pick. Hydrogen generally does not detonate. One can say hydrogen gas can form explosive mixtures with oxidizers (i.e.: air). Explosive is a generic term. Dynamite explodes. One can explode a tire with an air hose (over-pressurization).

The proper term for most flammable gas explosions is deflagration. While a detonation is propagated by the shock wave (and is thus limited to the speed of sound in the medium), deflagrations are propagated by the thermal heat front and are generally slower and thus generate a lower over-pressure impulse (which is what hurts people and damages structures).

As I said, a nit-pick; but, we do strive for excellence here at WUWT. The terminology lapse doesn’t detract from your conclusions. Hydrogen is tricky stuff to handle (and yes I’m fully versant in both OSHA regulations and NFPA standards for hydrogen).

Dead is dead and rather doubt one’s next-of-kin would be comforted to know that one died from a 1,600 m/s deflagration and not a 4,000 m/s detonation.

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Master of the Obvious
February 1, 2022 1:47 pm

Andrew Zbigniew Szydlo has a good demonstration on youtube.com showing the difference between hydrogen burning and hydrogen detonation.

February 1, 2022 12:34 pm

from the article
an optimistic and unproven assumption

Horrors. no one would ever really suggest going forward on any expensive project under such conditions.

Bruce Cobb
February 1, 2022 12:48 pm

Now if they could just change the hydrogen into fairy dust, they might really have something.

Martin Pinder
February 1, 2022 1:10 pm

I used to make hydrogen balloons by reacting caustic soda with aluminium foil in a thick walled glass bottle to withstand the pressure. The reaction would start slowly but get so hot & violent that the bottle had to be put in a basin of cold water to control it. It used to work quite well provided you prevented the reaction mixture from spitting into the balloon & damaging the envelope. This was achieved by putting a plug of cotton wool in the mouth of the bottle. I never had one explode while filling it, though I made a few explode by attaching a potassium nitrate & string fuse to them, lighting it & letting it go.

It doesn't add up...
Reply to  Martin Pinder
February 1, 2022 1:46 pm

Soak the string in nitrogen tri-iodide and get Purple Rain?

Reply to  Martin Pinder
February 2, 2022 1:10 am

A standard demonstration in UK schools used to be produce hydrogen from zinc and (If I remember correctly) hydrochloric acid, lighting the output to produce a sharp ‘pop’.

Of course you had to put in some mechanism to avoid blowback into the generation chamber… something one of our teachers notably forgot to do, with impressive explosion.

Rich Lambert
February 1, 2022 1:32 pm

There are potential problems with handling and storing large quantities of heavier than air carbon dioxide and a possible leak. This from the NIH:

Carbon dioxide does not only cause asphyxiation by hypoxia but also acts as a toxicant. At high concentrations, it has been showed to cause unconsciousness almost instantaneously and respiratory arrest within 1 min [6].

Curious George
Reply to  Rich Lambert
February 1, 2022 2:02 pm

Is this why champagne is so intoxicating?

Reply to  Rich Lambert
February 1, 2022 2:05 pm

We already handle industrial quantities of CO2 and dry ice.

Rich Lambert
Reply to  Tom.1
February 2, 2022 5:06 am

Storing huge quantities of CO2 underground for eons could present new hazards. The Lake Nyos event maybe an example.

Joseph Zorzin
February 1, 2022 1:53 pm

uh… speaking of New Mexico, well, Mexico- the following was on Yale’s Climate 360 web site:

How Preserving Agave Could Help Save an Endangered Bat

Drought linked to climate change, along with overgrazing, is destroying the agave plants on which the Mexican long-nosed bat depends. Now, an initiative is trying to restore the balance between the agaves, the bats that feed on them, and the people who live on these lands.


I posted the only comment so far there pointing out that all environmental writers now have to start their article with some reference to climate change. Without humiliating themselves like that- they’ll never get funding if in academia or if writing for the enviro media. And, I asked what proof is there that drought is not uncommon- in a desert!

jeffery p
February 1, 2022 2:33 pm

The New Mexico climate activists are right to fight this bill but for all the wrong reasons. They oppose it because it’s not pure enough. A sensible person opposes it because it’s completely impractical. A waste of money. Might as well dig a pit, fill it with money and light it on fire.

But that also applies to the favored green energy sources, too.

Reply to  jeffery p
February 1, 2022 6:22 pm

Agree jeffery p, but to be fair at least some of the NM pols are fighting for a bigger piece of the pie. Popular votes are okay, but there’s no beating a good bribe.

Reply to  jeffery p
February 1, 2022 7:01 pm

There will be PLENTY of trash pits getting filled in the next few years with the trash from windmills and solar panels.(the solar panels will take a bit longer). Hopefully the trash won’t cover more area than the windmills and solar panels themselves covered.

Reply to  Philo
February 1, 2022 10:09 pm

Large amounts of renewable trash will likely end up dumped at sea like other trash is my guess.

February 1, 2022 3:42 pm

With a Federal election due in March the promise of hydrogen can suddenly become very attractive to a Labor PM in waiting leading in the polls and realizing he might soon be responsible for keeping the lights on-
Labor has done a ‘big backflip’ on Kurri Kurri gas plant project (msn.com)
Tripping the light fantastic around gas.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
February 1, 2022 4:11 pm

“Compressed hydrogen is something you would want in quantity near anything you care about.”

I think “you would not want” was intended.

Reply to  Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
February 1, 2022 5:40 pm

When I worked in refineries, we used to get truckloads of electrolytic hydrogen (bottles) which was used to condition catalyst after regeneration. I don’t know what the pressure was in those, thousands of psi no doubt. They were just like typical compressed gas bottles except very big. Obviously safe. The electrolytic hydrogen used because of its very high purity, and there was no other source of hydrogen since the unit that was starting up was the one that made all the hydrogen for the rest of the refinery.

