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Electric and Alternative Vehicle Fuels


Research into liquid ammonia as a fuel has been going on since at least the 1970s
The reason being twofold:

  1. Liquid ammonia is a bit less dangerous to transport & handle than liquid hydrogen (ditto for gaseous forms).
  2. Relatively easy to add nitrogen to hydrogen to make ammonia; relatively easy to extract hydrogen (H2) from ammonia (NH3).

And still no workable economic solution since the seventies …

Of course the question is “where do you get the hydrogen from, in order to make the ammonia?”
Electricity (preferably from solar, wind, hydro, wave, tide, geothermal) is used to “zap” water into hydrogen and oxygen.
Please tell me that no one is suggesting burning fossil fuels to make electricity to make hydrogen to make ammonia, in order to ship ammonia around the country and/or overseas.


Just came across this article whilst reading an article regarding China’s development of railguns.


Sounds like a good idea, but the numbers don’t stack up.

Assuming we can clad these in solar panels, four lanes of every motorway, two lanes on the A & B roads and half a lane for C & U roads (a lot are single track roads and just won’t be suitable) we come up with a surface area of 2 billion m².

Which sounds like a lot, until you realise that buildings in the UK’s urban areas occupy an area of 17.6 billion m². So just covering a fraction of the UK’s rooftops with solar panels would immediately yield more power than putting them on roads. That’s quite apart from the benefits that a more elevated position would yield for greater power generation.


It’s more likely that they will suggest doing this more directly using steam reforming which can be used to convert a wide range of hydrocarbon feed stocks including natural gas, petroleum products and coal gasification products more directly into hydrogen. It’s one of the technologies most often used in California in the US to fuel their larger scale uptake of hydrogen vehicles.

Similar processes are also used to produce ammonia from hydrocarbon feed stock for agricultural and industrial use including mining explosives. Australia already has plants in place that use the technology. We are apparently very good at it, making large scale hydrogen production a natural progression.

It’s worth noting (for those less interested in the chemistry) that the primary byproduct of all of these processes is CO2. Which is sort of OK if you have the worlds largest Coca Cola plant next door producing soft drink and Mount Franklin carbonated natural Bore (aka spring) water. It is also the most common MIG welding shielding gas, same source byproduct.

It’s an industrial solution that would suit two of the worlds largest chemical companies who are experts in the field. Perhaps not likely to find too much support for anyone looking for a zero carbon future.

The following link is informative on how the USA views hydrogen production. There are many other headings within the same resource that discuss alternate fuels in a way only the US can.

No prize though if you find the comment that increased hydrogen production and use of fuel cell vehicles is a great way to help save the existing USA petroleum resources.

From an environmental position there is a positive in producing hydrogen or ammonia for later conversion to hydrogen from hydrocarbons. That is in the instance the feed stock is fugitive methane (EG bio waste gas or fugitive emissions from other sources including mining), converting the methane to a useful fuel or fertiliser with CO2 is a better outcome than simply loosing the methane to the atmosphere. Methane is approx 30 times more damaging as a green house gas when compared to CO2.


A new discovery producing hydrogen from water.


I’m no longer amazed by developments in electric vehicles. They still manage to surprise me though.

The all-electric aircraft will carry up to 9 passengers, have a range of up to 1,000kms,

the maintenance and power costs of Alice’s emissions-free engine (presuming it’s charged with renewables) are around 30 per cent of conventional aircraft,


I think every one is placing to much importance on CO2 emissions in material, manufacturing and power generation. Don’t forget ICE omit NOX, CO and carbon particles which contribute to city air pollution and bad health. We need zero emissions vehicles in our cities, they be battery, hydrogen, fuel cell, compressed air and nuclear. Just look at the mega cities in India and China, 1.25 million Indians die from air pollution each year, source, ABC.


Whilst we were at our local Bunnings today, I spotted this Ryobi battery powered ride-on mower.

It is priced at $3,999 but it even has cruise control.



Well, I must admit it looks pretty cool. You could cut the grass then have a run around the local go kart track.

Of course, I imagine $4k would get you a go kart too :grinning:


But does it have a cup holder?


No that gets you a mid range ride-on mower.


Not sure but here is a link to it on the Ryobi website.


I’ve recently thought there is an opportunity for the light utility tractors to go battery. Oversized lawn mowers for many owners!

They typically only see a couple of hours use in a day and often only once or twice a week. The added weight of a battery would not make any impact as it is typical,to ballast tractors. The Diesel engines replaced work at similar constant speeds and torque to an electric drive 20 up to 50 hp?

And yes you might plug the tractor in to run the house after dark, although that’s already a Tesla idea?

Might need an extra zero if you are serious though. On electric carts there are better options than a Ryobi? Look here:


Our elder daughter and her family live in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, and their property is just over 5,500 square metres, which takes her over 2 hours to mow with their John Deere diesel engine powered ride-on mower on relatively level and easily negiotable ground.

It appears that this Ryobi product may be able to do it faster, cheaper, and much less noisy than the John Deere machine.


A great observation!
The one caution is I know a street, sorry road full of old timers who would be happy to die behind the wheel of a John Deere,
But would die at thought of being seen riding a Ryobi,

It might need a few younger ones to show them the way?

When John Deere put out an electric battery mower …? Oops! :scream:

This one even drives itself! Even better?



How does it go with cane toads and snakes on the grass or are they some extra organic supplement for the lawn?


Not sure about the Deere?
A good guess the owner might hope it’s superior.


A slideshow regarding comparisons between conventional and hybrid model vehicles.–-what-are-the-real-savings/ss-BBSpoXY?ocid=spartandhp#image=1

Whilst it is about US models and the data is US Imperial, it does provide some interesting insights.

Some years ago when it was stated that the Cairns taxi fleet was the largest user of Toyota Prius vehicles for taxis in the world, it was claimed that the taxi owners were paying for new Toyota Prius vehicles in around 16 months based on the fuel savings.


A couple of articles regarding capturing CO2 and using it to produce electricity and hydrogen.


One for hydrogen:

the truly green two-car household might have both a BEV and an FCEV in the driveway.