Planck E PressCenter Articles

About Questioning

Location: São Paulo, Brazil
Date published: 2023-01-20
Date modified: 2023-01-20
Reading time: 00:01:32

Author: Patrizia Tomasi-Bensik

About Questioning

“Qui giace l’Aretin poeta tosco, di tutti disse mal

fuorché di Cristo, scusandosi col dir: non lo conosco.”

Paolo Giovio


Pietro Aretino was a sour man. So much so, that he received from the contemporary, also poet Paolo Giovio the suggestion of an epitaph above, which I translate: “Here lies Aretino, a rough poet, who spoke ill of everyone except Christ, with the excuse: I don’t know him.”

My mother calls me Pietra.

Of course, self-indulgence forces a far more flattering comparison. I see myself much more in the way of Søren Kierkegaard's questioning.

I question absolutely everything. Even the subjects that are dear to me. Mainly the subjects that are dear to me. And I had two fantastic masters.

Franco Tomasi and Valentine Telegdi. The first was my father, and the second was my mentor in quantum mechanics.

Let's take, for example, a subject that speaks directly to my heart and, therefore, I treat it with an eagle's eye: green hydrogen.

About 68% of anthropic global warming is caused by fuel burning in motor vehicles. At first glance, it seems quite obvious that replacing fossil and even complementary inputs in the world's automotive fleet with hydrogen cells would be an excellent alternative that –definitely- would contribute to global cooling. Is it?

When we use gasoline, diesel, alcohol, or biodiesel in our vehicles, burning the fuel produces CO2, which has a GWP (Global Warming Potential) equal to one.

With hydrogen fuel cells, all we have as exhaust gases are water vapor and hydrogen ions. It so happens that, when we produce hydrogen ions, we are changing the balance of the atmosphere, since its presence in natural dry air is 0.5 parts per million. These ions go in search of stability and their closest partners are oxygen (H2O) and carbon (CH4).

When uniting with carbon, hydrogen ions will form methane, with a current GWP of 28. In other words, methane contributes 28 times more than carbon dioxide to global warming!

If we are talking about a hundred thousand or a million vehicles, ok. But what if the thing catches on? I think my question is legitimate and I'm in contact with experts in the area. As soon as I have a satisfactory answer, I’ll write an article.

In time: I really hope for a satisfactory answer.

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