The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate [NOOK Book]

Overview

"Vital, very readable guidance for investors, environmentalists, and interested bystanders looking toward a future without fossil fuels." -BOOKLIST

"It's hard to argue with the relentless logic...." -E/THE ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE

"Readers looking to separate facts from hype about cars running on hydrogen and large-scale fuel cell systems will find a useful primer here."-PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Lately it has become a matter of conventional wisdom that hydrogen will solve many of our energy and environmental problems. ...
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The Hype About Hydrogen: Fact and Fiction in the Race to Save the Climate

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Overview

"Vital, very readable guidance for investors, environmentalists, and interested bystanders looking toward a future without fossil fuels." -BOOKLIST

"It's hard to argue with the relentless logic...." -E/THE ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE

"Readers looking to separate facts from hype about cars running on hydrogen and large-scale fuel cell systems will find a useful primer here."-PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

Lately it has become a matter of conventional wisdom that hydrogen will solve many of our energy and environmental problems. Nearly everyone -- environmentalists, mainstream media commentators, industry analysts, General Motors, and even President Bush -- seems to expect emission-free hydrogen fuel cells to ride to the rescue in a matter of years, or at most a decade or two.

Not so fast, says Joseph Romm. In The Hype about Hydrogen, he explains why hydrogen isn't the quick technological fix it's cracked up to be, and why cheering for fuel cells to sweep the market is not a viable strategy for combating climate change. Buildings and factories powered by fuel cells may indeed become common after 2010, Joseph Romm argues, but when it comes to transportation, the biggest source of greenhouse-gas emissions, hydrogen is unlikely to have a significant impact before 2050.

The Hype about Hydrogen offers a hype-free explanation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, takes a hard look at the practical difficulties of transitioning to a hydrogen economy, and reveals why, given increasingly strong evidence of the gravity of climate change, neither government policy nor business investment should be based on the belief that hydrogen cars will have meaningful commercial success in the near or medium term. Romm, who helped run the federal government's program on hydrogen and fuel cells during the Clinton administration, provides a provocative primer on the politics, business, and technology of hydrogen and climate protection.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In his 2003 State of the Union address, President Bush seized the nation's attention with his advocacy of a "hydrogen economy," with fuel cells that produce energy and water taking the place of fossil fuels in cars that produce greenhouse gases. As Romm (Cool Companies), a former Department of Energy official in the Clinton administration, points out, however, hydrogen is an energy carrier, not an energy source (at least until we tame nuclear fusion). Hydrogen can be extracted from biomass or seawater, but the primary source today is natural gas-which produces greenhouse gases as a byproduct. Romm expresses extreme pessimism about the potential for hydrogen fuel cells in automobiles, even as car manufacturers jump on the fuel cell bandwagon. Romm maintains that it will take decades to solve the infrastructure demands presented by a hydrogen-powered car, such as hydrogen's propensity to embrittle metal. There are also safety issues: an electrical storm several miles away can ignite hydrogen, as can a slight charge from a cell phone. Romm believes that stationary fuel cell systems to provide power to companies and homes hold much more potential (and he works with companies promoting this technology). His central chapter lays out the case for global warming and the potential for catastrophic climate change in the next few decades. Readers looking to separate facts from hype about cars running on hydrogen and large-scale fuel cell systems will find a useful primer here. (Mar. 11) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Romm, a former administrator in the U.S. Department of Energy under President Clinton and the author of Cool Companies: How the Best Businesses Boost Profits and Productivity by Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions, presents his views on a future hydrogen economy. Projecting a more conservative timetable than Peter Hoffman's Tomorrow's Energy and Jeremy Rifkin's The Hydrogen Economy, he makes a strong argument that global warming will be the driving force behind U.S. energy policy and private-sector energy-related investment. However, Romm doesn't expect to see a complete switch to emission-free hydrogen power before 2050. Stationary fuel cells for providing power to buildings and factories may be common after 2010, but the real difficulties lie in the transition to a hydrogen-based transportation system, owing to high costs, storage and safety issues, and our current fueling infrastructure. Much progress has been made in renewable technologies such as hybrid automobiles, especially in relation to their costs and fueling convenience, but Romm cautions that success with pure hydrogen may be more difficult to achieve in the near future. Using extensive research studies, the author makes a thoughtful and balanced case for this highly debated energy source that will interest informed readers in public and academic libraries.-Eva Lautemann, Georgia Perimeter Coll. Lib., Clarkston Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
E-The Environment Magazine

"It's hard to argue with the relentless logic...."
Journal of Scientific Exploration - John Bockris

"This book should be read and understood by every citizen."

