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Metal: The fuel of the future?

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posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 05:22 AM
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Is powdered metal the best fuel of the future to combat global warming?



The car of the future will run on metal. So reckons Dave Beach, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Te nnessee, who has come up with a plan to transform the way we fuel our engines.

Chunks of metal such as iron, aluminium or boron are the thing, he believes. Turn them into powder with grains just nanometres across and the stuff becomes highly reactive. Ignite it, and it releases copious quantities of energy.

With a modified engine and a tankful of metal, Beach calculates that an average saloon car could travel three times as far as the equivalent petrol-powered vehicle. Better still, because of the way that this metal nano- fuelburns, it is almost completely non-polluting. That means no carbon dioxide, no dust, no soot and no nitrogen oxides.

What's more, this fuel is fully rechargeable: treat your spent nanoparticles with a little hydrogen and the stuff can be burnt again and again.


HM_Treasury.Gov Link

I have witnessed the power of metallic powders first hand. Titanium Dioxide power suspended in the air explodes extremely well.




posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by LightFantastic
 


very interesting,
but it still leaves a combustion by product whether it be iron oxides or aluminum oxides, not sure id want to be breathing either of those.
But it is similar to a method ive read about for powering watercraft.
Researchers injected high finely powdered aluminum in a stream of high pressure sea water, into a swirl chamber, where the mixture starts a very high temp chemical reaction that gives off steam aluminum oxide, and salt.



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by punkinworks
reply to post by LightFantastic
 


very interesting,
but it still leaves a combustion by product whether it be iron oxides or aluminum oxides,


apparantly not... "By utilizing a fuel containing a fuel-soluble catalyst comprised of platinum and at least one additional metal comprising cerium and/or iron, production of pollutants of the type generated by incomplete combustion is reduced. Ultra low levels of nontoxic metal combustion catalysts are able to be employed for improved heat recovery and lower emissions of regulated pollutants."
www.patentstorm.us...
plus breaking down metallic oxides into their base element's isn't as difficult as breaking down CO2



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 02:58 PM
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Originally posted by punkinworks
reply to post by LightFantastic
 


very interesting,
but it still leaves a combustion by product whether it be iron oxides or aluminum oxides,


apparantly not... "By utilizing a fuel containing a fuel-soluble catalyst comprised of platinum and at least one additional metal comprising cerium and/or iron, production of pollutants of the type generated by incomplete combustion is reduced. Ultra low levels of nontoxic metal combustion catalysts are able to be employed for improved heat recovery and lower emissions of regulated pollutants."
www.patentstorm.us...
plus breaking down metallic oxides into their base element's isn't as difficult as breaking down CO2



posted on Sep, 22 2009 @ 03:10 PM
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With a modified engine and a tankful of metal, Beach calculates that an average saloon car could travel three times as far as the equivalent petrol-powered vehicle. Better still, because of the way that this metal nano- fuelburns, it is almost completely non-polluting. That means no carbon dioxide, no dust, no soot and no nitrogen oxides.

What's more, this fuel is fully rechargeable: treat your spent nanoparticles with a little hydrogen and the stuff can be burnt again and again.
Source: www.hm-treasury.gov.uk...

That can't be completely true.

There will indeed be byproducts. The only way we know of at present to completely destroy the materials used for energy is via a nuclear reaction, and even that doesn't destroy much. If you burn aluminum, you get aluminum oxide. If you burn iron, you get iron oxide (rust). Apparently the trick is that the byproducts are recyclable using hydrogen. Breaking down something like aluminum oxide is indeed much easier than breaking down carbon dioxide.

This would eliminate CO2 in the exhaust. Nitrates might be reduced by controlling the heat, but they are produced from the nitrogen and oxygen already in the air, so I'll have to see a zero-nitrates emission to believe it.

The last section I repeated intrigues me. It would appear that in this case, metal itself is not necessarily the fuel source, but rather is an intermediary step in using hydrogen for the actual energy source. Metal becomes metal oxides (release of energy) which are then treated with hydrogen to form water and more metal (input of energy). The only thing used up and not recovered is hydrogen.

It will be interesting to see how this plan develops. Great find!

TheRedneck



posted on Sep, 23 2009 @ 04:12 AM
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Originally posted by TheRedneck
The last section I repeated intrigues me. It would appear that in this case, metal itself is not necessarily the fuel source, but rather is an intermediary step in using hydrogen for the actual energy source. Metal becomes metal oxides (release of energy) which are then treated with hydrogen to form water and more metal (input of energy). The only thing used up and not recovered is hydrogen.

It will be interesting to see how this plan develops. Great find!

