Army Discovery May Offer New Energy Source

Discussion in '[H]ard|OCP Front Page News' started by rgMekanic, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    Army scientists at Aberdeen Proving Ground have made a discovery in the form of an aluminum nanomaterial that can separate the hydrogen and oxygen in water, or any liquid containing water without the need for a catalyst. Dr. Anit Giri said "Also, it is very fast. For example, we have calculated that one kilogram of aluminum powder can produce 220 kilowatts of energy in just three minutes." That metric doubles when you consider the heat energy produced by the reaction as well.

    This is a pretty big discovery, provided the nano-galvanic aluminum-based powder isn't extremely difficult to produce, the applications for this could be quite far reaching. the article also states since the nanomaterial powder has the potential to be 3-D printed, researchers envision future air and ground robots that can feed off of their very structures and self-destruct after mission completion. Crazy!

    "There are other researchers who have been searching their whole lives and their optimized product takes many hours to achieve, say 50 percent efficiency," Grendahl said. "Ours does it to nearly 100 percent efficiency in less than three minutes."
     
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  2. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    How much energy to make the powder? Means nothing if it's many fold its output. Also assuming the material is consumed in the process? Or is it recoverable? If so how much and what is needed to reclaim? Is the 220KW the total the 1kg can make, or just what it can make in 3mins? Lacking so much important detail.

    We already have some pretty advanced fuelcells, we just lacked a better way to make hydrogen, if this is it, it could change the auto industry along with lots of others.
     
  3. Guarana [BAWLS]

    Guarana [BAWLS] Bad in Bed

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    If they can control the reaction, this could absolutely be turned into a hyrdogen powered car, that releases water as a waste product....
     
  4. rgMekanic

    rgMekanic [H]ard|News Staff Member

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    I was wondering the same on the energy requred to make the powder. In the YT comments it was mentioned that the powder is not recoverable after the reaction
     
  5. DeeFrag

    DeeFrag [H]ardness Supreme

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    Would snorting it turn you into iron man?
     
  6. Trimlock

    Trimlock [H]ardForum Junkie

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    more like hydrogen man.
     
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  7. lilbabycat

    lilbabycat 2[H]4U

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    I wonder what kind of explosive they were making when they discovered this
     
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  8. jpm100

    jpm100 [H]ardness Supreme

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    Dr. Manhattan
     
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  9. Daishiknyte

    Daishiknyte Limp Gawd

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    In the likely event it's not commercially viable, there could still be a valid use for it as an emergency/packable power and heat source, if the system is small enough.
     
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  10. stealthballer123

    stealthballer123 n00bie

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    Great. They will sell the tech to investors and then double screw over the public that funded this.
     
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  11. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    Improved Thermite? As you can use thermite to weld rails, you can also use it to make dangerous biological and chemical substances inert as it's highly reactive.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  12. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    They can't.

    Aberdeen proving grounds is a wasteland holding the remnants of our chemical and biological stockpile, and run by the army. The government would give it away the technology for free for others to invest in.

    As stated by others though, recovering aluminum is an extremely costly process in terms of energy. Up to 300+MJ from Bauxite, from our fine friends the Aussies (The worlds largest suppliers)

    http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/what-is-the-embodied-energy-of-materials.html
     
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  13. naib

    naib Gawd

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    I take it the aluminium is "consumed" in this process since it's affinity of oxygen is huge.

    It's basically thermite with water instead of iron-oxide.

    AlO is a pig to reprocess.


    Now as a Fuel-Air-Bomb .... This could be good. Drop 1kg into any expanse of water, 3min later spark to ignite the hydrogen rich local air
     
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  14. otherweeb

    otherweeb Limp Gawd

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    Booyaa!

    Your tax dollars at work!
     
  15. dewbak75

    dewbak75 Limp Gawd

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    I'm not so sure about the compound being consumed. One of those scientists was talking about a closed-loop hydrogen fuel cell. He made it sound like when the hydrogen was used for energy, there was a water by-product which could then be fed back into the fuel cell. Maybe that just means they don't have to store enough water to consume all of the compound, they can use the water generated at the other end of the system until all the compound is expended, I dunno.
     
  16. Mong00se

    Mong00se [H]Lite

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    Na, but if you shot enough of it into your veins all at once you would become a human bomb.
     
  17. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel n00bie

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    Oh look.. another miracle compound that can have water as a primary exhaust product.

