ABC: Hydrogen Fuel Breakthrough

From the ABC, good news about a real competitor to petrol driven cars, hydrogen. Electric cars really aren’t a starter once you get outside the major cities, but a car fuelled by hydrogen with a range of 800 km and a re-fuel time similar to petrol is a real possibility.

Hydrogen fuel breakthrough in Queensland could fire up massive new export market

 

Two cars powered by hydrogen derived from ammonia will be tested in Brisbane today thanks to a Queensland breakthrough that CSIRO researchers say could turn Australia into a renewable energy superpower.

CSIRO principal research scientist Michael Dolan said it was a very exciting day for a project that has been a decade in the making.

“We started out with what we thought was a good idea, it is exciting to see it on the cusp of commercial deployment,” he said.

For the past decade, researchers have worked on producing ultra-high purity hydrogen using a unique membrane technology.

The membrane breakthrough will allow hydrogen to be safely transported and used as a mass production energy source.

“We are certainly the first to demonstrate the production of very clean hydrogen from ammonia,” Dr Dolan said.

“Today is the very first time in the world that hydrogen cars have been fuelled with a fuel derived from ammonia — carbon-free fuel.”

Program leader David Harris said Australia has a huge source of renewable energy — sunlight and wind — that can be utilised to produce hydrogen.

But the highly flammable element is difficult to ship long distances because of its low density.

CSIRO researchers found a way to turn Australian-made hydrogen into ammonia, meaning it could be shipped safely to the mass market of Asia.

It is converted back into hydrogen using their membrane, then pumped into hydrogen-powered cars.

As of now, there are only five such cars in Australia, but there are tens of thousands across Japan, South Korea and Singapore.

“The key here is we can transport the hydrogen from the place where it is produced from renewable energy — let’s say maybe that is in outback WA — and we can ship that form of ammonia anywhere in the world,” Dr Harris said.

‘A massive step for Australia’

Both Toyota and Hyundai have invested millions of dollars into hydrogen-powered cars.

Today’s road test will be on Hyundai’s flagship eco car the Nexo SUV, and Toyota’s Murai.

The ABC got a sneak peek at the testing station where the cars were fuelled up and given a short test at CSIRO’s Pullenvale technology hub in western Brisbane.

Hyundai spokesman Scott Nargar said the main advantage of hydrogen over electric cars was they could be filled up in three minutes like a normal car and had a range of up to 800 kilometres.

“So they are just like driving a normal car but there will be zero emissions,” he said.

“From a car manufacturer’s point of view, we see this as a massive step for Australia.

“Working in and out of South Korea quite regularly, I know Hyundai has a massive contract to provide hydrogen buses to the Korean Government.

“It just announced 16,000 hydrogen-powered cars will go on the road and 310 hydrogen refilling stations across the country under a five-year plan.

“They need to power those cars from somewhere so why can’t it be renewable hydrogen from Australia?”

Toyota spokesman Matthew Macleod said the breakthrough was exciting because it addressed one of the key challenges with hydrogen.

“It is a game-changer,” he said.

“Ammonia already has established routes for transportation and to transport at relatively normal temperatures.

“When it gets to where it is going they can actually pull the hydrogen out using the CSIRO technology, which opens up fuel cell technology to markets that previously did not have the technology.

“From an energy perspective, the ability to move solar energy or wind energy from one place to another using ammonia opens up doors that previously would have been closed because of the difficulties of transporting hydrogen.”

Australia’s next export boom

The CSIRO team has already received expressions of interest from Japan, South Korea and Europe, with industry players looking at taking up supplies initially to fuel commercial vehicles like buses, taxis, trucks and trains.

Dr Dolan said a million hydrogen-powered cars were expected to hit the streets by 2025.

Currently hydrogen-fuelled cars sell for about $80,000, but, as with electric cars run on power-grid charged batteries, the price is expected to fall as production increases.

Mr Nargar said they expected to see price parity with petrol and diesel cars within a decade.

Dr Dolan said the cost for the fuel would be around $15 a kilogram, with an average car holding five kilos of pure hydrogen in a tank.

“But the efficiency of the car is twice as good as current gasoline cars, so you can actually drive twice as far on a tank,” he said.

Dr Dolan said renewable hydrogen was seen as Australia’s next export boom.

“It could potentially rival our LNG export industry,” he said.

“As of this year Australia is the world’s biggest natural gas exporter. Hydrogen could be in the same position in the next couple of decades.”

Hydrogen-powered cars could be on sale in Australia with the next two years.

Advertisements

The Straw Man Argument

With the latest environmental hysteria gaining traction to ban plastic straws (as usual both irrational and unscientific) here is a graph that puts Australia’s plastic pollution in perspective:

Yeah, we don’t even make the top 12.