TheRedneck


I'm glad you've seen the possible massive benefits of this. To me it has the following benefits:
- The metal powder has more energy per volume than petrol, lowering transportation costs.
- It enables the hydrogen economy without having to store and transport hydrogen for use directly in the vehicle. The hydrogen is used to recycle the fuel
- The fuel can be manufactured close to abundant renewable energy sources. For example, a large swathe of solar panels in a suitable area such as a desert could power the production and recycling of the fuel.
- The fuel doesn't evaporate like petrol
- The fuel should be able to be stored and pumped like a liquid
- Less refuelling stops for the vehicle
- Other scrap metal can be recycled into the fuel.



posted on Sep, 25 2009 @ 07:41 AM
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yeah cars in the future will run on thrash metal



posted on Sep, 25 2009 @ 09:00 AM
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I don't honestly understand it...

but I think this is right on.

the problem is not in its use... but in the input energy source to recycle to boron .

f=Ma still applies , energy in is energy out.... where is the energy going to come from to power the recycleing ...

wind is for blow hards , farming for fuel is a drunk mans paradice .... oil is best used in plastics and chemical plants.
solar is for beach bunnys and people who don't know when to come in out of the rain...

where is the power going to come from to power the boron recycling process ?



posted on Sep, 25 2009 @ 09:41 AM
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I have read the OP and the follow up posts, and for some reason I don’t quite understand this, I have seen engines ruined by the tiniest bit of metal filings getting caught in the engine. How can something that can possibly destroy an engine, be a fuel for it? Is there something I am not grasping here?



posted on Sep, 25 2009 @ 09:57 AM
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Thats what i am talking about. Fueling my car on the raw unmitigated power of metal. Face melting, fret burning guitar solos will be the rocket fuel of the future.



In all seriousness, this is a great thread. I appreciate the posting, OP. This is a new and emergent technology that i had only seen cursory discussion of previously. If nothing else, it provides another option outside of Exxon.



posted on Sep, 25 2009 @ 09:53 PM
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reply to post by AlienCarnage
 


I haven't read the pdf yet, but I'd safely assume that the engine design is different from the one in a gas burning car. For instance, you wouldn't put diesel into a gasoline car, because it isn't designed for that, even though diesel and gasoline are both vehicle fuels.

There are metals you can burn to release energy; I'm not a chemist so I don't know very many, but magnesium is one metal that you can burn.

I'm not really sure how this is any better than our dependence on oil, though. Metals have the same problem as oil in that they are nonrenewable resources; we only have so much to get out of the ground. If metal-fuel engines could be made more efficient, or the supply of metal is greater than that of oil (I have no idea whether it is or not) then there would be an advantage in this. Metal fuel might also conceivably be more effective in certain situations. For instance, I'd guess metal fuel might be better than gasoline in extremely cold weather. (but I don't know that for sure)



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 02:45 AM
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excuse me... but as I understand it.. the metal is in a closed system... the metal is not lost... but stays in a containment .
the containment is returned after use and reprocessed , adding energy to it...
technicaly speaking... the fuel is an energy storage device much like a battery ... with the diffreance that metal can't be recharged in the car , but must be recharged by the manufacture ...


so in a nut shell , your buy'n a "d" cell batterys to run your car ...
but the batterys have a deposit , so your only paying for the power going in ...

and everything gets recycled... zero emissions



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 06:25 AM
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Originally posted by AlienCarnage
I have seen engines ruined by the tiniest bit of metal filings getting caught in the engine. How can something that can possibly destroy an engine, be a fuel for it? Is there something I am not grasping here?


The fuel particles are on the nanometre scale so wouldn't have the properties of metal filings. They would be hundreds of times smaller than talcum powder particles.

I'm sure there would be problems that need to be overcome however to use this as a reliable fuel.

[edit on 28/9/2009 by LightFantastic]



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 06:44 AM
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Originally posted by DragonsDemesne
reply to post by AlienCarnage
 


There are metals you can burn to release energy; I'm not a chemist so I don't know very many, but magnesium is one metal that you can burn.


It doesn't have to be a material that burns on the macro scale. Many substances burn very fast at the nanometre particle size. Even silicon is a good explosive on the nanometre scale.

Burning is oxidation so a lump of iron that rusts is actually burning very slowly. C4 for example is a substance that burns very fast.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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Originally posted by readerone
where is the power going to come from to power the boron recycling process ?


Each world region could place large solar arrays in the most suitable areas using cheap panels such as Nanosolar

We would need approx 200,000 square km of arrays in total. It's a lot but the Sahara alone is 9,000,000 square km



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 12:38 PM
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That is so anti productive.
The metals in their pure state will generate electricity.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 01:00 PM
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I dunno about this. When metals burn- they burn HOT. Real hot. Hot enough to burn through other metals. What are you going to build the engine out of- ceramic? And how are you going to store, transport and distribute materials that spontaneously combust when they come into contact with oxygen? Not to mention the vast amounts of energy required to break the metals down into small enough particles for the process. Sounds sketchy and dangerous to me.



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 02:46 PM
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reply to post by LightFantastic
 


it always looks better on paper .

frankly , we can feed every person on earth a few hundred time ... on paper ...

getting it done is quite a diffrent matter .



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 02:57 PM
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lets say you hae a space 2 inch's in dia , and nine inches long.

what kind of device would you build to create hydrolic pressure ?

lets assume the fuel magicaly arrives , all you have to do is build the device that changed the fuel into hydrolic pressure .

frankly , getting a powder to travel thru fuel lines is a nightmare.
and this stull will explode and burn if you have leaks or need to remove a blockage ... not to mention what happens with fitting and sharp turns...

Oh my , this is an adventure .



posted on Sep, 28 2009 @ 08:09 PM
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reply to post by LightFantastic
 


Yeah, that's absolutely true, I didn't consider that. Nanoparticles sometimes behave very differently than larger samples of the same metal.



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