News | Jun 20, 2018

Army taking applications for nano-powder, clean energy source

TechLink is the key contact for businesses seeking a patent license

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory will license its discovery of a nano-galvanic aluminum powder for hydrogen generation.

David McNally/Army Research Laboratory

The U.S. Army Research Laboratory on Monday opened the door for businesses to license a powerful new nano-powder that allows for the safe transportation and on-demand production of hydrogen.

The nano-galvanic aluminum powder instantly turns water into hydrogen, which can power fuel cells and provide clean energy. Army researchers said the powder is stable, non-toxic, easily transported, and able to be manufactured in large quantities.

“This powder-based alloy includes material that disrupts the formation of an encapsulating aluminum oxide layer, allowing for the continuous production of hydrogen that can be used at the point of need to power a wide range of devices via fuel cells and internal combustion,” said Dr. Anit Giri, a scientist with the lab’s Weapons and Materials Research Directorate.

After announcing the discovery last year, the laboratory saw a high volume of responses from businesses who recognized in the technology an opportunity to build new and improved products and services for both military and civilian customers.

To manage the patent licensing process openly and fairly, the lab’s technology transfer office created a new website with detailed instructions for companies interested in obtaining samples and licensing the technology.

The Department of Defense’s national partnership intermediary–TechLink–will be the key point of contact for businesses developing the required commercialization plans and patent license applications. Dr. Brian Metzger, senior technology manager at TechLink, will assist companies with their applications.

“After hearing from interested companies and working with the research team at ARL we believe there are several commercial applications for the technology,” said Metzger. “We’re ready to start helping ARL’s tech transfer office prepare the businesses for the patent licensing process.”

A description of the opportunity and application instructions will also be published in the Federal Register and publicized by the Army Research Laboratory, which hopes to begin issuing patent licenses in September 2018.

Headshot Image of Brian Metzger, PhD, CLP

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