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Aluminum doped with titanium was able to catalyze hydrogen

We already know that hydrogen is a green fuel that can power automobiles. The catch is that hydrogen is dangerous to store both at fueling stations and aboard the vehicle. The catalyst material used in a hydrogen fuel cell is often platinum or other rare and very expensive metal. A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas and Washington State University think that they may have found a much cheaper catalyst material to advance the adoption of fuel cell technology.
The new catalyst material that the researchers are investigating is a doped aluminum alloy surface. The aluminum alloy is doped with titanium. The titanium is used sparingly in the new catalyst material. 
Using controlled temperatures and pressures the team studied the titanium doped aluminum surface searching for signs of catalytic reactions taking place near the titanium atoms. To discover the catalytic reaction the team used the stereoscopic signature of carbon monoxide added to the test to specifically help locate signs of a reaction.
Mercedes-Benz B-Class hydrogen fuel cell vehicle 

"We've combined a novel infrared reflection absorption-based surface analysis method and first principles-based predictive modeling of catalytic efficiencies and spectral response, in which a carbon monoxide molecule is used as a probe to identify hydrogen activation on single-crystal aluminum surfaces containing catalytic dopants," says lead researcher Yves J. Chabal of the University of Texas at Dallas.
The titanium added to the aluminum advances the process by helping hydrogen bind to aluminum to form aluminum hydride. When used as a fuel storage device, aluminum hydride could be made to release the hydrogen stores it holds by raising the temperature of the storage medium.
Other researchers have been studying composite materials for storing hydrogen.

Source: Eurekalert

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RE: Just hit the brakes there.
By Quadrillity on 11/2/2011 10:42:20 AM , Rating: 2
To be proven, something must absolutely demonstrate the ability to perform in its target area.

Um, no it does NOT need to be on the mass market to be a proven functional technology. By your standards, something needs to sell X million amount of products in order to be functional? Sales =/= functional, and that's been my point from the beginning. You should have picked up that context clue when I said "in the lab". Now, does it have a long way until it can reach mass market? Absolutely. But that in, no way, means that it isn't or can't be a functional piece of technology. I remember creating simple radio PCB's in my electronics classes that didn't hit mass market; yet they were still functional lol. Don't get me wrong though, I know what you mean. A better word for it is a "useful" technology. But we see things all the time that are WAY too expensive to meet any market, yet they manage to make it there in time. Look at the personal computer for proof of that.

Seems to me that a Mass Market, affordable, BEV or PHEV is beating the best Fuel Cell Car by nearly 40%!

That's because battery technologies are long since proven and profitable. HFC's are still very much in infancy. I think somehow we are still pretty much comparing apples to oranges here when talking about a matured and un-matured tech. Also, lets not forget all of the massive amounts of energy that it takes to make the batteries (mind you there are always new battery technologies coming out every year it seems). In fact, I have heard several estimates that it takes far more energy to make them; more than they can ever put out in their lifetime (which is still pretty short, keep in mind). Then again, current HFC's have a relatively short lifetime too.

Maybe I'll buy into the BEV theory when we are all running on nuclear power complemented with a maximum amount of profitable renewable's. Until then, we are still buying our oil from unstable countries who hate everyone and everything but money. I'm looking forward to any solution that would free us of those binds, really.

RE: Just hit the brakes there.
By Keeir on 11/2/2011 12:55:44 PM , Rating: 2
m, no it does NOT need to be on the mass market to be a proven functional technology.

Did I say that?


If any technology for mass market cars is going to be called "proven" it must be demonstrated to work in that enviroment. IE, please show me a demonstrator car with 50,000+ miles and 5-10 years of use. Not some lab test is ideal conditions. Until there is an ACTUAL car that uses the product, its just potential. For years Carbon Fiber on Commerical Aircraft had potential (50+ years). Now finally we might call it "proven" technology since 1 actual aircraft was delivered to a customer.

I'm looking forward to any solution that would free us of those binds, really.

Whelp, look no further. A family of Volt type with 25, 50, 75 AER would eliminate close to 80% of the oil used for transportation. Using a Lotus Omnivore engine as Range Extender would reduce it even further by allow use of E20/E50/E85 in place of gasoline. (Ethonal can not hope to supply 100% of our transportation needs, but right now it supplies close to 5%. If we reduce the needed gasoline, we could dramatically increase the percentage of ethanol used, further reducing oil usage).

Best part? Not really needing new infrastructure or any new technology. No adjustment in your lifestyle (besides pluging in).

There are challenges. The old outdated power grid needs fixing up. It needed that anyway, and it will happen anyway. Lets just make it stout this time. Power Stations will of course have to increase thier output... by about 15%. But Power Stations typically use Coal, Natural Gas, Nuclear, or Renewables. Each of these is far better than imported oil.

Battery technology will also have to become lighter and cheaper. Thankfully they are already proven to do so! It might not be until 2020 that a PHEV reachs essentially price parity with an ICE engine, but that date looks much more promising than 2025-2050 timeframe given for HFC

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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