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Hydrogen from a can

By Scott Jenkins |

A newly marketed portable reactor system for generating hydrogen is capable of generating 1,000 L of the gas in 20 min. The volume is sufficient to fill a 5-ft-dia. weather balloon, which is the first market targeted by the system’s manufacturer AlumiFuel Power Inc. (Philadelphia, Pa.; www.alumifuelpowerinc.com). The company began mass production of the PBIS-1000 (portable balloon inflation system) last month and expects to deliver the first units to customers in early 2010. The system consists of a cylindrical reaction vessel, into which are placed two 32-oz cans of aluminum powder. A hand-pump injects water into the vessel, where the aluminum powder and a mix of proprietary additives react with the water to generate H2. The generator requires no external power and can be transported more easily than high-pressure “K-cylinders.” While the system was designed for balloon inflation in remote locations, such as that demanded by military and meteorological uses, it may be adapted for other applications requiring portable hydrogen, such as fuel cells. No greenhouse gases are emitted in the H2 production and the products of the chemical reaction are non-toxic, says the manufacturer.   Click here for a full pdf version…
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