You may have also heard about the incredible figure of 500 million plastic straws used by Americans every day. It turns out that came from a science project by a 9 year old boy. That doesn’t prove it is wrong, just lacking in academic rigour because most 9 year olds have not been trained in the scientific method (much like most adult environmentalists)

Sea Anemone Eats Bird

You are here: Home › Blog › Anemone eats bird

Anemone eats bird

By Leonard Ho – Posted Feb 09, 2018 09:00 AM
We all know anemones can ensnare fishes, crabs, shrimps, snails, and most any organism that ventures too close to their deadly tentacles. But birds? There’s actually footage and scientific documentation of this phenomenon.

Scientists reported a Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) consuming a nestling cormorant (Phalacrocorax sp.) in the journal, Marine Ornithology.  It is unclear whether the baby bird was alive or dead when it was captured by the anemone.  Either way, it’s certainly an unforgettable visual.

Author: Leonard Ho 
Location: Southern California

I’m a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it’s really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and “method behind the madness” processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

 
 
Document Actions

 

A Day Of Extremes

While Australia was sizzling through a heatwave yesterday, which may or may not have set some records- some of which are up to 20 years old- it was actually snowing in the Sahara Desert.

For more on the snowy Sahara (the second year in a row it snowed there) click here. Jo Nova has the details about why the Sydney heat “record” is less than impressive.

In Narrabri we have the regular “Narrabri Airport sets new record” fairly often because they moved the official weather station from Narrabri West P.O. about 20 years ago,

I think the Bureau of Meteorology needs to stop being a publicity channel for “climate change” and go back to its roots in science- the old variety of trying to be objective as opposed to post-modern, post-truth “science”.

Solar Power in Germany- Awesome

Jo Nova writes about the awesome results of solar power in Germany- 10 hours of sunshine for the whole month, and even that at a very low angle above the horizon. They have 40 GW of installed solar PV (in theory, half their total power requirements) but when the sun don’t shine you get no power.

German solar: 10 hours of sun in December makes 40 Gigawatts of nothing

From Pierre Gosselin at No Tricks Zone:

Germany needs 80GW of electricity. It has 40GW of installed solar PV.

See the graph: The red line is what the country used, and the orange bumps are the solar contribution.

Clearly, solar power will take over the world.

Solar Energy, Germany, December 2017

In December, Germany got ten hours of sunlight. That’s not a daily figure, that’s the whole month. So in summer on a sunny day, solar PV can make half the electricity the nation needs for lunch. In winter, almost nothing. From fifty percent, to five percent.

Imagine what kind of havoc this kind of energy flux can do. Not one piece of baseload capital equipment can be retired, despite the fact that half of it is randomly unprofitable depending on cloud cover. Solar PV eats away the low cost competitive advantage. Capital sits there unused, spinning on standby, while wages, interest, and other costs keep accruing. So hapless baseload suppliers charge more for the hours that they do run, making electricity more expensive.

They just need batteries with three months supply. It will be fine once Germany turns the state of Thuringia into a redox unit.

Read about it:  Dark Days For German Solar Power, Country Saw Only 10 Hours Of Sun In All Of December!

It’s rare for Germans to botch up an engineering task on quite this scale.

Amazing: Plants Adapting to Increased CO2

The CSIRO has found that plants around the world are absorbing more CO2 and doing it more efficiently than ever before. As the concentration of CO2 rises in the atmosphere all kinds of plants are growing faster, but using relatively less water to do so.

This confirms the satellite images showing that the world is greening.

Rising carbon dioxide is making the world’s plants more water-wise

Land plants are absorbing 17% more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere now than 30 years ago, our research published today shows. Equally extraordinarily, our study also shows that the vegetation is hardly using any extra water to do it, suggesting that global change is causing the world’s plants to grow in a more water-efficient way.

Water is the most precious resource needed for plants to grow, and our research suggests that vegetation is becoming much better at using it in a world in which CO₂ levels continue to rise.

The ratio of carbon uptake to water loss by ecosystems is what we call “water use efficiency”, and it is one of the most important variables when studying these ecosystems.

Our confirmation of a global trend of increasing water use efficiency is a rare piece of good news when it comes to the consequences of global environmental change. It will strengthen plants’ vital role as global carbon sinks, improve food production, and might boost water availability for the well-being of society and the natural world.

Read the full article here

Mind Blown

So apparently if you add up all the positive integers 1+2+3+4+5….. the answer is -1/12

 

I missed this bit in Uni, despite doing advanced pure maths in both 1st and 2nd Year. I would say that this is obviously a mistake, except it turns up in physics.