[As heard on WTAG, WHYN, WHJJ on 2021-06-22 with Mr. Jim Polito]
We had more discussion today with Mr. Jim Polito about this fuel cell. Jim isn’t as happy about it as I am. I think it’s just a cool technology for airplanes for a few reasons, but we really got into that. And then we started talking about hydrogen, how do you make the hydrogen? How do you make electricity?
[00:00:19] So that product is into what we’re looking at really now with nuclear. These new, what is it? Fifth or sixth generation plans. And that is probably what we should be doing. And yet there’s so much pushback. Anyways, here we go with Mr. Jim Polito.
[00:00:39] Jim Polito: [00:00:39] You all know the story of the Hindenburg, right? Hydrogen, the Nazis.
[00:00:44]Dirigible the blimp. . It got its ability to rise through hydrogen. We wouldn’t give the Nazis helium, which has the same properties, but is safe. Hydrogen is not safe. Wow. It looks like general motors is thinking about or working on a hydrogen fuel cell for airplanes. Joining us out to talk about this, but just briefly and some more important things is our good friends in tech talk guru.
[00:01:17] Craig Peterson. Good morning.
[00:01:19] Craig Peterson: [00:01:19] Hey, good morning. And today we have a shortage of helium as well. For birthday parties, I would have gotten more expensive. Maybe. Yeah, maybe there’s something there. Maybe.
[00:01:30] Jim Polito: [00:01:30] I don’t know, I hate to put you on this one, but you shared the story with me. And I said generally the motors developing a hydrogen fuel cell for airplanes.
[00:01:40] All I can say is, oh, the humanity. Oh, the humanity. So jealous my good friend. What? This is all about.
[00:01:51] Craig Peterson: [00:01:51] Sure. I’m really actually excited about this. I think an interesting idea. Yeah. First of all, the Hindenburg, there were some serious design clots, not the least of which the Hindenburg itself.
[00:02:05] Coated with rocket fuel fuel. The whole outside was coated with a blend of nitrate, and nitrate is used to make gunpowder. So they had the leak, they had a spark, and it went up like that because the whole thing was coated in rocket fuel. So it’s not that hydrogen is not dangerous, cause it is.
[00:02:27] You’ve got to keep it under control. Yeah, but you have to weigh everything out. So what general motors is saying here is we’re going to take some technology we developed for cars. Now there are hydrogen powered cars in California. There are hydrogen fill stations, frankly. Hydrogen is what excites me the most about all of these alternative fuels.
[00:02:52] Because what you do in a hydrogen fuel cell is you have some compressed hydrogen on board, many cities, run buses, trucks, and other things on compressor, liquid for LPG, you look at petroleum gas. We know how to contain it even in the event of a really bad accident, but the beautiful thing about hydrogen.
[00:03:15] Is there is only one byproduct when you’re making electricity from hydrogen, with a fuel cell and that by-product is pure water.
[00:03:25]Jim Polito: [00:03:25] I’ve looked at it, no for like cars and things. Even 20 years ago, they were discussing it. This would be a great thing for cars, but to produce the hydrogen don’t you expend an awful lot of fossil fuels to make that actual hydrogen.
[00:03:43] Craig Peterson: [00:03:43] You do, you need a lot of electricity to do it. And there’s, and it’s difficult to transport and lodge, large quantities, which you’d need for in for instance, driving a lot of cars around. And so there’s been research into we can suspend it in ammonia. Ammonia happens to be pretty darn dangerous.
[00:04:00] Oh my God.
[00:04:04] Jim Polito: [00:04:04] Return in this thing. It isn’t
[00:04:07] Craig Peterson: [00:04:07] itself. And but here’s the cool thing. What GM saying is, Hey, we put all of this money, your taxpayer dollars, right? I seem to remember some sort of a quote to bail out on code for GM into developing the fuels. If the advantage in an airplane, if you’ve looked beyond the potential explosion, I see the advantage in airplane is when a plane takes off Jim.
