back to article Chickens could 'power hydrogen cars'

A team of university scientists have claimed that the future of automotive hydrogen storage lies in birds, or, to be precise – chickens. The secret lies in chicken feathers, according to Dr Richard Wool, Professor of chemical engineering at the University of Delaware, and their ability to absorb high amounts of hydrogen when …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    better idea

    instead of producing ketarin from feathers, give ketamine to the chickens. then no one will need to go anywhere, everyone will be busy sitting around watching the chickens going fuckin batshit

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Compressed H2 Can be produced efficently!

    Please ignor the idiots who say it cant..

    electrolysis of water can occur at a very wide range of pressures and it is very easy and efficent to compress water to 5000psi then electolyse it into H2 at 5000psi and O2 at 5000psi

    Want to know more ? Google: high pressure electrolysis

    Yes electrolysis requires electricity but that can be provided by renewable or other sources. and does not require breaking down of fossil fuels as other methods do.

  3. lglethal Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    chicken wool?

    A professor working on chicken feathers called Wool?

    I love reality...

  4. Peter 32

    May not be good enough for cars but...

    Could this be used for powering trains? As there would be more room for the chicken feathers.

  5. Graham Marsden

    And I was all ready...

    ... to make a comment about this being a Chicken Shit idea...

  6. Anonymous John

    Why did the chicken cross the road?

    Because its owner couldn't park outside his house.

  7. Simon Neill


    "This compares poorly with the Honda FCX Clarity, which can go for 270 miles on a far smaller tank, albeit one containing H2 compressed at 5000psi"

    Woe betide anyone rear ending the thing. 5,000psi hydrogen explosion.

  8. Tony S

    Chicken Sh1t

    There was a chap down in darkest Devon back in the 1960's that ran his car on the by products of chicken farming - apparently it ran really well and cost him almost nothing as the farmer was glad to get rid of it.

  9. James 5

    Was his research ....

    ... sponsored by Bernard Mathews by any chance?

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Dick Wool in Plucking Eggcellent Absorbent Hot Cock Feather Breakthrough


    Is it Friday yet?

  11. Lord Raa


    Wouldn't like to be in the factory that makes these, the smell of heated feathers isn't exactly pleasant.

    Still, it's good to see that people are looking into making hydrogen storage practical for transportation, even if using H2as a fuel is in itself a dubious way forward.

  12. Kevin Campbell

    I don't care HOW they store it

    I still keep coming back to the same ominous word


    Seriously. The Honda stores H2 at FIVE THOUSAND PSI?!? With all the nutburgers on the road who are too busy shaving, texting, or applying (badly needed) makeup to pay attention to actual driving? No thank you. Now, fully automated cars that drive themselves, leaving the aforementioned shaver/texter/makeup applier to do their thing safely - well, that's a different story, but one I don't see happening any time soon.

  13. James Micallef Silver badge


    "Woe betide anyone rear ending the thing. 5,000psi hydrogen explosion." hear, hear! Just yesterday a train carrying LPG derailed at Viareggio in Italy and burnt down a few blocks, a dozen dead, general destruction..... and this was from an explosion source on the tracks, imagine a hydrogen tank exploding in a busy street.

    Not good!!

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Out goes


    In comes

    Chicken power

  15. Paul E

    Never mind "Keep your distance Child onboard"

    A sign in the back window saying:

    "Keep your distance, 5,000 psi H2 tank on-board"

    Should keep the tailgater back a few more feet.

  16. Lionel Baden

    high presure electrolosis ???

    so basically chuck a couple of electrodes on the sea bed and place bucket above ???

    or did i miss something here ?? :D


    what happenbed to the radio Buttons

    GIVE THEM BACK REGISTER !!!!!!! i like my radio buttons bloody red box makes me think of a cheapo desktop calender

  17. Ivan Headache

    Instead of Leccy tech

    It's Chukky Tech

  18. Anonymous Coward

    FFS People Think of the Energy!

    So it has hydrogen, its still got the same energy as a tank of gas! - thats the point it its enough energy to drive a 1tonne lump 270miles (not straight up!)

    Hindenburg Burnt = so do oil wells (see iraq)

    5000psi means nothing without OXYGEN

    Watch The H2 Tank Tests ON youtube they do not pop like ballons they split and leak, now the exposed H2 burns just like petrol burns! the thing is there is NO OXYGEN in the tank (unlike a petrol tank) so no explosion...

    another good thing is that if the H2 leaks and does not ignite it floats away the scene is safe within minutes..

  19. Michael C

    Please, H2 is dead, stop wasting money!

