Beware The Bushwhackers Of Gallium Gulch !
indigestible energy ideas are in abundant supply, but Milk Of Alumina affords no relief, and it takes a tough chicken to cluck at the half-baked state of this bit of technofluff from Perdue ballyhooing the Hydrogen-Gallium Gospel
"New aluminum-rich alloy produces hydrogen on-demand for large-scale uses
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University engineers have developed a new aluminum-rich alloy that produces hydrogen by splitting water and is economically competitive with conventional fuels for transportation and power generation.
"We now have an economically viable process for producing hydrogen on-demand for vehicles, electrical generating stations and other applications," said Jerry Woodall, a distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue who invented the process.
The new alloy contains 95 percent aluminum and 5 percent of an alloy that is made of the metals gallium, indium and tin. Because the new alloy contains significantly less of the more expensive gallium than previous forms of the alloy, hydrogen can be produced less expensively, he said.
When immersed in water, the alloy splits water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen, which immediately reacts with the aluminum to produce aluminum oxide, also called alumina, which can be recycled back into aluminum. Recycling aluminum from nearly pure alumina is less expensive than mining the aluminum-containing ore bauxite, making the technology more competitive with other forms of energy production, Woodall said.
"After recycling both the aluminum oxide back to aluminum and the inert gallium-indium-tin alloy only 60 times, the cost of producing energy both as hydrogen and heat using the technology would be reduced to 10 cents per kilowatt hour, making it competitive with other energy technologies," Woodall said.'
What he didn't say was that the H2 yield from the 2 Al + 6 H2O = 2 Al( OH)3 + 3 H2 reaction is about 1 ltier of gas per gram of aluminum alloy.
A 3 liter engine operating on a lean ( 10% H2) mixture buzzes though 6,000 liters of air and fuel vapor in a minute, running at 2,000 RPM.
It will therefore require hundreds of grams per minute , or a multiple of 5 KG of aluminum alloy per hour . Call it 100 pounds a week. That means you will be carrying five pounds of gallium worth several thousand dollars in your 'gas' and milk of Alumina tanks ., the aluminum hydrodide slurry being about as far removed from what electrolytic aluminum plants consume as rusty bilge water is from iron ore.
Anybody for cars with calcium carbide / water acetylene generators ? The non-energy inputs are cheap, and the lime water can capture half the CO2 in the exhaust- but that makes it no more economic than the prospect of recycling galliumas an alternative to solving the hydrogen fuel storage problem per se.