Tuesday, October 17, 2006

One Small Problem With the H2 Highway Formerly Known as I-78


My son is a pain in the ass. According to him, hydrogen may not be all that safe. "Hydrogen is arguably the most dangerous gas in a lab. If you don't take every precaution there will be an explosion, and it doesn't take a lot of H2 to cause a big bang. Of course when it does combust, it is much cleaner than gasoline, so when an entire station goes up, it's true, it will at least be a clean burn." Picky. Picky. Who 'ya gonna' believe, a Chemistry Ph.D. or a title searcher? He's just saying that so that he looks smart.

All kidding aside, thanks Buddy.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

See, Pennsylvania is safer because of the war on terror. We will never have to worry about Amish Suicide car bombers!

Bernie OHare 4 said...

Hahaha, I made it all up anyway. My only problem is that companies such as air products, as well as other specialty gas companies, smell money in this. So they create websites, and push propoganda to the non-science population about how safe H2 is. I feel they are in the wrong, it isn't as safe as they make it seem. It's nothing you would want your children playing with. It is true an explosion in an open area wouldn't be as bad as a gasoline explosion, but how are they going to have open area fueling stations? Are they going to manufacture cars (exterior and interior) out of materials that don't burn? Oh and don't forget us humans can burn pretty well ourselves. The big gothcya is when we are on fire, no one will be able to tell because hydrogen flames aren't easily seen...that makes me feel better. All this aside, hydrogen is an excellent choice of fuel. The scientific community has to come up with a storage solution, and we are making progress. Slowly. I'd hate to see large fueling stations pop up before all safety issues are solved.

Bernie OHare 4 said...

And it is true, I am a pain in the ass.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The funny thing is that I know several people with boundless quantities of renewable energy. I believe yhat I myself am a great source of natural gas.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Buddy, you are a new and improved version of the original.

Anonymous said...

The fact that Air Products is Mr. Dent's largest contributor (see opensecrets.org) wouldn't have anything to do with his new found "environmentalism," would it?
dg

Bernie O'Hare said...

dg, opensecrets.org is a little behind, at least it was as of this morning. The FEC has reports thru Sep but as of this morning, opensecrets only had info thru June. In fact, I intend to blog them tomorrow. But let me make three points, for whatever they are worth.

1) I would not call Dent an environmentalist bc he advocates hydrogen. Hydrogen can be derived from renewable ewnergy sources but can also be derived from fossil fuels like coal or nuuclear energy. The energy companies are behind this and I would not call them environmental. Hydrogen can be, but is not necessarily, an environmental solution. If clean coal is burned, great. But we have to be vigilant about all of that.

2) Although I would not call Dent an environmentalist and realize you were just joking, he's been interested in hyrdrogen for some time. He formed the House hydrogen caucus not long after his election. I believe his interest is sincere.

3) Air Products has given Dent lots of dough, and that's something to consider. But his largest souce of funding is actually individual contributions. He takes money from the PACs, to be sure, but I like to see that over half of his money some from individuals living in his district.

LSTresidentPIA said...

As long as the the board of directors, Ceo, etc of Air Products are the first to own ans drive hydrogen cars then maybe I'll consider it...

Bernie O'Hare said...

LST, Don't listen to my son. He's one of those academic types. I tried one out this afternoon and only blew off three fingers. I didn't need them. Why do we have 5 fingers anyway. I'll prove it's safe. I'll hop in and take a spin over to your bridge and then you can ... KABOOM! There goes another finger.

LSTresidentPIA said...

Stay away from my bridge with your hydrogen cars, thanks

Bernie O'Hare said...

Yes'm.

LVDem said...

Air Products' interest in hydrogen proves that clean air and making money aren't contradictory... that said I love explosions, just not when they involve kids, me, my family and communities. If it takes out Bernie, I'll leave. Besides, he would be sacrificing himself to a cleaner environment.

Whethervain said...

As I understand it, we will have a Hydrogen shuttle on campus within the next few months to showcase the technology. Shuttle!? No, not that thing that visits the Hubble, but a supplement to our inter-campus courtesy bus transportation that goes round'n-round all day taking folks from one section of our campus to another; (Gawd, that's gotta be a boring job!)

As for the chemistry of it all, sorry, I'm a computer geek there (but am involved with the system that monitors those fueling stations!) The extent of my chemistry knowledge is contained in the following poem:

Johnny is a Scientist;
Johnny is no more!
What he thought was H20...
...... was H2SO4

And don't go sayin' nuthin' bad 'bout Air Products or you'll hurt my feelings.

Sorry to hear about your fingers Bernie; guess that means you can't play the violin anymore. (Hmmm, on 2nd thought, that might be a good thing!)

Bernie O'Hare said...

Whethervain, Air Products is a gas! I read about the shuttle and think they had something going w/ LANTA, too. I'm screwing around about H2 but don't see anything wrong w/ exploring the possibilities. Safety is a consideration. Another concern is that last time I checked, more energy is consumed in making H2 avaialble as a fuel than is actually derived from it. I don't view those concerns as disqualifiers but as challenges.

Was I that bad on the violin?