Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 internet speed test! No Flash necessary and runs on all devices. ×

Fuel Cell Powered Scooter 209

!Freeky2BGeeky writes "In an article by Fuel Cell Works, Samsung Engineering announced that they've developed a Hydrogen-based scooter which can go 140Km on 6 liters of hydrogen. The downside? The process that produces the hydrogen uses a component in short supply."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Fuel Cell Powered Scooter

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Free Tibet or something. If they got all the sodium-borate we need to drive around on our scooters, lucky for them.
    • Bullys don't take on countries that can and will fight back.
    • Liberate them from who? China?

      Oh man, this is going to be sweet!
    • 300Mt of NaBH (however it's spelled), is 600Tg (ignoring those tricky molality functions by saying NaBH hydrous solution weighs 2x water), or 300BL. At 140Km:6L (24Km:L), that's 7.2E12Km. Americans drive 3.7E12Km:y, so that's 2 years of driving. Even if we scoot 100x less than we drive, we're only 5% of the world's population, and other countries are more scooter-ready than the US. This fuel would go up in smoke right away, and we'd have another Iraq biting our tit for the rest of our lives.
  • uh oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:05AM (#10916690)
    The downside is that there are only about 300 million tons of sodium borate worldwide, located mostly in Tibet, and that annual global production of sodium borohydride stands at 10,000 tons, it added.

    well, we know where Bush will be sending the troops to next year.

    mods: it's a joke
    • Re:uh oh (Score:4, Funny)

      by halowolf ( 692775 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:07AM (#10916697)
      mods: it's a joke

      I'm sorry all humour is forfeit from a joke when you explain that it is one.

    • Re:uh oh (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:30AM (#10916785)
      well, we know where Bush will be sending the troops to next year.

      Do you mean to secure the worlds sodium borate supply, or to prevent this source being used?

    • Re:uh oh (Score:4, Funny)

      by foniksonik ( 573572 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:36AM (#10917263) Homepage Journal
      Don't worry, as long as China has a lock on Tibet it's not a problem... I mean G.W.'s father did spew all over that Chinese consulate guy, I mean that's a bond that can't be broken... remember in junior high when your best friend beat you up or you stood up to him? Throwing up on someone is the same thing... total bonding...

      Bam!
    • Re:uh oh (Score:4, Insightful)

      by WalksOnDirt ( 704461 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @07:44AM (#10917282)
      Borax is a sodium borate, and it's cheap enough to throw away with the waste water when we wash clothes. While there is not a lot of borates in the world, there are several highly concentrated deposits that are easy to mine.

      It's be obvious to experts for a long time that we may end up regretting using up so much of our borate deposits washing clothes, but given a free market economy and the time value of money, no one has found a way to stop it.
  • hmm... (Score:5, Funny)

    by NightDragon ( 732139 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:05AM (#10916691)
    What happens when lightning strikes it? Does it explode in a big fireball as radio reporters scream "oh the humanity!"?
    • Re:hmm... (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      What happens when lightning strikes it? Does it explode in a big fireball as radio reporters scream "oh the humanity!"?

      yes, i'm sure all these drivers will be going out with a big metal flag pole connected to their scooters. :)
    • Re:hmm... (Score:2, Informative)

      by sik0fewl ( 561285 )

      Yes [yale.edu]

    • Well, actually... (Score:2, Informative)

      by pewterfish ( 766491 )
      Hmm, IIRC the Hindenberg fire wasnt originally related to the hydrogen lift-gas at all, but rather to the aluminium powder coating on the outer hull. The hydrogen fire wasn't good news, but all the burning related to that was up above the ship (heat an hydrogen both rise, y'know). The bad stuff on the ground was mainly falling debris and burning bits of hull.

      References: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindenburg_disaster [wikipedia.org] http://www.clean-air.org/hindenberg.htm [clean-air.org]
    • Re:hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

      by bombadillo ( 706765 )
      What happens when lightning strikes it? Does it explode in a big fireball as radio reporters scream "oh the humanity!"?

