This thought had not crossed my mind, until I saw this article, with it’s photo of water pouring out of the exhaust of an H2 fueled car. There is some water vapor in hydrocarbon exhaust, but nowhere near this much.
Imagine every vehicle dumping that much water on the road, in a typical Michigan winter. The roads would soon be a sheet of ice, all the time.
That isn’t what the pic shows. Appears the water is dumped overboard as waste. If people did have home electrolysis plants to reseparate the H2, states would have a cow about people not paying fuel tax for every bit of H2 they burn.
Don’t be surprised to see a Flotilla of hydrogen cars running from Detroit to Las Vegas. It’s going to be called SGOFYW. Sneaky Gamblers Out For Your Water. Just have to find a way to keep the water onboard till we hit the Colorado River.
Internal combustion engines already produce lots of water in addition to carbon dioxide. In my area on a winter day you can tell cars that just drove out of their garage. They put out a stream of “smoke”–really a contrail just like airplanes. That happens while the exhaust pipe is cold enough to condense the steam. As the car warms up the steam come out as water vapor and presumably dissolves in the air. Becoming invisible.
Water in the exhaust is common and not a problem. Slick spots from condensate are rare. I’ve never seen one reported.
Nah. Recapture it and store it on the vehicle. Add a cooling still and a heating element, you have hot and cold running water at the dashboard. You already have 14 cup holders, easy enough to put in a coffeemaker, syrup dispenser, and more. It’s like a regular soda fountain in the car.
Water vapor is known to be Earth’s most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. Using recent NASA satellite data, researchers have estimated more precisely than ever the heat-trapping effect of water in the air, validating the role of the gas as a critical component of climate change…
“Everyone agrees that if you add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, then warming will result,” Dessler said. “So the real question is, how much warming?”
The answer can be found by estimating the magnitude of water vapor feedback…Specifically, the team found that if Earth warms 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit, the associated increase in water vapor will trap an extra 2 Watts of energy per square meter (about 11 square feet).
“That number may not sound like much, but add up all of that energy over the entire Earth surface and you find that water vapor is trapping a lot of energy,” Dessler said. “We now think the water vapor feedback is extraordinarily strong, capable of doubling the warming due to carbon dioxide alone.”
Makes a lot less sense to me. First you have to create the hydrogen, presumably from electrolysis. Then you have to transport and store the hydrogen. Then you have convert the hydrogen into electricity in the fuel cell, and use the electric motors to power the car.
Or you could just take electricity, store it the car’s battery, and use it directly to power the car. So the fuel costs of a hydrogen vehicle will always be higher than a BEV.
And beyond that, in order to be practical there needs to be approximately as many hydrogen fueling stations as there are gas stations. That is a huge infrastructure build out that would take decades.
First, every car isn’t going to be a H2 fuel cell. The overall process is just too inefficient.
But even if it were to happen, the photo you show is when the water discharge is happening. FCEV do not discharge water like that continuously. I drove a Toyota Mirai when they first were available. Every so often it dumps about a cup of water, about once per mile.
The more annoying thing is that when you park it will do this after a couple of minutes, thus icing up your driveway or garage.
Edit: just to be clear…I did a test drive, I didn’t buy or lease a Mirai. The sales guy made a point to talk about the water discharge and told me to hop out a watch for the spray after we parked.
That one-mile stretch would then see some 2,200 gallons of water dumped on it each day, or 0.4 gallons per foot (0.1 gallon per lane). On a winter day where the temps are in the 20s that could produce noticeable ice or require regular salting.
For sure it would. The water produced must be proportional to the electricity generated in the fuel cell.
But all cars and trucks could have a larger water tank that is expelled later.
Just to be clear, I don’t think hydrogen fuel cells are going to be a market success at all, at least in the next 20+ years just because of high fuel cost compared to electricity and batteries…not because of the water by product which could be engineered to overcome.
Or because there won’t be anywhere to fuel them. Look how tied up in knots we are over getting charging stations located - and we already have electricity everywhere. Now go tell the service station owner he has to retrofit to fuel hydrogen, go through the EPA regs, put in the technology, locate in neighborhoods, and, well, good luck with that.