Washington-based energy solutions company Innovatek Incorporated has begun testing of what it is being called a revolutionary microreactor, with the capability of steadily converting most liquid fuels into hydrogen and potentially simplyfying the future fuelling of vehicles.
Although an array of hydrogen-powered cars are in various stages of development around the world, the technology that drives these is still very young. A number of challenges need to be overcome before vehicles powered by hydrogen can become a viable alternative, such as choosing the best renewable source of energy for the production of hydrogen, a distinct lack of hydrogen refuelling stations, and the gas' unstable nature.
Innovatek's microreactor solution may, however, turn out to be the kind of breakthrough that could eventually lead to hydrogen-powered vehicles in local dealer showrooms across the globe.
Each microreactor weighs less than one pound and can be linked to other units to give the group a higher output of hydrogen fuel, with Innovatek noting it has developed connected systems that can produce up to 160 gallons of hydrogen per minute - an accomplishment that may lead to the technology's introduction into the automotive realm.
Within each unit there is a vast array of micro-channels that convert, or as Innovatek calls it reforms, energy sources such as gasoline, diesel, vegetable oil, biodiesel, propane, and natural gas into hydrogen.