      Oh you just made a bad Slashdot faux paux. Prepare to be bombarded with information regarding the Hindenburg's frame actually being the problem. You had to bring up the ole Hindenburg. Prepare for the Karma whoring and google linking to begin.
  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:06AM (#10916695) Homepage Journal
    There are lots of ways to make hydrogen. Probably the best is to electrolyze it from water using electricity provided by solar power or another clean means of power.

    I suspect that an internal-combustion engine such as one already used in production motorcycles could be tuned to burn a hydrogen mix, and that 6 liters (at what pressure? liquid?) for that mileage is not really news. Indeed, there may not be much new science here and the release mostly propoganda.

    Bruce

    • by Anonymous Coward
      The primary feat of this machine is the way the hydrogen is stored on board. For that they use sodium borohydride, which is in short supply.
      • The release says the sodium borate is used to produce, not store, the hydrogen, but you might be right. Sort of like a carbide lamp, then. What else comes from the reaction?

        Bruce

        • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:29AM (#10916782)
          Just for clarification. Quote: The newly-developed technology uses a water-based solution of sodium borohydride, made from sodium borate, to produce hydrogen gas.

          That means they put the hydrogen "into" sodium borate, creating sodium borohydride. A catalytic reaction on board the vehicle then "produces" the hydrogen. Stanford has a nice PDF on using sodium borohydride for hydrogen storage [stanford.edu].
      • "The primary feat of this machine is the way the hydrogen is stored on board. For that they use sodium borohydride, which is in short supply."

        Still, it beats my scooter running on proto-matter...
    • by C10H14N2 ( 640033 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:13AM (#10916719)
      The Shell station by my house already sells hydrogen at the pumps.

      http://www.csnews.com/csnews/reports_analysis/fe at ure_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1000717936

      Where do I order one of these again?
    • The press release says "The development and testing of the hydrogen-powered scooter shows that South Korea's technology is on a par with that of the world," which is totally accurate.... ...it's just the rest of the world isn't that hot at paying for real R&D either :\
    • ... and that 6 liters (at what pressure? liquid?) ...
      The article seems to say 6 liters of 'water-based solution of sodium borohydride' not of pure hydrogen. So I guess the question would be, what concentration?

    • suspect that an internal-combustion engine such as one already used in production motorcycles could be tuned to burn a hydrogen mix, and that 6 liters (at what pressure? liquid?) for that mileage is not really news.

      Aside from the question of measuring the fuel, I do think that a hybrid fuel (hydrogen/gasoline) IC engined car might be a better way forward than a electric/gasoline hybrid. I don't have a link, but according to Consumer Reports, the actual mileage of the Toyota Prius is much less than its EPA

    • "Probably the best is to electrolyze it from water using electricity provided by solar power or another clean means of power"

      That method requires allot of power to produce a decent useable amount of hydrogen, plus you have to have a collection system that can bottle the gas under high pressure. That would require an interesting compressor setup.
      It looks like the sodium borohydride mixture is onboard the scooter and produces the hydrogen on the spot. The only thing is that sodium borohydride is nasty shit;
    • The Law of Conservation of Energy says that you have to put at least as much energy into creating your fuel as you will derive from it. Whether you directly apply that energy (electrolysis) or nature's done it for you (sodium borate), you can't break the law.

      There are lots of clean methods of creating power for electrolysis, but each have scalability problems. For example, I remember reading a while back that the global electricity load was around 64 Terawatts. To generate that load using alternative e

      • The area of the Sahara alone is 9,000,000 square km or 9e12 square metres. The average energy per square metre on the earths surface is around 1kW. If we allow our solar panel to be 25% efficient that makes for 2250 Terawatts of electricity. That means we only need to cover 3% of the Sahara to meet total world electricity requirements today. This is forgetting deserts in the Middle East, Austrialia, North and South America and Asia.

        All these figures where Googled in 5 minutes. That also turned up a link th
        • Man if you covered the dessert in East California with solar panels, it would be bad news. Think about the rattle snakes, spiders cacti that would not be able to survive due to all the shade. The dessert gives up it's heat rapidly now but even faster when only the panels are getting solar heated (yes they get heated by the sun too!). Heck the weather would change. For all I know it might become more cloudy (just a wild guess as another example result).
    • Probably the best is to electrolyze it from water using electricity provided by solar power or another clean means of power.

