Re: GM demonstrates first gasoline-fed fuel-cell vehicle

From: Brent Buescher (
Date: 05/28/02

Date: Tue, 28 May 2002 15:48:32 -0700 (PDT)
From: Brent Buescher <>
Subject: Re: GM demonstrates first gasoline-fed fuel-cell vehicle
Message-ID: <>

On Tue, 28 May 2002, The Butterfly wrote:

> One technical point about Hydrogen. It doesn't explode. It
> burns, certainly. Very hot, and with a dangerous, invisible flame.
> However, when hydrogen burns, it combines with oxygen to form water. You
> would combine 2 moles of H2 and 1 mole of O2 (6 moles of individual
> atoms) to get 2 moles of H2O - water vapor. Going from 3 moles to 1 mole
> of volume means that burning hydrogen IMplodes, not explodes.

Plus the heat of formation, don't forget. Or did you think
hydrogen-fueled internal-combustion engines work by sucking the piston in?

> I was thinking that a visual demonstration of the implosion
> factor might help dispel the myth, so possible a metal foil balloon
> (provided the heat from the burning doesn't incinerate the metal
> instantly, which might be the real trick) filled with H2 and O2 in the
> proper amounts, and then filmed as a spark is ignited inside. If it
> works as planned, the balloon should crumple as the internal volume is
> reduced and external air-pressure pushes in the non-permeable sides of
> the foil.

Try it first, wearing eye and hearing protection, with small (1-3 cm
diameter) soap bubbles, before you hurt yourself.

If hydrogen didn't explode, this would be one of the world's most powerful
vacuum cleaners:


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