95: Like a Lead Balloon – Solid State Hydrogen Energy Storage

Matt and Sean talk about solid state hydrogen, lasers, VCR tape, and why Sean’s brain is melting.

Watch the Undecided with Matt Ferrell episode, “Energy Storage Breakthrough – Solid Hydrogen Explained”: https://youtu.be/U7CCq4oBgw4


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Hey, everybody welcome to the still to be determined podcast. This is the podcast that follows up on topics from the Youtube channel undecided with Matt ferrell our regular listeners or viewers will know by now that I’m not Matt ferrell I’m his older brother sean. Um, a writer I’ll ask him the questions and Matt is with me as well say hello Matt how are you doing I’m doing okay just a reminder before we get into the episode.
Hello Matt I’m good. How are you doing.
Ways to support the podcast keep listening keep subscribing keep sharing it with your friends and if you choose to throw coins at us. You do that through still tbd fm. There’s a link there that will allow you to support us directly or you can just hit the join button right here on youtube and I say here on Youtube. And assumes that you’re here on youtube.
We’re on Youtube everybody.
Today we’re going to be talking about Matt’s most recent episode energy storage breakthrough solid hydrogen explained this episode aired on november ninth twenty twenty 1 we’re within an arm’s reach of the end of the year almost 22 where does the time go time is a flat circle time has no meaning anymore and I say all of that as a lead in to what is really the sort of like big picture topic around all of this that my brain has melted.
Ah, no, it doesn’t.
Yes, now this makes my brain melt too. So.
Yeah, this is ah this is a big 1 There were a number of comments that were basically straight up saying like this is bull um people arguing with some key points that you brought up in the video saying like this is impossible. This doesn’t happen.
Um, okay I could I could have clarified that better. But yes I have a response to that by the way.
Like hydrogen coming out of smokestacks. Um, yeah hydrogen coming out of smoke sex lie a positively charged Hydrogen atom lie. Um I don’t know that I am going to yell.
At you I’m not going to quee up the Henry rollins song although I do recommend it to all of our listeners and our viewers on youtube go to youtube google henry rollins liar and then sit back and enjoy um some of those issues did you see any.
Yes, yes.
Common threads that you were like oh I’d like to address that.
Ah, 1 of the common threads is the whole the smoke stackcks. It doesn’t come out of there. It’s like I the way it was worded was very vague and it left it open to interpretation but Hydrogen is actually produced is is an off gas. That’s can be produced through. Um, ah, natural grass drilling. It’s it comes from ah sewage treatment plants. So so it’s Hydrogen. We just don’t capture it. So it’s like there’s there’s areas where we’re producing it and it’s just escaping. We’re not capturing it so it’s like you put a system like this in place and we can capture it in those situations.
Um, right.
So that’s what that statement was about but it was so vague it left it open to interpretation So that’s bad on me as a communicator I did not do a good job communicating it people were interpreting it as you’re burning coal and you’re getting hydrogen. It’s like no, that’s not what I meant so it’s like I poor choice of words. Um.
Right? right.
And the other side of the people. The thread of people saying this is impossible scam b s ties right? back to that video I made a few videos ago about the whole. Um you don’t know what you don’t know and there’s people that think they know certain things and they clearly don’t. Because they’re not in the area of research around solid hydrogen. There’s plenty of studies on it. Plenty of research papers. Some people were accusing me of not having done my research and yet they didn’t bother to look in the link in the description to my script which has all the sourcing for everything that we pulled in so it’s like the research is there.
Right? Yeah, that’s that’s 1 of the things I wanted to bring up is that you are not basing and this is something that I think the people who who are detractors of yours in the comments don’t.
And it’s like it. It.
Recognize or maybe don’t know you are not basing your videos on google searches and youtube searches you are going back to first sources as often as possible. Do you want to talk a little bit more about how that side of your.
It It always starts with a Google search or Youtube search to find the topic of like oh that’s an interesting topic. Maybe we dig into that but when we dig into it. It’s usually like oh we’re finding these news articles. Well, it’s like what are these news articles referencing we go to their references and kind of get back to the source and read the information from the sources.
