Jerry Woodall and his team at Purdue are back with developments of the aluminum gallium reaction for generating hydrogen in consumer volumes. See:

The first news broke in May of 2007 and looked good at first. The concept was soon clobbered by some:

as the price of gallium used was prohibitive and the recycling issue consumed way more electricity than might be economical.

The team is undaunted and is back now with much better info on the gallium issue. The recycling issue isn’t picked up as thoroughly yet.

The barrier to a hydrogen fuel has always been the storage issue. Hydrogen, being the smallest of the elements is such a devil to contain as it escapes everything and soaks into practically everything. The Purdue team’s concept thus could solve a particularly difficult problem. The concept’s advantage of near instantly freed hydrogen makes the raw fuelstock plain water that would only have to be kept above freezing for use. More over, the volume of free hydrogen gas would be quite small minimizing the danger in accidents. Should this concept work out we could have a hydrogen generator making free gas as we go.

The feasibility issue has been refined somewhat since the May news release. The August release describes the gallium matter in more detail and again touches on the recycling issue. Clearly the team understands the need for considerable amounts of electricity to deoxidize the aluminum gallium compound and reprocess into fresh releasing agent.

I’m very encouraged. It looks as though the weight and exchange methods need some work. I assume that the grains of the compound could be added to the water or the water added to the compound. One might connect to a vacuum to unload used compound and exchange a container for fresh compound. Compressed hydrogen is not an easy or safe product, but the Purdue team has added a promising idea to solve those difficulties and risks. There is a lot of room for innovation here.


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