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The Dead Hand Journal

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07
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070407/AUTO01/704070338/1148
Business Insider

Plug it in, fire it up, Mr. President

The Detroit News

Credit Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally with saving the leader of the free world from self-immolation.

Mulally told journalists at the New York auto show that he intervened to prevent President Bush from plugging an electrical cord into the hydrogen tank of Ford's hydrogen-electric plug-in hybrid at the White House last week. Ford wanted to give the Commander-in-Chief an actual demonstration of the innovative vehicle, so the automaker arranged for an electrical outlet to be installed on the South Lawn and ran a charging cord to the hybrid. However, as Mulally followed Bush out to the car, he noticed someone had left the cord lying at the rear of the vehicle, near the fuel tank.

"I just thought, 'Oh my goodness!' So, I started walking faster, and the President walked faster and he got to the cord before I did. I violated all the protocols. I touched the President. I grabbed his arm and I moved him up to the front," Mulally said. "I wanted the president to make sure he plugged into the electricity, not into the hydrogen. This is all off the record, right?"

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Anonymous
# Anonymous
Saturday, April 7, 2007 4:31 AM
Actually, they are not. Gasoline tanks, where air and fuel mix in the space above the liquid gasoline, are MUCH MORE likely to explode (FYI).
Anonymous
# Anonymous
Saturday, April 7, 2007 4:39 AM
Then please explain to us, why you think the CEO of Ford Motor Co, acted the way he did, "breaking all protocol" and saying so "off the record" if he didn't think there was some danger involved in plugging a live electrical cord into a hydrogen tank:

"Hydrogen reacts with oxygen to form water and this reaction is extraordinarily slow at ambient temperature; but if it’s accelerated by a catalyser, like platinum, OR AN ELECTRIC SPARK, it’s made with explosive violence."
-- http://www.lenntech.com/Periodic-chart-elements/H-en.htm
Anonymous
# Anonymous
Sunday, April 8, 2007 3:44 AM
He was making funny, fCs!

Hydrogen is NOT explosive unless it is mixed with air (oxygen), or another reactive oxidizer. When you put hydrogen in contact with a platinum catalyst in the presence of air (which contains oxygen), it does not explode, but produces a "slow burn" that can be harnessed for heat or even electricity production. On the other hand, a hydrogen/air mix is very explosive, and can be set off by a simple spark or other flame source.

Note that the same is true for gasoline vapor mixed with air, which is why it is dangerous to smoke around a gas tank filling operation. The entire top of the tank is filled with an explosive fuel/air mixture. As the tank fills, this explosive mixture escapes the tank, hopefully into the retrieval hose, but often into the air. This can blow up very easily!

On the other hand, in practical use, hydrogen is no more dangerous than gasoline or natural gas. It's just different – with the great advantage that it doesn't produce CO2, only water vapor.

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