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Science Forum

  1. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    22 Jan '09 20:02
    http://www.physorg.com/news151856915.html

    Penn State researchers discover a way for aluminum clusters of certain sizes to react with water to make H2 with no heat or electricity added! The reaction produces H2 and OH and they are working on ways to get rid of the OH part and reuse the aluminum clusters to keep making H2. Incredible!
  2. 22 Jan '09 20:39
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    http://www.physorg.com/news151856915.html

    Penn State researchers discover a way for aluminum clusters of certain sizes to react with water to make H2 with no heat or electricity added! The reaction produces H2 and OH and they are working on ways to get rid of the OH part and reuse the aluminum clusters to keep making H2. Incredible!
    Title of this thread: “Major discovery: making H2 with no energy!”

    Wouldn’t that break the known laws of thermodynamics?

    The chemical energy contents of hydrogen and oxygen as separate gasses is HIGHER than that of the two elements combined as water -thus to convert water into the two gasses with “no energy” would mean creating extra energy from literally nothing!

    -there must be a catch.
  3. 22 Jan '09 22:44 / 1 edit
    The only way for this to work is that the aluminum acts as a catalyst and the forming of H2 will cool down the surroundings.
  4. Standard member flexmore
    Quack Quack Quack !
    23 Jan '09 07:32
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    The only way for this to work is that the aluminum acts as a catalyst and the forming of H2 will cool down the surroundings.
    Major discovery: Making energy by cooling down your surroundings!
  5. 23 Jan '09 07:52
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    The only way for this to work is that the aluminum acts as a catalyst and the forming of H2 will cool down the surroundings.
    It would still break the laws of entropy.

    The article though implies that aluminum is a reactant not a catalyst ie the aluminum remains bound to the OH after the reaction and will clearly need energy in order to unbind it so that the aluminum can be reused.

    I am still convinced that most talk of the 'hydrogen economy' is little more than a play by automakers and oil companies to try to shift the focus away from electric vehicles.
  6. 23 Jan '09 11:06
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It would still break the laws of entropy.

    The article though implies that aluminum is a reactant not a catalyst ie the aluminum remains bound to the OH after the reaction and will clearly need energy in order to unbind it so that the aluminum can be reused.

    I am still convinced that most talk of the 'hydrogen economy' is little more than a play by automakers and oil companies to try to shift the focus away from electric vehicles.
    In that case I doubt there will be many practical applications.
  7. 23 Jan '09 11:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It would still break the laws of entropy.

    The article though implies that aluminum is a reactant not a catalyst ie the aluminum remains bound to the OH after the reaction and will clearly need energy in order to unbind it so that the aluminum can be reused.

    I am still convinced that most talk of the 'hydrogen economy' is little more than a play by automakers and oil companies to try to shift the focus away from electric vehicles.
    …The article though implies that aluminium is a reactant NOT a catalyst ie the aluminium remains bound to the OH after the reaction and will clearly NEED ENERGY in order to unbind it so that the aluminium can be reused.
    ..…
    (my emphasis)

    Arr -so THAT’S the catch! -I thought it would be something like that.
    You cannot get something from nothing.
  8. 23 Jan '09 12:15
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    Arr -so THAT’S the catch! -I thought it would be something like that.
    You cannot get something from nothing.
    Nevertheless it may have uses. For example you could carry a tank of water and a bunch of aluminum filings in the back of your car and generate the hydrogen on demand at room temperature.
    This has the benefit of lower risks with regards to high pressure hydrogen.
    However it would increase the volume and mass required.

    The aluminum particles could then be regenerated at a later time (say by heating or some other process).
    Essentially aluminum and water become the primary fuel.
  9. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    23 Jan '09 13:52
    Originally posted by Andrew Hamilton
    [b]…The article though implies that aluminium is a reactant NOT a catalyst ie the aluminium remains bound to the OH after the reaction and will clearly NEED ENERGY in order to unbind it so that the aluminium can be reused.
    ..…
    (my emphasis)

    Arr -so THAT’S the catch! -I thought it would be something like that.
    You cannot get something from nothing.[/b]
    Borrowing from peter to pay Paul?
  10. Standard member forkedknight
    Defend the Universe
    23 Jan '09 15:51
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Borrowing from peter to pay Paul?
    From what I've read about possibilities for a hydrogen fuel source, especially for vehicles, is that a catalyzed reaction would be a possibility for TRANSPORTING energy, not creating it.

    We're always going to be "borrowing from peter to pay Paul" when it comes to energy, but there's no shortage of available energy in the world/space. The sun provides an insane amount of energy that we can't actually use. The problem is in having it available and conveniently stored.

    I read an article that proposed having a nuclear power plant specifically for reprocessing aluminum for an AlGa alloy that could be used in a fuel cell. The power plant does the "creating" of energy, and the fuel cell is the method of transportation.
  11. 23 Jan '09 20:47
    Originally posted by forkedknight
    From what I've read about possibilities for a hydrogen fuel source, especially for vehicles, is that a catalyzed reaction would be a possibility for TRANSPORTING energy, not creating it.

    We're always going to be "borrowing from peter to pay Paul" when it comes to energy, but there's no shortage of available energy in the world/space. The sun provi ...[text shortened]... plant does the "creating" of energy, and the fuel cell is the method of transportation.
    I don't really see how this can be more efficient than simply running cars on batteries.
  12. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    24 Jan '09 12:38
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I don't really see how this can be more efficient than simply running cars on batteries.
    It all seems to hinge on how they handle the hydroxyl's, eh. Maybe the best they can do is collect them with no energy cost and transport them somehow to a center where with solar, or wind power reduce it to H2 and O2. Just my guess though.
  13. 25 Jan '09 19:09 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    I don't really see how this can be more efficient than simply running cars on batteries.
    It isn't. However since it is more years away in terms of development, the oil and car industries would prefer the funding to go towards it. Electric cars can't be stopped but they sure can be delayed!

    In general electric cars have far less parts than fuel based cars and they require far less maintenance and spare parts. Electric cars will put a lot of car part traders out of business, and possibly even lower the number of new car sales over time.
  14. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    26 Jan '09 01:35
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    It isn't. However since it is more years away in terms of development, the oil and car industries would prefer the funding to go towards it. Electric cars can't be stopped but they sure can be delayed!

    In general electric cars have far less parts than fuel based cars and they require far less maintenance and spare parts. Electric cars will put a lot of ...[text shortened]... r part traders out of business, and possibly even lower the number of new car sales over time.
    I heard electric cars wear out sooner than gasoline or diesel cars, anyone hear that?
  15. 26 Jan '09 10:32
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    I heard electric cars wear out sooner than gasoline or diesel cars, anyone hear that?
    I heard the opposite, (I think it was in the documentary "Who killed the electric car". I would welcome any opinions / references to the contrary. I do believe that the batteries need replacing, but I heard that there are far less other parts to go wrong.

    My sister is seriously considering importing an electric vehicle from China as they are extremely cheap to both buy and run compared to petrol vehicles. The main concerns are the manufacturing quality and whether spares will be readily available.
    The basic cost of electricity would be about 10% of the cost of fuel.