Research takes place.
About that are being cited to actually understand it for ourselves and to craft the story around it. So it’s like we’re not’re necessarily reporting the reporting. So it’s not like second or thirdhand information we’re trying to go back to the source to find as much as we can to understand it to communicate it clearly and in this video I clearly did not communicate it clearly which.
Well I think it is it is on you and I don’t say that to be funny. It is on. You know that is the role you’ve put yourself in of of being a kind of filter where you are saying like here’s some information I’m going to provide it to you and if there’s a ah gap in understanding. Perhaps it is something that.
Is on me again, but it’s.
Sits with you and I I do agree that in some cases that does sit with you but I would also say a big part of it for this 1 in particular this seems so fictional. This is just absolutely bonkers to say.
Yeah. Um, it does.
Here’s the thing that looks like a vcr tape it holds in that tape it holds hydrogen and if you shoot a laser laser at the Vcr tape it releases that hydrogen. In a way that it can then be consumed and turned into energy and that sounds absolutely bizarre it sounds like a Buckaroo Bonseye Plot element where it would be. Oh that turns out that this cassette tape we’ve been listening to is actually a bomb because if the right laser is aimed at it. It’s going to convert into energy that will then Explode. It seems absolutely fictional and it is so hard to Envision. You have.
Um, yes.
The end result being this bizarre tape that has energy that has a laser to release it. There’s that but at the beginning the idea of and the company says this on their website we can collect hydrogen from the atmosphere. And do this with it that seems that seems made up that seems yeah it could.
Yes, it see it seems it does seem made up but the other the other side of it is and all the comments of people that were saying it was b s the ones that went a level deeper to try to explain why they thought it was bs. There was I’m not saying this about everybody but there was definitely a thread of reading between the lines of. They don’t believe that Hydrogen is a path forward that hydrogen is itself a scam perpetuated by the big oil companies and big companies that are just wanting to transition from oil to something else. They can control and that it’s. It’s like carbon capture people look at carbon capture as a crutch for the oil industry to say hey we can keep drilling and burning because we can actually capture the c o 2 there’s this view that Hydrogen is that it in itself is a scam It’s not as good inefficient as Batteries. It’s not as cost effectiveive as x y or z. There’s a bias against hydrogen and in certain cases. They’re absolutely right? But to say that there’s no place for hydrogen in our future in my opinion is just wrong. It’s like there is absolutely a place for hydrogen in our future I don’t believe it’s going to be in cars I don’t believe it’s going to be in all that stuff. But there’s. There’s areas where it makes a lot of sense because we can’t rely on renewables completely. So it’s like imagine there’s a crisis like a hurricane hits an area knocks out all the power you could have generators that are running off of these hydrogen cartridges that you can. Whip up and then they have a endless supply of energy because you just keep refilling these cartridges and it can be a great stopgap. It could be great for remote locations that can’t generate their own solar power because they can’t get enough solar. There’s use cases for this stuff. So it’s like there’s this a little bit of a bias towards Hydrogen. And somebody actually tweeted at me I’m not going to name who it was um he basically said I should be ashamed of myself for have putting out this video because it’s so full of misinformation and he linked to a blog post he put together and he wrote up why it was all bs and his article was in itself full of. Half -truths and misinformation and it showed to me that he has a complete lack of understanding as to what’s actually going on which is why I come back to I don’t think I did a good enough job as a communicator because I didn’t anticipate that kind of reaction and if I had. Done a better job anticipating that I could have provided more information and come at it from a slightly different angle to try to make sure I was addressing all of those concerns and I didn’t so I’m a little disappointed in myself I’m not ashamed like he was saying I should be ashamed because what I’m not perpetuating a bsr scam. My whole thing was this is really interesting.
This is worth keeping an eye on it’s still in the pilot stages but it’s gonna be really interesting to see if this kind of takes hold because there’s a lot of interest in this from the government. There’s a lot of interest in this from other people who know way more about this than I do um, there’s ah a gentleman named sandy monroe who runs Monroe associates that. Does work for big auto where he will tear down cars from competitors and put together reports for like you know Ford could hire him to break down a Nissan to say okay well tell us about this car. This car’s kind of groundbreaking what are they doing he himself has said this technology could change Hydrogen’s path
How is it working? yeah.
