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Aluminum Super Atom Creates Hydrogen from Water

Over the past few years, I’ve talked many times about the merits of combining aluminum and water to create hydrogen. Researchers have been working on using aluminum both inside and outside the car for such hydrogen on demand production.

Some of these methods involve using either an aluminum alloy or aluminum, water and some other chemical or element to do the splitting. But according to physicist Priya Vashishta from USC plus researchers at Kumamato University in Japan, have come up with a computer model of how this works.

A clump of aluminum atoms, they are calling “superatoms” take on special properties to split water into hydrogen and oxygen on the fly easily and efficiently.

According to Science News, “Some regions of the superatom were hungry for electrons, while other regions wanted to give electrons away, the researchers found. As these sites began interacting with the surrounding water molecules, hydrogen atoms swiftly jumped from one oxygen partner to another, ultimately ending up on the aluminum superatom. After another series of complicated hydrogen bond switching events, a hydrogen atom then left the aluminum to join another hydrogen atom. The two hydrogen singletons were produced strategically close to one another, easing their ability to find each other and form a stable two-hydrogen molecule.”

The idea of using aluminum to split water has merit. Like I had stated before, this can be done either inside the vehicle or outside the vehicle, such as at the refueling pump or a local hydrogen production facility. The aluminum is also easily recyclable and since this is a chemical reaction, it is more efficient that using brute force electrolysis to pry apart the hydrogen and oxygen bonds in water.

But the computer modeling program that Priya Vashishta has developed still needs to be tested in the research lab to verify results. The outlook is promising so let’s stay tuned for this one.

About Hydro Kevin Kantola

Hydro Kevin Kantola
I'm a hydrogen car blogger, editor and publisher interested in documenting the history and the progression of hydrogen cars, vehicles and infrastructure worldwide.

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6 comments

  1. I love your hydro ness. when i grow up i want to be you. Please tell me everything about you and let me visit you!!!!!!
    I Love you HydroKevin

  2. this article is great, going green is a must for the nation.. hydro kevin you are truly a great aurthor.. i love your articles, there so inspiring.. 🙂

  3. Good article. Just one correction: Priya is at USC not UCLA.

    We take our rivalries very seriously 🙂

  4. admin

    Ashish, you are correct! Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’ve made the correction.

  5. Nice…I especially liked the diagrams.

  6. I think that polluting is basically like saying, “I don’t care about the planet.” But then again, some people just have no idea that the situation is at all bad. Who invented pollutants, anyway?

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