    Oh wait we already have it. Its methanol. We just don't use it because people apparently want to burn 4x the CO2 in gasoline and prefer their refineries to produce CO2 in their production processes rather than sequester it.
    (Methanol byproduct is water and very little CO2 when combusted. Its production methods actually consume raw tonnage of CO2 gas at an absolutely astounding rate.)
     
  18. Merc1138

    Merc1138 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Yes it's costly to process aluminum, but we have tons of energy potential to handle that. They're called modern nuclear power plants, rather than the decades old crap we still have running and generating waste here in the US.

    Of course the problem no matter what type of power plants you have, is that they aren't portable because it's not like you can scale them down to make any sort of sense for something like a vehicle. If this could be properly controlled, having a method of fueling say.. a vehicle in this fashion resolves the problem of carrying around a ton of lithium ion batteries that just take up a bunch of weight and have performance issues depending on the climate you're in, and resolves the issue of how long it takes to charge those batteries as well since there's no reason you couldn't fill up on this powder and water roughly as quick as putting gas into a car. Even going beyond standard consumer vehicles, being able to power tractor trailers like this would avoid the need for a giant power infrastructure to be rebuilt in some areas, and you wouldn't have the losses in efficiency transmitting power from plants out in BFE since you'd just put the aluminum production out there with them.
     
  19. BlueFireIce

    BlueFireIce [H]ardness Supreme

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    Those are YT comments however, I am assuming it is some sort of galvanic cell that forms resulting in the break down of water, in that case something of the power will be left over in some form of oxides. Would be interesting to know the by products that might form as well as other possible chemicals.
     
  20. cyclone3d

    cyclone3d [H]ardForum Junkie

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    In theory if you reduce the CO2 levels in the atmosphere enough you could turn the whole sky into a huge ball of fire. Anybody want to test this theory out?

    The other side effect of reducing the CO2 levels is that plants would start to die off.

    The more CO2, the better plants thrive. All the tree huggers out there have it backwards. They want to reduce the CO2 level, when in fact they should be wanting to increase it.

    After all, we humans are the problem, right???

    Then once all the things that need higher levels of oxygen die off due to suffocation, then the world can start over again and new things can "evolve" from goo again and then hopefully "evolution" would not take the same path again.. right?

    The previous 3 lines are sarcasm. And evolution as taught in screwls is absolutely impossible.
     
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  21. Gigus Fire

    Gigus Fire [H]ard|Gawd

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    you know....
    water vapor accounts for 60% of greenhouse gases in terms of affecting the temperature. Normally the amount of water vapor is dependent on the temperature to determine how much there is in the atmosphere, but if you actively pump water vapor into the atmosphere under the guise of fixing the planet, you start introducing a factor that's not part of the equilibrium and could make things a hell of a lot worse:
    https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/...cenarratives/its-water-vapor-not-the-co2.html
     
  22. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel n00bie

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    Cyclone3d that's the sad thing. I've been lobbying methanol for years since it flat out trumps gasoline in every single category except energy density and its producible in nearly any location or biome. Every time i see one of these new substances or processes that seem to be great on paper all I can think about is my own struggles and the giant raging blocks in any level of government for anything new. Only recently have we started to see shipping convert to methanol from god awful marine diesel and that's a case where the newer fuel categorically trumps marine diesel in every single possible practical use category.
     
  23. Snowdog

    Snowdog Pasty Nerd with Poor Cardio

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    And how long does it last? 220 KW is actually a power measurement. Energy would be in KWh.

    Previously there was Aluminum Air battery demoed that consumed aluminum. You recharge by adding new aluminum plates and water.

    I wonder how they compare in KWh/KG of aluminum consumed.
    https://phys.org/news/2013-03-phinergy-aluminum-air-battery-capable-fueling.html
     
  24. potency

    potency Gawd

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    I can't tell where the sarcasm in your post begins or ends. Life thrived in prehistoric times, both plant and animal. And oxygen levels were MUCH higher back then, which is the main reason the dinosaurs were so hyuuuge. And the only reason we have so much less oxygen in the air today is most likely due to that meteor that hit the Yucatan a while back; it burned much of the oxygen and marked the end of the great lizards.
     
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  25. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    Wonder how much a 15 gallon gas tank of high octane aluminum powder sells for, heh.

    Side topic, yes methanol is awesome and it sucks we're not using it as a fuel source. Blame the oil companies.

    Check out the book Energy Victory by Robert Zubrin, he's a big time methanol / ethanol fanboy. Great book.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  26. raz-0

    raz-0 2[H]4U

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    Except water vapor has a powerful greenhouse effect. It currently represents about 60% of the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. Dumping tons of water vapor into the atmosphere as a cure for CO2 being a greenhouse gas isn't an obvious slam dunk. How heated it is, if it is condensed first, if you recirculate it, etc. would all come into play. It needs to release no more water vapor than an IC engine into the atmosphere though, or it might just make things worse.
     