That is really interesting and that we should the industry needs to keep an eye on it because this could be a game changer and he’s somebody who’s far more knowledgeable by this. He’s an he’s an actual engineer so it’s like to say that this is Bs would basically be saying that Sandy Monroe doesn’t know what he’s talking about and so that’s where I come from of got to keep an open mind on this and.
I come back to I don’t think I did a good enough job communicating it.
It’s interesting the way you laid all that out. It makes me wonder do you do in some near future a part 2 Do you reattack this issue and and reexamine it to try and recommunicate everything.
Um, I I what’s what’s funny is after the video came out plasma connects reached out to me and thank me for the video and they told me that they’ve gotten a. Had people reach out to them after my video and they were thanking me for making the video and so now there’s a little bit of a door open to them so it’s like I do want to follow up with them in the future. Maybe six months or a year from now I would love to like interview somebody from there and see how it’s going and see how their pilot projects have been going to do a follow-up to actually kind of say.
Um, yeah.
This is a thing or this isn’t a thing for sure.
Right? before you do that when you when they reached out to you. Just recently did you write back that it’s full of B s and that there are a bunch of liars. Yeah, yeah, yeah I think that that was probably the best thing you could have done.
All I wrote back in all caps was liar with an exclamation point and a link to the Henry l marolins video.
It’s interesting. The way you’ve you’ve referred to this a couple of times it picks up on some of the comments that are the more um, the ones that leave the door open the ones that still doubt. Ah, the. The arguments being made but actually leave the door open like this 1 from bishnier who wrote quote based on the company’s estimates quote is the most dangerous phrase in future technology but it looks like something to keep an eye on but fresh near europe.
There You go be skeptical, but it’s like give give them give them time to prove. It’s true or not true. We can’t call it b S right now.
There was also this from novo swiss who wrote this set off all my bs Jargon detectors claiming everything from shape memory alloys to catalytic nanoparticles to nanostructured thin films to hydrogen capture nobody’s venting hydrogen out of a smokestack. It looks It’s like someone just wrote down all the material science buzzwords to get money if you dig into their patent. It’s the same way so nuvo swiss is clearly on the side of saying like this is not a thing and his argument. Touches on I think the opposite side of what I was saying it just sounds so sci-fi it sounds so made up but I’m hoping that Nuvo swiss I hope you keep tuning in and and I and I hope that at some point in the future. There is a revisiting of this because I think that. After watching your video I went to the the website of the company and I started looking into a little bit of it and it really does you mentioned applications not including cars I agree with you there cars don’t seem to be the the way forward. But when you talked about things like oh opportunities for. Using this in places where other types of renewables aren’t going to work. Um I couldn’t help but think of things like you show in It’s it’s clearly a ah ah made up image. But the cargo ship filled with containers that all have the logo of that company and saying this is enough.
Yeah, yeah.
Of this hydrogen to power a what was it 25000 homes for a year I thought wow if it’s you know you’re taking say a research team into a part of the world where there’s not going to be solar production. There’s you know you’ve got ah a group of people living somewhere above the arctic circle um, something like this is going to be the means of giving them reliable energy where solar would not work or perhaps wind might be too complicated to try and set up in that location. This kind of thing if you can show up with a flatbed of what look like again vcr tapes. Um and a laser. Yeah yeah somewhere Dr. evil is yeah touching his lip with his finger and.
That’s my favorite part is like really.
Well what? what? I would say what I would say to all the people that were just straight up saying it’s B S or the ones that were pointing out what they perceived as flaws. It’s like I why I don’t necessarily agree with them. Um I appreciate all of that feedback I Really do it’s like I.
Hydrogen is coming out.
I learn a lot from the pushback I get in videos and I got a lot of pushback on this 1 So it’s going to change how I approach these kind of videos in the future. So it’s like I really appreciate all the positive and negative feedback and it makes me a better creator and it makes me more astute into how I’m going to communicate these things so it’s like.
