Alcohol is the way to go for now

by agnesonly52 - 4/27/07 9:41 AM

In Reply to: What's your favorite alternative fuel? by wcunning CNET staff

The current gasoline distribution infrastructure will serve nicely for alcohol distribution and modern engines can be modified to burn alcohol without much trouble. In the long term, fuel cells, with the addition of a reformer, can use alcohol. There is work ongoing to produce fuel cells that use alcohol directly. Since we already make significant amounts of sugar from sugar beets, why could they not be used for alcohol production? It seems that sugar beets would be more efficient than corn in producing alcohol. Large areas of dthe south along the Gulf Coast should have conditions that would alow sugar cane to be grown.

My biggest problem with hydrogen is the fact that a cubic foot of hydrogen does not have very much energy unless it is under high pressure or in lquid form. For fueling stations to have high pressure (I have read studies where numbers on the order ofr 10,000 PSI would be needed) tanks is bad enough, but to supply the fueling stations by tanker truck at those pressures scares the daylights out of me. Using tens of thousands of miles of high pressure pipelines is not any more comforting. To get hydrogen into a lquid state requires wicked cold and high pressure. at the necessary temperatures, steel is a lot like glass in that it does not bend, it shatters.

I feel that instead of spending huge sums of money in disrtibution infrastructure, alcohol makes the most sense.