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Hydrogen Ethanol Reactors

  Hydrogen Ethanol Reactors
Hydrogen Ethanol Reactors


Some of the greatest challenges to be overcome before hydrogen is widely used as a fuel are:
1: How to produce the gas efficiently. (hydrogen is only as clean a source of power as the energy used to produce it).
2: How to transport hydrogen gas (a present transport and storage requires very high pressure containers).
3: Building an infrastructure for consumers to fill their cars with hydrogen is another problem.
Umit Ozkan, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at Ohio State University, has led a team of scientists to develop a catalyst that can make hydrogen from ethanol without the need for high temperatures or expensive materials such as platinum or rhodium. The work could solve some of the storage and transportation problems listed above.
Instead of making hydrogen from biofuel at a centralised facility and transporting it to gas stations, a catalyst inside reactors located at the gas stations would be used to make hydrogen on the spot.
Catalysts that can make hydrogen from biofuels already exist but usually need rare, expensive ingredients.
The catalyst is made from calcium, cobalt and small grains of cerium oxide, a common ingredient in ceramics. According to researchers, it produces hydrogen with 90% efficiency at around 350C a low temperature by industrial standards.
The production of hydrogen from ethanol produces waste gases such as carbon dioxide and methane the former can be trapped and stored while the latter can be burned to supply some of the energy needed for the conversion process itself. Though the team's current research focused on ethanol, the researchers believe it could be adapted to other liquid biofuels.


   

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