back to article Texan boffin fixin' to make cheaper fuel cells

Just as it appears that hydrogen fuel-cell powered cars may be about to go mainstream, Texas-based researchers believe they have developed a way of producing automotive fuel cells more cheaply. Under most forms of fuel-cell car design, hydrogen from the car's tanks reacts with oxygen from the air. Rather than simply burning …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: converting any garage in which it might be parked into a large fuel-air bomb

    I obviously bow to Mr Pages superior bomb knowledge....

    But, aren't you assuming that the garage is more hydrogen-tight than the fuel tank of the beemer?

    Wouldn't it just dissipate quite rapidly?

  2. brainwrong

    That's not the only potential problem

    Exposure to hydrogen can weaken many metals.

  3. Jon Tocker

    @JonB - thank you

    You beat me to it.

    I was wondering about Mr Page's garage - whether it was actually some sort of Trekkie electromagnetic containment bottle or some such, because I'm dead certain any hydrogen that escapes from a fuel tank in my garage would be in the stratosphere in minutes.

    My garage is a wooden framed thing with painted steel panels on the sides and a corrugated steel roof afixed to the frame with nails. Anything capable of squeezing out of a thick walled pressure cylinder would (as Pratchett said) "go through it like kzak fruit through a short grandmother."

    The average garage is barely waterproof, let alone hydrogen-proof.

  4. Richard Freeman

    Hang on is this Maths correct?

    I must be missing something here:

    Platinum $26/G

    0.5-0.8G per KW

    (not from the Article) 1HP = 745.7W

    this makes a 115 HP fuel cell close to 85.675Kw

    85.675 *0.5*26 = $1,114.82

    85.675*0.8*26 = $1,783.71

    either I am missing something or there is a serious rounding error in the Article as I make the amount of Platinum required to be in the order of $1,000 to $2,000 (going by the figures in the Article) I am missing $1,000.


  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Is BMW now a terrorist organization trying to get us to drive around in our own personal thermobaric bombs? How German of them!

  6. Acme Fixer

    Math(s) Correct

    The precious metals mkt says platinum is going for $1440 a troy ounce. At 31 grams per troy ounce that's more like $46 a gram.

    The math(s) seems reasonable to me.

  7. Snert Lee

    If they were serious...

    The auto manufacturers, that is, if they were serious about "greenness" and preserving fossil fuels, they'd be focusing on electric cars and leave how to convert fuel into energy up to different market segments.

  8. Gary Weaver

    Another Honda Mistake.....

    As if their Insight, Hybrid Camry, Hybrid Civic weren't enough of an embarrassment, now Honda thinks mobile hydrogen is the path. Even Ford was smart enough to adopt Toyota's Hybrid Synergy Drive method for Escape rather than Honda's or even the half-assed boondoggle that GM is adopting. Instead of 10 years ahead, Toyota will be 15 years ahead. All they have to do is drop a diesel and advanced lithium, or perhaps a rechargeable ZnAir / AlAir if it materializes, and they're good for another 10 yrs; or more.

    You have energy-dense biodiesel with competing sponsorships from McDonalds, Burger King, etc for the title of the best french fry smelling exhaust!!!!

  9. Richard Freeman

    @Acme Fixer

    I disagree, the maths was incorrect - as stated,

    O.K, so was the value of platinum - It was valued in the article at $26 per gram and as per my working this works out at $1000-$2000 (this is why I showed my working)

    85.675 *0.5*46 = $1970.53

    85.675*0.8*46 = $3152.84

    The fact that the value of platinum was incorrect in the article does not miraculously make the maths correct and the result being correct is merely co-incidence - the article is still in error - how can you say the maths is correct???

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