In Space Engineers, Hydrogen is employed as a fuel for both propulsion and for electrical power (via the Hydrogen Thruster and Hydrogen Engine, respectively). This feels unrealistic to me, and I am considering creating a mod for the game that alters these pathways to more accurately represent real-world chemistry and physics.
Therefore, I'm curious if this is a simplification for the purposes of game development/balance, or if there are valid, viable means to extract work from a feedstock of pure H2.
The behavior is thus:
- Thrust - Thrusters consume small amounts of Hydrogen while idle, and then much more to generate thrust. No other input to the system is required (not even electrical power, though because of the below scheme, it could be assumed that the same thing is being done here to generate power). The consumption of H2 is luminescent and sufficient to cause damage if one is close enough to, and inline with, the exhaust nozzle so I assume this isn't simply venting pressurized gas to space.
- Electrical Power - Hydrogen is consumed to produce electrical power, the hydrogen engine itself looks like a reciprocating internal-combustion engine, which is obviously not the modeled behavior (that would require oxygen), but is there any legitimate hydrogen-only pathway? Hydrogen itself can be extracted from ice using 10% of the energy that the resultant hydrogen yields in this engine.
Assuming I'm correct that neither of these make any real, physical sense, what is the highest mass-efficient pathway for production of power in both forms, using any (or any combination) of the following available materials either as reactants or catalysts?
- Gravel (waste rock, let me know what common material you're assuming this to represent for your purposes)