On Apr 23, 2015, at 3:19 PM, Robert Bruninga via EV <ev@lists.evdl.org> wrote:

> You should also watch Toyota’s new video which says the car can run on Elon
> Musk’s “bull$$it ”comments  and show how they can take cow manure, and
> process it to hydrogen.. all they have to do is add “steam and heat”.

I made as far as when he got to the refinery and said that they collect methane 
and then do shit to it.

Um...why not just use that methane as is? I mean, we already do -- every 
vehicle with a "CNG" or "LNG" sticker on it is burning methane.

Anything further they do to the methane, by definition, will result in a loss 
of system efficiency.

At some point, the hydrocarbons are going to have to get oxidized. Your best 
bet is to do that with the minimum amount of prior processing and in the most 
efficient oxidizer you can get. In this case, that would mean using the methane 
to power a utility-scale turbine and charging the grid and EVs with the 
resulting electricity. A close second would be using it for hybrid ICE / 
electric rail locomotives. It _might_ be the case that burning the methane in a 
gasoline-style vehicle engine is more efficient than the electric generation to 
EV route...but more likely not.

What's guaranteed is that converting the methane to H2, compressing it, and 
using it to generate electricity in a small fuel cell to power an electric 
motor...is going to be horribly inefficient.

For it to make sense at all, there's going to have to be something inherently 
superior about the fuel cell engine as opposed to a comparable four-stroke 
methane-powered ICE such that you'd choose the fuel cell on its merits 
alone...and I'm hard pressed to think of anything overwhelming.

I'm sure there're niche situations where fuel cells make all kinds of sense, 
but that niche isn't to be found on the highways of the developed world.

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