23 May
Something that’s been bugging me for a few years now is the seemingly stalled progress on Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology.
I’ve done no great amount of research into this but try and pay attention whenever the subject crosses my path. In light of the current fossil fuel disaster in the Gulf of Mexico it surprised me that the general media hasn’t picked up on this topic. Maybe they are in on the multi national conspiracy too!
Hydrogen Cell technology is proven and exists, there have been several test vehicles built which work very well considering that they are prototypes. These have been produced by the worlds biggest car manufacturers, not just some bloke in a shed.
For anyone who doesn’t know, this is a method of energy production which allows a vehicle to run on nothing more than Hydrogen. The only emission is water, pure, clean water. No carbon, no sulphur, just water.
OK so why isn’t this in mass production? The reason given is that the process of extracting or manufacturing Hydrogen is massively inefficient and costly, also it generates it’s own pollution in the process. Why should this be an issue? The first steam engines to be widely used were grossly inefficient. Designed by Thomas Newcomen to pump water from Cornish tin mines in the early 18th century, using very low pressure steam. Firstly it didn’t stop them from being commissioned in vast numbers as all concerned could see that the benefits far outweighed the cost and logistical problems of using so much coal. Secondly, within a very short space of time, other pioneers of steam such as James Watt had taken the concept and developed it into something much more practical.
The point here is that we have a need to move the technology forward, if it was adopted on a small scale it would drive the research on as all of the big manufacturers would want to be leading the race. Instead we are told that using electric vehicles is the green solution but this is absolute codswallop! When Boris Johnson was interviewed about electric vehicles being exempt from London Congestion Charge, he was lamenting the virtues of this clean technology. That was until a sharp reporter asked him where the electricity came from to charge the batteries of these vehicles…”from the plug.” was his answer. Well done Boris, just like all of the other bafoons who think that they can take some kind of high moral stance because they drive one of those things, he had missed the point. Production of electricty is not green at present and all that GeeWizz drivers are doing is pumping load of carbon into the atmosphere from a power station every time they charge their car instead of every time they turn on the engine!
If all of the major governments from around the world seriously contributed to the research on this, I’m sure that it could be a much more viable option. Currently though, it seems that the research is being done on a very small scale at a few universities and is considered as something for the future. Future my arse! The reason, as far as I can make out, that this is not being pushed forward is simple. There is no need as long as we have oil available! As long as we keep using oil, the powers that be can tell us that we are naughty and must pay lots and lots of tax for the privilege. If a clean fuel was used they would have no excuse to tax it so heavily.
Meanwhile, in order to look good, they will commission a load of poxy wind farms (a future topic to rant about) and hopefully be perceived as “green aware!”
I am no tree hugging, tofu eating nutter who thinks that cars are bad and planes are the devils playthings. I am however realistic and appreciate that new technology is needed to move forward responsibly. Most authorities on fossil fuels seem to be indicating that we have about 30 yrs of oil reserves to play with. We also have millions and millions of vehicles which will become redundant when that time comes. Put the tech out there now, allow plenty of time for the crossover to happen gradually whilst the industry can develop and advance it at leisure. Otherwise we are gonna end up with one hell of a mess of useless scrap and at the same time could well end up with the average Fuel Cell family car as something so slow and impractical that the transport system will be ground to a halt!
Of course if I wanted to be really cynical I could suggest that the process to produce Hydrogen is already perfected but is being kept firmly under wraps so we can keep on using that tax lucrative oily stuff…?

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