[00:04:30] Yeah. It has two tons of water on board and your plane takes a lot of fuels to get that plan. And that’s just two tons of water for drinking water, flushing, toilets, washing hands. We hope. Yeah. Yeah. There’s the normal stuff. And they’re also of course, as a need for electricity. So the electricity is being generated by a takeoff from the turbines, which means it’s burning up the jet fuel to make electricity, the water, of course, entering two tons of launching that into the year takes a lot of fuel.
[00:05:02] If you can get a fuel cell that is considered to be intrinsically safe. Now you don’t have to bring water with you because the by-product of generating electricity to power, like the cabin lights and other basic things. The power is going to create pure water. Years form. And so now you’re saving fuel right?
[00:05:27] Left and center. Now, of course, how did you make the hydrogen? You brought that up. That’s a great point and potential safety issues. And I don’t think they’ll make the same mistake as the German scientists.
[00:05:43] Jim Polito: [00:05:43] You’re right. We’re talking with Craig Peterson, our tech talk guru, Greg guy, about this possibility of general motors, developing hydrogen fuel cells. Now. We’ve talked about nuclear power before, so you need a lot of electricity to produce this hydrogen that you’re going to use. Okay. In order to produce that electricity, you use fossil fuels, coal oil, mostly natural gas.
[00:06:11] Okay. We can talk about wind farms and all that, but please. What if we were to produce it with nuclear power? And the advancements that have been made in nuclear Prine. I know you’re a big advocate.
[00:06:25] Craig Peterson: [00:06:25] Yay. Fantastic idea. We’ve got the generation. Nuclear plants. My son could tell you everything about them front back, but these things are inherently safe.
[00:06:39] They are the only real green fuel. Your solar cells pollute like crazy when they’re made the same thing with the batteries and the lithium mines. There is a real big discussion now because we’re looking to mine, lithium here in the us and an area of the desert that has those roots. Plant that only grows where there’s high lithium in the ground.
[00:07:03] And so they don’t want us to mind that lithium, but we want it for our batteries so we can get our electric cars so we can feel good about ourselves, but these new generations of basically thermal nuclear plants, but they’re much different than the old ones are. Set up in such a way that they can not melt down.
[00:07:22] It’s absolutely amazing. You can make a nuclear plan for cheap money. A million dollar range that will power a town. And it needs to be replaced every 20 years. They put it underground. They get up and off you go again, and it all recycled. And yet we are now still governing our nuclear power plants based on rules and regulations created in the 1950s.
[00:07:50] And people just don’t want to pay attention to it. And so I’m so glad you brought it up. I know
[00:07:55] Jim Polito: [00:07:55] because of the advances, Hey Kathy and I. Flew from Milan to Paris two years ago, flew over the Alps, look down. I’m looking down because I want to see the Alps. But as I look down, I see nuclear power plants to, to nuclear power plant.
[00:08:12] You can’t miss them because of the big towers cooling the steam. And these are the older nuclear power plants, but France, what is it? 70 to 80% of their electric. They produce through nuclear power and nobody seems to discuss that at all.
[00:08:29] Craig Peterson: [00:08:29] Yeah most of the European countries do, frankly it, it just makes sense.
[00:08:33] You, it’s compact. You can turn a lot of electricity, you can drive your electric cars and everything else is designed to have central points for electrical generation, not to have a generator in all of our homes and things. And one of my sons is now been flying around the country. In fact, he just went up to Canada, just north of lake Charles.
[00:08:54] For a few days and they got special dispensation from Lauren Fowchee
[00:08:59] Jim Polito: [00:08:59] and oh, it’s Pope Fowchee. We prefer to say Cole Fowchee.
[00:09:04] Craig Peterson: [00:09:04] Yeah, but it’s a Canadian version. Oh, the
[00:09:06] Jim Polito: [00:09:06] Canadian guy, right? Yeah. And the Lord and the
[00:09:10] Craig Peterson: [00:09:10] Lord. Yes. And he went up there and they Ontario generates 30% of its electricity from these massive wind farms.
[00:09:19] But at any one time, so much of it is just out of production is not working. He’s having to go service things. Other people are as well, nuclear. Whether the sun’s shiny, whether it’s a middle of winter, like in Texas or in nuclear works when it’s
[00:09:36] Jim Polito: [00:09:36] dark. Yeah. Yeah. And why aren’t we doing it? I just don’t.