    I don't care WHAT advances you make in producing, storing, or using H2. Fact is, we will NEVER put it in our cars on a large scale. Even if we can make afforable engines (yet to be shown, even gievn 15 year outlooks), and even if we can make it at a price comperable to gasoline, we still have major issues:

    1) it's an EXPLOSIVE gas. Even the BEST containers slowly leak H2, lots of it, over time. In an enclosed space (your garrage, the ceiling tiles in parking structures, etc) is will collect and eventually blow up.

    2) With the exception of metal infused H2 (heavy, expensive, takes 8 hourts to fill, and gets 1/5th the range of tank options) you'd be driving a BOMB, and so would any terorist who wanted to get his hands on one.

    3) We have NO infrastructure for distributing H2.

    4) we have no infrastructure for long term and mass storage of H2.

    5) liquid H2 requires constant refrigeration, meaning you drive an hour a day, but waste 23 hours with the car plugged in to keep it from blowing up. The alternate is supercompression, which means 6-8 hours to fill a tank, and incredibly dangerous logistics issues doing so.

    6) Fuel cells. Constant replacement costs for the membrances. Logistics nightmare, noone knows how to fix them... the mostly can't be fixed and have to be replaced if damaged. Oh yea, they're fragile...

    Why not look at a REAL option. Gasoline. ...just not from oil. It's called RFTS. It;s a process for making gasoline that's been in use since WWII. CO2 and H20 in, O2 and Gasoline out. The process uses electricity to make H2, RWGS to make CO and O2, and RFTS to process that into gasoline. Power comes from off-peak wind (readily available and 100% clean). CO2 comes from sequestration from coal (gasoline burned is CO2 that was already going to be released, meaning a 40-60% reduction in CO2 output). In 20-30 years, we'll get the CO2 from onsite sequestration right out of the air.

    The process can make gas at $60-80 a barrel, depending on the local market. They're working on producing their first mid scale facility. They have over 60 world patents on inprovementys to the process, heat exchanges, and other aspects of the system.

    WindFuels can't be monopolized by big oil (full scale plants would be affordable to a wide range of investors). It can be made anywhere. Every country can be completely independent of the oil monopolies. It is a very clean process, FAR cleaner than refining regular fules. In every way, thisd process is the answer, at least for the next 50 years until we have viable 100% electric systems.

    Check out I am not an employee, nor have I been compensated in ANY way for my comments. This is simply good science, that unfortunately, doesn't qwualify for current government grant offerings (it's not biofuel, it;s not solar, it uses wind energy, but isn't standing up farms, it uses H2 but not for direct use in fuel, it uses sequestration but not onsite, it;s in the middle ground between all these other grant offers....)

    Tank to your congressmen. Talk to your rich friends. This is NOT vaporware, it;s all stuff we've been USING for 50 years, this just takes several PROVEN systems, puts them together in a logical fashion, and adds incremental improvements that make it cost competitive. We just need to START BUILDING FACILITIES!!!

    If you don't believe the data, ask them for a copy of their entire design. TRY to find fault with it. They're challenging people to do so, and making 100% of their data available to the public (if you pay for the printing and shipping costs, fo which they're really asking only for the cost (about $100) not $3000 like some firms ask for a "report".

  20. Anonymous Coward

    I've always hated chickens...

    ... but felt that simply eating them wasn't punishment enough.

  21. storng.bare.durid

    Radio buttons

    Yeah.. wtf happened to the radio buttons? Give em back

  22. Anonymous Coward


    I think the suggested correlation between the Hindenburg disaster and factor of safety of Hydrogen needs correcting:

    The reason the Hindenburg went down in a ball of flames was due to the doping chemicals coating its fabric skin was basically the same stuff used as rocket fuel.

    The hydrogen itself did explode.

  23. Bounty

    Chicken cannon

    Were the chicken feathers compressed to 5000 psi to get that 75 Gallon tank rating? Also, do you need to keep the shaft of the feather, since it takes up volume and may not have any H2 useful properties?

  24. derek anderson
    Paris Hilton

    Flesh Gordon II anyone?

    Engage hyperchicken!

    And Paris because this is exactly the time for cheap thrills. ;-P

  25. Eddy Ito
    Big Brother

    Everyone knows

    You can't make chicken soup from chicken feathers.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rabiit season .. Duck Season

    Heh, Next week there'll be an article from Prof. Cluck saying that it's far better to store hydrogen in charred wool .....

  27. thomas newton

    I dont know

    this whole idea sounds like a bit of a turkey to me...

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Michael C

    >The process can make gas at $60-80 a barrel, depending on the local market.

    Wow, that's way cheaper than even just sucking it out of the ground.

    >They're working on producing their first mid scale facility.

    I'd expect massive expansion as other companies with proper investment budgets start competing.

    >They have over 60 world patents on inprovementys to the process, heat exchanges, and other aspects of the system.

    Ah, dead already.

  29. DRendar

    @AC: better idea

    New keyboard please!

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