      That's probably the most expensive means possible.

      Steven Den Beste provides some good numbers [denbeste.nu] on this use-solar-power-to-crack-water suggestion:

      In 1998, the State of California consumed 13.496 billion gallons of gasoline. A gallon of gasoline yields about 130 million joules. So when you do all the math, you end up with about 1.755 * 1018 joules, which is an impressively large numb

  • by novakyu ( 636495 ) <novakyu@member.fsf.org> on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:07AM (#10916696) Homepage
    ...or simply supply of fuel.

    From the article: The newly-developed technology uses a water-based solution of sodium borohydride, made from sodium borate, to produce hydrogen gas.

    The downside is that there are only about 300 million tons of sodium borate worldwide, located mostly in Tibet, and that annual global production of sodium borohydride stands at 10,000 tons, it added.

    So, other than the fact that it produces less pollution (I would hesitate to say less "green gas", though since vapor is a green gas) it has no advantage over gasoline powered scooter.

    In fact, have we yet seen any viable hydrogen-powered vehicle? I thought most models/prototypes we have so far were less energy efficient than gasoline powered cars (even with infrastructure to provide hydrogen nation-,world-wide, we have to have a way of generating them, and electrolysis is simply not the most efficient way (and certainly less so than internal combustion) way to get hydrogen).

    • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:14AM (#10916723) Homepage Journal
      The problem is not efficiency, it's storage. Liquid hydrogen lives in a dewar at cryogenic temperatures and high pressure, and will outgas right through the walls of its container. The most effective storage strategy might be to synthesize a liquid fuel with the hydrogen and then burn that.

      Efficiency is not as important as the fact the fuel won't be depleted and burns cleanly. There is lots of energy in inconvenient places like deserts, if you can figure out how to make the fuel there and ship it elsewhere, it's a win.

      Bruce

    • by orzetto ( 545509 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:52AM (#10916840)
      I thought most models/prototypes we have so far were less energy efficient than gasoline powered cars

      Fortunately you thought wrong. The real roadblock is the price of fuel cells, which everybody expects to plummet once mass-production is commenced (today most production is pretty much manual), and of course the missing infrastructure.

      electrolysis is simply not the most efficient way

      Hard to substantiate. Current efficiencies in electrolysis processes rank up to 90% energy efficiency. This is however the "reported" one, which might be away from the standard operating point of equipment; 80% and 94% are reported here [bellona.no]. Compare with the 20-30% of internal combustion engines, which does normally not account for dead time in queues, where some gas is being consumed, which does not happen in fuel cells as there are no major moving parts to keep spinning.

      Of course there are other considerations than just efficiency, as usability of current distribution networks (which favours the use of liquid fuels as methanol, formic acid), presence of existing technologies (reforming of natural gas, oil and hydrocarbons in general).

      Remark: efficiency is often given (faultily) as the ratio of Work obtained / Available enthalpy ("W/Delta_H"), which is BS: Gibbs' free energy should be used, "W/Delta_G". This causes electrolysis processes to look a bit better than they atually are, since the reaction enthalpy is ca. 286 kJ/mol, while the Gibbs' free energy is less, about 237 kJ/mol. Therefore, we actually need a minimum of 237 kJ to split a mole of water. Don't be surprised when someone will claim "over 100% efficiency in electrolysis", because that is well possible if you use the enthalpy definition.

    • I'm beginning to think that hydrogen is not the best "fuel of the future". Storing it just seems to be a big problem. What about less sexy options like biodiesel? Couldn't that be turned into a renewable energy source far more easily?

      Cheers.
  • Text:

    Samsung Engineering Develops Hydrogen Scooter

    Publication Date:18-November-2004
    Source:Asia Pulse
    SEOUL- Samsung Engineering Co. (KSE:028050) said Thursday it has conducted a successful test-ride of a hydrogen-powered motorcycle.

    The scooter, the result of a project sponsored by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, can run up to 140 kilometers on 6 liters of hydrogen fuel, it said.

    The newly-developed technology uses a water-based solution of sodium
  • short supply (Score:3, Insightful)

    by YouHaveSnail ( 202852 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:12AM (#10916717)
    The downside? The process that produces the hydrogen uses a component in short supply.

