The following Op-Ed was written and submitted by Paul Plante.
Yes, people, “green” hydrogen!
While we all thought that hydrogen was actually a colorless gas, in fact we were wrong, because “green” hydrogen is actually green, not colorless, and Joe Biden is betting all of our futures on “green” hydrogen as our savior, which is to say, Joe Biden is not only going to fight the CLIMATE CRISIS with “green” hydrogen, he is going to put the beat-down on it, and give it a real good ass-whupping with “green” hydrogen that will make it holler and call “uncle,” which will mean the CLIMATE CRISIS, which never existed in the first place, except in Joe Biden’s fertile imagination, where all kinds of boogie-men roam freely, is gone for good and we can then all rest easy and be than be thankful that God in his, hers, theirs or its wisdom gave us Joe Biden as our savior!
And how do I know this?
Well, for a start, if we go back to February 15, 2022, we have the “Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration Advances Cleaner Industrial Sector to Reduce Emissions and Reinvigorate American Manufacturing,” where the Biden-Harris Administration informs us as follows:
Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing new actions across agencies to support American leadership on clean manufacturing — including low-carbon production of the steel and aluminum we need for electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and the clean concrete we need to upgrade our transportation infrastructure.
These actions will create more good-paying jobs and follow on a historic comeback for American factories, with 367,000 manufacturing jobs added during President Biden’s first year in office, the most in nearly 30 years.
Further strengthening our industrial base will revitalize local economies, lower prices for consumers, provide more pathways to the middle class through union jobs, and boost American competitiveness in global markets.
Sounds great, doesn’t it, people?
Joe Biden is going the Make America Great Again, and my goodness, people, seriously, isn’t it time somebody did that?
So, under the Joe Biden and Karmela Harris Administration, we are going to have clean manufacturing, instead of dirty manufacturing like it was under the previous administration, and we are going to have low-carbon production of the steel and aluminum we need for electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels, and on top of all that neat stuff, we are going to have clean concrete, as well, which we need to upgrade our transportation infrastructure, because let’s face it, people, who wants dirty concrete?
But where does “green” hydrogen fit into that picture?
Going back to the February 15, 2022 “Fact Sheet,” we have as follows on that subject:
The Department of Energy is launching major clean hydrogen initiatives of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: $8 billion for Regional Clean Hydrogen Hubs that will create jobs to expand use of clean hydrogen in the industrial sector and beyond; $1 billion for a Clean Hydrogen Electrolysis Program to reduce costs of hydrogen produced from clean electricity; and $500 million for Clean Hydrogen Manufacturing and Recycling Initiatives to support equipment manufacturing and strong domestic supply chains.
Yes, people, lot’s more “clean” stuff coming our way from Joe Biden and Karmela Harris, which is cause for a major celebration all across America to show Joe and Karmela how much we love and adore them for giving us all this clean stuff, as opposed to the dirty stuff the previous administration was giving us.
So what then, is “green” or clean hydrogen as opposed to any and all other types or kinds of hydrogen that may exist out there?
According to one source, “green” hydrogen, also called renewable hydrogen, is obtained by electrolysis of water, and it is said that the most crucial thing is that this process is powered entirely by renewable energy, so it generates no polluting emissions into the atmosphere and is the cleanest and most sustainable hydrogen.
And there we are back to that magic word “clean!”
But if “green” hydrogen is obtained by electrolysis of water, doesn’t that mean that to make it, we have to sacrifice our water resources?
Of course, there is no information on that subject from either Joe Biden or Karmela Harris, probably because neither of them ever gave it a moment’s thought, just as they did not give this “green” hydrogen scheme any thought, either, a point we shall be getting to shortly in here.
But staying with this concept of “green” hydrogen made from water for the moment, we have more, as follows, to wit:
Although it is 100% sustainable and versatile, green hydrogen is expensive to produce due to the cost of energy from the renewable sources that are key to generating green hydrogen through electrolysis.
It requires more energy than other fuels to produce any kind of hydrogen, green in particular.
And that thought takes us to what engineers like myself call an “energy budget,” another thing Joe Biden, a career hack politician who has never worked a real job in his life, and Karmela Harris, another career hack politician, have given absolutely no thought whatsoever to, which brings us to this, to wit:
Hydrogen is a highly inflammable substance and explosive in nature; it cannot be easily transported from one place to another and it can be generated by the hydrolysis of water but it is a very expensive process.
That, people, is an expression of a reality that try as he might, Joe Biden cannot simply wish away, especially that part about hydrogen cannot be easily transported from one place to another.
It is my intent, by referring to an excellent engineering analysis on the subject titled “Energy and the Hydrogen Economy” by Ulf Bossel, who studied Mechanical Engineering in Darmstadt (Germany) and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where he received his Diploma Degree (fluid mechanics, thermodynamics) in 1961, and after a short work period at BBC, he continued his graduate education at the University of California at Berkeley, receiving his Ph.D. degree in 1968 for experimental research in the area of space aerodynamics, and after two years as Assistant Professor at Syracuse University he returned to Germany to lead the free molecular flow research group at the DLR in Göttingen, leaving that field for solar energy in 1976, where he was founder and first president of the German Solar Energy Society, and started his own R&D consulting firm for renewable energy technologies, and in 1986, BBC asked him to join their new technology group in Switzerland where he became involved in fuel cells in 1987 and later director of ABB’s fuel cell development efforts worldwide; and Baldur Eliasson, who studied Electrical Engineering and Astronomy at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where he received his doctorate in 1966 on a theoretical study of microwave propagation, and then he worked for three years as radio astronomer at the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena before joining the newly founded Brown Boveri (later ABB) Research Center in Switzerland in 1969, where he is in charge of ABB’s Energy and Global Change Program worldwide and reports directly to ABB’s Chief Technology Officer, while representing ABB in a number of international programs, where, for example, he is Vice Chairman of the “R&D Program on Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Technologies” of the International Energy Agency and has received many international awards for his contributions to environmental sustainability, where we find in Section 8.1 The Limits of a Pure Hydrogen Economy, as follows:
The results of this analysis indicate the weakness of a “Pure-Hydrogen-Only Economy” as depicted in Figure 14.
All difficulties with the pure Hydrogen Economy appear to be directly related to the nature of hydrogen.
Most of the problems cannot be solved by additional research and development.
We have to accept that hydrogen is the lightest of all gases and, as a consequence, that its physical properties do not fully match the requirements of the energy market.
Production, packaging, storage, transfer and delivery of the gas, in essence all key component of an economy, are so energy consuming that alternatives should and will be considered.
Mankind cannot afford to waste energy for idealistic goals, but economy will look for practical solutions and select the most energy-saving procedures.
The “Pure-Hydrogen-Only Solution” may never become reality.
The degree of energy waste certainly depends on the chosen path.
Hydrogen generated from rooftop solar electricity and stored at low pressure in stationary tanks may be a viable solution for private buildings.
On the other hand, hydrogen generated in the Sahara desert, pumped to the Mediterranean Sea through pipelines, then liquefied for sea transport, docked in London and locally distributed by trucks may not provide an acceptable energy solution at all.
Too much energy is lost in the process to justify the scheme.
So who is right?
The hack politicians pandering to the “GREENIES?”
Or the engineers?