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ECOtality and Arizona State University to Develop Magnesium Regeneration Solutions

ECOtality, Inc. and Arizona State University (ASU) have agreed to work together to develop regeneration solutions for magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide is the main byproduct of ECOtality’s Hydratus. Hydratus is a portable apparatus that produces hydrogen on-demand from magnesium and water, and operates in conjunction with existing hydrogen fuel cell technology.  (Earlier post.)

Beginning June 1, 2007 until mid 2008, ASU will evaluate the potential technologies to determine cost and energy efficiencies for converting magnesium oxide back to its original form. Specifically, the project will evaluate and define the kinetics, thermodynamics and reaction equilibriums of numerous processes for converting magnesium oxide to magnesium and other magnesium compounds.

The study will have a particular focus on the use of solar energy in the conversion process; hence, eliminating any use of carbon-based sources is possible.  Dr. Edward Hall, Associate Dean for Research in the Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering at ASU, will be the principal director and Dr. Jerry Y.S. Lin, Chairman of the Technology Committee for ECOtality and Professor and Interim Department Chair of Chemical Engineering at ASU, will oversee the daily activities of the project.

Arizona State University is a dynamic research institution with great strengths in chemical engineering and photovoltaic technology. Their expertise in this area will contribute tremendously to our on-going research on the use of hydrogen as one of the alternative renewable energies. This project is a continuation of our full process development for on-demand hydrogen and hydrogen storage design to create a complete commercial system.

—Jonathan Read, President and CEO, ECOtality

ASU joins ECOtality’s current science team that includes the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Task Force, GreenMountain Engineering and Airboss Aerospace in developing Hydratus and related technologies.


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