Purdue University Prof Promises "Hydrogen on Demand"

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
purdue university prof promises hydrogen on demand

Add water to an alloy of aluminum and gallium and hey presto! Hydrogen! India Today reports the process was developed by Purdue University Professor Jerry Woodall. It "reduces the protective properties of the aluminum oxide skin normally created on aluminium's surface after bonding with oxygen… The skin usually acts as a barrier, preventing oxygen from reacting with aluminium. But the new technology allows the reaction to continue until all of the aluminum is used to generate hydrogen." Woodall claims his process is cheap, practical and powerful enough to secure more research funding revolutionize our energy infrastructure. But give the guy credit: he also knows how to think small. "The golf cart of the future, three or four years from now, will have an aluminum-gallium alloy. You will add water to generate hydrogen either for an internal combustion engine or to operate a fuel cell that recharges a battery. The battery will then power an electric motor to drive the golf cart." Fore!

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  • Redbarchetta Redbarchetta on Aug 28, 2007

    Why would anyone try to use aluminum as an energy source when it takes HUGE amounts of energy to make the aluminum. Why don't we not waste our time with this and just use the energy that would be used to make the aluminum instead. Is he trying to find a way to drive up the price of already expensive aluminum. Stupidity U.

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on Aug 28, 2007

    The amount of energy required to make a tankful of aluminum equals about the energy in 20 tanks of gasoline. Clearly this process is a waste of resources.

  • TaxedAndConfused TaxedAndConfused on Aug 28, 2007

    NICKNICK: I was kind of hoping I could turn the bugs squished onto my front number plate into energy...

  • Fallout11 Fallout11 on Aug 28, 2007

    Well said, Mr. Schwartz. ....but a very lucrative deal if you can con folks into believing (and bankrolling) it.