[00:09:40] I think too many people have seen the China syndrome and the Silkwood, those two old movies about, about meltdowns. Now, if you had seen the mini series Chernobyl, which I did see, which was fantastic you would realize okay. That’s because that’s what happens when you have a socialist communist country rushing to get power and and doing it in a way that’s not safe.
[00:10:06] And yet people will see that and say, oh God, we can’t have that. And that’s not what we’re talking about.
[00:10:12]Craig Peterson: [00:10:12] And with NIMBY, of course not in my backyard. Look at the cake, look at the windmills off of the Cape there. The Kennedy. It used to be the Kennedy compound. They donated it to charity because they care about the
[00:10:23] Jim Polito: [00:10:23] people.
[00:10:23]Hold on a second. Let’s just make this clear. They donated it to their own charity. Okay. They all know that Victoria, Reggie now controls a Ted’s widow. So she controls who can go in there, who can come? Yeah, yeah, they donated it to her charity. Sure. Very good. You know what? You’re quite the comedian there.
[00:10:47]Craig, not only are you our tech talk guru, you are, you do good comedy bits.
[00:10:55] Craig Peterson: [00:10:55] Yeah. I’m feeling a little spicy this morning, I think is what I
[00:10:58] Jim Polito: [00:10:58] think. So I think so. Oh my God. Yeah, the windmills are not reliable and they’re not that good when you get right down to it.
[00:11:07] Craig Peterson: [00:11:07] No, they’re costly. They’re obviously dependent on the wind. No, one’s come up with a great solution.
[00:11:14] For this yet there’s stuff where in Europe with the tides, I don’t know if you’ve seen that, but they basically put up the dams that move and the use the tie to generate electricity and energy. But still today, the new generation of nuclear is a hundred percent. What I would suggest nothing’s a hundred percent safe as we already know.
[00:11:36] I just saw a release or not a release, but a an update for fire departments. I’m putting up Tesla fires and because of the battery pack
[00:11:46] Jim Polito: [00:11:46] when they start on fire.
[00:11:48] Craig Peterson: [00:11:48] Exactly. So they’re saying dump a lot of water on it. And so the fire departments would say what does that mean? There’s somewhere around.
[00:11:53] I can’t remember the exact number I’m going to get this wrong, but it was over 3000 gallons and the fire department came back and said w wait a minute, our fire truck only holds 500 yeah.
[00:12:05] Jim Polito: [00:12:05] Thousand gallons of water to stop this reaction, this fire.
[00:12:10] Craig Peterson: [00:12:10] Yeah. And it’s all these batteries lithium-ion batteries and they are dangerous.
[00:12:16] So you’ve seen a phone. They get banned. Just catch on fire, laptop tape. If your laptop, I noticed this was one of mine. I had an apple laptop and I had it down on a flat surface. I noticed it was teetering pivoting a little bit from its middle. Cause the battery was swollen. Took it back to apple.
[00:12:34] They replaced it. But Keep an eye out on that because it can start a house fire people’s people have had their phones charging by their head at night and thank goodness it was by their head because of the smell of the fire will come up because these are dangerous and it’s always a balance, right?
[00:12:51] Should I code it? Yeah. Rocket fuel or shouldn’t I
[00:12:55] Jim Polito: [00:12:55] go on that note? No, Craig, this has been very helpful as usual Craig Peters on our tech Docker or crank you folks want to get more information from you like I do every week. What do they do?
[00:13:09]Craig Peterson: [00:13:09] You can go to Craigpeterson.com. And you can subscribe right there.
[00:13:14] I’d like why now, too. Of course, I’m on the weekend here as well, but I have even more stuff that I brought every week and you can listen to that on your iHeart radio laugh. Just like you can listen to it down in New York city. Yeah, any way you can do that by just going anywhere, just go to Craig peterson.com/iheart, and that’ll take you right to the iHeart radio lab and you can listen to my whole show and all my ramblings for the week.
[00:13:43] Jim Polito: [00:13:43] Craig Peterson, everybody a great guy, a very smart guy, Craig. Thanks so much. We’ll talk with you next week.