    Let me guess: that component is a renewable, non-polluting source of energy?

    Guess I'd better go RTFA.
  • Bicycles are the most beautiful machines on the face of the earth. Ride one today!
    • Clearly you don't live in Cambridge. Bicylces are a menace and must be terminated with extreme prejudice!

      I kid a bit, of course, but it seriously is a problem in places like Cambridge. Right outside of my college (in city centre, mind you!), the road narrows to one lane. Buses drive through there like madmen, and very frequently cyclists come right up on the footpath at breakneck speed. Very dangerous for all involved. I fully advocate bikes in city, because they are by far the most efficient and poten

  • SODIUM BOROHYDRIDE (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ndevice ( 304743 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:14AM (#10916722)
    • Try inhaling gasoline, or leaving THAT on yourskin for any extended period.

      Steve
    • Lab Protective Equip: GOGGLES & SHIELD; LAB COAT & APRON; VENT HOOD; PROPER GLOVES; CLASS B EXTINGUISHER

      This will look funny at the gas station. Get it today, your fancy new Scooter and a funky new dress.

    • It's not just flammable, it's corrosive and water-reactive too! : D
    • by squoozer ( 730327 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @06:13AM (#10917044)

      Mod or teach the world some chemistry. hmmm teach some chemistry I think.

      When it comes to chemicals please please please don't think have a knee jerk reaction and claim that all chemicals are evil and sent by satan himself.

      Everything around you is a chemical so to say you are scared of chemicals is pretty stupid. Further more to say a chemical is bad or nasty is pretty silly as you are attributing a bunch of atoms a human personality.

      Sodium Borohydride is a faily commonly used chemical and for the most part it is completely safe. There are no really special handling requirements (for lab scale use) although if memory serves it's generally best not to get it wet but even then it's generally only a fairly quck reaction. I'm not saying that you can eat the stuff just correctly managed it's safe.

      There are a few really dangerous chemicals such as nerve gasses that require very special treatment and you really don't want to be messing with them but most chemicals are quite inert.

      To give you some perspective have a look at the MSDS data for cadmium. You no doubt use NiCad batteries and I think you will be somewaht shocked. Do you have a mercury thermometer. That mercury is dangerous stuff. How about metholated spirit. If it was a toss up between eating 1g of sodium borohydride or drinking 1ml of meths I would probably go with the sodium borohydride and yet you probably splash meths about.

      Ok that's enough chemistry for one day.

      • Okay, so we are really talking about the difference about may be fatal Methyl Alcohol (CH3OH) [ox.ac.uk] and may cause serious damage Sodium Borohydride (BNaH4) [ox.ac.uk]. Hmm, kind of a silly thing. Neither of these chemicals ought to be in the common persons hands (the same people who bring you hot coffee lawsuits and ride around in the back of pickup trucks.)

        People do enough damage to themselves and the world with the current harvest of dangerous consumer products. Gasoline included. Now, if you are trading a lesser e

      • Look at your keyboard for a moment.

        Right next to the "right-shift" (to the left of it) is a very special key. Try hitting "shift" and that key, and you'll see what it does.

        Your output should look like this:
        ?

        Did you see it? There - I used it with a sentence for you. Use it to end a sentence whenever you ask questions in a post. That's why it's called the question mark, because it ends a question. Note that rhetorical questions also count as questions, and should also have a question mark.

        Okay, that's
    • Yep, it's a good thing that we're using a nice, safe fuel [albina.com].

      Wait...a low flashpoint isn't dangerous is it? And worrying about exposure to benzene, toluene, and various additives would just be silly....

      We only think of gasoline as 'safe' because we've been handling it for so long. Familiarity breeds contempt, I guess. If you go behind the scenes, there's actually a tremendous amount of effort expended in terms of regulation and engineering that protects us from the hazards (mostly flammability, but also

  • Sort of kicks the technological crap out of the old-fashioned battery powered Segway, eh?
  • by Kevin Burtch ( 13372 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:25AM (#10916766)

    Scooter?
    Chrysler made a minivan [google.com] that used the exact same chemicals and principles 3 years ago.

