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SPLITTING ANY KIND OF WATER WITH GLOBAL-SCALE, EARTH-ABUNDANT, LIGHT, RECYCLABLE METALS TO MAKE HYDROGEN, HEAT AND POTABLE

WATER ON DEMAND
Jerry M Woodall National Medal of Technology Laureate Epstein Distinguished Professor of ECE Purdue University

Why isnt there a global scale hydrogen energy economy? Small volume energy density High pressure gas and low temperature liquid storage expensive and dangerous Hydrogen transport dangerous and expensive Solution: use a safe, cheap, earth-abundant high energy density material for storage and transport that can react with water to make hydrogen on demand Is there such a material? Yes! Its ALUMINUM!

If aluminum could split water the chemistry would be:

2Al + 6H2O 3H2 + Al2O3:3H2O

Aluminum has the highest volumetric energy density of anything on the chart and a higher mass energy density than ethanol, methanol or bituminous coal!

Mass Energy Densities of Interest


As hydrogen from splitting water: 1 Kg H2: 142 MJ = 39.4 kWh combustible energy 1 Kg Al makes 111 g of H2 from 2 Kg of H2O = 4.4 kWh 1 gal (10 Kg) Al makes 44 kWh as hydrogen 1 gal. diesel: 37 kWh 1 gal. liquid hydrogen: 10 kWh As heat from splitting water: 1 Kg Al: 4.4 kWh Total energy, 1 Kg Al: 8.8 kWh (1Kg coal: 6.7 kWh!) Energy to electrolyze alumina to 1 Kg of Al: 12.9 kWh Total energy efficiency: (8.8/12.9) x 100 = 68% H2 energy efficiency: (4.4/12.9) x 100 = 34%

Technology sustainability & large scale use


World Supply:
Al reserve in the planets crust: about 1013 Kg (as Al); 1.2 x 1012 Kg of H2 made by splitting water = 5 x 1013 kWhrs of H2 energy Current worldwide annual Al production: 32 billion Kg from bauxite;

400 billion Kg of scrap impure elemental Al; amount needed to supply 12% US annual energy consumption of about 100 quad BTU. Since all Al that is converted to an oxide can be recycled back to metallic Al via electricity from any source, Al is a global scale alternative energy storage material with almost no carbon footprint.

WHAT CAN WE MAKE?


Buy scrap or metallurgical grade, i.e. cheap, Al, melt it with Ga and Sn, then cool it to make solid, bulk like Al rich alloys up to 93 wt% solid Al grains, and 6.2 wt% Ga, and 0. 8 wt% Sn liquid in the grain boundaries that splits any kind of liquid water, e.g. sea water, dirty water and polluted water, at between 20 C and 100 C and make H2, heat, including superheated steam, on demand and aluminum hydroxide powder Buy 95% Al, 5% Sn vendor alloy, contact with a liquid mixture of 7 wt% Ga and 1 wt% Sn, and then with water; this splits any kind of liquid water at temperatures between 20 C and 100 C and make H2, heat, including superheat steam, on demand and aluminum hydroxide powder Recover/separate inert Ga and Sn from hydroxide powder and recycle indefinitely

A sample of Al-GalInSn* splitting water


Using scrap Al and recovering the GaInSn component, the cost/kWh of our hydrogen/compared to other fuels: Coal: $0.004 Natural Gas: $0.06 Al: $0.10 Gasoline: $0.09 (at $3.00/gallon) Li ion battery: $4.00
*GaInSn is liquid at room temperature

2Al(GaInSn) + 6H2O*

3H2 + 2Al(OH)3 + GaInSn

3H2 + 3/2O2 3H2O; we get back half the water when we use the H2; we get rest of the water + the Al back via smelting; the GaInSn is inert

* Including salt water 2 Al(OH)3 + heat Al2O3 + 3 H2O + electricity 2 Al

Bottom line: You get all the water back as potable water!

Alloy

How it works!

Water

Al-Ga grain

Legend:
= Aluminum = Ga-In-Sn = Hydroxide = Hydrogen gas

At room temperature, the Ga-In-Sn phase is liquid! The solid Al grains are able to dissolve into and move freely through the liquid phase. Al near the surface contacts the water interface. The ensuing exothermic reaction produces hydrogen as the Al is oxidized. This reaction proceeds until all the Al grains split the water into hydrogen gas and aluminum hydroxide

Abundance: Al: crustal abundance 8% Ga: crustal abundance 0.002% Sn: crustal abundance 0.0002%
Sustainability: Al: annual production 32 billion kg Ga: annual production 184 million kg Sn: annual production 165 million kg Therefore, as long as the Ga and the Sn are recycled there is no Ga abundance or production problem

The Aluminum-Hydrogen Cycle


Aluminum Hydroxide

Energy Source
(wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, etc) (-12.9 kWh/kg-Al)

Aluminum Alloy

Reaction

Heat
(+4.4 kWh/kg-Al)

CO2 Sequestered

Water

Hydrogen
(+4.4 kWh/kg-Al)

Water Energy

Application
(fuel cell, combustion engine)

Example applications:
Replace batteries with a Ga-Al-H20/fuel cell system for high energy density electric power applications: emergency/stand-by power (AlGalCo) electric wheel chairs, golf carts, utility vehicles PDAs, Laptops, etc. hybrid and fuel cell powered cars Other applications: Stirling engines replace gasoline for HEVs (GM Volt) liquid fuel multiplier, e.g. diesel enrichment trains, boats, ships, subs, trucks large boats and other maritime applications off-grid/remote power + desalinated/potable water! integrated utilities with solar farms/wind turbines

Enabling Wind or Solar as Base Load Electricity Generation Capacity


Target cost: $0.10/kWhr, assuming 40x alloy recycling All required technologies are known Primarily an Engineering Development Project Enables Environmentally Sound and Secure Electricity

Enabling Wind or Solar as Base Load Electric Power Model Flow Diagram
Fuel Cell or Gas Turbine/Generator

Electricity
CONSUMER Heat, 4.4 kWh/Kg-alloy 24/7 or on demand Steam Turbine

H2, 4.4 kWh/Kg-alloy 24/7 or on demand H20

H20

reaction tank, 95-5 alloy, and controls

alumina, Ga,In,Sn + H20

intermittent electrical power, e.g. solar or wind

H20

component separation

95-5 alloy regeneration

Ga,In,Sn recovery alumina electrolysis 12.9 kW-Hrs/Kg Al

CAN BE DONE FOR $1/GAL OF WATER AND $0.34/kWh OF ELECTRICITY

THE BOTTOM LINE:

ALUMINUM!
A GLOBAL-SCALE, EARTH-ABUNDANT, HIGH ENERGY DENSITY STORAGE MATERIAL FOR SPLITTING ANY KIND OF WATER TO MAKE HYDROGEN, HEAT AND POTABLE WATER ON DEMAND
ONCE YOU BUY IT, IT IS YOURS FOREVER; UNLIKE FOSSIL FUELS IT STAYS IN THE ENERGY SYSTEM.