Hydrogen Power (HPI) has modified a 2006 Ford Ranger XL to a dual-fuel (gasoline and hydrogen) vehicle, ultimately to be powered by HPI’s HydrogenNow process for the on-board production of hydrogen.
The conversion involved the addition of a second set of injectors, high-pressure hydrogen tanks, regulator, a hydrogen control system, and other available off-the-shelf products.
HPI is a Seattle-based company licensed by the University of British Columbia to develop a proprietary method for the aluminum-assisted water-split generation of hydrogen.
Researchers from the university found that grinding aluminum with a catalyst can prevents the natural protective corrosion resistance of aluminum from occuring and, in turn, allows the resulting corrosion reaction of the system to produce hydrogen. Besides gaseous H2, the reaction generates only solid aluminum hydroxides (AlOOH) or Al(OH)3.
The resulting aluminum hydroxides can be recycled or used in industrial and consumer applications.
Experiments showed that the rate of hydrogen generation and hydrogen yield depend on many different parameters, such as chemistry and concentration of additives, water temperature, powder particle size and milling conditions.
HPI calls its aluminum-catalyst combination AlumiFuel. Water and AlumiFuel are combined in an on-board reactor, generating heat and hydrogen gas on-demand.
HPI is working on a range of applications for the HydrogenNow technology, from power for portable electronics up through on-site generation for fueling and power.
The BC researchers will be providing a progress update on the aluminum-assisted water split process at the upcoming World Hydrogen Energy Conference in Lyon, France.