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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 JediJeb on 11/2/2011 6:33:23 PM , Rating: 2
the problem lies in the fact that hydrogen has to be COMPRESSED considerably to even hope to match the storage capabilities we expect from gasoline. this compressed state makes hydrogen MUCH more dangerous than gasoline, should an accident occur.

Really it isn't that much more dangerous if any. If you puncture a compressed hydrogen tank you would get a flame jet like a cutting torch which would be localized, or after enough oxygen managed to get into the tank as it emptied you could get an explosion which would be similar to one from a gasoline tank. The thing that makes hydrogen better than gasoline in an accident is that hydrogen is lighter than air, thus leaking hydrogen rises above the vehicle and either dissipates or causes an air borne fireball, while gasoline forms a pool under the vehicle and when it ignites it literally cooks the vehicles occupants if they haven't managed to escape.

Some would cite what happens when you knock the valve off of a compressed gas cylinder and make a "torpedo" with it, but if you attach that "torpedo" to a 3000 pound vehicle then the tank isn't going to launch itself across the highway, maybe move the vehicle a couple feet before the compress gas escapes if it is pushing in the direction the wheels will move, I doubt it would move it much pushing perpendicular to the direction the wheels move.

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