ocean waves
Sea water provides a ready supply of one half of the Hydrogen-On-Demand equation.
(cc) Mados

The promise of the Hydrogen Economy is clean, cheap fuel that can be used to power everything from industrial transportation and utility electricity to smart phones and the family car. The reality is that hydrogen has, so far, proven difficult and expensive to produce, to store, and to convert into usable electricity. Now, a new process may help to eliminate one of those obstacles, hydrogen production.

Although hydrogen is the most abundant element in the universe, most of it is locked in stable compounds. Using that hydrogen for fuel requires that it be liberated, typically through steam reforming of fossil fuels, or the electrolysis of water. Both of these methods require significant energy input.

What if it was possible to produce hydrogen from the electrolysis of water, but with minimal electrical input, perhaps through the use of an additional fuel supply and a catalyst? This is the solution proposed by Phillips Company, a research and development firm based in Arizona, USA. Phillips Company has developed a method of producing hydrogen on demand using catalytic carbon and catalyzed aluminum. The process will be demonstrated at the company’s Hydrogen Design Conference, April 8, 2013, in Millerton, Oklahoma.

The Hydrogen Design Conference will provide the critical information needed by hardware designers and R&D product development professionals who wish to learn about new economical methods being used to generate hydrogen at commercially useful rates. Technical, business, and energy sector specialists will learn hardware design using the world’s first scalable Hydrogen-On-Demand process requiring minimum power input.

A growing number of equipment manufacturers are planning the commercialization of this new method for producing hydrogen fuel at high flow rates by extracting hydrogen from water, using scrap paper and scrap aluminum, two of the world’s safest and lowest cost industrial materials.

Research by Phillips Company resulted in the discovery that scrap aluminum and scrap paper, when burned, can be subjected to an inexpensive catalytic activation process. This mixture can then effectively generate hydrogen gas from water. The process uses more water than scrap materials, and the scrap materials do not have to be pure, making the fuel less expensive. The hydrogen production can operate in pH-neutral water, even if it is dirty, and can operate in sea water, the most abundant source of hydrogen on earth.

An important characteristic of this new breakthrough is that it requires no external power input after the hydrogen-producing reaction is started, making possible, for the first time, the scale-up to high rates of hydrogen on demand (HOD) using water and scrap materials for fuel.

This simple, straight forward hydrogen generation approach offers several advantages over current industrial productions methods. It results in more energy when the hydrogen is used — combusted or burned — than the energy required to generate the hydrogen. The fuel supply — scrap aluminum and water — is widely available and of low cost, while the byproduct — aluminum hydroxide — is environmentally safe and can be either discarded or recycled. The process is easily scaled to produce any required hydrogen volume at any required pressure, limited only by the hardware design. With no critical parameter control, this hydrogen on demand — HOD — production method has a wide process latitude, making it easy to control and reducing the associated hardware costs.

The Hydrogen Design Conference is intended for companies that can produce hardware and commercialize the technology in the form of hydrogen fuel for vehicles, for electric power generation, for heating, and for water distillation.

Dr. Howard Phillips, founder of Phillips Company, comments, “We think using hydrogen to fuel ships is promising because the process works well for producing hydrogen from sea water. More importantly, we think it makes sense to use hydrogen to fuel electric power generators on islands or in remote locations where water is plentiful and cheap, compared to the cost of importing diesel via tanker ships.”

The Hydrogen Design Conference will be held in Millerton, Oklahoma USA on April 8, 2013. Registration information is online at www.PhillipsCompany.4T.com/REG.pdf or contact Phillips Company at hp@valliant.net. European attendees can register by contacting Bion Technology in England, fred.davey@biongroup.co.uk. French-speaking attendees can contact Phillips Company’s Canadian Authorized Agent, Mr. Richard Lepine, ALplusH2O@neew.ca.

For links to the Hydrogen Design Conference and other industry events check out Energy Insight’s Renewable Energy Conferences and Expos page.

Read Renewable Hydrogen Technologies: Production, Purification, Storage, Applications, and Safety from Amazon.