    The interesting part is, in all of the articles I've seen about the Chrysler implimentation, they state that the largest reserves are in the western US... removing our dependence on foreign oil. This is the first time I've seen Tibet mentioned as the primary source of the chemical.

  • If we can produce sodium borate from other energy sources... I don't think the problem we have currently is one of limited energy production, but one of energy transmission... if we could beam microwaves from satellites to convert solar energy to something more portable... wouldn't we be set?
  • Sodium Borohydride (Score:5, Informative)

    by boatboy ( 549643 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:25AM (#10916770) Homepage
    I'm not a chemistry buff, but this lecture [purdue.edu] from a Perdue chemistry prof describes the discovery of sodium borohydride, the compound used to generate hydrogen for this thing.
  • by Zog The Undeniable ( 632031 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:31AM (#10916791)
    The method of producing hydrogen kind of reminds me of the way acetylene lamps used to work; dripping water onto calcium carbide releases the gas. No environmental benefits though, since you release CO2 when you make the carbide *and* when you burn the acetylene, which (being highly unsaturated) has a high carbon content and is far dirtier than gasoline. Acetylene has a notoriously smoky flame unless you burn it in pure oxygen, as in an oxy-acetylene torch.
    • From my organic chemistry lectures I remember that acetylene (more properly "ethyne") is unstable. Kick it (or make an accident with a car running on it) strong enough, and it will dissociate into gaseous hydrogen (whose pressure will probably breach any tank), and carbon, liberating a whopping 211 kJ/mol in Gibbs free energy; hydrogen combustion with oxygen, as a comparison, is 237 (and it comes in cascade with the previous).

  • by Gopal.V ( 532678 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @04:38AM (#10916808) Homepage Journal
    Would this be affected by the patent [nanotech-now.com] on catalysed reaction to produce hydrogen (using a sodium borohydrate solution ?).

    The fuel source itself is not very newsworthy. It was around in early 2000 as well (named the Millenium Cell [7gen.com]. Of course, it does not explode unlike the CNG [pii.or.id] powered ones. Recently (1-2 month) back we had a blaze up near our office when a Truck rear-ended a gas powered car (it's very common these days) and the gas tank ruptured, exploded and threw the car's rear door about 3 feet into truck's engine (breaking through 1/2 inch metal sheet). Thankfully only the driver was in the car and he was saved by the rear seat from the explosion.

    This is not a viable alternative. But, Hey .. it was done because some guy said "We CAN". And that's reason enough :)

    • I'm replying to myself

      Once the hydrogen is released the liquid instead contains Sodium Borate, and can be reprocessed to a Sodium Borohydrate solution. Hydrogen is stored in this liquid in densities ranging from 4%-7% (by weight) depending on the formulation.

      This makes for reusable fuel.

      From the Millenium cell. Now *THIS* sounds interesting. The one thing I need to check is how fast it can be recharged (etc..) and how good is the energy releasing capacity.

      We might have stations which accept a Used bot

      • by The_Dougster ( 308194 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @06:08AM (#10917030) Homepage

        From what I could gather, the regeneration process involves electrolyzing the molten salts. This is not an easy or convenient process and has tons of problems, but it is doable on an industrial basis.

        This chemical, Sodium Borohyrdate, is right up there with Sodium Hydride and Lithium Aluminum Hydride insamuch as it is a tremendously powerfull base. This stuff makes industrial strength liquid Drano look like water, and the only nice thing about the Boron compound is that it "supposedly" requires the presence of a catalyst before it explodes, ostensibly making it much more friendly to use. NaH and LiAlH are extremely dangerous and are used in organic synthesis, for example to turn something like vegetable oil directly into something like octane. Reactions are carried out in an ice water bath and in very small amounts.

        In all practicality, this chemical is probably a bit too dangerous for public energy storage and transmission. Consider if your car ran on concentrated Nitric Acid instead of gasoline... its a similar scenario. Calcuim Carbide (produces Acetylene) is probably a lot safer than this stuff IMO.

        Just like Hydrazine and Dinitrogen Pentoxide, theoretically they make an awesome medium for energy storage; however, untrained people really shouldn't be allowed in the same building as that stuff.

