Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

Earth on Fire: The Overheating Planet

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The reason some popular posts are tagged ‘no title’ is not because they have no title—they all do—but because the old Blogger embedded the title at the top of text, and the new software does not see that. You can see the titles in capitals at the start of each snippet. (It would be nice if Blogger introduced an upgrade program that could fix this little problem.)

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Saturday, 19 May 2007


An engineer at Purdue University, Jerry Woodall, has developed a stunning new way of making hydrogen from an alloy of alumunium and gallium. You just add water to pellets of it and out pours hydrogen. The waste products are gallium, which can be recycled back into the making of new pellets, and alumina (aluminium oxide), which can be recycled back into pure aluminium, and thus also into new pellets.

The Purdue process would eliminate the need to have hydrogen-storage systems using high-pressure tanks or those problematical metal-hydrides. You can have tanks of pellets and water and produce gas on demand, at a reasonable cost. The aluminium would, of course have to be produced using a planet-friendly source of power, such as hydro, solar or wind, but the process looks ideal. It has been patented. A new company in Indiana, AlGalCo LLC, has an exclusive licence to commercialise it.

If the process is as simple as it seems, it would be ideal for the EStarCar. The central bay in the car's chassis, instead of containing high-pressure hydrogen bottles, would have tanks for pellets and water. You get about a kilogram of hydrogen (12,000 litres) from every litre of water, so not much would need to be carried.