Breakthrough Material Purifies Water While Generating Electricity

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posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:37 PM
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Breakthrough Material Purifies Water While Generating Electricity


www.innovationnewsdaily.com

Jerry Woodall, an engineer at Purdue University, has created an aluminum alloy that reacts with water to create hydrogen and heat. He is encouraging venture capitalists to design a system that uses both — capturing the hydrogen as fuel and using the heat to pull clean water out of the air. The greatest benefit of using aluminum is its abundance.

"There is enough aluminum on the Earth’s crust to supply the whole world’s energy needs," Woodall told InnovationNewsDaily.
(visit the link for the full news article)


Related News Links:
www.msnbc.msn.com
www.sciencedaily.com
www.purdue.edu




posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:37 PM
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I love finding stories like this! Not only does this technology have the possibility of improving the world, it is also very cheap when considering the required ingredients.


More from the story-


To make use of this aluminum, Woodall melts it and combines it with gallium, indium and tin. In room temperature, these last three ingredients coarse through the metal as a liquid dissolving the grains of aluminum around it. In this state, water can react freely with all the material. As pellets of the alloy drop into water, they spontaneously split the water into heat and hydrogen. The hydrogen can then be used to power devices, or it could feed into a fuel cell to produce electricity.


"As pellets of the alloy drop into water, they spontaneously split the water into heat and hydrogen" Is this a new to the scientific community? I wonder if there is a way to maintain this effect while not "using up" the alloy?



Just 2.2 pounds (one kilogram) of the aluminum alloy provides 12.9 kilowatt hours of energy when exposed to water. This compares favorably to coal, which yields only 6.7 kilowatt hours.

It is seems to be twice as efficient as coal, though they still do not have a method for recovering the energy. Im sure that will be a minor engineering task!



Furthermore, all of the aluminum that goes into the reaction can be fully retrieved. It just needs to be thrown into a crucible and reprocessed.

"Once you buy aluminum, it's yours. You never lose it, unlike gasoline that you lose out your tailpipe," Woodall said.


It is also seems to be completely reversible, and does not require "refuelling"

Link to picture flowchart
www.purdue.edu...







The alloy contains aluminum, gallium, indium and tin. Immersing the alloy in freshwater or saltwater causes a spontaneous reaction, turning the water into steam and generating hydrogen and aluminum tri-hydroxide until the aluminum is used up. The hydrogen could then be fed to a fuel cell to generate electricity, producing potable water.

"The steam would kill any bacteria contained in the water, and then it would condense to purified water," Woodall said. "So, you are converting undrinkable water to drinking water."

Because the technology works with saltwater, it might have marine applications, such as powering boats and robotic underwater vehicles. The technology also might be used to desalinate water, said Woodall, who is working with doctoral student Go Choi.




The potable water could be produced for about $1 per gallon, and electricity could be generated for about 35 cents per kilowatt hour of energy.


www.innovationnewsdaily.com
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 6/13/2011 by VonDoomen because: (no reason given)
edit on 6/13/2011 by VonDoomen because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:47 PM
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reply to post by VonDoomen
 


35 cents per kwh is 6 times what the electric co. I work for charges. We use a coal fired plant so maybe some of the estimates of cost you provided are not correct



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:50 PM
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it will be bought up and never brought out, total waste



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:54 PM
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How cheap is Gallium and Indium?

here's a couple of charts, but I am no expert on either.. so are they reasonably cheap?

Gallium

Indium



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:54 PM
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reply to post by isitjustme
 


These are numbers im quoting from the article.

When it says the alloy is twice as efficient as coal, it is saying that pound for pound, this process releases almost twice as much harvestable energy. That is the physics side of it.

That unfortunately has nothing to do with the economic side of it. There is a lot of money and subsidies thrown at energy companies, where as this is a brand new technology which isnt being mass produced. We also have to look at how much energy a coal plant puts out in total vs what one of these machines could do. You also have to realize we would probably need tens of thousands of these small plants to output the same amount of energy. So we would also have to assume there would be more money spent upfront in the infrastructure. also add in the part that this is a closed system and the alloy can be reused, which makes it more expensive than coal, but also cheaper than creating more alloy to use once and throw away.

The multiple benefits of this method far outway the price increase compared to using coal powered plants, which are terrible for everyone except the stockholders.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:55 PM
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The energy/cost/efficiency of smelting the alloy has not been sufficiently factored in to the equation. Nor the cost of refining aluminum/aluminium from the raw bauxite ore which uses VAST amounts of energy.Nor the cost of mining the bauxite ore etcetera, etcetera.

So, a very interesting process but at what prior expense?



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 09:57 PM
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reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


I cant find how much of this stuff they use, i assume its a small portion since the aluminium seems to be the main focus. But the main point of this technology is that this alloy is then recovered at the end of the process, allowing the process to be run "indefinitely". so its not like they would have to keep buying this stuff. Atleast that's how I read it.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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Based on history,

I hope this dude has some good body guards.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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To make use of this aluminum, Woodall melts it and combines it with gallium, indium and tin.


But what about the amount of energy needed to melt those metals together?

Conservation of energy.

