Alternate Energy Corporation (AEC), ticker symbol ARGY, has secured a technology that generates hydrogen from water in the presence of a proprietary alloy that is made from abundant and inexpensive raw materials.
How it Works
"Depending on how we mix the metallic components, we can either increase or decrease the yield of hydrogen for a particular system's needs," said Bart Seigel, Director of Engineering at AEC. The alloy "sets up a catalytic reaction that results in the cracking of water," said Seigel.
The process is pH sensitive. The alloy tablets will contain the necessary pH-effecting chemicals so that when the mixture is added to water, hydrogen bubbles out at a particular rate. The hydrogen then runs whatever application for which it is required -- on demand. No storage necessary.
The theory of how this is accomplished is not yet fully developed. "The polar positioning of the metals somehow results in the changing of the properties of the metal," said Seigel. The alloy apparently "creates a magnetic field" that is involved in catalyzing the splitting of the hydrogen from the two oxygen molecules of water.
In the past, they were having problems with oxidation -- or scumming -- of the alloy. They have resolved this now with the addition of a "promotor" in the mix. Oxygen combines with the alloy in the reaction. Thus the alloy is eventually spent and requires replacement.
Seigel said they could either use fuel rods or fuel pellets, but that rods would be too bulky and cumbersome to replace. "Rather than putting petrol in your car, you will be putting pellets in," he said. The addition of water is negligible.
The raw materials for the secret alloy are found in abundance and will be easy to produce in mass quantities if this technology should become widespread. "No high-energy process is required in obtaining the alloy -- only mining," said Seigel. Two of the metals are found ubiquitously in many mine tailings.
He envisions a bladder system that would add or remove water from the reaction in order to start and stop the production of hydrogen.
Seigel said the system would be fitted with a pressure release valve to prevent the build-up of hydrogen in the case of a malfunction or wreck. The intake on their engine designed to run on hydrogen "requires less than one atmosphere of pressure. A build-up of pressure would merely be vented off into the air."
After the alloy pellets have reacted with water, they are inert and can be used in a number of different ways.
Seigel envisions using this environmentally safe end-product as fly ash in concrete or as a chelator in soil. He anticipates that the university testing will give them additional ideas about how the spent product can be made useful as well.
Though AEC is satisfied with the testing they have done on the hydrogen generating system, they are in process of finishing the preparatory paperwork with a national testing laboratory to run a gamut of tests on the alloy.
"We are not waiting for the results of these tests before proceeding," said Seigel. "We already know what the alloy will do. We are having them do the testing to provide independent validation as well as possibly some additional characterization data by which we can further optimize the performance of the alloy."
A university with nuclear science specialty will also be analyzing and the alloy and theorizing how the process takes place.
AEC requests that the names of the testing laboratory and university not be revealed at this time as the paper work is not yet complete for the arrangement.
AEC has secured the rights to an internal combustion engine that is designed to run on hydrogen. "Such an engine requires considerable change" from the carbon-based fossil-fuel driven engine, said Blaine Froats, Chairman of AEC. "It has to be fuel-injected, and you can't allow any oil to get into the chambers."
The special engine also comes with a specially designed alternator to match it for the generation of DC electricity.
AEC is working on implementing several applications, from an electricity generating unit for industrial, commercial and home power, to an electrical system to supply an electric vehicle -- all from water, and the input of their proprietary alloy. They expect to be able to do this all at costs that are lower than comparable petrol systems.
Seigel envisions a 5 kilowatt home power unit that would help diminish the peak load burden of a home on the power grid. "You get enough homes with these, and you don't have to build the next power plant," he said.
Seigel anticipates alpha testing of their home power units within three months, followed by beta testing in the field for eighteen months prior to market introduction. "It could be more than that," he said.
Presently they are focused on building their company management infrastructure.
Last Tuesday they announced a venture with Feel Good Cars to retrofit the ZENN™ electric car with one of their on-demand hydrogen systems.