Crispin Pemberton-Pigott
February 1, 2022 4:21 pm

For transport, Garth Whitworth-Williams-Foxcroft advocated a hydrogen fueled internal combustion engine. The big difference he had was the hydrogen was generated on board the vehicle – in fact inside the engine.

The idea was that a single cylinder hydrogen engine was a fraction of the mass of a gasoline engine and therefore competitive with electric motors. Since then motor technology has greatly advanced. Be that as it may, it does not rule out innovations.

There is a new rotary engine that could run on any fuel. It has a high speed double shaft and is much more efficient that a piston engine.

When we talk about electric vehicles, it is possible that the storage will be in the form of electricity but how it is used is yet to be determined.

Kevin kilty
February 1, 2022 4:46 pm

Gray hydrogen production is the source of a large fraction of commodity CO2. Very hard to run a modern economy without it.

Thomas Gasloli
February 1, 2022 7:23 pm

I think everyone is missing the point: the NM legislature decided to not use taxpayer dollars to fund a boondoggle. That is a good thing.👍

Daryl M
February 1, 2022 9:13 pm

Anyone interested in this topic should read papers published by Ulf Bossel, who was with the European Fuel Cell Forum when he was publishing. Bossel doesn’t pull any punches. In his paper, “Does a Hydrogen Economy Make Sense?”, he says,

Fundamental laws of physics expose the weakness of a hydrogen economy. Hydrogen, the artificial energy carrier, can never compete with its own energy source, electricity, in a sustainable future.


The title question “Does a hydrogen economy make sense?” must be answered with a definite “Never.”

There are similar money quotes in most of his papers.

Hydrogen is not the answer to our sustainability problems.

February 2, 2022 12:55 am

I can see the argument for combining hydrogen from an off-shore (and thus cheap to build) nuclear reactor or just from surplus generation during off-peak hours, with CO2 to make methanol, which could be the ideal fuel for high-compression engines with corrosion-resistant fuel systems. But turning natural gas (already a better fuel) into H2, which is much harder to manage, for the sake of greenwashing would just be a silly waste of money.

PS: That mini-Hindiberg in the YT video was filled with H2 mixed with O2; it was basically a bomb. A similar balloon filled with just H2 would have been much safer.

robin townsend
February 2, 2022 1:47 am

why on earth do american use the verb ‘to table’ something to mean something is off the agenda, when clearly something is ‘tabled’ in order to be on the agenda. You consider things on the table in front of you. ‘shelved’ or, better; ‘floored’ or even ‘binned’.

Reply to  robin townsend
February 2, 2022 10:40 am

Actually, to table, per Roberts Rules of Order, is to set an item aside (“Lay on the table”). However, you are correct that it’s being misused – it’s to set it aside to deal with another more pressing item. It should then subsequently be “taken from the table” – i.e. “taken up”. To set aside for a time would be to postpone.

The change in popular usage strikes me as similar to the now widespread misuse of “decimate” and “literally” (widespread enough that dictionaries have updated the definitions)

February 2, 2022 1:55 am

That Youtube video was a bag of Hydrogen and Oxygen, not just Hydrogen. Big difference!

February 2, 2022 5:12 am

From wikipedia: “As of 2021, there are two models of hydrogen cars publicly available in select markets: the Toyota Mirai (2014–), which is the world’s first mass-produced dedicated fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), and the Hyundai Nexo (2018–). The Honda Clarity was produced from 2016 to 2021.[3] Most companies that had been testing hydrogen cars have switched to battery electric cars; Volkswagen has expressed that the technology has no future in the automotive space, mainly because a fuel cell electric vehicle consumes about three times more energy than a battery electric car for each mile driven. As of December 2020, there were 31,225 passenger FCEVs powered with hydrogen on the world’s roads.[4]
As of 2019, 98% of hydrogen is produced by steam methane reforming, which emits carbon monoxide”

The last statement about carbon monoxide is incorrect. It should say carbon dioxide.

The reported range of the Toyota is about 400 miles which is respectable, although it might not get you to the next hydrogen fueling station. But, as I’ve said, the main problem with hydrogen as a fuel is not technical, it’s economics, which is apparently what Volkswagen has decided.

AGW is Not Science
February 2, 2022 7:22 am

In my opinion the entire situation is a joke – a battle between proponents of a completely useless form of energy and a likely useless form of energy.

Let’s make that a bit more accurate – In my opinion the entire situation is a joke – a battle between proponents of a completely useless form of energy and another completely useless form of energy.

At the end of the day, ALL of it is 100% dependent on fossil fuels for its existence, and either is a waste of fossil fuels that have better and more efficient uses.

February 2, 2022 1:54 pm

I found this old video summarizing the results of research sponsored by the USAF. I like these old narrated shows. https://youtu.be/7bFJK5kU_UQ

The video has some interesting tests (i.e. spill tests across 1.25, 32, 600, and 5000 gallons) and measurements concerning radiative elements from the fireball size and durations. Quite interesting.

February 2, 2022 5:03 pm

Video reminded me of our uni experiments for mine ventilation and different mixes of various gases.

I’ll never forget when we sprinkled fine coal dust in front of the explosion chamber as the final run. Three random students pointedly ignored the barricades we had set up around the business end of the chamber. The lecturer, a Scottish chap with an old school approach (being late to return after a mid lecture break would result in a very fruity response laden with F… off’s and being locked out for the rest of the lecture), was so incensed that he set off the explosive mix anyway.

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