Hydrogen – the fuel of the future?


Hydrogen fuel cells could be a practical reality thanks to a new way of producing the gas.

Signa, based in New York, says it has devised a way to mix sodium with silica gel or crystalline silicon to create a powder that strips electrons from the sodium molecules and stores them – with more than nine per cent of a kilogram of the powder being converted to hydrogen.

Previously, industrial companies have shied away from using sodium which bursts into sparks when dunked in water, generating hydrogen, but with this new way, when water is introduced, a chemical reaction proceeds calmly.

The harvested hydrogen molecules undergo a second reaction with electrons stripped from the molecules and getting channelled into electrical power.

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