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Comment count is 13
Bobonne - 2015-03-30

Great work, China. We all really appreciate it.

Man, I'd love to be able to genuinely say that more often. When I was growing up, China was this totally awesome place with such rich history and a cool culture and neat people, and I'd like to be able to feel about it, if not the way I did then, at least the way I do right now at this moment, more often.


baleen - 2015-03-30

China just imposed vehicle emissions standards slightly shy of "your children are going to die of asphyxiation." And they only apply to Beijing.

China is like 500 giant gold hands all building amazing things but not talking to each other.


hammsangwich - 2015-03-30

Did you grow up in the 1800s? All I ever heard as a kid was "eat your peas, there are starving kids in China that would love to eat them." I can just assume my parents were told the same thing.


Oscar Wildcat - 2015-03-30

This is only because emissions from burning coal dwarf even the horrific smog of all those vehicles. Which is the fly in this ointment: what's the source of the H2?


Lef - 2015-03-30

Oscar's hit the nail on the head.

Burn coal -> electricity -> split water to get hydrogen

if the tram is on a track, why not just save the last step and power it with electricity?


Oscar Wildcat - 2015-03-31

That's a question of whether the fuel cell losses plus the H2O splitter losses is greater or less than the transmission line losses. But there is also the infrastructure of all those outdoor wires & transformers & etc to consider. Getting rid of that junk is a big help.


Gallez - 2015-03-31

Because the electricity doesn't have to come from coal, and just because most of it does now doesn't mean that it always will.
Also many of the trains they have now, like the bullet trains, are electric.
I am just guessing that the extra step in adding hydrogen trains is so that they can replace some of the diesel trains that use the old non-electric tracks without upgrading the tracks.


Old_Zircon - 2015-03-31

Leaving aside the issue of whether or not hydrogen is actually better than the existing energy sources, it's worth nothing that the USA was technologically poised to start rolling out hydrogen powered mass transit during the middle of Bush's second term, until out of sheer benevolence and in to way related to oil industry lobbying and cronyism, strict new regulations were enacted that made hydrogen refueling stations essentially illegal BECAUSE TERRORISTS MIGHT BLOW THEM UP GUYS.


Old_Zircon - 2015-03-31

Speaking of which, what ever happened with the federally funded pilot program to develop an industrial scale implementation of that new technology that allows petroleum to be made from green algae in a matter of hours? They were breaking ground on a full scale power plant about a year ago and then it was gone from the news.


Old_Zircon - 2015-03-31

It had all of the hallmarks of something too good to be true (mainly that nobody was talking about the energy needed to grow the algae on the necessary scale) but...

Hold on, Wikipedia...


"According to the head of the Algal Biomass Organization, algae fuel can reach price parity with oil in 2018 if granted production tax credits.[12] However, in 2013, Exxon Mobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson said that after committing to spend up to 0 million over 10 years on development in a joint venture with J. Craig Venter’s Synthetic Genomics in 2009, Exxon pulled back after four years (and 0 million) when it realized that algae fuel is "probably further" than 25 years away from commercial viability.[13] On the other hand, Solazyme[14] and Sapphire Energy[15] already began commercial sales of algal biofuel in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and Algenol hopes to produce commercially in 2014.[16]"


Old_Zircon - 2015-03-31

They also say that the US military is in the process of switching over to algae based jet fuel, and can currently produce it fro /gallon (combined extraction and refining cost), so maybe what this industry needs is another good, long war.


Oscar Wildcat - 2015-03-31

Well the tech is viable, it's the total cost per gallon they're probably struggling with. Venter seemed to think he could really improve on the natural processes, perhaps he was speaking from hubris here rather than wisdom? I don't know. With the price of oil bouncing around as it has, you can see how some of these things can wax and wane through cost effectiveness.


Mister Yuck - 2015-03-31

I'm now imagining an unholy alliance building between the Greens and Neocons to bomb Iran using carbon neutral alternative fuel-air bombs.


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