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A news release promoting a report on fuel cell equities (available at: http://smallcapsentinel.com/altenergy6-25) prompted the througts that led to this entry.

It promots something called Small Cap Sentinel, "a leading source for information on the markets, alternative fuels and energy, and emerging equities;" then mentions Ballard Power Systems, Enova Systems, FuelCell Energy, Hoku Scientific, Hydrogenics Corp. and Medis Technologies Ltd. -- a partial list of those involved in the industry -- before quoting the author: "With arguably two of the greatest investors of all time (Buffett, Pickens) and a motivated president all behind clean energy, I have to believe that this is where our future lies. A friend said to me after hearing President Obama's national press conference, 'I wonder if we'll ever just call "clean energy," simply "energy."' I can't predict the next ten days or even the next ten months, but the next decade will belong to alternative energies if for no other reason than the following three basic fundamentals:..."

That quote was the irritant that led to this blog posting. In particular, its assumption fuel cells are "clean energy." Fuel cells produce electricity by combining hydrogen with oxygen taken from the air. How clean the cell is depends on its source of hydrogen. If the hydrogen is removed from a hydrocarbon -- natural gas or gasoline, say -- through processing of that fuel source the carbon in the hydrocarbon is released into the air just as it would be if the fuel were burned. So the fuel cell is no cleaner than burning.

I did not take the release up on its invitation to discuss this subject at FiSpace.net, a social networking site for investors. If anyone has experience with that site, I invite a note in comments.




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member photo The unfortunate truth about fuel cell startups is that they are smoke and mirrors operations looking to bilk potential investors; for every genuine fuel cell technology company looking for funding, there are 10 scam artists scrambling for cash. To add insult to injury, for every legitimate fuel cell startup, only one in a hundred of the companies in the running have the human and technical resources to produce a commercially viable product.
# Posted By William Norquay | 6/30/09 8:56 AM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate
member photo Your statement regarding the production of hydrogen is partly true. Hydrocarbons are also contained in just about everything man uses on a daily basis. In a gasification (closed loop) process, all carbons are reused in the formation of products in the maufacturing process of virgin materials at the end of the process. For instance, in the destruction or dissociation of materials such as Municipal or Industrial Solid Waste, all materials are reduced to their original molecular makeup, and these molecules are restructured in a manufacturing process, producing a "green" virgin product such as hydrogen, syngas, methanol or synthetic fuels. This can actually be called a green manufacturing process, and hydrogen, primarily produced using fossil fuels as feedstocks, can be an actual "green" energy carrier.
# Posted By John Murphy | 7/27/09 10:07 AM | Report This Comment as Foul/Inappropriate

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