Posted: Aug 07, 2017 4:36 pm
by The_Metatron
juju7 wrote:
Calilasseia wrote:Meanwhile, if you're looking for a way for metal to be used as a source of energy, try this ...

Courtesy of New Scientist ...

The accidental discovery of a novel aluminium alloy that reacts with water in a highly unusual way may be the first step to reviving the struggling hydrogen economy. It could offer a convenient and portable source of hydrogen for fuel cells and other applications, potentially transforming the energy market and providing an alternative to batteries and liquid fuels.

“The important aspect of the approach is that it lets you make very compact systems,” says Anthony Kucernak, who studies fuel cells at Imperial College London and wasn’t involved with the research. “That would be very useful for systems which need to be very light or operate for long periods on hydrogen, where the use of hydrogen stored in a cylinder is prohibitive.”

The discovery came in January, when researchers at the US Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland, were working on a new, high-strength alloy, says physicist Anit Giri. When they poured water on it during routine testing, it started bubbling as it gave off hydrogen.

That doesn’t normally happen to aluminium. Usually, when exposed to water, it quickly oxidises, forming a protective barrier that puts a stop to any further reaction. But this alloy just kept reacting. The team had stumbled across the solution to a decades-old problem.

Hydrogen has long been touted as a clean, green fuel, but it is difficult to store and move around because of its bulk. “The problem with hydrogen is always transportation and pressurisation,” says Giri.

Not new. It has been known for decades that an amalgam of aluminium/mercury will react with water to make hydrogen. You need only a trace of mercury, which is why mercury is banned on aircraft.

Pity they didn't do their literature search.

What gets used up? TANSTAAFL.

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