  • by little1973 ( 467075 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @05:01AM (#10916867)
    Hydrogen is an energy carrier and not an energy source. Currently, hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels or natural gas. Electrolyzing hydrogen from water is very expensive. We need very efficient solar panels for the hydrogen economy to start.

    Biodiesel looks more promising. There are some algae which contains 50% oil. Here's a link:
    http://www.unh.edu/p2/biodiesel/article_alg e.html
    • We need very efficient solar panels for the hydrogen economy to start.

      In other words, it wouldn't be a hydrogen economy at all, but a solar economy, and I'd cheer for that.

      Ra, Ra, Ra!

      KFG
      • Ah, but the Sun generates its energy mostly from... Hydrogen fusion, so we're back to a hydrogen economy (although by that reasoning, we're already in a hydrogen economy, even the Uranium we're using in our nuclear power plants was originally formed in stars which started as big blobs of mostly hydrogen)
    • Why don't we have more alcohol - ethanol or methanol - based cars? I believe in Brazil they have (had?) more than 50% of those? I mean - bio-matter (woods etc) to fuel conversion cycle can be decades or even months which take the tree or plant to grow and days for wood to be processed instead of hundreds of thousands of years for them to rot underground. Also - less polution when burned AFAIK.
    • Hydrogen is an energy carrier and not an energy source.

      Yup.

      We need very efficient solar panels for the hydrogen economy to start.

      And/or wind, nuclear, geothermal, etc. The point is that using hydrogen as an energy carrier allows us to more fully transition to non-fossil energy sources.
      • Yeah - you'd think a forum full of programmers could understand the appeal of applying Once And Only Once to infrastructure.

        Oh wait, I forgot that this was a forum full of _bad_ programmers.
    • Currently, hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels or natural gas. Electrolyzing hydrogen from water is very expensive. We need very efficient solar panels for the hydrogen economy to start.

      The key word there is currently.

      What's current now isn't what matters when you're talking about future technology. Using hydrocarbons or electrolysis in combination with solid-state solar panels to produce hydrogen is the current situation. It's not where things are going...

      Which is namely to the production of efficie
    • Before prohibition farms used to run on moonshine, it's easy to produce, is green and doesn't have any nasty biproducts.
    • Actually, solar-powered electrolysis is only one way ... thermal dissociation of water molecules works too. And building a solar reflector farm is relatively low-tech compared to really high-efficiency solar cells which we don't have yet anyway. All you need is a very high temperature and you get hydrogen and oxygen. Not too sure about how you'd separate the two safely though once you've broken the molecular bonds. Sounds dangerous anyway.
  • Boron as a fuel, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by tonywestonuk ( 261622 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @05:09AM (#10916898)
    So, can we not manufacture sodium-Borate, from Sodium, and Boron?... So, after doing a few Googles in search of the answer, I came across this page, that isn't entirely unrelated

    http://www.public.iastate.edu/~mqolson/papertwo.ht ml [iastate.edu]

    This is about using Boron itself, as a fuel. Apparently, Boron will burn, however, by-products of burning is just Boron - Oxide, which can be turned back to boron. The energy density of this process is > gasoline.... Tony.
    • IIRC the XB-70 Valkyrie used boron hydride as fuel to achieve Mach 3+ cruising speed. Energy density of the fuel was said to be twice that of hydrocarbon fuels.

    • The page says that one of boron's advantages is that it requires pure oxygen to burn, and thus won't ignite in our atmosphere. Doesn't that imply that a vehicle using boron as a fuel would require it's own supply of pure oxygen to run?

      Now correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't pure oxygen tend to make things explode? I think that any safety advantage provided by the non-flamability of boron would be negated by the explosion inducing properties of pure oxygen.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 25, 2004 @05:51AM (#10916995)
    can go 140 km on about 6 L of Coke.
    • Re:So, my bicycle... (Score:3, Interesting)

      by malfunct ( 120790 )

      I'm afraid if you do the calculations there are not enough calories in the 6L of Coke to actually propel your body that far. Humans, while being truely amazing machines, are not terribly energy effcient from what I understand.

      Yes I know this was a joke, but I've seen many posts saying that bicycles are great machines and forget that thier source of propulsion is probably not as effcient as a gasoline engine.

