Simple and effective hydrogen production for sustainable energy
A novel method of producing hydrogen and heat via the reaction of metal and water with applications in renewable energy production and storage.
The majority of hydrogen currently produced for renewable energy is through the reformation of methane, which releases greenhouse gases and continues our reliance on fossil fuels. Hydrogen can also be produced by hydrolysis, by using electrical current to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. The alternative production method by hydrolysis does not produce greenhouse gasses. Independent of the production method, the storage and transport of large quantities of hydrogen do create safety concerns. One of the more promising options to overcome these limitations is to use the reaction of metal with water to produce hydrogen continuously in small quantities. The reaction does not proceed spontaneously, though, requiring the outer layer of certain metals to be compromised first.
The solution by many approaches is to add exotic metals, catalysts or mechanically pretreat the metal fuel. The introduced catalysts and metal alloys, however, must eventually be stored and recycled, causing an extra layer of complexity to energy production. To lower the downstream problems, this technology utilizes a unique process to ensure the full reaction of any suitable metal used in the metal-water reaction without the use of alloying metals, catalysts, or mechanical pretreatment of the metal. As metal is also a good intermediate energy carrier, this also negates the problem of storage and transportation of hydrogen.
- No catalysts or exotic alloys are needed to begin metal-water reaction
- Method to produce hydrogen on-demand without difficult storage and transportation