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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: Hmmm
By JimHorwitz on 11/4/2011 10:54:10 AM , Rating: 2
I've studied the global fuel cell industry for five years and published two comprehensive reports on hydrogen production and hydrogen storage. You are not misinformed - there are huge gains being made everywhere involving commercialization and pie-in-the-sky research. As an example, check out Jorg Weigl's fuel cell motorcycle. He's German, but had to move to Malaysia to get the support for his incredibly successful global project. You can Google him, myself (+fuel cells to get presentations), bio production of hydrogen, or hydride hydrogen storage to get more information.
You don't hear much because the research and commercialization is well distributed world wide, and fuel cells being just stack of anode+electrolyte+cathode with no moving parts or combustion are just not very sexy.


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