IPBiz reader rips Bob Park on his comments on "burning salt water"
Typical Bob Park, making an irrelevant statement:
[Park-->] "It's the Bush "hydrogen initiative" fallacy again. Must I now lecture a chemistry professor on thermodynamics? More energy is needed to free hydrogen than you get by burning it."
A) Anybody with a brain (Rustum Roy excluded) knows you need to put more energy in, than you will get out. Much of the hydrogen initiative is to make a "different" carrier of energy H2- even if there is a net loss of total energy. In the case of some H2 initiatives, that ultimate source of input energy is nuclear-but we don't want to put nuclear on a car. But we can make a nuclear power plant, and use the electricity or waste heat to make H2, and put that into cars.
B) Park's cynicism (or lectures) will lead to just about nothing. Ultimately, there are only three sources of input energy on earth: geothermal, nuclear (as in nuclear power plants, fission or fusion), and solar (which includes wind, wave, sun, etc.) If we must REALLY get our energy "for free", more energy out than put in, one must choose these three.
IPBiz --> To condense this, Park (and many others) are right to criticize the idea that salt water is some kind of fuel from which to extract energy. That isn't happening. However, the IPBiz reader is pointing to the different issue of "hydrogen as a carrier of energy" wherein the energy comes from somewhere else. In the particular case of "burning salt water," it's not clear one is even generating an isolable energy carrier.
As a separate side point, if the "burning salt water" folks are placing conducting species (gold, carbon nanotubes) in the salt water, that makes the phenomenon easier to understand.