Booklist

"Vital, very readable guidance for investors, environmentalists, and interested bystanders looking toward a future without fossil fuels."
Journal of Scientific Exploration

"This book should be read and understood by every citizen."
Car and Driver

"Producing hydrogen for vehicular use from fossil fuels creates just as much pollution as burning gasoline does. For details on why this is so, read The Hype About Hydrogen by Joseph Romm, an energy department official who oversaw hydrogen and fuel-cell research during the Clinton administration."
San Diego Union-Tribune

"…this book serves as a primer on what to expect as the cost of energy becomes increasingly expensive. It is a must-read for environmentalists who may be expecting too much from hydrogen fuels and for business executives who may be promising too much in terms of next-generation energy technologies."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597266079
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 1,036,654
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author


Joseph J. Romm served in various positions in the Department of Energy during the Clinton administration. Currently the Executive Director of the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions, and a Principal with the Capital E Group, he is the author of Cool Companies: How the Best Businesses Boost Profits and Productivity By Cutting Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Island Press, 1999).


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Table of Contents

Foreword
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Why Hydrogen? Why Now? 11
Ch. 2 Fuel Cell Basis 23
Ch. 3 The Path to Fuel Cell Commercialization 35
Ch. 4 Hydrogen Production 67
Ch. 5 Key Elements of a Hydrogen-Based Transportation System 89
Ch. 6 The Long Road to Commercialization of Fuel Cell Vehicles 115
Ch. 7 Global Warming and Scenarios for a Hydrogen Transition 125
Ch. 8 Coping with the Global Warming Century 143
Ch. 9 Hydrogen Partnerships and Pilots 175
Conclusion: Choosing Our Future 187
Acknowledgments 197
Notes 201
Index 231
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Wells

    How about gallade?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    SA

    Shadow laps up water.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2013

    Katie

    Yeah ill tell them as soon as my message gets across. Idiots,the whole lot of them. Emma did do bad things but no reason to tell her those things that rudely! Jerks.

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  • Posted August 9, 2009

    Comprehensive, informative, well-researched look at the practicality of generating, storing and using hydrogen as a fuel.

    The author looks at all the pros and cons of hydrogen: "It is the best of fuels, it is the worst of fuels". He looks at many forms of generating hydrogen, and different types of fuel cells, both fixed and mobile. Many facts, analyses, efficiencies presented and some recommendations presented, both his and others. I didn't detect any real errors or misconceptions, although GM has now demonstrated over 300 miles with a fuel cell vehicle, which was not the case when the book was written. The author leaves room for scientific breakthroughs and even estimates how much certain efficiencies are likely to improve. Good reference.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2008

    A reviewer

    As a senior staff scientist with the federal government, the author has been able to learn about and evaluate the possibilities in migrating to a 'Hydrogen Economy'. What he has found is that this promise is ill founded. Written objectively and in a way that empowers the reader to understand the very core of the issues, the author takes the reader through a course that clearly represents his personal and professional journey. These insights reflect the hard lessons of one optimist looking for answers and walking away empty handed and pessimistic. I recommend this book for all those who want to know the real scoop on hydrogen. The numbers tell the whole story. Electrolysis is inefficient in converting electricity to hydrogen. Fuel cells for autos must operate at lower temperatores in order to start up quickly, and this results in even greater inefficiencies. Learn the truth about the 'Hydrogen Economy', so you can devote your energies where the real opportunities are. Learn from the hard fought and painful lessons of those who have preceeded us.

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