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Ah, all this talk about ham sandwiches and gas
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The aluminum/gallium catalyst looks promising. One interesting thing about the Genepax device is that they state that it will operate continuously, so long as it has water. That suggests that they have developed a catalyst that is not sacrificed.

I found some links regarding the Genepax car. It is clear that their cell consumes aluminum to produce hydrogen. To produce or regenerate that aluminum, you need to spend at least as much electricity as will be recovered from the hydrogen. Therefore, their invention might be useful as a compact energy storage for cars, but not for large-scale hydrogen production.

The other link you posted, http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/jacsat/2005/127/i34/pdf/ja053860u.pdf, is about using a catalyst for the reaction of water with organosilanes. Hence, the organosilanes are consumed to produce hydrogen. Production of organosilanes requires a lot of energy, hence again no chance to use this process in any large-scale hydrogen production. This publication is of fundamental scientific interest, to better understand the mechanisms of chemical reactions.
 
I would look at the hydrogen production methods this way. A commercial hydrogen market exists already, hydrogen being used for some chemical processes. Nearly all hydrogen sold there is produced either by electrolisys (so, electricity is consumed), or from natural gas (a fossil fuel).

Once (if ever) any of the new, thermal / catalytic methods of hydrogen production conquers the existing market and obsoletes those old methods, then we can think that maybe the cost of hydrogen energy is now lower than the cost of electric energy, and start working on hydrogen trains.

However, as long as none of the new thermal / catalytic methods is visible on the conventional hydrogen market, we can safely assume that electric energy remains cheaper than thermal / catalytic hydrogen. In that situation, we are much better off electrifying rail lines, than investing in the hydrogen train technology that might never become economically sustainable.
 
The nuclear power plants in operation right now do not have the right infrastructure to use excess capacity to make hydrogen, its something to do with the piping and steam, etc. etc.
But the new nukes they are building will have the capability of making hyrdrogen in massive quantities, then it will be more feasible to have hydrogen trains.
I have heard that there are talks of having hydrogen trains run the Windsor-Quebec City corridor...
 
But the new nukes they are building will have the capability of making hyrdrogen in massive quantities, then it will be more feasible to have hydrogen trains.

No nuclear reactor, old or new, can produce hydrogen directly. The direct product of any nuclear reactor is heat. There are two ways to use that heat to produce hydrogen:

A) Electrolysis. For that, nuclear energy first needs to be converted to electricity before converting to hydrogen.

But once we converted the energy into electricity, we are better off just transmitting it to the trains via the overhead wires. Converting to hydrogen at the nuclear plant, then back to electricity in the locomotive, just means additional losses.

B) A thermo-chemical cycle: a set of chemical reactions driven by heat, resulting in the breakage of water molecules to hydrogen and oxygen, and regeneration of all other reactants.

Example: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sulfur-iodine_cycle. Note that other cycles are known as well.

Potentially, such a thermo-chemical transformation of nuclear energy to hydrogen might be more efficient than the conventional transformation to electricity. In that case, hydrogen trains might beat electric trains.

But unfortunately, thermo-chemical cycles come with their own challenges. Research has been going on for decades, but no industrial scale process has been developed so far.

Therefore, if any company or organization claims it can produce cheap hydrogen using thermo-chemical transformations, I would not believe them before they enter the existing commercial hydrogen market. Once that happens, allocation of public funds to design hydrogen trains may be considered. But, not before that.
 
I found some links regarding the Genepax car. It is clear that their cell consumes aluminum to produce hydrogen. To produce or regenerate that aluminum, you need to spend at least as much electricity as will be recovered from the hydrogen. Therefore, their invention might be useful as a compact energy storage for cars, but not for large-scale hydrogen production.

I thought as much. Though as a energy storage medium it is interesting.

The other link you posted, http://pubs.acs.org/cgi-bin/sample.cgi/jacsat/2005/127/i34/pdf/ja053860u.pdf, is about using a catalyst for the reaction of water with organosilanes. Hence, the organosilanes are consumed to produce hydrogen. Production of organosilanes requires a lot of energy, hence again no chance to use this process in any large-scale hydrogen production. This publication is of fundamental scientific interest, to better understand the mechanisms of chemical reactions.

Is there any use for the resulting by products that are useful/valuable?
 
(Re: hydrogen from organosilanes.)
Is there any use for the resulting by products that are useful/valuable?

Honestly, I do not know. But if there is, those by-products would be used on a pretty small scale, compared to the massive amounts of fuel hydrogen needed for transit.
 
The Train de Charlevoix is currently operating a hydrogen-powered Alstom LINT train between Chute Montmorency and Baie-St-Paul.


Let's just appreciate this neat little demonstration project without repeating the same tired debate about battery vs hydrogen vs overhead wires which always contains the same arguments.

I think it's nice that the train is bringing some publicity and business to the Charlevoix line. That line is a nice way to keep the railway operational and also operate some unusually European rolling stock in regular service in Canada.
 
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Let's just appreciate this neat little demonstration project without repeating the same tired debate about battery vs hydrogen vs overhead wires which always contains the same arguments.

I think it's nice that the train is bringing some publicity and business to the Charlevoix line. That line is a nice way to keep the railway operational and also operate some unusually European rolling stock in regular service in Canada.

This demonstration is very useful to show what state of the technology has reached - and what it isn't, yet. It's a good step.

Should enable all sorts of good learning.

- Paul
 
The Flirt H2 model, made by Swiss trainmaker Stadler, travelled 1,741 miles (2,803km) on a test track in Colorado, over the course of 46 hours on the evening of 20 March and throughout the night and following day.s
The train started the test with a full tank and did not refuel, with drivers from Stadler and Ensco taking it in turns to operate the machine throughout the world record attempt.
Stadler did not reveal any details of the size of the fuel cells fitted to the record-breaking train, however the Flirt H2 model supplied to the San Bernadino County Transportation Authority (SBCTA) in California this year — set to be the US’s first hydrogen train — is fitted with 12 fuel cells of 100kW each, implying an overall hydrogen powertrain of 1.2MW.

 
Hydrogen rail is still in it's infancy {which is why I never supported it for GO} but is developing quickly and so far results have been good. Clearly the rail makers see the future and in many ways it's hydrogen.

Back in 2016 Alstom was the sole manufacturer of hydrogen passenger trains and now that list includes Siemens, Stadler, Talgo, Alstom, CCRW, and Hitachi. They know that in order to reduce transportation emissions, they must seek alternatives to diesel on non-electrified routes and hydrogen is clearly a solid option. Battery is very useful for shorter distance commuter trains where small segments are not electrified but for longer distance travel they simply are not optional. In Jan/24, Spanish manufacturer Talgo, has announced they are developing a HIGH-SPEED hydrogen train. Freight is also only planning on a fuel cell and/or hydrogen ICE for their future engines because it is the only realistic option they have except wiring their entire routes which would cost, quite literally, hundreds of billions.

Hydrogen also has the distinct advantage over electric in being that it is potable. This is one of the things that made oil so successful............if you didn't have any you could still import it from anywhere in the world. Another advantage of hydrogen is that, like oil, it is a "one size fits all" energy source., it's applications are endless. From air travel to freight to passenger rail to buses to streetcars to agriculture to shipping to heavy industry to mining to heating. This is why the largest hydrogen project on the planet is in Saudi Arabia. They see the writing on the wall for oil and know that their only future option of energy export is hydrogen.
 

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