Humboldt's Hydrogen Highway

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Feb. 8, 2007: Times-Standard Online—Schatz Center Readies Hydrogen Fuel Station

Summary: The H2 station is part of a planned "hydrogen power park" that will eventually use methane harvested from a nearby landfill as a hydrogen source. A team of HSU engineering students won first prize for the park’s design in the annual H2U Student Design Contest.

Complicated means, perhaps, to reach the admirable goal of increased energy diversity.

"The state’s Hydrogen Highway Network, seeded by an executive order in mid-2004, is a phased plan to build 250 hydrogen fueling stations and 20,000 hydrogen-fueled vehicles. They are intended to be the groundwork for full-scale commercialization of such technologies, aimed at diversifying California’s sources of transportation energy and stimulating economic growth with environmentally-sound renewable supplies.

"The Schatz Center has secured $350,000 from Chevron Technology Ventures, a division of Chevron USA, toward equipment and materials for the hydrogen fueling station, which will be installed at a site adjoining the north end of HSU’s Plant Operations yard, according to Schatz Center Director Peter Lehman. The station will include an electrolyzer to produce hydrogen from water, a compressor, storage tanks, and a dispenser. The Schatz Center is seeking additional partners to help fund the cost of facility design and installation."

Note that Chevron is a big sponsor of the project (although HSU is seeking more). Could hydrogen be one way for oil companies to ensure they stay in the loop as petroleum production peaks? Electric vehicles certainly wouldn’t need dedicated filling stations for charging.

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  • disticku@yahoo.com

    :grin Summary: The H2 station is part of a planned “hydrogen power park” that will eventually use methane harvested from a nearby landfill as a hydrogen source. A team of HSU engineering students won first prize for the park’s design in the annual H2U Student Design Contest.

    Complicated means, perhaps, to reach the admirable goal of increased energy diversity.

    “The state’s Hydrogen Highway Network, seeded by an executive order in mid-2004, is a phased plan to build 250 hydrogen fueling stations and 20,000 hydrogen-fueled vehicles. They are intended to be the groundwork for full-scale commercialization of such technologies, aimed at diversifying California’s sources of transportation energy and stimulating economic growth with environmentally-sound renewable supplies.

  • Alex

    Hydrogen is not the final solution. The hydrogen(H2) is harvested from methane (CH4). I am in my second year of college chemistry and it is fact that it is more efficient to burn methane directly than to refine hydrogen which takes energy, it is an endothermic reaction. It is better for the environment to burn methane than hydrogen from methane. The key to sustainability is efficientcy not fuel choice.

  • Aaron

    What you are referring to is “dirty hydrogen.”

    Clean hydrogen is hydrogen extracted from water. But you are correct…most likely, big oil will affect politics and we will still be burning oil/natural gas-only in a new form, hydrogen.

  • Mark T

    Ya gotta love the grating system in the state of California. We proceed to build the first kernel of a new energy system in one of the most remotely accessible parts of the state of California, Arcata, CA.

    And then we source our H2 for the project from a already scarce commodity (water), using a very inefficient method – electrolysis.

    Chevron has several methods that they utilize to produce H2 for their refining processes, how come they did not supply that as part of their grant.

    My understanding of this grant is to demonstrate a infrastructure for H2 as a transportation fuel. But it seems to be doomed to failure because of the expense of creating the fuel. To my point of view, we need a better location (CA Urban areas), better yielding and more energy efficient methods to derive the H2. This may be a good pilot, but I have problems seeing that it will scale up and be a replacement to the current hydrocarbon based system.

  • Douglas Liles

    Sea water is plentiful. Sunlight is plentiful in arid areas. Electrolysis can be derived from solar power. What’s the problem?