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"I've also seen a fuel cell guy explain that platinum cost is MINOR, like the muffler platinum cost of a total new ICE car price. Apparently, the REAL cost is the hundreds of stack elements, all keeping hydrogen gas sealed and operating without pollutant gradation..." @Kelly The cost of Pt is approximately 50% the cost of the whole stack. Reducing the amount of Pt is indeed a tremendous benefit, even when the amount of Pt involved is - as you put it - on par with a catalytic converter. Stack costs are well illustrated in this report: Other major costs are the steel plates and the membranes within the stack, and those costs are also likely to come down as steel plates are replaced with less expensive materials and as better membranes are developed. So, we can see that fuel cell stack costs are being reduced on all fronts, from platinum loading to materials.
I frequently see anti-fuel cell arguments such as this: "Larry Burns: Holistic approach required.." could translate 'now steal taxpayer grants and subsidies for ALL energy sources and market NOTHING', as with all decades of hydrogen fuel cell "research" vehicles." Implying that the money used to fund fuel cell research is an extravagant amount. It can only be pointed out that in terms of the progress made for each dollar spent, FCs are very cost-efficient to fund for R&D - they've made incredible advances for fewer relative $$$. "The Department of Energy has spent over $2 billion (roughly 1% of the total DOE budget) during the last 10 years on fuel cell and hydrogen research, development and demonstration. This is less than 2% of the global investment in the solar, wind and biomass industry in one year alone." This is much less than the money given towards ethanol, and less than what has been given to battery research in just the Obama administration.
Since some are interested in what's current regarding hydrogen infrastructure technology... here's a helpful pdf from the US DoE: Just a simple overview, but there's a lot more info on the DoE Hydrogen website. There's no reason for anyone to get upset over this impartial dissemination of info, right? Hydrogen FCVs will be a part of the future automotive landscape, and will co-exist with BEVs and PHEVs. Now whether the owners of those vehicles can manage is a sociological mystery that will have to play itself out...
@ SJC - "It would be good to actually have a plan of FC vehicle deployment before putting in the fueling structure." The automakers have already begun developing their production FCV commercial introduction plans. This program requires that applicants support those plans in order to be considered: "Applications must correspond to and support FCV manufacturers’ deployment of FCVs and hydrogen internal combustion engine vehicles (HICEV) in identified “early-adoption” clusters in California. Alternatively, successful projects may establish hydrogen fueling stations where FCV or HICEV populations are sufficient."
"You mention ignorance, perhaps you can show some evidence to all the points you list as having already been accomplished." Feel free to peruse this DoE Report. It gives a lot of info that backs up the progress that has been made regarding fuel cells.
"Upon heating, a hydrogen molecule (H2) is released from the complex. When the remaining complex comes into contact with ethanol or isopropanol it grabs two replacement hydrogen atoms, allowing the cycle to begin again." I'm sorry that you're unwilling to spend the $ to satisfy your own curiosity, but there's no need to cast aspersions and doubt. The article is simply a summary, intended for general publication. The article doesn't discuss the reaction or its products, but it does make it clear that the process is repeatable in a continuous cycle. Your supposition that they would go through so much effort to produce a single H2 molecule is both absurd and insulting.
"Nothing about...if more than 1 H2 molecule can be extracted from ethanol." Seriously? Please do tell me you understand how a cyclical process works.
@ HarveyD Fuel Cell systems already have a much greater energy density than today's best li-ion batteries. That's why HFCVs have much greater ranges than BEVs. Back in 2005, an 80kW FC system produced 470W/kg (and 500W/l).
@ Stan Peterson Think has over 10,000 vehicles on the roads.
@ Darius "As far as I understand VW is not going to participate in drivetrain electrification..." Then you don't really have much of an understanding. VW has an active vehicle electrification program, and will be offering BEVs in the next few years, just like the other major marques. Perhaps you overlooked the headline: "VW Group head of research says it’s time for electrification..."
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Feb 22, 2011