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Hydrogen Fuel from Ammonia

CSIRO Hydrogen Ammonia Membrane
Saturday 13th July 2019

Hydrogen Fuel

Hydrogen Fuel has a lot of great positives. It has been used to he moon and to power spacecraft. But it does have an annoying problem. Hydrogen is the smallest atom and the H2 molecule is the smallest molecule. So it is hard to keep hold of. It leaks.

A recent breakthrough at the CSIRO is looking to use Ammonia NH3, a molecule consisting of one Nitrogen atom and 3 Hydrogen atoms, to help us store and transport Hydrogen. The key here is that you need to be able to get the Hydrogen back without doing anything toxic nor consuming very much power. Otherwise it stops being a good net power source.

CSIRO Hydrogen Ammonia Membrane
CSIRO Hydrogen Ammonia Membrane

So how does this work?

The membrane is a fine metal mesh that lets the Hydrogen pass but blocks the Nitrogen. The result is 1 x N2 molecules and 3 x H2 molecules. So no pollution. And we have already developed methods to trade and transport Ammonia on a global scale so this looks to be a winner all round.

CSIRO
CSIRO

Why does Hydrogen Fuel matter?

The single biggest reason is that a Hydrogen Fuel Cell takes stored Hydrogen and atmospheric Oxygen and generates electricity with the byproduct being H2O, better known as water.

There are some challenges still. Atmospheric pollution can deteriorate the cells and they aren’t yet inexpensive to make. But the ability to readily transport Hydrogen brings us a step closer to a fully renewable power source that is not dependent on weather or season.

PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Fuel Cell
PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Fuel Cell

And this also support our move toward Electric Vehicles, reducing emissions, reducing Global Warming and positions this as a prime Made in Australia opportunity.

For further reading check out the following links:


Successful Endeavours specialise in Electronics Design and Embedded Software Development, focusing on products that are intended to be Made In AustraliaRay Keefe has developed market leading electronics products in Australia for more than 30 years.


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This post is Copyright © 2019 Successful Endeavours Pty Ltd.

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