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.