      The solution to the energy crisis is less humans.

      • Re:So, my bicycle... (Score:3, Informative)

        by tap ( 18562 )
        You understand wrong, see this [howstuffworks.com] If you could drink gas, you would get over 1,000 miles per gallon on a bicycle.

        If cars could eat big macs, it would take about 2.46 to go a mile.

        A human on a bicycle is the most efficient means of active transportation in existence, including machines and animals. The only way to get more efficient is to float and let water or air currents take you where they will.

      • I'm afraid if you do the calculations there are not enough calories in the 6L of Coke to actually propel your body that far. Humans, while being truely amazing machines, are not terribly energy effcient from what I understand.

        Let's see Calories in Coke [calorie-count.com] seems to be about 440 calories per liter. That'd be 2640 calories in 6 liters.
        At a moderate pace, you spend about
        560 calories per hour bicycling at 13 mph. So that's about 3770 calories.

        So, about 8.5 liters of Coke. Probably not as far off as you'd think.
  • Fuel Cell Powered? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ceeam ( 39911 )
    Did not RTFA (nor am I going to), but is there conversion to electicity somewhere? If so - is it really needed once you got hydrogen? Wouldn't it be more effective just to burn it? And if there's no electricity involved (which I suspect) then WTF "fuel cell" is doing in the article title? Let's not broaden the terms or you can call your car's engine a "fuel cell".
  • I wonder if they realise that their site title and footer mention fuelcellworks.com which is domain-parked and not working. Maybe they're confused?
  • Finnish compnay Hydrocell, (their web site is not very informative, unfortunately) has an elecrtic scooter for sale. They sell nickle based fuel cells, and metal-hydide hydrogen tanks, which, they claim, upon agreement, can be refilled almost on any gas station. Fuel cell plus the tank weigh about 20 kilos, and give their scooter a range of about 200 km. They sell the fuel cells separtely as well, at about 1K eur. (same as in the scooter)
  • Not impressing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Pervertus ( 637664 )
    140km per 6 liters means 23.3 kilometers/liter. Even the Smart car, mentioned here [slashdot.org], does better (60 MPG, which is 24.14km per liter). And Smart doesn't require a nearly-depleted energy source (yet).
  • Any images? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Barumpus ( 145412 )
    Does anyone know of a location to se what this thing looks like? I am curious due to various regulations about "scooters". For example, if this was a moped style scooter it would have a quite different effect then if it was one of those "little metal plates with 2 wheels a motor and handle bars" like you buy at your area department store for you kids. In Florida where I live, the moped style is street usable while the second "recreational" style would be pointless. The second version can not be driven on pu
    • The more I read the news, the more pointless things appear to be associated with Florida. But, yeah, the term scooter isn't too specific, but "motor scooter" (such as a Vespa) generally means a conventional two-wheeled fully-motorized design with a seat. Mopeds are a different category all together, in that they have a motor and pedals.
  • I had a moped that could go 140km on 1 litre of petrol. How is this progress? I now have to put a 10kg, steel hydrogen tank on my old moped?
  • Hydrogen (Score:3, Interesting)

    by static0verdrive ( 776495 ) on Thursday November 25, 2004 @10:51AM (#10917895) Homepage Journal
    Even Fuel-cell cars and buses have been out for a while. (I've heard of about 3 fuel-cell buses running in Vancouver).

    Obvious oil company agenda aside, I believe the lack of success in fuel-cell powered transportation is due largly to there being no truly safe way to carry the hydrogen around with you. You're basically driving a bomb that's touchier than current IC cars with gas tanks (not to mention an empty gas tank is more explosive than a full one, whereas in the hydrogen's case, BOOOM!)

    I did read somewhere that "they" are making titanium casing for hydrogen storage, but can it be enough? Gives new meaning to the term "car-bomb"...
  • "The process that produces the hydrogen uses a component in short supply."

    What, water or electricity? These are in short supply all of a sudden?

    If it's hydrogen powered, why can't they produce the hydrogen the normal way, instead of using sodium borohydride?

"Gotcha, you snot-necked weenies!" -- Post Bros. Comics

Working...