This is nothing spectacular imo, even if it's a new discovery, not good enough.
edit on 13-6-2011 by Grey Magic because: spelling



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:00 PM
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reply to post by Hardfelt
 


I understand it is more expensive, however, this technology is being proposed for rural societies that are far off the grid. Im sure it is much cheaper than building a coal plant for a village of 50 in rural africa.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:06 PM
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reply to post by Grey Magic
 


No one said it was free energy or anything? However it is nice to see something that has more than one purpose. Purifying water and generating electricity. Maybe you have some personal research of your own that is more beneficial to humanity? Regardless, Im glad theres still researchers out there trying to invent things that help humanity, and arent just an attempt to rape this planet of its resources as fast as possible for further gain.

So yes you can belittle this breakthrough, but only because you have the luxury of living somewhere with cheap energy and fresh water. I wonder if little malnourished african children would be so Blas'e about this?

Blas'e - "Having the sensibilities deadened by excess or frequency of enjoyment; sated or surfeited with pleasure; used up."



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:15 PM
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If it's more energy dense than a battery or liquid hydrogen, great.

You have to put more energy in to retrieve the aluminum in metallic form than you'll get out. However, it is at least a fairly compact form of energy storage.

You can do much the same thing by dropping aluminum powder into a solution of sodium hydroxide and water.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by VonDoomen
 


I think we all would love to see a better way to generate energy.. cleaner, safer.. etc..

this one sounds good, but you do have to wonder how much energy is used to create the conditions where the 4 metals combine to be able to generate this energy..

Where does the energy come from to combine them.. and after the process, how much energy is expended in recovering the metals to go back to square one?

I don't think anyone is poo pooing this news, just wanting to know more...



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:24 PM
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reply to post by VonDoomen
 


Incredible breakthroughs and new energy creating technology are being announced at a pace that is simply overwhelming The Power That Was. They're friggin done. It's too late to kill all of the new inventors.

Even if they completely lost it and released the weaponized E Coli all over the world, there wouldn't be enough peasants to work the rigs or buy their filthy oil.

Watch them try to buy all of the gallium mines.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:29 PM
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and just think, all them people laughed
at us for wearing those tin foil hats.
They may not be laughing any more.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by boondock-saint
and just think, all them people laughed
at us for wearing those tin foil hats.
They may not be laughing any more.


Well, that box on the diagram labeled "aluminum smelter" is where all the magic occurs, because you have to put in more energy there than you're going to get out later. So, yeah, They're ® still laughing.



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by isitjustme
reply to post by VonDoomen
 


35 cents per kwh is 6 times what the electric co. I work for charges. We use a coal fired plant so maybe some of the estimates of cost you provided are not correct


until they join the dots and create a usable tech to convert energy to electricity we won't know the actual cost

- but hey, where we live, we are being raped and pillaged by power companies due to government tariffs on those bad un environmental coal fired power stations

and of course we are not given all the facts about electricity - ever wonder how the grid copes with excess power generated whilst no oneis using it? Since they cant store it in batteries what do they do? Someone once said they light up city buildings to burn the excess juice

but I have to wonder, and would love an answer to this idea - if the red (positive) wire coming into my house has the power, and I dont have the black wire connected, nothing will run, but when the black (negative) wire, which runs back away from the house, is connected, everything runs and I am drawing current

since elctricity is the movement of a charge, and the charge is moving from the red wire, through my appliance and into the black wire, does it actually run out or does it go back through the black wire in a perhaps deplected current, to be re-billed by the power company to someone else?

deduction = probably



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:42 PM
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Originally posted by Bedlam

Originally posted by boondock-saint
and just think, all them people laughed
at us for wearing those tin foil hats.
They may not be laughing any more.


Well, that box on the diagram labeled "aluminum smelter" is where all the magic occurs, because you have to put in more energy there than you're going to get out later. So, yeah, They're ® still laughing.


maybe they can use the pwer this tech creates to smelt more lol
- or use coal to smelt the aluminium



posted on Jun, 13 2011 @ 10:44 PM
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reply to post by JacKatMtn
 


did some research-

en.wikipedia.org...

" Recycling scrap aluminium requires only 5% of the energy used to make new aluminium"

Melting point- 660.37 °C or 933.52 K or 1220.666 °F Rather low for a metal.

If you read the OP article, it says


To make use of this aluminum, Woodall melts it and combines it with gallium, indium and tin. In room temperature, these last three ingredients coarse through the metal as a liquid dissolving the grains of aluminum around it.


So it seems the aluminum is only partially melted, to the point where it becomes grainy, and then the exotic metals do the rest.

I know a lot of people get the image of huge blast furnaces just wasting energy to melt these metals.
however this guy shows you can do it cheaper, especially when using something to blast all that air in there.

www.instructables.com...


How much energy is required to melt aluminum?

Paper


Molecular mass of Aluminium = 27 g mol-1

From these data the energy required (assuming an efficiency of 60-80%) can be calculated at approximately 6–10 MJ kg-1 (The proof is left to the reader).

Therefore even with the excess energy required to process the aluminium before it is re-melted, the energy expended is very significantly lower than creating new metal from ore:
260 MJ kg-1 >> 6–10 MJ kg-1


Then we go here link to convert megajoules to kilowatt hours. for 8 megajoules we get 2.2 kilowatt hours. Check for yourself.

Most of the energy goes into refining the ore the first time. after that recycling it is much much cheaper. roughly 26 times cheaper.
edit on 6/13/2011 by VonDoomen because: (no reason given)





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