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Hydrogen Peroxide Fuel for Automobiles

A few months back I had talked about how hydrogen peroxide could one day be used to fuel our future cars. I would like to now follow up on this topic. As previously stated, hydrogen peroxide has already been used to power a car in China, jet packs, rockets and racecars. Hydrogen peroxide has also been used to fuel the U. S. experimental X-15 rocket plane, a German V-2 rocket and some U. S. satellites. NASA has also been testing hydrogen peroxide engines to be used for more environmentally conscious take-offs.

Hydrogen Peroxide or H2O2 contains two atoms of hydrogen and two atoms of oxygen. When used for fuel the only byproducts are steam, oxygen and heat with zero emissions of greenhouse gases. Hydrogen peroxide is a liquid, with low-grade (up to 10-percent) solutions used for bleaching hair, teeth, wood pulp and other products. High-grade (over 90-percent) solutions are generally used for fuel.

Hydrogen peroxide can also be easily transported. Large tanker trucks or railcars are generally used to transport the liquid over long distances. Setting up a hydrogen peroxide fuel infrastructure would be similar to the gasoline infrastructure that is in place today in regard to transportation of the fuel via truck, railcar, barge or ship.

Hydrogen peroxide for many years has typically been produced using the anthraquinone or AO (Autoxidation) process. But, recent breakthroughs in using nanocatalyst technology are resulting in the building of large-scale production methodology for hydrogen peroxide. In fact, Headwaters, Incorporated of South Jordan, Utah and Degussa AG of Düsseldorf, Germany have just signed a joint venture to develop its NxCatTM nanocatalyst for large-scale production of hydrogen peroxide for one-third to one-half the typical costs.

Hydrogen peroxide fuel may be used in several different ways to power a vehicle. For instance, researchers at Purdue University have used hydrogen peroxide and an aluminum alloy to power a fuel cell that one day could be used in a car or vehicle. Hydrogen peroxide can also be electrolyzed like water to produce hydrogen and oxygen, which can then be run through either an internal combustion engine or a fuel cell to power the vehicle. A third method is to use hydrogen peroxide to fuel a turbine engine that will be used to power the vehicle.

Since hydrogen peroxide fuel could solve a key infrastructure issue in developing the upcoming hydrogen economy, this alternative needs to be given more merit, study and R&D than it is presently being given by the automotive industry and alternative energy fuel industries.

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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5 comments

  1. H2o2+ catalyst for monopropellant thruster

  2. First of all thanks for a great article and for your good effort.
    There is much valuable info in this column about hydrogen peroxide as a monopropellant. Secondly hydrogen peroxide is a liquid at room temperature which is gold worth news in alternative energy research.
    But the sheer energy density of this interesting liquid is approximately 10 times less then gasoline’s. The energy density of hydrogen peroxide is also inferior of different types
    of alcohols, secondary derivates and methanol.
    Hydrogen peroxide can also quickly decompose with some frightening speed which makes higher concentrations then
    70 percent a viable hazard. But that’s not my main concern. The combustion engine which is fundamental in every type of auto motor industry needs a fuel which is easily combustible. Hence the use of different types of carbohydrates which fits nicely to the task.
    Hydrogen peroxide isn’t combustible it doesn’t burn – it’s only decomposes. A liquid pillar of some 10 millimeters can produce a rise of a gaseous pillar of 210 centimeters – and that’s awesome, but the combustion / decomposition process must be almost instantaneous in order to be useful in a combustion engine. Unfortunately that’s not the case with hydrogen peroxide where you need several precious seconds until the desired reaction sets in. Of course you can use a small turbine or even a new type of steam engine, but the energy ratio won’t be near off a combustion engine and you end up with a brilliant but ultimately uneconomical propulsion system.
    Sadly so.

  3. Make the batteries, that recharge them selves and use electric dc motors.. The batteries recharge themselves and are in a sires,… solenoids switch back and forth for optimum efficiency.

  4. Thank you for the information. Have hydrogen peroxide will travel.what ever.

  5. Hydrogen Peroxide as a fuel must be used in its most efficient configuration, that is using the steam component. The idea of using steam as the direct power for a passenger vehicle is inefficient. Catalyzing H2O2 is best achieved as a continuous process, which in turn yields itself to turbine use. Turbines are best utilized in constant rpm applications such as powering electric generation. A hybrid of a H2O2 turbine powered generator and an electric car would achieve high efficiencies. Drawbacks would be fuel degradation over time, corrosive effects(of fuel and oxygen byproduct) and the production of the primary greenhouse gas, water vapor. Big positives would be production of pure water from captured steam, oxygen byproduct and a reliable heat source. I got this idea when I was in fourth grade living near Cape Kennedy. It appears that one thing rocket scientists don’t know is rocket science.

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