About a month ago, the Purdue Energy Center held a symposium
on the challenges and technologies of the hydrogen
economy. One of the presenters was Jerry Woodall
, and his research continues to be mentioned
this month because of the process he has developed that makes hydrogen "by adding water to an alloy of the metals aluminum and gallium," Purdue says. There is already a startup company (with the monstrosity of a name AlGalCo Inc.) operating at the Purdue Research Park to make generators that use Woodall's technology and it's possible that this technology could one day replace gasoline in vehicles.
There is a 26-minute online presentation of the gallium-aluminum technology available here
. Woodall says that the reaction of aluminum with water has the same energy content per unit weight of oil, about 20,000 BTUs or about 6 kWh per pound. And, since aluminum is safe and plentiful, it has high potential to create "aluminum enabling hydrogen economy" (click forward to slide 10 of 20 for Woodall's explanations about using gallium to disrupt the passivating oxide process).
[Source: Purdue University, topic submitted by Michael]