Fwd: More problems with hydrogen

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 1 07:28:27 PST 2003


Eugen Leitl:
>Methanol is far less toxic then gasoline, and is just a much nicer fuel to 
>handle.

The drawback to alcohol is its lower energy density,
having about half the BTU per pound of gasoline or
propane. That's why alcohol stoves take so long to
boil water. Needing twice as much fuel may not
matter for some applications, though. I'd be
happy to see methanol becoming a more
ubiquitous fuel.

Turpin:
>>Propane's one drawback is that the gas is heavier than air. A propane leak 
>>on a boat will turn it into a floating bomb.

Eugen leitl:
>Right. Ditto, methane.

No, methane is different in this regard. Being
lighter than air, it floats away. Of course, as we
all know from movies, the bad guys can close an
apartment's windows and use a telephone to blow
up the hapless damsel. But once the stove is turned
off and the windows opened and the apartment is
aired out, the hero does NOT have to worry about
residual propane in the bottom of the basement. Or
the bilge of the boat.

ABYC requires propane lockers on boats to be
airtight from the rest of the boat, and vented
at bottom to the outside. This is NOT necessary
for compressed natural gas.

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