Environmental Engineering Reference
fifth of emissions. The world is sequestering more CO 2 than the United
States produces now from coal, oil and natural gas use.
Shell stresses that these are not predictions but conception exercis-
es. Bottled fuel would have to be like liquid propane distribution today,
but propane is liquid at a much higher temperature and lower pressure
than hydrogen. The form of hydrogen contained would not be high-pres-
sure storage, since that would be bulky, heavy, and certainly dangerous
to distribute by vending machine. Metal hydrides would be even heavier.
Chemical hydrides would be a possibility. Liquid hydrogen could not be
dispensed in small, portable, lightweight bottles with today's technology.
But, in the future something that could be easily used by the consumer to
fuel a hydrogen vehicle would be a major breakthrough.
The Shell studies imply that fuel cell sales will start with stationary
applications to businesses that are willing to pay a premium to ensure
highly reliable power without utility voltage fluctuations or outages. This
demand helps to push fuel cell system costs below $500 per kW, provid-
ing the era of transportation which drives costs to $50 per kilowatt. But,
can the high-reliability power market really drive transportation fuel cell
demand and cost reductions, especially for proton- exchange membrane
(PEM) fuel cells?
By 2025 the world is sequestering 1 billion metric tons of CO 2 per
year while simultaneously producing hydrogen and shipping it hundreds
of miles for use in cars. This is equivalent to sequestering the CO 2 pro-
duced by more than 700 medium-sized generation units, about two-thirds
of all coal-fired plants in the United States today.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has started the billion- dollar,
FutureGen project to demonstrate a 275-megawatt prototype plant that
cogenerates electric power and hydrogen and sequesters 90% of the CO 2 .
The goal of the project is to validate advanced coal near zero emis-
sion technologies that by 2020 could produce electric power that is only
10% more costly than current coal generated power. This type of advanced
system would grow to be 700 worldwide according to the Shell studies.
Advances can occur quickly in technology, these would be need-
ed in hydrogen production and storage, fuel cells, solar energy, biofuel
production and sequestration. Government and industry would need to
spend hundreds of billions of dollars to bring these technologies to the
marketplace. Those in industry commercializing these advances would
reap the benefits while those with older technologies would be left be-