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Hydrogen-powered cars with zero-carbon-emission?

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have a bright idea -- at least at first sight. They want to create a sustainable transportation system by using hydrogen-powered cars. They would like to create an infrastructure where people could use a liquid fuel for driving while the carbon emission in their vehicles is trapped for later processing at a fueling station. 'The carbon would then be shuttled back to a processing plant where it could be transformed into liquid fuel.' Where will all this liquid carbon be stored? The researchers don't know. They suggest that it could be stored in geological formations or under the oceans. And who would pay for this new infrastructure? They don't know either, but read more...
Written by Roland Piquepaille, Inactive

Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology have a bright idea -- at least at first sight. They want to create a sustainable transportation system by using hydrogen-powered cars. They would like to create an infrastructure where people could use a liquid fuel for driving while the carbon emission in their vehicles is trapped for later processing at a fueling station. 'The carbon would then be shuttled back to a processing plant where it could be transformed into liquid fuel.' Where will all this liquid carbon be stored? The researchers don't know. They suggest that it could be stored in geological formations or under the oceans. And who would pay for this infrastructure? They don't know either, but read more...

Zero carbon emission cars

You can see above how this idea could possibly work. (Credit: Georgia Institute of Technology) Here is a link to a larger version of this diagram.

This research project has been led by Andrei Fedorov, an associate professor at the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, who works in the Heat Transfer, Combustion, and Energy Systems Research Group. He was helped by David Damm, a PhD candidate in mechanical engineering who should graduate in May 2008. Here is a link to a PDF document showing Damm's research (Pages 9 and 10 of the 24-page document).

Here is an excerpt from the Georgia Institute of Technology news release. "Little research has been done to explore carbon capture from vehicles, but the Georgia Tech team outlines an economically feasible strategy for processing fossil or synthetic, carbon-containing liquid fuels that allows for the capture and recycling of carbon at the point of emission. In the long term, this strategy would enable the development of a sustainable transportation system with no carbon emission. Georgia Tech's near-future strategy involves capturing carbon emissions from conventional (fossil) liquid hydrocarbon-fueled vehicles with an onboard fuel processor designed to separate the hydrogen in the fuel from the carbon. Hydrogen is then used to power the vehicle, while the carbon is stored on board the vehicle in a liquid form until it is disposed at a refueling station. It is then transported to a centralized site to be sequestered in a permanent location.

This is one of the key points. The researchers don't even kow where to sore this liquid form of carbon. They apparently don't know either that developing a new transportation infrastructure costs lots of money.

For more information about these zero-carbon-emission, this research work has been published online on January 8, 2008 in Energy Conversion and Management, an Elsevier journal, under the title "Conceptual study of distributed CO2 capture and the sustainable carbon economy." Here is a link to the abstract. "

Sources: Georgia Institute of Technology news release, February 11, 2008; and various websites

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