E-Cat to Hydrocarbons?

There has been some discussion over on the Journal of Nuclear Physics about the use of E-Cat technology for transportation with Steven Karels suggesting using the E-Cat for the production of electricity or hydrogen, and Pekka Janhunen proposing liquid hydrogen vehicles:

. . . with a small continuously running E-cat which runs a cryocooler which keeps the LH2 in its liquid state. LH2 is safer to store than gaseous hydrogen and needs less tankage mass (indeed, LH2 is routinely transported by trucks on normal roads). LH2 takes somewhat more energy to produce than GH2, but with cheap E-cat produced grid electricity that wouldn’t be an issue.

In a comment here on ECW on the Always Open thread, Tpaign made an interesting comment that I hadn’t really considered before, and which I think is worth repeating here in its entirety.

It will be much more likely that we would see LENR used to create synthetic hydrocarbon fuels, and we would continue to primarily use internal combustion engines to power our cars.

Gasoline, diesel (and even alcohols) are valued mostly for their unique combination of three factors; availability, high energy density, and relative safety.

Assuming LENR works (i.e. cheap & abundant heat is available), combining CO2 + H2O + heat to manufacture synthetic methanol and gasoline is actually a pretty easy process. Also, this process for fuels becomes a carbon neutral exercise, and brings an alternative meaning to the term “carbon cycle”.

Most people have a hard time understanding that gasoline is actually a type of battery. If it gets manufactured as I described above, it will be far greener that any other type of battery currently made.

One obvious benefit of creating synthetic hydrocarbons would be the ability for it to be used in the millions of existing vehicles on the road, and dispensed at the existing filling-station infrastructure already in place throughout the world. I am assuming that the ‘pretty easy process’ of making synthetic methanol and gasoline would involve extracting CO2 from the atmosphere, turning it into fuel, and sending it back to the atmosphere upon combustion — which would indeed be carbon neutral.

The idea of using the E-Cat to make a liquid hydrocarbon battery sounds like a very neat idea to me that would not involve any of the dreaded certification issues that Andrea Rossi thinks is going to keep the E-Cat from being used as a transportation solution for a long time, since you would not need to have an on-board reactor.

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