In 2007, I had talked about Purdue University using aluminum, gallium and fresh water to produce hydrogen. This technology still has promise.
Today, however, Purdue has put a slightly different spin on the same goal using aluminum, plus a liquid alloy of gallium, indium and tin to produce hydrogen from seawater. Why is this different?
The earlier technology could not produce hydrogen efficiently using seawater and because the new process does, this opens up a whole host of applications for marine propulsion.
Cruise ships and tankers could store the aluminum and liquid alloy on-board, and pump seawater as necessary upon the journey. Hydrogen would be created on demand and fed through internal combustion engines.
The only byproduct of the process of producing hydrogen is aluminum hydroxide, which according to Purdue, “…can be recycled back to aluminum using existing commercial processes.”
Pollution from boats, ships and other sea craft is something we don’t usually talk about. But, if the Purdue invention does make it to commercialization this could help clean up our oceans, lakes and rivers in a big way.