Re: hydrogen powered planes

From:         "Jan P. Andrews" <>
Organization: National Public Radio
Date:         29 Nov 95 01:36:13 
References:   1 2
Next article
View raw article
  or MIME structure

(This whole issue is way outside my area of expertise, but I suppose that
gives me a certain amount of license to ask dumb questions...) (Richard Shevell) wrote, in part:
>It takes more fossil energy to produce the liquid hydrogen required for
>aircraft than  it does to just burn the fossil fuel in the aircraft
>turbines. So it does not save fossil fuel.

If the hydrogen fuel were produced during off-peak times when excess
electric generating capacity was on-line and unused, couldn't it be argued
that the hydrogen fuel was being extracted without using additional fossil
or  nuclear fuel or hydroelectric energy?  (That assumes, of course, that
someone would be willing to build a hydrogen fuel plant that would only operate
for a few hours per day, the hours being adjusted on a seasonal basis as well.)

>The pollution produced producing the liquid hydrogen is probably worse than
>that produced by the fossil fuel burning aircraft.

If done on an off-peak basis, would significant amounts of additional
pollution (above and beyond that produced when the plants are running unloaded)
necessarily be generated by the electric power plants?

If your arguments are correct, wouldn't they completely discredit any supposed
advantages of electric cars, etc., over conventional fossil-fueled versions?
Is/was the CA legislation requiring that a percentage of cars be non-fossil-
fueled totally specious?

Jan P. Andrews    Project Engineer    Audio Enginering Division
National Public Radio    Washington DC USA