• Hydrogen is the future!

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by WhartonAndNorthern
 
The problem with hydrogen is that it's such a low density fuel compared to diesel that you'd need a dedicated tank car to replace the fuel tank on each locomotive.
  by Patrick Boylan
 
Private Corporations should run hydrogen passenger trains in America
  by eolesen
 
Patrick Boylan wrote: Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:18 am Private Corporations should run hydrogen passenger trains in America
Well, I guess we wouldn't need Amtrak at all, then, eh?
  by djlong
 
Unless you're getting that hydrogen from electrolysis powered by renewables, it's not a solution to the carbon problem.

Having said that, if you built a solar farm that powered an electrolysis plant that pumped the hydrogen only as far as an adjacent rail terminal, you COULD have something there. Fuel cells really don't work for cars, for a number of reasons - but where you have fixed routes and regular schedules? There, you can overcome the challenges that make hydrogen cars impractical.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Patrick Boylan wrote: Tue Jan 14, 2020 2:18 am Private Corporations should run hydrogen passenger trains in America
:-D Y E S ! :-D

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source= ... 8lmrJqlF8p
  by Pensyfan19
 
djlong wrote: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:12 pm Unless you're getting that hydrogen from electrolysis powered by renewables, it's not a solution to the carbon problem.

Having said that, if you built a solar farm that powered an electrolysis plant that pumped the hydrogen only as far as an adjacent rail terminal, you COULD have something there. Fuel cells really don't work for cars, for a number of reasons - but where you have fixed routes and regular schedules? There, you can overcome the challenges that make hydrogen cars impractical.
That would be a reasonable solution to make hydrogen powered and electric powered trains completely fuel efficient, since the electricity needed to power both of them would be made by using zero emission solar power rather than by burning fossil fuels.
  by lpetrich
 
Hydrogen has a BIG problem. Storing it. Its boiling point is about 20 K - very low. So one would have to do what one does for natural gas (methane) as a locomotive fuel. Store it in a separate tank car. BTW, the boiling point of methane is about 112 K - much easier.

But there is a solution: use hydrogen as a feedstock for synthetic fuels. One can combine it with carbon dioxide from the air to make hydrocarbons, in the Fischer-Tropsch reaction. It's been used in oil-starved nations like Nazi Germany and apartheid South Africa, though with coal as the carbon source.

An alternative is to supply nitrogen to the hydrogen electrode when doing electrolysis, making ammonia. It is not as energy-dense as hydrocarbons, and its boiling point is -44 C, but it can be a passable synfuel.
  by Pensyfan19
 
This is an example of how tier 1 diesel engines can be replaced with tier 4 engines via a rebuild. Why can't major locomotive and multiple unit manufacturers, such as GE and Siemens, replace lower toer diesel engines with hydrogen powered engines? (Despite the difficulty of maintaiming hydrogen fuel)

https://www.nj.com/traffic/2020/01/nj-t ... -says.html
  by mtuandrew
 
Pensyfan: sure, you could replace prime movers. You could even keep the same prime movers and redesign the injectors - that would do the same job. At that point though, it’s worth examining whether it’s worth using a conventional reciprocating-piston internal combustion prime mover like a GEVO or MTU V4000 as opposed to a bank of fuel cells. Skips the step of converting fuel into electricity.

I’m not at all convinced hydrogen is the future though, because even though it has successfully been used in places like Germany, the production cost is quite high per unit of energy. Battery technology seems like a better investment right now, one which Wabtec/GETS is already developing with BNSF.
  by ConstanceR46
 
I think the future is gonna be electrification - especially as oil gets scarcer.
  by Pensyfan19
 
ConstanceR46 wrote: Tue Jan 21, 2020 4:38 am I think the future is gonna be electrification - especially as oil gets scarcer.
That could be true. However, the process used in order to make that electricity to power those trains is burning fossil fuels. If these plants which make electricity were to use solar or hydrogen-powered energy to make this electricity, then these trains and their sources of energy would be completely zero-emission.
  by DutchRailnut
 
same is said for hydrogen it uses fossil fuel to make it until US start producing more wind or Solar .
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ngiGZARd9g
  by ConstanceR46
 
Or nuclear, which is the only alternate power source that can replace fossils 1:1.
  by DutchRailnut
 
like we created so many new nuclear plants ????? last 5 or 6 got canceled due to environmental concerns