  27. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    Water collection tank, like a reverse gas tank? Then use it to water your lawn or something at home? Just thinking out loud, not trying to be an ass.
     
  28. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    Or were they working on a way to pull Oxygen from water for underwater applications?
     
  29. raz-0

    raz-0 2[H]4U

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    No being an ass, that's essentially one of the options put on the table, espcially when dealing with Hydrogen generated off site as the fuel source. Hydrogen has the issue that you have to carry a hydrogen pressure vessel, a heavy fuel cell, and potentially the water by product with the vehicle. Which is bad for efficiency, and it's not really an efficient fuel to start.

    Something like this aluminum thing means you could potentially collect and recirculate the water. In essence the car would run on the aluminum powder and water and the water would be somewhat catalyst like.

    Hydrogen sounds nice as a fuel, but the practical considerations are complicated. The only thing really going for it is that it produces water as an output. Which is great if you are worried about particulate pollution, VOCs, etc. But less awesome with regards to greenhouse emissions. But still likely more tractable than CO2 in terms of mitigation within the vehicle.
     
  30. DeeFrag

    DeeFrag [H]ardness Supreme

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    Pipe it into an espresso machine. Electricity and caffeine all in one.
     
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  31. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    Aberdeen proving Grounds is the primary test and development location for most of what the Army has in development. Land Vehicles, Aircraft, Drones, even software for Intelligence applications is developed there. Wasteland my ass.
     
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  32. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    If that espresso machine is built into my dashboard, then you have a winner right there!
     
  33. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    Okay let me rephrase that...if you see the quality of houses around Aberdeen, it's a wasteland. No one wants to live next to a testing range that houses a metric shit ton of decaying and unstable warheads full of deadly gas and biological agents.

    When I was shopping for a house in 2000, I went there and looked around. I found out why the houses were a good 10% cheaper. Nobody wants the land!
     
  34. DigitalGriffin

    DigitalGriffin 2[H]4U

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    You know a number of british cars came with a hot tea option. (No joke) I think that should have became a standard feature along with a bumper sticker that reads "Made with the finest british quality" on a falling off bumper.

    (My appologies to my British friends, but you know the cars from the pre 90's were complete and total rubbish)
     
  35. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    I don't understand. If the material separates the H from the O2, how do you still have H20 ? I would think you just get Hydrogen and Oxygen, not water.
     
  36. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    There can be many reasons for housing around military bases to fluctuate greatly. Once is manpower reductions. Following the draw-down in 1991 after the first gulf war there was a huge manpower reduction. Fewer soldiers usually goes hand in hand with Government Service cuts and reduced Contracting work. Housing suffers at these times.

    Now I know that chemical weapons and gases were manufactured in Aberdeen, Edgewood to be more precise. I had a friend who used to work their testing protective filters against live agents to see how long they would stand up to exposure. But I never knew or heard of Aberdeen as a storage facility for old ordnance. Johnson Atoll, an Island in the Pacific was closed awhile back after the last of the stockpiles there were destroyed. There is a place called Pueblo Chemical Depot, and a friend here says there was a depot in Idaho.

    But Military bases usually have an abundance of people who don't make a lot of money. As such, their housing both on base and off is usually not as well made as is usual. Add to this that the occupants are usually temporary and don't stick around for long and the homes usually are not so well maintained.

    I don't doubt that it is common belief that there is a massive stockpile of old shit buried there, but I'm not so sure that it's reality.
    You can however go to this website and look at what is publicly displayed.
    https://www.cma.army.mil/

    Click or hover over the "What We Do" tab.

    There are currently two storage facilities listed.
     
  37. Nafensoriel

    Nafensoriel n00bie

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    While its true just dumping more vapor into the atmosphere is a terrible idea combustion engine exhaust does not often remain vapor for very long nor does it really rise all that far into the atmosphere like lighter particulates and gases. This kind of issue would be more serious in things like powerplants or industrial complexes where the raw volume of exhaust would come into play as a factor.
     
  38. Krenum

    Krenum [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Great, but It'll never be used practically. Too much money to be made off the black stuff.
     
  39. Gideon

    Gideon Gawd

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    Hope it works out for mass production as that would simplify many problems in this world.
     
  40. lcpiper

    lcpiper [H]ardness Supreme

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    Read the article and revisit your comment.