November 15, 2007 - It's The New German Hydrogen Bomb!
According to a recent article in NewScientist Online Magazine, “Road tunnels may have to be redesigned if the hydrogen economy takes off.”
Cars fueled by hydrogen have been touted for their potential to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Now Dr. Yajue Wu of the University of Sheffield, UK, has built a computer simulation of a hydrogen car crashing inside a tunnel.
Unlike gasoline, which pools and ignites on the ground, escaping hydrogen would create a high-velocity "jet flame" stretching upwards for many meters. Wu found that this 2000 °C flame would seriously damage tunnel ceiling structures and wreck fire sensors and sprinklers.
Among automakers, Germany's BMW has taken an early lead in bringing a hydrogen/gasoline (alternative fuels) internal combustion passenger car to market. Widely recognized as a sham, for its ridiculously high energy input per unit of energy output, BMW seems undaunted by any and all realities being brought to light. In response to the “jet flame” findings, a spokesman for BMW said that in crash tests the fuel tank on its prototype hydrogen car has never been breached.
Thinking that a given technology is infallible is about as useful as a medieval military architect saying, “Castle walls this thick have never been breeched”, only to see a large cannon rolling up to his castle gates. The Titanic was unsinkable. Current radar and communications systems make it possible to safely navigate a 963 foot freighter safely between the towers of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge, even in only 300 foot visibility. When the China Ocean Shipping Corporation (COSCO) Busan recently collided with one of the bridge's towers, the English speaking harbor pilot was quoted as saying, "Ouch, that hurts".
In his January, 28, 2003 State of the Union address, President George Bush optimistically said, “The first car driven by a child born today could be powered by hydrogen and pollution-free”. By April 26, 2006, his speech writers had him touting everything from increased refinery capacity, “environmentally sensitive” exploitation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska, ethanol as an alternative fuel to gasoline, hybrid cars, and bio-fueled diesel cars as potential saviors for our old-energy addicted nation.
Near the end of a long speech, Bush mentioned that “We're spending about $1.2 billion over five years to research the use of hydrogen to power vehicles”. On November 7, 2007, General Motors reported a nearly $39 billion third-quarter loss, its largest ever. If you compare the U.S. backed research that the President touted to a straight-line projection of GM’s potential losses over the same five years ($780 billion), it makes you wonder where our national priorities lie.
Whether a hydrogen-fueled automobile runs on internal combustion, like the BMW 7 or “space age” fuel cells, the most vulnerable component on either type vehicle is the fuel tank. Residents of California awoke on October 14, 2007 to hear that three people were killed and at least 10 injured in a multi-vehicle crash that caused a fire inside a tunnel and forced the closure of the Interstate 5 Freeway in the Los Angeles area.Like the original "TWA Flight to the Moon” at Disneyland, you too may soon have the opportunity to experience “rocket power” when the never-before-breached fuel tank of your fuel-guzzling “Ecomobile 7” from BMW crashes in a tunnel near you. I can see the ads now: “You will have to experience it to believe it. Now available at your BMW Store – The longer, lower, wider, bigger, better and more powerful – Hydrogen Bomb 7”.
It couldn’t happen, you say?
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