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graucho you teh man. Can you adopt me when your ship comes? :D

wait! does cow dung really burn? :D

yep, pretty good fuel actually, many african villages use it.
google biomass generator.
thats what they are. A more efficient way would be to ferment the poo and collect the methane. lol that would smell great!
Look up "wood smoke generator" I did it for a briggs and stratton engine. A trike would be great for this use.
The advantage is that it is clean. (you are pushing the pollution issue to the power generating plants, where they can use stack scrubbers, precipitators, and other pollution control equipment to reduce pollution to MUCH lower levels that can be achieved with small engines, or auto engines, for that matter.)

However, any on-board charging device, except for solar, will be pollution generating. And inefficient.

And, I hate to burst your bubble, but, the amount of energy you put in to the system is the maximum amount of energy you can get out, minus system inefficiencies. The energy you put into splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen is the same amount of energy released by the recombination of hydrogen and oxygen. Again, subtracting the inefficiencies. An internal combustion engine is less efficient than a decent electric motor at converting energy (electrical or chemical) into kinetic energy. This means that the system, as a whole is less efficient than an electric motor setup - i.e. - you would go further using the battery to power an electric motor setup than you would in splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then recombining the hydrogen and oxygen in an internal combustion engine.

You say your generator is producing apx. 2.5 liters of gas per minute. This equals 0.11 mole of gas per minute. (2.5l/22.4l per mole @ stp.) This is equivalent to 5.7 kcal of work. (.11 * 52.1 kcal/Mole.) In KWH, this is equal to 5.7 Kcal * 1000 Cal /Kcal * 0.00000116 KWH/Cal = .0066 kwh (Note - IF you are producing 2.5L at 4 psi, then this number should be increased apx. 27.6%, as the gas is more compressed, and you have more mass per unit volume)

However, you put 0.171 KWH of electrical work into the system. (12V * 8A * 1.78 hours * 1 KWH/1000 WH)

This means that your system of producing hydrogen is operating at about 3.9 percent efficiency, not counting the motor, which at best is operating at about 50% effeciency. (Again, if gas produced at 4 psi, this value would be slightly less than 5%)

IF you get a source of "free" energy, i.e. large solar panel or wind electric generation facilities, splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then storing the hydrogen in tanks, will hydrogen as a fuel take off. However, the development of truly high density batteries, produced at commercial quantities, coupled with the inherently low efficiency levels in producing hydrogen gas, may lead to hydrogen, as a motor vehicle fuel, being bypassed entirely.

(Note - the conversion factors and chemical constants come from the 63rd edition of the handbook of chemistry and physics, with the exception of the molar volume of any gas at STP. Ref http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem99/chem99360.htm)
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But if you had a home based hydrogen maker you can pretty much keep it running at home at the price of electricity which has to be cheaper than the price of gas.
I mean when you see how much a gallon of hydrogen costs to make compared to a gallon of gas,wouldn't you be way ahead?
That's stored energy acquired at home.
Even if you run into stumbling blocks with the portable hydrogen maker,that in itself is an OPEC buster.
I love loquin's post on inefficiencies. It just proves we need to hurry along to non-renewable energy sources right away, using coal as the interim energy source.

The problem with making hydrogen at home is that it's still inefficient compared to purely electric bikes, for example, because of the conversion processes (plus you still need oil for hydrogen engines, something we won't have forever). If you have your own solar panels or wind turbines, then of course you can use that energy any way you like, but if you sold excess energy to your local electric company, you'd get more money if you used a regular E-bike due to the efficiency of not having to convert. With hydrogen, you might be able to get a greater range compared to existent batteries, but you can't refill easily on longer trips -- yet.

Efficiency will become very important for us in the future, until we all have solar panels & wind turbines out the wazoo.
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