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Old 05-18-2007, 12:22 PM   #1
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Who knew?

Fill your car up with aluminum? By Julie Steenhuysen 2 hours, 37 minutes ago


CHICAGO (Reuters) - Pellets made out of aluminum and gallium can produce pure hydrogen when water is poured on them, offering a possible alternative to gasoline-powered engines, U.S. scientists say.
Hydrogen is seen as the ultimate in clean fuels, especially for powering cars, because it emits only water when burned. U.S.
On its own, aluminum will not react with water because it forms a protective skin when exposed to oxygen. Adding gallium keeps the film from forming, allowing the aluminum to react with oxygen in the water, releasing hydrogen and aluminum oxide, also known as alumina.
What is left over is aluminum oxide and gallium. In the engine, the byproduct of burning hydrogen is water.
"No toxic fumes are produced," Woodall said.
Based on current energy and raw materials prices, the cost of making the hydrogen fuel is about $3 a gallon, about the same as the average price for a gallon of gas in the United States.
Recycling the aluminum oxide byproduct and developing a lower grade of gallium could bring down costs, making the system more affordable, Woodall said.






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Old 05-18-2007, 12:50 PM   #2
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Probably not feasible to have onboard. There are material handling problems that are probably insurmountable. If hydrogen could be made in bulk that way and then used as a compressed gas for the car it might be an answer.

The second statement that the only byproduct is water, fails to address what is becoming recognized as a major pollutant–heat. We must now consider the total cost including waste heat when considering alternative fuels and energy consumption. Complicates the picture.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:22 PM   #3
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Smile Hi,

This will never fly unless the oil companies get control of it.
Regards from Russell in sunny and hot Tucson Az.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:33 PM   #4
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As I read the article, the hydrogen will be generated on-board. It states, ""The hydrogen is generated on demand, so you only produce as much as you need when you need it," Woodall said in a statement. He said the hydrogen would not have to be stored or transported, taking care of two stumbling blocks to generating hydrogen."

This may mean that the hydrogen will be generated at the fill stations, but I don't see why it wouldn't be generated on-board. Have an on-board tank of water and a vessel of aluminum/gallium and have a water injection pump that would add water and capture the hydrogen as needed. In the 19th century, remote homes (plantation homes) had their own gas generating plants where marble chips were stored in underground copper vessels. Each night acid was poured in and the vessel was sealed so that the chemical reaction would produce a flammable gas under pressure and it would flow through copper lines to the house to provide gas for the gas lights.

This could be done with the water and aluminum/gallium.
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Old 05-18-2007, 03:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Excella CM
The second statement that the only byproduct is water, fails to address what is becoming recognized as a major pollutant–heat. We must now consider the total cost including waste heat when considering alternative fuels and energy consumption. Complicates the picture.
How much water are we talking here? If we are talking engine heat from the car, couldn't the exhaust water be used to cool the engine? Same if you are talking about the hydrogen generator. That heat could be cooled with water or that heat could be used for another purpose such as boiling water to run a steam driven turbine.
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Old 05-18-2007, 06:16 PM   #6
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What I mean by feasible is:

1) Water weighs 2# more per gallon than gas = 40-60 pounds more on board
2) How do you separate the gallium from the Aluminum oxide before refilling with water and fresh aluminum pellets? What do you do with the oxide?
3) Refining aluminum from bauxite is energy intensive. The same electricity could be used to power electric vehicles or (better)mass transport directly and more efficiently.
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