Even if you hated my video on this and you thought it was all B s and you commented. Thank you I Really do appreciate it.
Yeah, and there’s there’s absolutely value I think in giving any kind of response because that’s that’s how you determine as you’ve been saying in this conversation you take that on as I didn’t do what I was supposed to do as a communicator in this. Situation. You don’t know that if nobody gives you the feedback so there was also this comment from John beisinger who said I had a couple of questions and then these are actually very thoughtful and interesting questions for you to revisit. Especially if you’re going to revisit this topic.
In six months or so how does the tech stand up to thermal variation. Is it heat slash cold tolerant. How will it do in semi climbmbing a ten percent grade in an arizona summer how will it do it. Twenty below at 20000 feet in a small commuter plane. Have to imagine both absorption and release are sensitive to both likely impacting parasitic losses like does it have to be preheated in the cold or the entire package kept cool in the heat and how does it handle the usual vehicle safety concerns fire impact penetration moisture et Cetera I Imagine. Taking all of the first questions that he lays out those are all interesting things that would likely be a conversation you would have if you ever have the opportunity to talk with the people who are are producing this.
Oh yeah.
As far as the last question I think it’s that’s an interesting 1 that we could tackle right now which is how does it handle vehicle safety concerns fire impact penetration moisture. It looks to me like this wouldn’t actually be impacted by most of those would it? yeah.
No no, that’s the part that makes my brain break a little bit because it’s it’s hydrogen being sort stored in a solid form and it’s not like you could literally store these in a convenience store because there’s no risk of them exploding and bursting into flames.
Right? Because the way the laser right? and the way the laser is releasing The hydrogen is due to the intense heat of the laser but fire wouldn’t reach that heat so it might in fact, damage the tape.
The way a tank of Hydrogen would.
Correct. No.
But it wouldn’t release the hydrogen from the metal in the tape.
It’s from my understanding the way it is. It’s It’s very similar to like a solid state battery versus a liquid electrolyte battery where if you drove a nail through a regular lithium I battery it would explode because that liquid electrolyte connects the negative in positive sides and just boom.
Um, right.
Solid electrolyte you can drive nails through it you can cut them in half and they will keep operating and not explode. So it’s it’s 1 of those. It’s something similar to that where it’s it’s because it’s in solid State. You could cut the tape you could break it. You could smash the container and it’s not going to Burst. You’re not releasing hydrogen into the atmosphere. It’s it’s it’s it’s like it’s um, it’s not the right phrase but it’s almost like it’s a nerd It’s like you don’t have to worry about it. It’s it’s just it’s there.
And lastly I wanted to share this comment from ranjaoff who writes once viable fusion reactors also come into the picture. The deuterium will just sweeten the deal even more Do do you want to explain what he is saying there.
About the deerium for like in fusion reactors. You need deuterium and so it’s going to be a very valuable ah commodity at some point in the future. So there you go? Yes, yes.
And it’s an accidental byproduct being collected here I I like that you described it as the fatter cousin of the hydrogen. Basically it sounded very much like the deuterium fits into the metal.
There’s There’s potentially going to be a market for deterium.
But is too large to get back out.
Yeah, basically.
Be careful what pair of pants you try and fit into that’s the lesson to be learned there so listeners. What is your take on this as far as would you revisit this topic if Matt was to go back.
Six months from now have a conversation with people from this company look at this maybe from another angle and take another run at the subject would you all be interested in checking it out. Let us know you can find the contact information in the podcast description or on youtube you can just go right? Beneath this video. And leave a comment there. Don’t forget, there are ways you can support the podcast you can do it just by doing what you’re doing right now just listening leaving comments subscribing sharing with your friends all of that really helps. There’s also still tbd fm where you can directly support us or you can just hit the. Join button here on youtube and through that membership provide direct support as well. Please do be sure to give us a rating a review and share us with your friends all of that really does help the podcast. The podcast helps the channel the channel helps Matthew and then Matthew. Helps me get into these genes I’m the deuterium of the family Thanks so much for listening everybody. We’ll talk to you next time.
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