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Scientists Find New Way to Produce Hydrogen

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posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 03:38 PM

The team, which also includes Penn State graduate students Patrick Roach and Hunter Woodward and Virginia Commonwealth University Professor of Physics Shiv Khanna and postdoctoral associate Arthur Reber, investigated the reactions of water with individual aluminum clusters by combining them under controlled conditions in a custom-designed flow-reactor. They found that a water molecule will bind between two aluminum sites in a cluster as long as one of the sites behaves like a Lewis acid, a positively charged center that wants to accept an electron, and the other behaves like a Lewis base, a negatively charged center that wants to give away an electron. The Lewis-acid aluminum binds to the oxygen in the water and the Lewis-base aluminum dissociates a hydrogen atom. If this process happens a second time with another set of two aluminum sites and a water molecule, then two hydrogen atoms are available, which then can join to become hydrogen gas (H2).

The team found that the aluminum clusters react differently when exposed to water, depending on the sizes of the clusters and their unique geometric structures. Three of the aluminum clusters produced hydrogen from water at room temperature. "The ability to produce hydrogen at room temperature is significant because it means that we did not use any heat or energy to trigger the reaction," said Khanna. "Traditional techniques for splitting water to produce hydrogen generally require a lot of energy at the time the hydrogen is generated. But our method allows us to produce hydrogen without supplying heat, connecting to a battery, or adding electricity. Once the aluminum clusters are synthesized, they can generate hydrogen on demand without the need to store it."

[edit on 24-1-2009 by MajorDisaster]

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:15 PM
This isn't a discovery.

All scientists should know that all matter is made of tiny magnets, and all you have to do is learn how to separate the magnets, using other magnets.

"The force that the electromagnetic field exerts on electrically charged particles, called the electromagnetic force, is one of the fundamental forces, and is responsible for most of the forces we experience in our daily lives."
Electromagnetism - Wikipedia

"Some well-known materials that exhibit easily detectable magnetic properties (called magnets) are nickel, iron, cobalt, and their alloys; however, all materials are influenced to greater or lesser degree by the presence of magnetic field."
Magnetism - Wikipedia

"Every electron, on account of its spin, is a small magnet."
Magnetism - Wikipedia

"Remember, if you break any-thing down to the smallest possible part, you will have positive bits of electricity (the PROTONS), and negative bits of electricity (the ELECTRONS)."
Electricity - Basic Navy Training Courses NAVPERS 10622 - Chapter 1 - Matter

"According to the accepted theory of magnetism, every atom and molecule has a weak north pole and a weak south pole. Actually that is saying that atoms and molecules are tiny magnets."
Electricity - Basic Navy Training Courses NAVPERS 10622 - Chapter 11 - Magnetism

[edit on 24-1-2009 by ALLis0NE]

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:18 PM
reply to post by ALLis0NE

Sure, but it's the ability to extract hydrogen from water cheaply that's significant here

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 04:21 PM
doing it at room temperature practically energy free is awesome

hydrogen power is deffinatley they way to go

lets face it, its the most common element in the universe so an energy crisis wont happen for a good long while after we switch

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 06:24 PM
You only get to do it once. It's like the method using aluminum gallium alloy, but, presumably releases less energy as heat. You still have to pry the OH groups off of the aluminum clusters if you ever want them to work again. It's just another way of storing power, not generating it. You'll notice that all aluminum that occurs in nature is in compounds, mostly oxides? and that to get metallic alumina, or useful aluminum products, you need to electrolyze alumina, a process which consumes over 2% of the world's electricity.

Reprocessing the aluminum clusters will take more energy than the hydrogen it produced represented, except that can happen at some big facility somewhere, while making hydrogen with the stuff can happen anywhere you want. Kind of like a battery.

posted on Jan, 24 2009 @ 09:32 PM
Why do we need to produce hydrogen. Water is 2/3s hydrogen.
It is old hat and a foregone conclusion that water electrolysis
takes much less energy to seperate the water molecule than
the energy extracted when the hydrogen and oxygen are then burned.

Is all this crazy research just propaganda, misinformation or what.
Are all these (for a better word) scientists really trying to find an answer
or just living off of research funding. A fuel cell is a boondagle also.

So many people can't be this dumb. Hydroxy gas from water is the most vastly superior form of energy ever discovered. Is that why it is being so suppresed?

posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 12:24 AM
reply to post by mdiinican

You beat me to it

The energy input to the process is in the refining of pure Al from it's ore form (oxide). We don't call it 'solidified electricity' for no reason as electrolytic Al refining actually consumes some 30% of the energy generated on this particular island.

This process sounds similar to another I've seen that works for hydrogen generation. It works by arcing an Al electrode underwater, the Al is oxidised liberating the hydrogen from the water. Al oxide is a solid and settles to the bottom of the cell while the hydrogen bubbles rise. It's more of a curiosity than a commercially applicable process but interesting nonetheless and not without potential.

Free energy is never actually 'free'.

posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 01:17 AM
Hey, build a nuke plant and use it's power to create the metals needed for the H2 and bingo, we're not sending bucks to the oil barons. That negates the cost for all that money stays here going into one hand after another. Put the right pieces together and we can find a winner.

posted on Jan, 25 2009 @ 09:06 AM
But if ideas were to be combined such as the buoy water pump system that pumps water uphill and allows gravity to return it to the ocean and passing it through a series of waterwheel turbines to generate electricity along the way. Then using the generated electricity to make the AL compounds for later H2 extraction then we start to have something.

Unless of course the petrol-terrorists blow up the moon and end tidal forces on the Earth's oceans.

posted on Jan, 26 2009 @ 05:35 AM
Or instead, we could use the electricity from all those kinds of things to eliminate all the oil burned in power plants that's used for powering homes and businesses, and skip the inefficiency of direct or indirect production of hydrogen until our electric grid is oil-free.

With increased solar, nuclear, and various other non-hydrocarbon sources of electricity, combined with home energy conservation, we could, within a decade or two, eliminate fossil fuel use from the electrical grid, after which it will be prudent to start work on eliminating fossil fuel use from cars.

No point in storing energy as hydrogen, after all, if the energy could go to better use elsewhere. Directly replacing oil used for electricity with electricity generated through alternative methods is more efficient than converting it to hydrogen and reacting that later.

Of course people should try to conserve gas, too. Smaller, lighter cars with smaller lighter engines, hybrids if they can afford it, better driving habits, ensuring proper tire inflation, carpooling, etc.

Chances are: ain't gonna happen in the foreseeable future without some truly major changes in society.

[edit on 26-1-2009 by mdiinican]

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