Army

Portable feedstock for generating hydrogen

Nanostructured aluminum based alloys in powder form for rapid and cost-efficient generation of hydrogen for fuel cells, fuel storage, or other uses

Energy

Unique aluminum nanomaterial powder reacts with water to produce hydrogen very rapidly

Hydrogen is considered the best clean energy carrier, due to its light weight, high energy density and zero pollution. Aluminum can react with water to produce hydrogen via hydrolysis reaction. However, in the case of aluminum powders, a direct reaction of metallic Al with pure water is difficult due to thin but dense oxide film that passivates the aluminum surface. Use of alkalis, acids, catalysts and/or high reaction temperature are required for continuous hydrogen generation.

The Army Research Laboratory has invented a novel nanogalvanic structured aluminum based particulate material that reacts with water or any liquid containing water at room temperature for rapid on demand production of hydrogen for power generation. Small grains provide the nanogalvanic effect, which sweeps away the oxide film, and exposes new metallic surfaces, which enhances hydrolysis. The ARL’s method doesn’t need any alkalis, acids or other catalysts. This hydrogen production method is useful for energy conversion and production technologies that consume pure gaseous hydrogen as a fuel. This innovation could provide a stable, nonvolatile, effective means for generating hydrogen fuel on demand and avoid significant costs of transportation, compression, storage, and final delivery of hydrogen to the point of use.

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