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« Renewable Energy Storage Webcast | Main | US DOE Hydrogen Vehicle Demonstration Webinar »

November 22, 2011


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Keith D. Patch


Thanks, I will forward your comments to the DOE as well.


Xochitl Dominguez Benetton

In a broad view to the documentation, I do not see any considerations yet regarding microbial electrolysis cells (electrolysis of organic matter for hydrogen production). Although they are just an emergent technology and current outputs do not compare to non microbially mediated electrolysis, energy consumption is 5 to 10 times lower than with classical water electrolysis, among other benefits.

Keith D. Patch


Thanks, I will forward your comments to the DOE as well.


Jessee McBroom

I highly advise the use of power purchase agreements from wind and solar power producers and providers for direct electrolysis for producing hydrogen on site for fueling SOFCs and the like. The water produced from the fuel cells use of the hydrogen fuel should be recovered and recycled for continuous electrolysis cycles. Minor heat exchange applications in the system should make this all feasible. Thanks for working on this.

Keith D. Patch


Thanks, I will forward your comments to the DOE.


Max Yaffe

I worked on the first Hydrogen Economy 35 years ago. We had advanced alkaline electrolyzers, PEM systems were under development, and solid oxide systems were on the horizon. The DOE Water Electrolysis Working Group web page shows a typical energy flow diagram from the ‘70s but with the nukes replaced by renewable sources. It is sad to see how little the technology has progressed.

I suggest that the diagram showing H2 fueled vehicles on the utilization end -- is wrong! The most useful utilization is an easily storable, practical transportation fuel, one that doesn’t break our existing distribution network, e.g. synthetic diesel fuel. High efficiency turbodiesel/hybrid cars are on the near horizon to use such a fuel.

To create this fuel we need renewable sources of hydrogen and carbon. We can use electrolysis to utilize uneven energy sources like solar and wind. We can get the carbon from biomass. I don’t know the practical thermodynamic and kinetic issues of converting those sources to syn-diesel but I would assume a Fischer-Tropsch type process could be employed.

To recapitulate, we should be using existing technology – biomass cultivation, water electrolysis, hydrocarbon synthesis, petroleum product distribution, and diesels hybrids to create a straightforward renewable to transportation fuel alternative. Then each of these steps can be improved through normal competitive processes without the DOE’s help.

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